GETTING BACK TO NATUREWhat would we all do without our mates – mates to get you into trouble, mates to get you out of trouble, mates to make you laugh so hard your facial muscles hurt, and mates who are there for you in tough times or just to give you shit. Weekends away with a group of friends in winter are a special gift, one that reminds us of the simple pleasures – a log fire, food cooked in the coals, smiles, stories, and a refresher from the hard work we’ve got to put in to get wherever it is we’re going. I’ve just come back from a weekend down the South Coast that, whilst quite exhausting, was such a great time that it’s has really fuelled me up with good vibes to get me through the weeks and months ahead.
If it’s been a while since you last got away with a group of great friends, maybe now’s the time to start making that a reality. Put down your copy of The Beast, pick up your phone, call a few mates, and make a plan.
What made my weekend away all the more special was being by the ocean and catching feeds from its salty shores. Being on the South Coast, abalone and crayfish were the order of the day, and the bounty didn’t disappoint, keeping the lads fed with the freshest lunches one could wish for.
With unseasonably warm months across July and August, who knows what September will bring? Flicking through the fishing diary there’s not a lot to report, perhaps because it can get so cold that I don’t fish all that often. A few notes are worth sharing, though.
September is a month for burley and bait fishing, by and large, with the cold water slowing down the metabolism of most fish. A persistent mist of burley with the occasional small chunk can turn a quiet afternoon’s session into one to be remembered. I’d suggest either tucking in behind the tall cliffs of North or South Head on a day when the westerly winds are blowing, or picking a calm afternoon with a gentle northwest or northeast breeze, anchoring up on a decent reef edge, and being patient and attentive to the burley and the bait presentation. With any luck you’re in with a good chance of snapper, silver trevally, yellowtail kingfish, salmon, tailor and possibly bonito.
The shallow inshore grounds along the east coast are also notorious for large numbers of small mako sharks, and whilst they are not a target species for myself, they can really add to the excitement of an outing for a few minutes whilst they run fast and leap high before biting you off. If you’re lucky enough to see one boat-side, free swimming with it sure is a special gift – they are streamlined perfection with their blue colours, black eye, and stunning beauty.
With spring having just sprung, make the most of it. Call you mates, hatch a plan, pack the car, and get back to nature, even if it’s just for a few nights.