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IT’S TIME TO BUCKLE DOWN AND HATCH PLANS

By Dan Trotter on June 21, 2017 in Sport

Clint with his first longtail, or northern bluefin tuna.
Photo: Dan Trotter

With winter on the doorstep, it’s time to buckle down and hatch plans for local adventures and far flung fishy missions with mates.

Last week a group of my most fanatical fishing buddies and I did just that. After months of careful planning with a close eye on the moon phase, tides, holiday breaks, and everything else that goes into curating a successful trip, we grouped together in the late hours of a Tuesday night on the freeway just north of Sydney and set off on our biannual trip to the Mid North Coast of NSW.

Arriving as dawn broke across the windswept sky, the boat ramp car park was a frenzy of unpacking and repacking as we raced to hit the water for a couple of hours before the accommodation we’d booked would let us bunk down for the following few days of adventures.

One thing is for certain: fishing trips for the dedicated aren’t really about relaxing. They’re about packing in as much time on the water as you can endure for as many days in a row as the weather will allow. And that’s exactly what we did – in between sleeping, poorly made meals, fishing talk, and fair amount of ribbing and swearing, too. It was a blast.

We sure caught some fish too: Spanish mackerel, spotted mackerel, longtail and yellowfin tuna, snapper, bar rock cod, Maori cod, pearl perch, a stack of yellowtail kingfish, and two ‘Alfonse’, a delicious deepwater species rarely caught be recreational anglers.

With five boats and 14 anglers, it sure was a fishy time with plenty of competitive banter over beers and rig tying each night.

Sadly, it’s now over, which means only one thing – it’s time to start planning the next trip!

On home waters June is still a great time to get out for a fish and fill your piscatorial dream bank with images of bent rods, big fish, and tasty dinners.

For me it’s about two fish and one crustacean: snapper in the shallows, tuna out wide, and the hunt for aliens where the Tasman Ocean swells greet Terra Australis. With any luck I’ll get connected with all three.

If boat fishing isn’t your thing then the local harbour and ocean beaches will provide action in the form of winter whiting and blue-nosed bream. Fish lightly weighted fresh offerings of worms or nippers for best results. Off the ocean rocks it’s worth targeting southern calamari squid and Australian salmon, as well as the omnipresent luderick and black drummer.

All present a wide variety of options and a tasty feed if you approach the preparation and cooking the right way.

Keep warm, fish hard, and plan a trip away with mates. You can’t go wrong!

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