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UNDER THE PUMP

By Dan Trotter on March 29, 2017 in Sport

Photo: Dan Trotter

Photo: Dan Trotter

Life’s a fine balance, isn’t it? When you’ve got time to twiddle your thumbs you find yourself wishing you were busier. And when you’re flat chat with work and life commitments you find yourself dreaming of a slower pace with time for contemplation, day dreaming and fishing. As the old cliché goes, be careful what you wish for.

These last few weeks I’ve scarcely had time to dream of fishing, let alone plan trips on the wide blue yonder.

Fortunately I had a couple of cracking days chasing solid kings off of Sydney late January and early February, the joy of which brought about grins so big you couldn’t wipe them off with a slap across the face from a big yellowtail!

March is an epic month for chasing all manner of species out off the big smoke we call home. Whether you’re into land-based angling, inshore antics in small boats, or big boat missions chasing big fish, March is the month to find a time amongst the chaos to get out and go fishing.

There’s sure to be plenty of big Mahi mahi and some decent marlin on the cobalt currents. Closer to land, the red flanked snapper have been providing delight for anglers young and old who are prepared to brave the offshore change of light in the hope a big fish may bite. This year’s run of mulloway, whilst elusive for most of us, has also been providing scrumptious meals – in the harbour, off the beaches and on a select number of the 30-50 metre reefs too.

Throughout the estuaries there will be plenty of bread and butter species to tangle with. Get out and flick softies for lizards, or mirco surface stickbaits for bream and whiting in the shallows. Better still, why not target the marauding schools of pelagics busting up the surface waters in a quiet bay or inlet?

One thing is for sure this season: there are more luderick in our waterways than I’ve ever seen before. If you’re partial to a bit of weed, while away an afternoon twisting some onto your hook and waiting patiently for the ‘down’ of your pencil float. Use a mix of sand and cabbage weed as berley to bring the fish into your zone, and embrace the delight and anticipation of this ‘old favourite’ style of fishing.

March is also the month for setting a few crab pots, either on the sandy straights of your local estuary or in the mangrove-lined stretches of the rivers and creeks that feed into the larger waterways.

Fishing aside, in amongst all the craziness of earning a quid to keep a roof over my head, I recently had the true pleasure of hearing from the man who put the natural world in the forefront of the minds of three generations: David Attenborough. I’m sure I can speak for everyone reading this when I say what a gift his words and passion for ‘wild places’ have been.

As Attenborough himself says, it is the study, observance and appreciation of the behaviours of the animals of the world that will in the end save them. Whilst it may seem like a contradiction, it’s the fishermen I know who are the ones most connected to the ecosystems in which we live, and they are the ones who are truly passionate about conservation, education and preservation of the oceans and fish they love to catch.

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