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WEEKENDS AWAY WETTING A LINE

By Dan Trotter on November 25, 2016 in Sport

Photo: Dan Trotter

Photo: Dan Trotter

Weekends away with mates are one of the highlights of an addicted angler’s calendar, especially when the weather is warm, the sea is calm, the beer is cold and the food is tasty. It’s on weekends like these that lifelong memories are made.

As I write this, it’s the Friday arvo before a weekend like the one described above. The destination is the Coffs Coast with 20-plus mates, campfires, barbecues, fishing, diving, hangovers, tall stories and more side-splitting laughs than you could possibly imagine. Hopefully we will catch some fish!

I just love November fishing – new currents, new season species, warm weather, big fish, and balmy, long spring nights.

It is always hard to decide what to fish for in the eleventh month of the year: mahi mahi, big kings, marlin, mulloway, snapper, whiting or the bread and butter species that taste so good on the plate. It’s a blessing to be so spoilt for choice.

For many, the call of the wide big blue will be too hard to resist. Whilst there can be days between fish, when the mayhem does finally arrive, the adrenalin-filled seconds, minutes or hours disappear into the never-never, replaced by elation fleeting triumph.

Small boat fishing is one thing Australian anglers do better than almost every other angling fraternity in the world, and for this we are regularly rewarded. Sneaking out before dawn or running home under the cover of darkness are special treats very few others get to enjoy.

For readers of The Beast keen to get out for a fish and a feast, may I suggest taking a multifaceted approach to your fishing days this month. Start with catching fresh bait, run wider to the FADs early, and see if you can be the first there for your chance of metre-plus sized mahi mahi, then switch focus and target kings on the tide. If this doesn’t produce the goods, then a quick flathead drift on the 50 and 70-metre sand patches is a great way to save the day.

Plus there’s every chance that you’ll have some succulent squid or delectable mackerel in the tank, which in many people’s opinion provides the tastiest meals of all.

On the home waters of the harbour, Sydney’s mascot – the might yellowtail kingfish – is hard to beat. Slow trolling or down-rigging live baits is the way to find where the schools are holding. Keep a keen eye on the sounder and work steep vertical drop-offs, deep moorings and markers, whilst also keeping your eyes peeled for surface activity, which can often give the game away.

Off the sand or the ocean rocks, pick the weather and never fish when it’s rough or dangerous. Worthy species for local sessions include luderick, drummer, whiting, bream and squid.

As always, it is important in a world of growing populations and shrinking resources to only catch what you can eat fresh, and take a conservation-minded approach to all your fishing activities. Tight lines and fun times!

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