News Satire People Food Other

A February Of Fishing And Feasting

By Dan Trotter on February 17, 2016 in Other

Photo: Dan Trotter

Photo: Dan Trotter

How good were your summer holidays? Mine were amongst the best I’ve had in years. Loads of east coast travel, a long week of offshore sailing, indulgent lazy days, jam-packed festivals nights, great meals, cosy sleep-ins, friends, family, fishing and plenty of fun.

Perhaps the most outstanding part of the break was a sailing trip from Mooloolaba to Heron Island, via Fraser Island, Hervey Bay and the Capricorn Group of Islands at the southern extremity of the Great Barrier Reef. For anyone who loves a bit of off the grid adventure, a journey like this is something that should be on your bucket list; a chance to experience the ocean the way nature intended it – wild, unspoilt and majestic; a chance to connect again to the natural cycles of life and reset, reconnect and refocus. The fishing and diving was pretty good, too!

Now that we’re all back at it, working hard planning for the year ahead and dreaming of holidays in the sun, the time is right to plan little wild fixes locally to stay in tune and connected to world around us. If you’re in need of a quick reset, start the search local – you’ll be amazed by what you’ll find. Try a snorkel along the headlands, a dusk session flicking squid jigs from a calm ocean rock platform, a walk in the wilderness of the Royal National Park or a wander up a trout stream in the Blue Mountains.

On the fishing front, February is month to be reckoned with. The EAC will be in full force pulsing southward on its endless journey, and for all the fish on the east coast this makes for another month of feasting, so get your gear together and make the most of it.

Reviewing my dog-eared fishing diary, my bets would be on targeting yellowtail kingfish and mulloway on the inshore hard reefs and the bait holding structures of the harbours, and drifting for snapper flicking soft-plastics. February’s also about whiting and bream on worms or nippers off the beaches and the sandy straights of our world-class estuaries, and the southern calamari squid that spawned in the spring should all be reaching a reasonable size now and will provide those in the know with great feeds and bait.

If offshore blue water pursuits are your preference, now is the time to make the most of it. Striped marlin will be about in good numbers, with the blacks soon to turn up, and mahi mahi will make a strong showing too.

If all of this sounds great, but you don’t know where to start, consider booking a charter. Sydney now boasts a host of awesome charter operators who can teach you a lot and help you catch fish of all shapes and sizes. My recommendations – in no particular order – are Raptor Charters, Ocean Hunter Charters, Ambition and Fish About Tours, and for land-based guiding, contact Alex Bellisimo. All of these operators spend their lives in pursuit of fish and a day spent with any of them is worth the hard earned dollars you’ll spend for the experience.

Here’s to a February of fishing and feasting!