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Pre-Dawn Starts And After-Dark Finishes

By Dan Trotter on November 24, 2014 in Other

Photo: Dan Trotter

Photo: Dan Trotter

November, November, November – with the passing of the years, the arrival of the month before December has come to bring with it a mix of excitement, panic, and feelings of reflection about what sometimes feels like the beginning of the end, but is more likely the beginning of a new beginning.

It’s funny that eight little letters can have such an effect on one’s psyche. November marks the start of the closing two months of the year, a time when play starts to overtake work for many, while others cling to the grind, burning the candle at both ends and trying to squeeze in as much as possible before the Christmas bells toll and the summer holidays force them to relax and forget about frenzied rush of city living.

When life was simpler and (the end of) university terms marked the most important moments in a year, the month of November signalled the beginning of the most hallowed period of existence anyone could wish for: three months of holidaying up, down, and around the Australian coastline.

Don’t get me wrong, summer – with its long days, vacations and great fishing – is still a highlight of my life and a time I cherish with a passion bordering on obsession, it’s just that the carefree enjoyment of the pursuit of idle days and long nights ending in scantily clad dawn swims seem harder to find these days, and they take much longer to recover from, too.

I digress though, so back to the fishing. If you haven’t already gotten busy with pre-dawn starts and after-dark finishes, the time to start is upon you. While October was an exceptional month of fishing off Sydney, the coming 30 days should be just as outstanding. Expect a wider range of species to turn up to keep your inner angling addiction bubbling, your Friday nights restless and your face bronzed by the kiss of long days on the water.

Here is my hit list of species for November: all the usual baitfish and squid, snapper, yellowtail kingfish, bonito, Australian salmon, tailor, mahi mahi, flathead, silver trevally, jewfish, teraglin, crayfish, blue-swimmer crabs and maybe even an early season marlin. This should give you a good indication of the species that will be most active and well worth chasing over the coming weeks. To be successful, make a plan, watch the tides and the weather, prepare in advance, use fresh baits or well-selected and presented lures, and put the time in.

In other news, something every Sydneysider (regardless of your leanings) should be aware of and potentially concerned about is the recent news that the Labor Party has plans afoot to turn the entire Sydney coastline into one giant marine park. That’s right, all of the Hawkesbury, all of Sydney Harbour, all of Botany Bay and Port Hacking. It is unclear exactly what this means, but it seems like an interesting place to turn into a marine park given the huge impacts humans have on the quality of water in these systems. I would argue that better management can be achieved without the introduction of a new marine park, given that our fisheries are incredibly well managed. Simply implementing a marine park that prevents people from pursuing their pastimes seems ludicrous on the doorstep of Australia’s largest city.