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Reflecting Back Across The Years

By Dan Trotter on December 22, 2014 in Other

Photo: Dan Trotter

Photo: Dan Trotter

The December 2014 issue of the Beast marks the 83rd issue I’ve penned an article in this great local magazine, meaning next month will bring the total up to seven years and approximately 46,200 words on one of my favourite topics; you guessed it: fishing.

Reflecting back across the years I realised that I’ve never really thrown open the opportunity to readers to send in questions – questions about fish; questions about local theories; questions about techniques or tackle.

Of course there have been times when my email address has been included with my article and on many occasions readers have been in contact with me to ask for some local advice, which I’ve always happily given.

But for the next edition, my 84th as a contributor, I’d like to answer questions from anyone who regularly reads my words, so send in your questions and I’ll do my best to answer them. I’ll also do my best to personally get back to any letters that make it into the magazine. Here’s hoping someone actually reads what I write!

Getting back on track, December is here again, warm and balmy with the promise of sunburn, hot sand and hotter bodies down at the world’s most famous beach. There’s also the promise of plenty of great fish if you can tear yourself away from a Sunday on the silica.

Fishing opportunities abound in December. I for one will be wetting a line after work as often as possible. Whether you’re land-locked or boat-bound, it doesn’t really matter; as long as you’re out there there’s a chance a fish may rise.

They say in the fishing world that once the Jacarandas are in bloom and the cicadas begin their summer song, the months of mulloway madness are upon us. For those afflicted, this condition can take over your evenings, and if you’re fishing offshore it can deliver an amazing mixed bag, with teraglin and snapper a promise on dark.

At this time of year our once well-protected secret marks become the favourite kingfish haunts, and they’ll be full of boats from sun-up on the weekends meaning its better to fish them without the crowds during the week if you can.

Very shortly the run of northern visitors will start to occur, with pocket rocket-sized tuna invading the estuaries and waterways, terrorising bait fish and bringing glee to lure fisherman everywhere.

Interestingly, the bonito that have been so prevalent the last few years have scarcely turned up this year. What always amazes me is how cyclical this particular species seems to be. For years they seem to all but disappear and then out of nowhere they become hard to avoid. They sure are a great eating fish if treated properly and eaten fresh, so if you do come across them this summer keep a couple for the barbecue and let the rest go.

Along the rocks of the Eastern Suburbs bays and beaches you can be sure that there will be blackfish a plenty, plus a few southern calamari squid too. The Australian salmon should still be lingering about, but the larger tailor that were mixed in with them all winter will have now moved on.

I look forward to hearing your questions if you have any, and if you don’t then I guess I know that my job is being done – tight lines and happy days.