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Spring is Just Around the Corner

By Harry Taylor on September 22, 2016 in Other

Photo:  Harry Taylor

Photo: Harry Taylor

It’s quite amazing how quickly the days get longer. With our heads buried in work, study or preparing family dinners, the gradual day-to-day crawl can pass us by and all of a sudden it’s almost spring and time for pre-work swims or post-work runs.

With everything that’s going on in the big bad world, living here among the beaches of the east makes it feel more and more as though we’re the luckiest people on the planet. That is, despite the fact that our state premier seems hell-bent on ruining all the fun for the young and selling off our assets to foreign owners for short-term gain. Why’s it so hard to find decent politicians these days?

On the flipside, how good has this winter been? Outstanding blue-sky days full of sunshine and warmth one moment, and proper cold snaps the next. It’s certainly been eventful.

Below the ocean, east coast anglers have been spoilt with a bounty our fisheries managers should be proud of. A solid run of beautiful bluefin streaked their way up the coast, spiny rock lobsters made their annual migrations and the big snapper and kings, like clockwork, were where they were supposed to be.

However, the month ahead can be a finicky one. With water temperatures at close to the lowest levels of the year, the metabolisms of most fish are at an all time low, which means getting many of the species to bite can be as difficult as ever. Nevertheless, great catches of a vast array of species can be had by putting in the time around the tides and the diurnal change of light.

I for one find it hard to go past searching for snapper in the relative shallows at dawn and dusk, or fishing for squid and blackfish off the rocks when the sea conditions are calm and the wind a gentle zephyr.

If yellowtail kingfish interest you, this month is as good as any. September often sees the biggest and baddest of the XOS hoodlums taken off the stones. Tides are important to elicit a bite, but there’s no telling when the fish may wander past. One thing is for sure, there will be some solid kings taken along the deep ocean ledges by land-based fishos and free-diving fanatics alike.

Recent forays below the surface have indicated the presence of large numbers of bream and whiting along the beaches, and what seems like record numbers of leatherjacket in the harbour. Use a small bobby cork, a light leader, a few pieces of split shot and some peeled prawn on a 1/0 octopus style hook for the bream, or a size 8 to 6 long-shank for the leatherjacket. To catch whiting, ditch the float and the peeled prawn and opt for a longshank and fresh beach or bloodworm for best effect.

If, on the other hand, the weather’s too cold, book a trip north for a fishy escape or get busy with repairs and planning for the spring and summer ahead.

Whatever you do, don’t stop dreaming. Dreams are our chance for a daily escape into the passions that keep our hopes alive and fires alight.

Tight lines friends. Spring is just around the corner.