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The Coming of Winter

By Dan Trotter on June 24, 2015 in Other

Photo: Dan Trotter

Photo: Dan Trotter

June already – wow. The great thing about June is we are almost upon the shortest day of the year. Hooray!

Over the past two years the coming of winter has grown to take on a special significance of its own and now brings with it the kind of excitement that ‘night scented jasmine’ evokes at dusk on an early spring evening. A sense of anticipation that only addicted anglers can really know. Anticipation that brings with it eagerly expectant restless nights, punctuated by multiple checks of the alarm clock to ensure you haven’t slept through the pre-dawn alarm clock. Dreamy dark hours almost lucid with the vivid imaginings of one-on-one battles with your chosen aquatic adversary.

And what are these adversaries, I might hear you ask? Well, it really depends upon you and your level of obsession. For me it’s a three-pronged problem: snapper, tuna and eastern rock lobsters. For others it’s yellowtail kingfish, drummer and deepwater ooglies like blue eye trevalla or gemfish. For freshwater fanatics not content to sit idly by until the season opens again in spring, it’s trout in the impoundments and dams.

Whatever your favourites, there’s a special something about ‘dedication’ that winter brings to all forms of angling.

June is a time for action, a time for dawn raids heading far offshore, or weekend missions down the coast to Jervis Bay and well beyond in search of the mighty yellowfin and bluefin tunas.

June’s a month for working on your snapper tactics and bringing home the red gold so prized by those who chase it.

In the darker depths of the 100-metre reefs, large schools of Seriola lalandi, the yellowtail kingfish, will be amassing. Clued-in anglers and lucky weekend warriors will make the time to travel the 12 miles to find these fish; many will come home proud as punch with catches that will feed family and neighbours and impress anyone who cares to check it out. This run of offshore ‘kingies’ is boon for tackle stores and for novice anglers alike and is a time when I like to take my girl and her friends out and share the experience of what ‘kingie’ fishing is all about. Be sure to pick a calm, clear-skyed winter’s day, so that your good intentions don’t have the opposite effect.

Right on our doorstep it’s all about drummer, blackfish (luderick), tailor and salmon off the rocks, winter whiting and bream off the beaches and southern calamari squid wherever you can access a kelp-encrusted boulder shoreline. Be careful if fishing from the rocks: more people die when fishing from the rocks than in any other ‘sport’ in Australia. Remember, NO fish is worth your life.

With winter whispering its name all along the eastern seaboard, it’s time for afflicted anglers to get active and make the most of the wonderful waters we’re lucky enough to call home.

Remember, catch plenty, release plenty and always respect the wildlife above and below the mirrored surface that separates our world from theirs.