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The Ease Of Land-based Fishing

By Dan Hutton on December 15, 2010 in

Happy New Year! I hope that Santa Claus was good to you and brought you that fishing outfit you’ve been behaving so well for all year long! If not, you better get down to your local tackle retailer and buy it yourself.

As we welcome in the brand new year, many of us will be heading away to enjoy some time by the coast with family, friends and relatives. Aren’t we fortunate to live in a country where there is still a great chance of catching a feed for our families, whether it’s a handful of bream, whiting, tailor or flathead from the beach, cleaned on the spot and taken home for that night’s dinner, or a bucket of blue swimmer crabs joyfully untangled from witches hats by the kids, shrieking and laughing as dad watches on?

Whatever it is you catch this summer though, be mindful of the oceans bounty – if you kill it, treat it well and eat it fresh. If you are unsure whether it will be consumed fresh then you best release it for another day. Be sure to teach the younger generations about care for the oceans and the organisms that live within in them.

Perhaps the easiest of fishing pursuits to engage in is land-based fishing. Many Australians have fond memories of their grandad (or other suitable elder) taking them fishing at a local wharf, rocky point or sandy beach. Up and down the coast thousands of families will wet a line, some simply filling in time, others hoping to encourage a new generation of fishermen. Whether you plan to fish off the beach, the harbour foreshore or the local wharf, the single most important factor is that you fish during the change of tide. Whether it is the run up to the high or the run out to the low doesn’t really matter.

On the beaches, seek out deeper gutters or fish around the convergence of rocky points. The best baits are beach worms (either catch them yourself or purchase them from the local tackle store), pink nippers or saltwater yabbies, cut baits of tailor fillets, salted striped tuna or bonito, or whole ganged pilchards.

If fishing in the estuaries from a rocky point or wharf the key to success (in addition to the tides) is berley. A simple berley mixture can consist of old bread, chopped or minced fish frames and a handful of sand, or for fastidious anglers the addition of chicken feed pellets and an oily fish such as pilchards or tuna, or even tuna oil, will do an even better job of drawing the fish to where you are casting.

Wherever you decide to wet a line it is worth having two different set-ups rigged and ready to go. Try casting out a more heavily-weighted rig with a larger bait and place the rod in a holder, letting it do its thing, then cast a lightly-weighted presentation with a smaller hook and smaller bait and keep this in your hand.

There are of course countless options available to anglers during the summer break. Both inshore and offshore from our harbour city the kingfish and jewfish will be active and some impressive specimens will be caught. Out in the blue water of the East Australian Current, marlin, mahi mahi, wahoo and tuna will all be finning the current lines in search of a Christmas feed.

So Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, travel safe, have fun and leave the worries of your fast-paced life behind you.

To find out more about what Dan Trotter has been up to on the open water visit