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By Dan Trotter on December 23, 2016 in Other

Photo: Dan Trotter

Photo: Dan Trotter

What ever happened to the lucky country? That’s what I want to know!

If you read my article regularly, you will know just how lucky I think we all are, living here in our piece of paradise, with great weather, ample opportunities, clean oceans, drinking water straight out of the tap, and a decent economy too. But what happened to our country?

A lot has changed since Australia was first coined the ‘lucky country’. Now you can’t sneeze, turn left or right, have a beer, pitch a tent or go for a fish without some law enforcer watching your every move.

These last three months I’ve been searching for somewhere to go camping with friends this coming Christmas break. Somewhere without borders, away from neighbours and crowds, where we can camp wherever we want, do whatever we want, and engage with nature. The search has uncovered some hard truths about just how difficult this is, and sadly everything points back to the fact that there are simply too many people thinking of only themselves and no one else.

On that note, for those readers passionate about fishing and taking home a fresh feed, you should know that just around the corner is a whole new set of marine park zones for Sydney fishos to contend with. Just what exactly is about to happen seems almost impossible to find out. However, one thing that is for sure is that a handful of law makers, heavily influenced by non government organisations, are drawing up the battle lines as you read this and there’s no doubt that people and groups on both sides of the lines are going to be disappointed by the outcome. How is this going to affect you? Only time will tell, so stay tuned!

Moving along to matters more fishy, what can we anglers hope for this Christmas month? Well, December is decidedly tricky – warm currents one day and cold upwellings the next. The unknown aside, dropping a line in December is well worth the effort if you’re keen to put a tasty seafood feast on the table. Yellowtail kingfish will be about in healthy numbers, and the summer mulloway run should also be well into its paces on the offshore reefs. Wider still, the mahi mahi, billfish and occasional wahoo will be on the hunt in the ocean currents.

Back in the estuaries fish life should be abundant. Drifting baits or flicking lures for flathead is a fun way to spend an afternoon. Be sure to set a few blue-swimmer crab pots on the sandy drop-offs for an unbeatable dinner table treat too. If early mornings are your thing, get prepped the night before and hunt the bays of the harbour for dawn patrolling pelagics. Keep a keen eye out for surface activity and cast small, lightly weighted lures or soft plastics into the melee using an erratic variable speed to entice a strike, then enjoy the tussle that ensues.

Tight lines and the merriest of Christmases!