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Wild Weather Won’t Keep The Fish At Bay For Long

By Dan Trotter on December 29, 2011 in Other

Isn’t weather a fascinating part of our lives – it dominates our activities, our moods, the pace at which plants grow, and the comings and goings of our finned friends. The presence of La Nina has ensured a cold and wet start to summer along the east coast of our fantastic country, and the fishing has been a bit miserable too.

With the buzz of Christmas still abounding and the New Year now a reality, many people will have recently wet a line, battled some spectacular fish, and hopefully indulged in some delicious meals as a result of their efforts to put something fresh on the dinner plate.

In a world dominated by development and growth it is easy to lose sight of the natural cycles that make life on this planet so intricate. It is this rush for the future that has seen our oceans plagued by the greed of humans. Unfortunately I cannot see this stopping any time soon – not here and especially not in the Northern Hemisphere. To that end, I say thank goodness for the scientists and sustainable-minded lawmakers who are trying to protect the stocks of fish, albeit so that we can continue to feed the ever growing human population.

We can all do our bit to help though and I would encourage everyone who enjoy fishing and eating fish to do their utmost to keep this at the front of their minds when tucking into some tasty seafood this season.

On the fishing front, we can all work towards being more sustainable by considering how much fish we take home and whether we will eat it fresh or let it go to waste. Furthermore, we need to be considerate of the fish we target, taking into account whether or not their numbers are under pressure and if science has deemed them as being fished sustainably. It is also worth considering how you acquire your bait. Packet bait from service stations might be convenient but I’d hazard a guess that its availability is fuelled by dollars rather than sustainable sense.

In terms of eating fish, get educated and educate those around you. There are plenty of options that are better to eat than others. Basically, if the fish you are considering eating is a large apex predator or a slow growing species then you should choose something else. For more information, grab a copy of the pocket guide to sustainable seafood and share the knowledge it gives you. You can get a hold of it at

Finally, a quick note on catching fish. January and the next few months are the boon times for anglers in our part of the world. The water is warm, baitfish are plentiful and the metabolism of most species will be at an annual high. Ocean, beach and rock fishing are always great at this time of the year as the twilight is long and the water lapping at your feet won’t freeze your toes off. Look for gutters, fish with fresh bait and concentrate your efforts on tide changes and dusk or dawn.

In the estuaries Sydney is so famous for, all manner of species will be active. Expect yellowtail kingfish, bream, whiting, flathead, tailor and trevally to all be hungry.

Also keep a keen eye out for the pocket rockets that will be sure to soon be gracing us with their presence if they have not shown up already. Small metal lures cast accurately and worked back fast should do the trick on bonito, mackerel tuna and frigate mackerel, and don’t be surprised if a brute kingfish joins in the foray.

Offshore snapper, big yellowtail kingfish, marlin, mahi mahi and a plethora of other species will also be enjoying the warm water feasts, so pick your day, be aware of the weather, tides and currents, make a plan and hit the water.

Tight lines and a safe and happy New Year to you all.