March Madness On The Big Blue
While tragic storms and wild La Nina weather have been plaguing our neighbours to the north and south, we’ve been truly blessed with an amazing couple of months of weather and fishing here in our own backyard. Add to this the pumping EAC (East Australian Current) and the plethora of fish hitching a ride on the best water that anglers have seen lap our fair shores in over twenty years and it is easy to identify why the fishing has been so hot lately.
The EAC is quite an amazing part of Australia’s oceanography, bringing warm tropical currents down the east coast towards Tasmania. Fortunately for those fond of wetting a line around here, the cyclones in the Coral Sea are the engines behind the EAC so we’re likely to see more fast-moving cobalt currents gracing our favourite fishing spots for a while longer.
This is what anglers’ dream are made of. Big mahi mahi, wahoo, marlin, Spanish mackerel, spotted mackerel, cobia, spangled emperor, hoodlum kingfish, solid reddies, and the occasional jewfish are all there for the taking. I wish I could say I’d been involved in catching more than two of these species lately but that’d be a fisherman’s tale.
March is considered one of the most cracking fishing months in Sydney’s piscatorial calendar. Add water like this and there’s a good chance that the recent catches of tropical and pelagic fish in good numbers and size will continue throughout March, into April and who knows, maybe even May. Is there a chance we might get an Indian ‘fishing’ summer? I hope so!
As anyone who has set foot on, in or around the harbour will know, there are hordes of baitfish around and larger predators are smashing the smorgasboard. Anything that swims in the harbour is likely to be well fed and hungry for more right now.
If you’re dashing around the harbour flicking lures at surface feeding fish or marker bashing, a note on etiquette: if someone’s at anchor don’t drive close and definitely don’t drive across their stern or up the berley trail. If someone is fishing where you planned to fish, either give them space or simply ask if they mind you fishing there with them. Most fishos are pretty obliging if you just share a few friendly words.. I recently experienced a very pushy operator rushing up and then pushing in between the marker and the anglers who were clearly already fishing there. This sort of behaviour only causes animosity and that isn’t why we go fishing, is it? So do unto others as you would have them do unto you!
If you love your fishing, keep your ears and eyes on the plans and proposals put in motion by government, nationally and locally. Get educated and be prepared to stand up and be counted. There are large-scale moves to claim extensive tracts of ocean as Marine Parks and the initial stages are already in play. To see the gazetted ‘Areas For Further Assessment in the East Marine Region’ visit http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/mbp/publications/east/fs-afa.html.
While Marine Parks are necessary to stem human greed, large scale closures might look good to the general public but they may only be a band aid solution that distracts the public from placing due pressure on government to tackle the real and present threats. Can drawing a line in the water offer complete protection from terrestrial polluted run-off, over fishing of migratory species, and the threats posed by global warming such as ocean acidification, increasing water temperatures and sea level rise?
I think not.