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By Dan Trotter on January 25, 2017 in Sport

Photo: Dan Trotter

Photo: Dan Trotter

Where the hell did 2016 go? It’s fascinating to sit and try to recall all the days that flashed by – the good, the great, and the forgettable. It’s all part of the rich tapestry of the lives we lead. How will 2017 shape up in comparison? Does it really matter? My mother often says: “To worry about tomorrow is to empty today of its happiness and joy.” Perhaps looking back and trying to consider the past against a future we can never really know until it’s the present is futile? Now there’s a meditation to keep you in the present!

Fishing and freediving are both pursuits that require the passionately afflicted to reflect upon the past (often in the form of a written diary) to plan for the future, yet whilst in the moment they both require focus and presence to be successful. Is it meditative? Sometimes…

January is the perfect time of year to take a meditative approach to your fishing. In a way it’s the lazy month, or at least it should be. Gone are the December stresses of work and the family commitments of Christmas. What’s left is a chance for some slow time with sand between your toes and the mighty Pacific lapping at your feet.

The fishing for the month ahead should be wide open in Sydney, all the way up and down the NSW coast, and inland through the rivers.

In brackish waters Australian bass should be firing on hot summer’s afternoons. Try casting surface-splashing poppers around fallen timber and under overhanging trees.

In the rivers and estuaries the mighty mulloway should be on the prowl. Seek out deep waterholes, rock bars and swirling tidal eddies. Fish fresh live baits suspended just off the bottom, or cast heavily weighted soft-plastics along the shorelines using a focused pause to ensure maximum drop time. Further north, these tactics will also put you in good stead for a rampaging mangrove jack. Try dawn and dusk for best effect and beef up the tackle using 15-24 kilogram leaders and 15 kilogram braided mainline to stand a chance of stopping a healthy sized fish.

Around the estuarine boundaries where the rivers meet the sea, the salty surface should be alive with action on the turn of the tide and the change of light. Study the movement of the water as fish race about in their feeding frenzies. A trained eye should be able to pick the tell-tale signs between each species of fish simply by the way they move water and the splash (or lack thereof) they exhibit whilst engulfing prey. Expect yellowtail kingfish, Australian salmon, tailor, frigate mackerel. bonito and a mix of occasional northerly visitors.

If all of that isn’t enough, the offshore options are always hard to resist, with snapper, mulloway and kingfish all in good numbers and easily accessible from a seaworthy five-metre plus boat.

Further and wider where the cobalt currents run, the mahi mahi, tuna and billfish will be on the hunt too. It’s just a matter of picking the weather and watching for the signs.

With all that in mind, what are you waiting for? Put The Beast down, start making a plan, or just grab your gear and get the hell out there. And remember, time waits for no man so make sure you embrace 2017. Your future is waiting!