Golden Winter In the Water
  |  First Published: October 2011

It has been fantastic winter for most spearos across the country and on the whole the weather has been golden.

Down in the deep south, we saw the first reasonable catch of bluefin tuna by spearfishers.

To put this in perspective, one would-be spearo calculated that he had spent thousands of dollars on fuel and hundreds of hours in the past couple of years to finally catch his first bluefin tuna. So before anyone gets a little uppity about spearing bluefin, keep in mind that the take from spearfishers is probably about 0.01% of the total take each season.

The warm water that has persisted for longer than usual on the east coast and the west coast has seen species like mackerel and wahoo linger longer than they typically would. I was pleasantly surprised to spear some late August mackerel here in my hometown of Coffs Harbour this year.

As we move into spring, expect the water temperature to drop a little and that extra layer of protection will be a must for those that feel the cold. Locally we get some ordinary conditions for the next few months but if we can get mackerel in August, who knows what might happen.

This is also a great time of the year here for big samsonfish. If you follow Spearfishing Downunder Magazine (SDM) then you'll know they are one of my favourites. Last year we caught some great samson and hopefully this year will follow suit over the next few weeks.

The upside to this time of the year when the water turns is that it’s perfect for a little soft plastic fishing for snapper on the side. Just to prove that I am not a completely obsessive spearo, I took my wife and the kids out for a soft plastic in the Zodiac and came up trumps with some great fish. The kids loved it! To see my five-year-old daughter cheering on her mum, leaning over the side and yelling out ‘I've got colour’ had me in stitches.

Crayfish have been abundant, but remember to adhere to the bag limit of two. I found a cave containing around 50 a few days ago. You can check out some cool footage on the next DVD that comes out with SDM (free with each issue).

A lot of the lobsters are oversize, which is a great sign for the stocks, but remember crays over 18cm carapace length exceed the legal size and should be released unharmed.

The pearlies and teraglin can be found in good numbers at the moment. If anyone can shed any light on why we have seen an explosion in the number of teraglin, I would love to know.

Teraglin in particular have been a welcome addition to the menu over the last couple of weeks. Typically a target of anglers, we have seen large numbers of teraglin move into the shallower waters, into more spear-friendly territory. I filmed a huge school of several hundred trag in about 18m of water.

I hope you are all getting a few good fish and as always, it would be great to see a few of the daring fishos out there take the plunge and consider getting in the water rather than being on it.

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