Action heats up with water temps
  |  First Published: October 2011

At last boaters are getting out and about after a long cold winter where there was hardly any action apart from those useless skunk sharks.

The water temperature was down to 8ºC in the height of winter, but at the beginning of September it had reached about 14ºC and should continue to climb up to the magical 18ºC, which should see some top action.

Outside the entrance there have been a few early snapper making an appearance and they should soon begin to flood into the usual haunts such as Franklin and Toora channels. Fairly good size gummies have also been taken along with flathead that are being caught on a variety of presentations. On a calm day there are plenty of salmon breaking the surface with just about any type of surface lures.

The entrance is also going along reasonably well. Eddie Donaldson had a great day out and caught five snapper to the 3kg mark. The fish were all taken on pilchards he purchased from the local boat storage.

The Lewis Channel is also worth a visit. The main catch seems to be whiting which are averaging around the 36cm mark. It’s fair to say these fish are not bound for the record books but they are second to none on the table, which is what it’s really all about.

Some boaters are also tying up to the long jetty and having good results on the Royals. Flathead and mullet are being caught with Bass yabbies, small strips of pilchards and squid.

For those who know the area, there are quite good numbers of garfish and flounder being taken where best results have been at low water on both sides of the tide.

I have spoken to quite a few anglers on the subject of garfish. Most say that they are great eating but are put off by the many small bones. I used to share this view many years ago, but I’ve since learnt how to properly fillet the mini marlin, regardless of their size.

It is essential to use a sharp, pliable knife. Run a fillet off each side of the fish and then with an ordinary table fork hold down the fillet, effectively the fork becomes the fingers. The knife is slid under the rib cage and the bones come out very easily and the boneless fillet is ready to be cooked in any way you like.

I like them cooked in batter. A simple recipe is to mix one part of self-raising flour, two parts of plain flour and a pinch of salt with water until lumpy. Gars prepared this way are as good, to if not better, than whiting!

The jetty has been pretty well all but deserted, but mullet, silvers, flathead and the odd whiting are being taken and it seems as usual the best results have been from the eastern end of the structure on the run-in tide.

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