With Christmas and the New Year over the Flinders Island summer fishing season is now in full swing.
All the warmer water visitors are arriving or on their way following the East Australian Current as it passes the island shoreline. This brings in the yellowtail kingfish to settle on the outer reefs and the tuna and mako sharks along the continental slope.
First to arrive are albacore with early catches in late December, followed by the larger yellowfin tuna as the water temperature passes 18C. Trolling usually achieves the best results early in the season with green and yellow lures being particularly effective.
Later on as the larger fish settle more consistently cubing can be effective, with the advantage of bringing in makos on the cube trail.
For the offshore deepwater angler the striped trumpeter spring season has been excellent and while perhaps a little slower in the summer, there will be good fish to be had and in settled weather we can expect blue eye in 450m of water in good numbers.
Inshore the yellowtail kingfish lurk on the outer reefs of both the east and west side of the island and jigging or a floated squid can bring on some superb fishing.
For those looking for snapper, the smaller fish have arrived and March/April is usually the best time for the bigger fish. Late evening and early morning seem to be the best times.
On the beaches with the high light levels of summer, fishing is best in the late afternoon and good flathead are being taken off Camerons Inlet and the Patriarch Inlet. Plenty of salmon as well at the time of writing although these might get less as they tend to move off the beaches and onto the outer reefs for the summer.
Finally, whilst little to do with fishing on Flinders Island, I was fortunate enough in October to make a return visit to Oman and the United Arab Emirates after a lapse of some 43 years.
The UAE borders both the Arabian Gulf and the NW Indian Ocean, and Oman the Indian Ocean, and as such the residents have always enjoyed excellent seafood from these waters.
A visit to the fish markets in both countries showed off a huge range of local fish many of which were very recognisable as the same as our fish: longtail and yellowfin tuna, trevally, dolphin fish and many others.
One local fish that stood out as exceptional to eat was the hamour, if any readers visit that part of the world I can thoroughly recommend it.
The fish market in Abu Dhabi.