Reefies in close
  |  First Published: April 2013

February was almost a total wipe-out for offshore fishers in the South East, and March has been more of the same.

We managed to sneak a couple of charters in during Feb but conditions were only average at best. I urge other offshore anglers to also err on the side of safety and wait for better bar and sea conditions as it’s not worth risking the crew and the boat for a few fish!

I haven’t spent enough time on the water of late to get a handle on what’s happening fish wise at present but, on the couple of charters I did, we worked the wider grounds as the water was too dirty in close to chase pelagics.

The amberjack were in reasonable numbers out wide but sharks were again a problem. More than 50% of hooked fish fell foal of these toothy hunters; forcing us to leave feeding fish and move away.

Hopefully the pelagic season has still got some solid fishing to come. April traditionally fishes well for quality Spanish mackerel and wahoo we just need a bit of decent weather and some clean water in close to turn the switch on.

With this continual flushing of our rivers and creeks there should be plenty of reefies feeding in close on all the tucker that has been washed out and they should be worth a hit when the weather comes good.

Enjoy your fishing and take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on charter (max 5 persons) give me a call on 07 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750. My new boat will be online late April early May and I’ll be taking groups of up to 8 people – I’ll keep you updated.

Author’s Opinion

The Newman government needs to act on the rezoning that they promised to do, sooner rather than later. We are seeing too much concentrated effort in the same areas and we need to spread out anglers to take the pressure off fish stocks.

The Green Zones need to be changed to yellow and the grey nurse shark zones could be changed to troll only areas so anglers can access the seasonal pelagics that frequent these regions. Also the placement of a few more FADS off the coast to create some new fisheries.

It’s not about raping and pillaging our ocean, we have tight bag limits to help look after stocks. However, as we are along side a capital city we need to spread anglers out and not concentrate the fishing effort, which is now happening and is not healthy for the fish stocks in those areas.

We all want to a sustainable fishery into the future. But lines on maps and total area closures don’t work, so let’s hope the government gets on the front foot!

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