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The tradition of snapper, whiting and flathead continues
  |  First Published: December 2012



The world of fishing is one of never ending stories that never cease to amaze. As I was in the process of compiling this report I received a call from a regular reader of this magazine with a story that started off as do many fishing stories.

This one however had a twist that I would suspect would be unique as far as snapper fishing would be concerned. The contributor is genuine as I have known him for a long time and said that on a recent outing to this part of the world he was out in the Franklin Channel looking for a traditional big red. He has been doing fairly on the big fellows where they have been in excess of the 6kg mark.

He baited up with a whole pilchard and it wasn’t long before there was an enquiry and the hook was set. Almost immediately there was just a dull drag what seemed to be like a big clump of seaweed which came in without any sign of a fight. After some time he managed to land what turned out to be a snapper in excess of 5 kg. The fish seem to be in superb condition and the angler rebaited to try again. To his amazement the same thing happened again on two more occasions and the big fish came with no resistance. Of course the question is why did this happen? Is there something wrong with the fish? This is something that I cannot answer and maybe someone can provide an explanation.

Still in the same area there have been many reports of snapper, gummies and big flathead being caught in this area where the traditional battles have followed after hook ups. Fresh fillets of silver trevally and salmon have been very effective as well as pilchards and whole squid. The last half of the run-out tide seems to be the best time to wet a line.

The entrance is producing big flathead as has been the case for some time and as the summer season progresses the situation will only improve. Gordon Thomas is a regular visitor to the area and on his last trip a few days before this report he bagged some very nice flathead as well as a good size gummy that took a whole squid.

Positive reports have come from outside the entrance where salmon have been taken on surface lures and out wider gummies are in fairly good numbers.

Back inside the entrance boaters are doing well in the Lewis Channel where whiting are being bagged in good numbers. The fish are to the 38cm mark and taking pipis, silver fish and small pieces of squid. Quite reasonable numbers of silvers, salmon and flathead are showing up in better numbers as the water temperature rises.

Of course the local jetty is also productive where salmon, silvers, mullet and flathead are making a visit to the eastern end of the structure well worthwhile.

On the other side of the inlet at Yanakie, Tony Holgate who runs the local caravan park says that the fishing has been great. The snapper are in very good numbers and being caught in the Duck Point Channel which is unusual as they don’t usually travel this far up the inlet but Tony says that no one is complaining. The whiting are also in good numbers and taking Bass yabbies and pipis. Good size flathead have arrived in good numbers which is further good news and as well as boaters, land-based anglers are also having a ball on the big fellows. This part of the world is also renowned for big silvers that are also taking a variety of presentations.

On the subject of flathead, regulations have changed with little or no notification to the fishing community. The situation now is that there can only be no more than five dusky flathead taken between 30cm and no more than 55cm. Even though there has not been much publicity it up to the individual angler to keep up with the regulations, in other words ignorance is no excuse.

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