Don’t let the sunshine in
  |  First Published: December 2015

It's that's time again when we all look forward to spending time with the family, and if we’re lucky enough we’ll get some time on the water as well.

December really gets hot in our area, so preparation can make or break a day on the water. With so many sun protection products on the market there’s no excuse for not covering up, no matter what your age or fashion sense. In recent years I have had over 30 sunspots frozen off and four skin cancers cut out, and according to my doctor the damage was mostly done in my youth. I spent a lot of time in the sun around the water without hats or sunscreen and my fair skin pretty much copped a hiding. Over the past 20 years I have been really sun safe with long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, quality sunscreen and more recently the use of wraps or Buffs. Queensland has the highest skin cancer rate in the world, so protecting yourself and your young ones is vital if you want to continue enjoying the great outdoors.

Holiday fishing tips

Fishing over the holidays can be as relaxing or full-on as you like. If you aren't too bothered as to whether you take home a feed, and you’re happy to just enjoy the simple act of fishing, then the Christmas holidays will be great. To improve your chances of catching something worth carrying high through the caravan park, watch the tides and try to get on the water as the tide turns, either at the bottom or the top.

If you’re bait fishing then fresh is best. If you have some old, black, smelly prawns in a pack, get some fresh ones or even better collect bait when you get on the water. Pumping fresh yabbies at low tide and then fishing over those yabby beds as the tide rises will have you fishing where the fish will be hunting.

Fishing light will also give you a better shot at getting more bites. Stay away from wire traces when fishing in the creeks and rivers as they really do spook the fish when they are not on the chew.

December has a couple of big tides so be aware that there will be a lot of run at times. If you head out pumping yabbies across a sand bar when tide changes it won't take long for the tide to cut you off.

Fishing around boat ramps can be very productive, but always be aware of what’s happening around you. If a boat is being launched or retrieved make sure you pull your lines in and keep your eye out for reversing cars and trailers.

If you’re a mad keen angler and want to maximise your holiday time on the water, early starts are going to give you a better chance at quality fish. Again, watching the tides is the key to more successful fishing, and the last of the out and the turn and run-in over December is my pick. Night fishing with live baits and lures will really put you in the picture for some of the larger specimens.

Overall, December should offer all anglers the chance to catch a few, so those of you who are lucky enough to be holidaying here, enjoy your Christmas and have a safe New Year.

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