There is only one fishing mag that I buy regularly (QFM of course!) but when browsing through my local newsagent at the wide range of fishing magazine, I have noticed that with the onset of catch and release fishing, more people are targeting sports and game fish. This is evident in the many pictures of marlin and wahoo caught by guys in small trailer boats.
In the past, such magazines would only show guys fishing for a feed and years ago, 99 per cent of anglers went fishing for food. I’m 43 now and have watched the trends change over the years. My son and I have both succumbed to the art of angling rather than fishing. We still fish for the table but 90 per cent of our fishing is for fun. The latest in some European countries is that they have outlawed fishing for fun because you are enjoying yourself at the animals’ expense, while it suffers. This style of thinking already exists in Australia and it won’t be long before it’s bought to the forefront of green politics.
Although I was against the GBRMPA rezoning of the reef, it has had some very positive effects on our fishing. As I mentioned earlier, small boat owners are now catching marlin in close proximity to the coast. This is a result of the reduction in netting from commercial mackerel nets and the subsequent increase in fish on all sections of the reef.
The fish are biting well on all the reefs and as I mentioned earlier this can be attributed to the rezoning of the reef and reduction in commercial fishing. We are reaping the rewards big time.
With long weekends coming up, be aware of your responsibilities with bag limits, size and finning. The Queensland Boating and Fishing Patrol officers are always out in force and are clamping down on finning.
Make sure you remove all pectoral fins on coral reef fin species. If you don’t know what I’m talking about go and see your local tackle store or fisheries office and ask for the latest information sheets. Ignorance isn’t an excuse.
There are still some good barra being caught at Monduran Dam in Gin Gin. We had some really warm weekends when heaps of fish were caught, but recently we also had a cool south easterly change that has dropped the water temperatures a little. The days are starting to get shorter and with the onset of winter the fishing will definitely slow down so get here as quickly as you can to catch a big barra.
The local stocking association in Gin Gin has done a great job of creating an awesome fishery at Monduran Dam. This is evident in the increase in tourists visiting the dam. The facilities have been improved and it really has become a great place to take the family for a weekend camping.
The big dilemma in South East Queensland dams is the lack of fish available for restocking. There is no lack of money to stock the impoundments; we just need more fish. Apparently there are two types of barramundi stocked in Queensland – northern and southern varieties – and we can’t use the same northern variety as it may upset the ecology of our river systems. This makes it more difficult to keep dams like Awoonga and Monduran continually topped up with fish. If anybody has an answer to the problems facing stocking associations, they would love to hear from you. Alternatively, if anybody has any knowledge of any of the southern strain being spawned or if you know someone who is interested in spawning barra, we would love to hear from you also.
Despite these difficulties, all these local communities are riding on the success of these dams at the moment and anglers have revelled in the opportunity to catch these big fish.
We have just had a group of friends up from Bonshaw (which is near Texas on the Queensland/NSW border) and they have come up for their second assault on the barra this year.
They came up to do a little offshore game and reef fishing but were blown out by the wind and ended up doing five days of barra fishing instead.
They had a ball catching fish of 92cm and bigger. One of the guys Ben had brought up his mate Johnny whose only gear was his cod tackle from Bonshaw. Anyway, Ben really enjoyed the first two days as he watched Johnny catch one fish per day on his gear while Ben caught nothing. Fishing can be a frustrating
I have been all over the place lately and enjoyed fishing at Port Stephens with the stripes and black marlin. I recently spent a day fishing at Mooloolaba with Andrew Yeh on Outside Edge catching blues for some of his clients. It really is an exciting time of year. Lots of big blue marlin are caught in our local waters and if it is anything like last year there will be some real monsters.
I will be doing the tournament circuit at the Gold Coast and Mooloolaba with some anglers from the Hervey Bay Game Fishing Club. I hope to have a good report for you next month with news of what happened there.
Plenty of good-sized mahi mahi, wahoo, yellowfin, small black marlin, sailfish and of course big blues are being caught around the spit at the northern end of Fraser Island at the moment. If you get the chance, check it out before winter hits.Reads: 1214