By the time you read this I’ll be in my ‘Winter’ Matt’s Sport Safaris camp on the banks of the Roper River in the Northern Territory with my offsider, Gordo. And, let’s face it, the fishing in the New England will be in fully shut-down mode.
So the next couple of contributions to NSWFM will be in the form of ‘campfire chats’ about various things that tend to come up around campfires everywhere.
Well, it’s been a couple years since the recreational fishing licence came into being for all waters in NSW and a couple more before that for the former freshwater licence. Overall, I think the licence system has gained wide acceptance and most anglers can see the benefit in ‘owning’ an ongoing stake in the recreational fishing in their State.
The licence has certainly had its detractors, too, some of them whom are very vocal, but I think over time if the funds generated continued to be handled correctly by the authorities, they, too, will be won over. I think in this regard, NSW Fisheries must be commended. Let me tell you, it’s not every day I say nice things about the Government!
One of the major beneficiaries of the licence system has certainly been the inland native fish populations and that’s the way it was meant to be. Even though much of the increased stocking has been directed at impoundments, the river populations (upstream of the dams) have benefited as well as they become repopulated. These species are, after all, river fish and the fish move into areas with good habitat.
In the New England area, at least, those stretches upstream of the lakes tend to be the most sound waterways, so the fish thrive and those areas will become the seeding ground for ongoing natural recruitment. It’s great to see nature doing her good work, with a little help.
I am a dedicated baitcaster man for all but the lightest of lures, but I can see why a lot of folk would rather use a spin outfit for day-to-day lure-casting. I have always liked to have a nice spin outfit on hand for clients to use, but I have found it has been hard to source quality graphite rods in genuine 6kg spin configuration.
I have just got my hands on a Shimano Steve Starling Squidgie (that’s a mouthful) 6’6” Barra spin rod and I believe my troubles are over. The rod is every bit a 6kg stick, handles nicely and, if it is anything like the past Starling rods, should be quite durable. I think it will fit the bill perfectly for what I’m doing at the moment – catching barra on soft plastics and spinnerbaits, as well as the occasions when I need an outfit like that back in NSW for the cod.
When I left NSW for my tropical sabbatical, there had more rain all over Northern NSW. While it is still a little early to make serious predictions for next season, let’s just say I’m very optimistic. After the abysmal season we had last year (as far as time on the water goes), there is endless room for improvement and I am really looking forward to getting back into some serious bass and cod action.
At least we know that the rivers will be 100% better than they have been, drought or no drought.
OK – this is my whinge topic! I’m so damn sick of reading about how the Murray, the NSW-Victorian border country, is the ‘Cod Capital’ of Australia.
Just because the poor old Murray cod was unfortunate enough to get its name from that (now) polluted river doesn’t mean that it’s the only place worth catching one. If a few more southerners came up to the New England they would find that this place is actually the ‘Home of the Murray Cod’ – so there!
Oh, if only this magazine actually went to Victoria – then I’d really cut loose!
Fix me another G and T, Gordo, and I’ll tell you a story…Reads: 536