It is well known that by targeting a certain species you are more likely to catch fish than just tossing in a line and hoping for whatever comes along. Well, with the change of seasons upon us and a mix of summer and winter species to be had, I've been having trouble making a decision on what to chase.
If I go whiting fishing I'm likely to pick up a salmon or a trevally as a by-catch, but if I just go salmon fishing I will probably struggle to catch anything but that species. This is mainly due to the different ways of fishing for each species of fish. It's common to catch salmon on pippies but you don't hear of too many whiting being taken on a 30g Laser lure, do you?
I was loading up the tinnie recently when my father pulled up and asked me who I was heading out with. I told him I was heading out by myself for a feed of whiting and he decided to come along. I suggested he bring his trout gear and something to troll a lure on, thinking that would cover all the options.
On our way to the Waterfall Reefs, where we intended to fish for whiting, we trolled around Wild Dog Beach in search of a salmon. We didn’t have much luck but I did land a very large barracouta that took a liking to my metal lure. Nearing our location we trolled over a small patch of reef and both rods instantly got hit. Again no salmon, this time the culprits were pike.
We gave the trolling away and concentrated on what we had come out to do. Anchoring in a narrow sandy channel, we cast a small running sinker rig loaded with a pippie against the reef edge in search of King George. My bait had only just hit the bottom when it was swallowed by a hungry wrasse - too close to the reef that time. The next cast saw the drag system in overload as a fit silver trevally felt the sting of my hook and didn't stop fighting until he was in the net. Before I could get the hook out of my fish, Dad was onto a small flathead that was let go to live another day. The next fish was giving some heavy thumps up the line and turned out to be a nice-sized snapper, which was also given a second chance. Eventually we landed three whiting before a school of small salmon moved in and prevented us from even getting our bait to the bottom.
In total, we encountered eight different species. Some are common in summer such as snapper, flathead and whiting while others like trevally and salmon are more prolific during the cooler months. This time of the year brings so many options that it really is hard to choose what to fish for. With such a mixture on offer I think the next time I head out, I'm just going to chuck in a line and fish for whatever comes along.
This trevally was a by-catch when fishing for whitingReads: 500