It has been encouraging to hear so many fantastic reports. How about this one?
Two locals were casting poppers at the Swansea bridge pylons in search of a kingfish when a pedestrian on the bridge looked down and yelled, “Stop! There’s a heap of cobia around your lure.”
Nothing happened, of course, as the cobes were either full of channel squid or simply cruising. The angler did, however, manage an 80cm kingfish.
But I have 10 separate reports of cobia being caught in the channel or in Belmont Bay so they’re definitely there.
Large flathead are regular captures with fish over 70cm consistently caught around Swansea Channel, the drop-over and Pulbah Island on lures and flesh baits.
The only thing that has put off anglers is the amount of thin, brown, slimy weed in the lake and along local beaches. One way to try to combat the problem is to use an extra-long leader, around 80cm, to give the bait a chance to rise above the slimy bottom. As for lure anglers, well, good luck.
Our seasons this year seem to be a little late so May should present some ideal conditions.
The southern parts of the lake will be well worth a try. In 2m of water right around the lake edge, bream, flathead and whiting have been in good numbers for those who fish with light gear or lures.
Over the past 20 years or more, it would seem that our offshore fish stocks have been exploited under our very noses.
All the large commercial ships that lie at anchor offshore, waiting to be loaded with coal, wheat or containers, house on average 10 to 20 crew members who hail from countries with little or no fishery regulations. So what has been happening is that thousands of fish of all species have been captured day and night outside our regulations by unlicensed fishers.
I raised this issue with a DPI Fisheries representative on Radio 2KY’s Hi-Tide program a few weeks ago. He was surprised that this had been going on but thought the matter would be hard to police. I suggested that all the relevant shipping companies should be informed of State fishing policies and that policing would be a random event.
The DPI has agreed to advise the Ports Authority to put out a bulletin to all commercial ships contracted to load cargo from our ports and sit at anchor in NSW waters. The bulletin will advise the master of the vessel that no fishing is to take place without a NSW recreational fishing licence or a cover licence for the whole vessel.
Anyone boating offshore should report any such activity to DPI Fisheries on 1800 043 536.Reads: 1913