So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
  |  First Published: April 2010

It’s time to say a final goodbye. I’ve been penning this column for well over a decade now but after nearly 20 years as a full-time fishing/boating journo, I’ve decided to hang up my waders.

No, no, no – don’t think I won’t go fishing any more or drool over new boats, it just means that I can do it in my own time with no cameras and no constant tapping away at the ’puter. I should have more time (I hope) to chip away at my golf handicap as well as survey the garden (with coffee and a biscuit) from the comfort of the porch.

I’ve had a wonderful time with the Fishing Monthly Group. Through this company I’ve met some incredible people and been sent to awe-inspiring places.

This mag is one of a few that’s still in ascendancy. Most of the ‘more of the same’ mags have been suffering falling subscriptions. It’s readers like yourself – hands-on and passionate about your sport – that make this mag such an icon.

To you, dear angler, many thanks for all your support throughout the years. I’ve met many of you at fishing clinics, presentations and boat shows where we’ve shot the breeze on a variety of subjects.

To my faithful band of informants, thanks for your reliability, dedication and time in helping me with this column month after month. I will miss you all.

Lastly, a big thank you to hard-working Editor Tony Zann, advertising manager Travis Davies, mag owners Steve Morgan, Robyn Lawrie and Matt Drinkall.


So, for the last time, what’s the latest goss up here on the Northern Beaches?

One fish that has really shone this year has been the king. It’s been a great season with plenty of rats, juveniles and freight trains to satisfy even the most finicky angler.

We’re so lucky to have this wonderful sport fish right on our doorstep.

How many times has a king won the scrap after it used every inch of water and structure to secure its freedom? This makes for an excellent foe and I ‘dip me lid’ to this incredible fighter.

I must mention two youngsters who have just become engaged and their joint passion is fishing. Harvey Teranto and Michelle Gorman have a kayak and spend most of their leisure time chucking lures around Narrabeen and Manly lagoons.

More than a few trips round the State with the kayak have been undertaken so methinks this will be a strong and successful marriage. Good luck to you both.

As you read this, snapper should still be on the bite on the close reefs. It’s coming towards the end of the season but I’ve taken reds right through until early June so don’t give up on these fish just yet.

The northern edges of Boultons, Newport Reef, off the hospital at Mona Vale and of course Long Reef all red-hot snapper spots.

Plenty of berley is needed and do try soft plastics on snapper as well as bait; great success stories have emerged about fish taken on artificials.


As the water cools, one of the first fish to become lethargic is the flathead. Mind you, up the Hawkesbury the flatties are still coming in as I write.

Scales around the cleaning tables at Parsley Bay boat ramp (big jewfish scales were also detected at the cleaning tables) are dead give-aways that there are still fish to be caught.

A bonus in the cooler weather is that bream become more aggressive so start shifting the mind-set to these fish if the lizards are proving too hard to catch.

Narrabeen Lake always seems to fire after a bout of rain. Steve McInnes proved this as he had a run of outs until a downpour changed everything.

First cast after the precipitation he had a 55cm flathead in the kayak and a few more fish after that.

I found a patch of gars that loved a bread mash berley and hooking them was like shelling peas (and very tasty on the plate, too).

Perseverance paid off for pastry chef Martin Gomez. He was desperate to catch a feed of whiting off a beach.

Travelling all the way from Blaxland, up the Blue Mountains, Martin hit paydirt on Mona Vale Beach on his Monday off. Equipped with a bag of live bloodworms, it was a while before the fish came on at 10am, just before high tide.

With his prolific catch cleaned and gutted, our chef drove home thinking of the many ways to prepare them for his new wife Sarah.

• Monthly Tip: Practise your casting on dry land. Becoming a proficient thrower of lures or bait will get you more fish. If you can put a lure just where you want it 95% of the time you will catch more fish because you are in the strike zone longer.

I often visit our local playing fields and chuck lures at targets to continually hone my skills. It pays dividends when out on the water.

So, the end of another chapter. Be safe on the water, use big hooks to secure big baits which will catch bigger fish and make sure you keep a positive outlook at all times. See you at the ramp.

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