From The Editors Desk
  |  First Published: April 2010

May is always a slightly perplexing month. Some feel it is the start of winter and the fishing should taper off, but the evidence says that May is as good as some of the more glamorous months.

While the fishing for big snapper run isn’t as fruitful as spring and summer, there are plenty of smaller models in closer, shallower areas that provide sensational light line fishing. Often this fishing is perfect for soft plastic fishing and trying different things as well.

Australian salmon and squid are often more plentiful during May than summer, and provide a good feed and some great sport. Add to that the southern bluefin tuna hitting their peak and suddenly the footy seems to come a distant second to the fishing – especially if Richmond is your team.

Mako Shark ban

One of the interesting lessons of the mako shark issue has been the federal government’s quick action when faced with a number of angler representative groups uniting together.

In the past it has been extremely hard to get any traction in federal government circles when individual groups take up issues on their own.

The mako shark ban is a great case in point. When individual groups like VRFish presented the issue, the Federal Government ignored or deflected their concerns.

However when many groups aligned and presented a united front representing a wide range of interests, the reaction was immediate, especially when it was pointed out that at least five marginal Labor seats might be affected by this ban.

Groups such as the various gamefishing organisations, VRFish, RecFish, AFTA, Tarfish, the Recreational Fishing and Boating Council and some state branches of the BIA banded together and presented a strong and united voice to the Federal minister.

The ban was ludicrous on two points: the first being the legislation enacted by the Howard liberal government that made bans such as these essentially automatic, and secondly that state governments such as Tasmania and Victoria had to be prodded into action on behalf of anglers.

While the Victorian government did actually look at the issue and communicate with the angling community, the Tasmanian government was, and still is, mute.

The good news now is that amendments to the legislation for mako sharks and recreational fishing has passed through the House of Representatives and will hopefully progress through the Senate in their next sitting session.

This does reinforce the issue that anglers and groups associated with anglers need to stick together and push hard on behalf of anglers.

It does demonstrate that when all these groups get together, angling issues can be rigorously pursued with excellent results.

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