Home' Afloat : AFLOAT October 2015 Contents 50 AFLOAT.com.au October 2015
with David Lockwood
The Boating and
Fishing Season begins
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October is officially the start of the season for many clubs
and their chummy members. But fishing and boating is
a year-round recreation for many more of us these days.
With the advent of more reliable marine engines, push-button
electronics and seaworthy boats, we anglers are sallying forth
for offshore sorties all year round.
The rewards for not-so -off-season fishing are immense. You
can score southern bluefin and yellowfin tuna, striped marlin
on the shoulder, big kingfish on the deep reefs, and blue-eye
cod and gemfish, not to mention mad mako sharks, on the sea
mountains. All that and more is a feature of fishing in Spring, too.
The first flush of warm water brings with it an abundance of
surface and sportsfish. Look for the schools of Aussie salmon,
the bonito zipping about, the school kingfish on the close reefs
and around the headlands, where tailor can be taken on the troll.
Snapper bite well in spring, but so too jewfish around the
lower reaches of our big rivers, bays and harbours. Late October
is a hot jewfish time on my calendar and you’ll find them around
the Harbour and Hawkesbury mouths going into November.
Meantime, the whiting are biting and the flathead are waking
up from their slumber. All of which has been making headlines
or frequent posts in fishing social media for the preceding weeks
and months to this column.
NSW anglers can also resume catching and releasing their
favourite freshwater scrappers, the Australian bass and estuary
perch, after the spawning closer from June 1 to September 1 each
year. These natives offer brilliant sportsfishing from the brackish
reaches back to the headwaters.
There’s a total bag limit of two Australian bass or estuary
perch per person or a combination of both, with a possession
limit of four in place. Only one fish is permitted to be over 35
centimetres in length when fishing in rivers. But really this is
academic for most of us who revere the bass and perch and set
them free. h
When our boating associations supported the move to ban
trailerboats from parking in the suburbs, I thought they had
the wrong end of the stick. When our esteemed editor wrote
expressing his support for this notion on the basis you can
spend a motza to store your boat in a stack instead, I almost
fell off my chair.
Contrary to popular wisdom, pleasure boating isn’t the
preserve of the rich with a lot of disposable income. According
to the latest Total Vessel Registration Statistics for NSW, up
to date at the end of January 2015, 83.4 per cent of registered
vessels measure 3.0m to 5.99m in length, with 90.53 per cent of
all registered boats no bigger than 6.99m in length.
In other words, the lion’s share of our boats are also on the
road, meaning they are trailerable. Ban boaters from parking
and you are targeting the humble boatowner on the street, the
layman with his tinnie, the young blood in the industry who
rents a flat without a car park. And there is plenty of parking
alongside gold courses, ovals, parklands and so on.
But as is wont to happen with legislation created by
Government landlubbers, it’s never in the interests of boaters.
The Boat Owners Association has just announced in a press
release that it was duped. This is akin to discrimination.
The NSW Government has made last minute changes to
the legislation controlling parking of trailers on public streets
that imposes rules that are much tougher than those originally
In NSW, boaters cannot leave their trailers parked in
‘declared areas’ for more than 28 days without moving them at
least a block away. Under the provisions of the Impounding Act
a Council officer can declare a trailer abandoned, and after 15
days notice remove it to a storage facility. It can then be sold
if the owner doesn’t claim it.
The Impounding Act is being used to implement a parking
rule because the Councils knew they could not get such blatant
discrimination against boaters legislated as part of motor
Many other registered vehicles on public streets would fit
into this new definition – why are boat trailers being singled
out? See the pics hereabouts with boats and vans.
Of course, the State Government has allocated $5m of
boating funds for the establishment of off-street parking areas
for boat trailers. As at the date of the legislation none of these
funds have been taken up. h
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