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Why is this squid-fishing ban in place?
Are squid numbers in strife; is squid fishing
unsustainable; does it threaten something
like the little penguin colony ravaged by
No, none of the above. There is no
justification for this ban whatsoever. The
biomass of squid, a short-lived species, is on
the ascendency and, in fact, it now exceeds
the weight of humankind. No kidding.
Additionally, an ongoing study of little
penguins in Port Phillip Island reveals they
prefer a variety to fish to squid. Since the
netting of whitebait ceased (along with
all other forms of commercial fishing) in
2006, the baitfish are absolutely teeming
in North Harbour.
There is no shortage of penguin
food and no shortage of squid. The bans
are antiquated and misdirected. Squid
fishing is among the most sustainable of
all forms of fishing. Time to revoke this
with David Lockwood
January is fishing high season for all
the right reasons. Summer holidays
combined with long hot days and warm
water means most of us go fishing more
often. Here’s what you should be targeting.
Offshore anglers need to launch at
dawn to secure live baits and make like a
nut and bolt to the NSW FADs. There are
30 of these fish-aggregating devices located
between the Tweed and Eden. See http://
w w w.dpi.nsw.gov.au /fisheries /recreational/
Pitch your live bait into the FAD and
hold on. Dolphin fish or mahi mahi are
waiting. Cast chrome lures and poppers as
well. Competing boats will have the same
idea, so it’s first in best dressed. The fish
soon wise-up, before coming back on the
bite at dusk.
Having procured some mahi mahi
stashed in an ice slurry, it’s time to troll
skirted lures for game fish. January is a top
time for marlin, but also dolphin fish and
small yellowfin tuna.
Back in 40-60m of water, the flathead
drifts produce. But the headlands and
inshore reefs in 20m are a better proposition
for kingfish. You can troll and jig for small
ones; a big live pike, slimy or squid will be
the undoing of the real kings.
If you are anchored on a pinnacle, fish
into the evening for snapper, jewfish and
teraglin with cut baits and plenty of berley
to keep them biting. Sometimes the sharks
cut things short, but summer evenings are
big fish time.
Beach fishers will score oodles of
whiting by day and big jewfish at night. Tailor
are another summer mainstay on January
nights. Lake mouths are a great place to
beach fish, especially when the prawns are
running on the dark moon. Prawning, yes,
and try crabbing in summer, too.
If the winds are whistling, no worries,
dusky flathead will be lying in wait along
the sandy estuarine drop-offs. Drift or wade
while flicking soft-plastic prawn-imitation
lures. Whiting and bream will jump on live
nippers. But summer is an even better
time to score kingfish in the harbour and
If the waterways are thronging, head
upstream into the backwaters, creeks and
bays on the high tide, when the fish are
over the flats. Mud crabs are worth trapping
around the mangroves, while Aussie bass
will be active in the freshwater. Which about
covers all your bases.
Fish the low-light periods, around the
top of the tide, use live bait or life-like lures,
light tackle and dodge the crowds. Look for
the bait and structure and you’ll find the fish.
WHY NO SQUID
One of the most ridiculous fishing
restrictions in Sydney Harbour is that which
bans squid fishing in the North Harbour
Aquatic Reserve. This restriction takes in
the whole of inner North Head and Grotto
Point and all of the Manly area.
Berowra Waters mud crab.
It’s the fishing
The colours of summer ...
a beautiful dolphin fish captured
by fishing guide Craig McGill.
The author with a typical summertime
dusky flathead. The fish fell for a prawn
imitation soft-plastic lure.
The Australian Fishing Tackle
Association has declared there will be
a National Gone Fishing Day on October
16, 2016. The announcement follows the
inaugural Go Fishing NSW Day held last
With any where from 4-5 million
Australians wetting a line each year, a
national fishing day is long overdue. With
increasing pressure on our resources,
lockouts by way of Marine Parks and a
growing population that may or may not
take up fishing, a national day of fishing
If Melbourne can declare a public
holiday for a horse race, surely the country
can take one for a Gone Fishing Day?
Save the date, but don’t wait till October
to go fishing.
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