Home' Afloat : AFLOAT June 2017 Contents Take monthly with water June 2017 47
Australian salmon exist as separate
but almost indistinguishable species on
our East and West coasts, but the fish share
a common image problem. Despite efforts,
commercial fishers can’t make a dollar out
of them. In WA, the fish is mainly landed
for bait for the rock lobster industry, with a
beach price as low as 50 cents a kilogram.
There is now a push to make Aussie
salmon more palatable. As long-time
anglers in Sydney and beyond, we are no
stranger to catching Aussie salmon or
their subsequent eating qualities. While
top chefs are busy trying to invent new
ways to eat Aussie salmon, we have a few
of our faves and bet you do, too.
As with any fish, but especially with
salmon, you need to bleed the fish and
keep them in an ice-seawater slurry to
preserve their eating qualities. Fillet, skin,
then divide the fillets in two. Trim and
remove the bloodline and any red meat.
When fresh – soak it in milk for 30
minutes if you don’t like the fishy taste –
Aussie salmon makes a decent piece of
cooked fish just about any way you care to
serve it. Lemon and salt, and that will do.
As the fishy flavour also cuts through
rich and spicy sauces, you can get creative.
Cubed in chilli tomato pasta, or curries and
re-purposed in fish cakes has all worked for
me. The best way to preserve it is smoked.
Of course, table qualities aren’t the only
measure of a fish’s worth. Great white
sharks love eating Aussie salmon more
than us. And everything in the marine
environment has evolved with a purpose.
For sportfishing and saltwater-fly-
fishing enthusiasts, the Aussie salmon is a
brawler that gives a great account of itself
on light tackle. The big rippling salmon
schools should now be upon us. They
are a great fun to catch and they make an
excellent photographic subject.
Take your GoPro and capture the action
and cut a film. There’s a lot to like about
Aussie salmon beyond confining them to
the indignity of cray bait or cat food.
with David Lockwood
Dr Daryl McPhee is an Associate
Professor of Environmental Management
and Planning at Bond University with a
long history of fisheries research, including
publishing the only book solely dedicated
to fisheries management in Australia. He
is also a prior Director of the Fisheries
Research and Development Corporation.
So when Dr McPhee examined
the challenges faced with developing
sustainable recreational fisheries in
heavily populated urban areas, his findings
are read. In short, he says it’s time to
preserve the positive environmental
and economic impacts of the sport of
recreational fishing through better tailored
“ While there is a clear role for typical
management tools, such as minimum legal
sizes and bag limits, these methods alone
cannot deliver the management necessary
for sustainable urban ecosystems,” he said.
Dr McPhee says evidence-based
management is needed that addresses
important issues including habitat
creation and restoration, such as artificial
reefs, and coastal infrastructure, ensuring
safe recreational fishing access, and stock
The expert goes on to say that the
development of new management plans
should initially focus on large urban
centres such as Brisbane, Gold Coast,
Sydney and Melbourne.
With more than 10 per cent of the
industrialised world regularly taking
part in the recreational fishing, sound
management is imperative to creating
sustainable fishing for future generations.
“Recreational fishing is an
exceptionally important leisure activity
that promotes physical and mental
wellbeing, social interaction and a respect
for nature. It also provides children
with opportunities to connect with the
environment and economic benefits to
coastal communities,” he said.
The expert fisheries manager also
said recreational fishing is an essential
driver of the science on aquatic animals
and habitats, and an important tangible
reason for many members of the public to
conserve and protect aquatic resources.
In addition to its health benefits,
recreational fishing was ‘big business’,
with $650 million spent annually on fishing
tackle alone, he noted.
Protecting angling in urban areas
If you’re keen to catch a trout you
have till the June long weekend in the
designated streams and rivers across
NSW before the fishing season closes over
winter. The annual closure will start after
the long weekend on Tuesday, June 13,
and re-open in time for the October long
weekend on Saturday, October 2, 2017.
The closure allows the brown,
rainbow and brook trout to breed
uninterrupted during their annual
spawning run. But the dams remain open
to fishing all year round. For a change of
scenery, try around Lithgow, but don’t
forget your Aldi puff jacket.
The fish with an image problem
Try fishing lite
The outstanding capture of a
Hawkesbury jewfish by Dan Selby, the
expert guide and owner of Sydney
Sportfishing Adventures, caught my eye
last month. I ’m sure you’ll agree the fish
(too big to fit on this page so it’s pictured
on page 49) is an absolute beauty.
“Finally got to upgrade my lure-
caught Mulloway PB with this impressive
134cm specimen. Bettering my last one
as the caption for the photo he posted.
The fish was caught on a Prolure 230
Fishtail soft plastic lure in the Midnight
colour. The jighead weight 3/8oz or 10
grams. The mainline was 10lb or a tad
over 4kg, ditto for the strength of the
monofilament leader. Fight time was 30
minutes using a Loomis flickstick with
Shimano 2500 spin reel.
Now that’s Sydney sportfishing! The
take home? Go light to catch the big fish,
especially when winter descends, water
temperatures retreat, clarity increases,
and the fish are less active.
Small lures, light lines and a finesse
approach will fool big and small fish.
You can have a ball catching, well, Aussie
salmon, tailor, bream and trevally. But you
also have more chance of fooling wary fish
like big mulloway on the busy Hawkesbury.
Incidentally, Dan’s 134cm mulloway
would have weighed about 11.6kg
according to the NSW Fisheries measuring
charts. Realising it would be nice to catch
the fish again, he set the beautiful jewie
free, as indeed he usually does.
All this reminds us that the big fish
are still out there. You just need to catch
them. As Dan lands the big mulloway all
through winter, a charter isn’t a bad way to
go. And you get to fish gentleman’s hours.
More at sydneysportfishing.com.au.
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