Home' Afloat : AFLOAT July 2017 Contents Take monthly with water July 2017 45
Rogue, unlicensed and clandestine
charter operators are one of the greatest
hates of the 210 active recreational charter-
fishing skippers aboard a fleet of 250 or
so boats in NSW.
Since 2000, no new licences have been
issued, but it seems that hasn’t deterred
at least one dodgy operator from going it
alone and staging charters off Sydney in
his unlicensed boat.
Back in April 2015, NSW DPI Fisheries
Officers boarded a boat on Sydney
Harbour that was alleged to be conducting
unlicensed charter fishing activities.
Officers found fishing gear and fish that
had been caught by one of the passengers
The master of the boat, a 61-year-
old man from Warrnambool, Victoria,
was spoken to by Fisheries Officers
regarding the activities of the boat and
After further investigation the man was
charged with being the master and owner
of an unlicensed charter fishing boat. In
April this year, the man pleaded guilty in
the Downing Centre Local Court and was
also ordered to pay costs of $1,900.
The definition of a charter boat is
essentially one that operates with the
intention of making a profit. While it’s okay
to share fuel and tackle costs between
mates, it’s not okay if the operator stands
to make money out of an arrangement.
One study into the NSW charter-fishing
industry revealed they get an average of 8
per cent return on their investment after
all the hurdles, regulations, weather and
expenses. It’s certainly no get-rich-quick
scheme and more a labour and lifestyle of
love for the 200-odd operators who don’t
take kindly to imposters or cheats.
with David Lockwood
Imagine a 2.7m, 200kg Great White
Shark jumping clear of the water and
landing in your 5.5m boat as you were
drifting along seated on a small esky in
the cockpit. That nightmare become a
reality for one NSW North Coast angler
The NSW Marine Rescue base at Evans
Head received a distress call on Channel 16
on the VHF marine radio from lifelong fisho
Terry Selwood (73), who was approximately
one nautical mile SSE of Snapper Heads.
A Great White Shark had jumped in
his boat and was wreaking mayhem, its
huge tail repeatedly clubbing the angler
who sustained injuries.
Upon arriving at the location, Marine
Rescue found the stunned fisherman
standing on the portside gunwale covered
in blood, with numerous lacerations on
his right forearm.
A large shark was also found in
the cabin of the not-so -large 5.5-metre
Seafarer boat. The fisherman was quickly
transferred onto the deck of the rescue
boat where his injuries were assessed
Selwood was lucky to escape with cuts
from the rough shark skin to his forearm. It
could have been much worse. But sharks
jumping into boats aren’t unheard of,
especially those that have been hooked
A close relative to the Great White
Shark, the mako is a fearless predator
Great White Shark
jumps into boat
Illegal charter-fishing boat.
not afraid to bite your outboard engine or
back of the boat. If you sink the hook into
one boatside, expect it to jump. If it lands
in your boat it will be mayhem or worse.
Back at Evans Head, Selwood was
simply going about his business with a
couple of pieces of pilchard bait in the
water when all hell broke loose. He hadn’t
even hooked a fish let alone the 200kg
Great White Shark that jumped into his
boat. The shark was donated to research
and his boat came off relatively well.
It’s time to fish light, berley hard,
and to use all the tricks in your book of
fishing skills to fool the wily and often
lazy winter fish. Play it safe with the winter
winds, waves and frigid water, but with
a concerted approach to fishing in July
you can score some superb eating fish.
The drifting grounds offshore will
have flathead, snapper and morwong,
with trevally, tailor and salmon around
the headlands and estuary mouths. Try
reverse rock fishing by berleying the
washes from your boat and pitching baits
of peeled prawn and bread into the suds
for bream, trevally, groper and drummer.
But the top tip this month is the
omnipresent luderick. Gather green
weed for bait from the ocean pools and
try imitation green-weed flies (bought
from tackle shops) to tempt the big winter
luderick or blackfish from around the
headlands, wharves and seagrass beds.
Bled, filleted, skinned, rolled
in crumbs and fried, fresh luderick
is succulent and one of the most
sustainable of all
Luderick on fly.
Winter Fishing Tips
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