Chocolate helps

By: Damian Clayton

The good fishing continues and it’s evident that we have a late season again. The water temperature is slowly dropping but the fish are feeding aggressively as they put on condition (a layer of fat) to see them through the cooler months. The kahawai are feeding on vast whitebait schools all around our coast and with activity like this the snapper and kingfish are never too far away.

Drift fishing through these schools of feeding fish, using jigs, soft baits and baits, is an easy way to stay with the fish as they move around feeding. Alternatively you could anchor up-tide from the activity and strayline or float baits back to the feeding fish. Hold these fish in the area with a berley trail. I have been using salmon berley when fishing in close and a pilchard and bonito berley when out deeper in the Gulf. I find the salmon berley is good inshore where there are less sharks.

You might find that the kids would like to give fishing a go these school holidays. The great thing about fishing is that you can make it as hardcore or as casual as you want. Around our coast we have very accessible places to fish from the shore and this is a good option for a child’s fishing trip. I know from previous experience that the young ones’ attention span can dwindle quite quickly if they are not catching or actively doing something during the trip.

Here are a few tips that can help them enjoy a few hours fishing:

  • Turn it into a contest – a chocolate fish for the biggest fish!
  • Fish in a location where they can safely wander off, explore rock pools, build sand castles or feed the little fish while they wait for better bites.
  • Take snacks and a drink because they will get hungry.
  • Try not to travel too far as this can take the fun out of the excursion – “are we there yet?”
  • Around the Hibiscus Coast you could try the Weiti River wharf, the Gulf Harbour breakwater, the rocky ledge at the end of Pinecrest Drive (follow the path down to the rocks), Wenderholm River, Army Bay and Little Manly beach. All are areas where you have a reasonable chance of catching a fish for tea. Most of these areas will work best on the rising tide when the fish move in closer to feed. You might also want to keep a look out for birds feeding near the shore. In most cases there will be kahawai and maybe snapper under them as they feed on the whitebait.

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