Chill puts bite on ac­tion

Ac­tiv­ity’s on hold but dog­gie mack­erel swim into the void

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

MARINE Parks and Wildlife of­fi­cers were on the job on Wed­nes­day morn­ing and de­spite glam­orous boating con­di­tions, they told of few fish caught from among the an­glers spo­ken to dur­ing a rou­tine pa­trol.

Just a yarn about a few dog­gies and a good spot­ted mack­erel that some fel­low had snared within Cleve­land Bay had caught the young of­fi­cer’s at­ten­tion, and his ac­count was sim­i­lar to those I found back at the Coast­guard boat ramp.

Fish were mostly dif­fi­cult to come by and many at­trib­uted their lack of suc­cess to the sud­den cold snap.

Mean­while, dog­gie mack­erel cost me a few bait jigs this week as I sought her­ring and scad from near ship­ping chan­nel py­lons.

Bait­fish species weren’t as thick as I’d ex­pected and when an oc­ca­sional patch was found, the dog­gie mack­erel were close by.

The dog­gies were not of great size; how­ever, they easily ex­ceeded the 50cm min­i­mum le­gal size for the species. Whale eti­quette HUMP­BACK whales are mak­ing a welcome ap­pear­ance in our wa­ters and prove an easy dis­trac­tion when the fish­ing is less than red hot.

The an­nual north­ern mi­gra­tion of these in­cred­i­ble mam­mals is in progress and boat­ies can ex­pect some close en­coun­ters within in­shore wa­ters through­out com­ing weeks and well into Septem­ber.

And while the ex­pe­ri­ence is an in­cred­i­ble one with such enor­mous crea­tures close at hand, boat­ies might want to con­sider the rules and reg­u­la­tions sur­round­ing en­coun­ters with the an­i­mals.

These laws gov­ern the in­ter­ac­tion of boat­ies and all species of whales and they are in­tended to pro­tect both mam­mals and boat­ies.

No ves­sel of any kind is to ap­proach within 100m of a whale.

A max­i­mum of three ves­sels with a neg­li­gi­ble wake are per­mit­ted within 300m, but no closer than 100m, of a whale, and jet skis are not al­lowed within 300m of the an­i­mal.

A ves­sel is de­fined as any­thing ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing a per­son through or on the wa­ter in­clud­ing kayaks, surf­boards and wind­surfers, and “ap­proach” might be de­fined as make way to­wards the an­i­mal while un­der any method of propul­sion.

A drift­ing or an­chored ves­sel might well be ap­proached by a whale and this might, on rare oc­ca­sion, present its own prob­lems.

Pulling an­chor or mo­tor­ing away from an an­i­mal might only steer you to­wards another should a whale be trav­el­ling with com­pan­ions, which is likely.

Gen­er­ally it’s best to stay put and let the whale do its thing, un­less you find your­self be­tween a mother and her calf! A sharp knife might be kept within easy reach of the an­chor well, should a whale fall foul of the rope or if a su­per- quick get­away is needed.

For more in­for­ma­tion check out gbrmpa. gov. au Whit­ing take the stage WHIT­ING re­main on the bite along north­ern beaches, with plenty of fat fish taken from Bush­land Beach.

Grant Sheen says the whit­ing have been hun­gry for sev­eral weeks and it is a rare oc­ca­sion where he and his young boys don’t catch a fish.

Peeled prawn baits are fool­ing the largest fish dur­ing the flood tides while yabby baits ( pumped at low tide) are fool­ing large num­bers of smaller fish.

Mar­lin and sail­fish con­tinue to make good show­ings when an­glers fish the north­ern grounds of Bowl­ing Green Bay.

An­drew Mead of Aussie Barra Char­ters was look­ing for both bill­fish species when he fished wide of Cape Cleve­land on Wed­nes­day.

He’d fished in the area and told of bites from sail­fish, mar­lin and school- size span­ish mack­erel. When I spoke to Mead yesterday he was work­ing over a large bait school wide of the “Bun­nings” hot spot and he told of a nearby boat that was in­volved in some bill­fish ac­tion.

My Fish City Char­ters clients en­ticed a bite from a small mar­lin when we trolled baits close to Sala­man­der Reef.

How­ever, the hook pulled free af­ter a cou­ple of quite spec­tac­u­lar jumps.

The South Aus­tralian lads were stoked to have seen the mar­lin eat a bait at close range, yet they were just as happy with a catch of school- size span­ish mack­erel. Fish­eries health in frame FISH­ERIES Queens­land is urg­ing an­glers to be­come in­volved in the Keen An­gler Pro­gram.

The prin­ci­ple of the Keen An­gler Pro­gram is to source fish sam­ples – skele­tal frames com­plete with or­gans and mi­nus the fil­lets – from recre­ational fish­ers.

Of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est from fish­ers within the Townsville re­gion is span­ish mack­erel.

The bi­o­log­i­cal in­for­ma­tion gath­ered from sam­ples col­lected from recre­ational and com­mer­cial an­glers is used in part to as­sess the health of fish stocks.

Fish­eries Queens­land say these assess­ments help eval­u­ate the ef­fec­tive­ness of fish­eries man­age­ment ar­range­ments.

The Keen An­gler Pro­gram re­lies on the vol­un­tary par­tic­i­pa­tion of recre­ational an­glers and par­tic­i­pants need not be ex­pe­ri­enced or to fish regularly – they just need to be pre­pared to par­tic­i­pate by putting their frames in a la­belled bag ( pro­vided by Fish­eries Queens­land in a sam­pling kit), and de­liv­er­ing it to a pre­de­ter­mined drop- off lo­ca­tion – the Fish­ing Ware­house on Duck­worth St.

The frames are rou­tinely col­lected from vol­un­teers such as the Fish­ing Ware­house and pro­cessed in a lab­o­ra­tory where they are mea­sured, their sex de­ter­mined by ex­am­in­ing the go­nads, and their otoliths ( ear bones) re­moved.

The otoliths are used to es­ti­mate the age of the fish.

For more in­for­ma­tion check out the Fish­eries Queens­land web­site or their Face­book page.

FRAME JOB: Fish­eries Queens­land is seek­ing mack­erel frames, much like this one caught by Dar­ren Wright early this week, as a gauge of fish­eries health.

with Ed­die Rid­dle send us your catch news and photos: email ed­dierid­dle@ fishc­ity. com. au

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.