Scratching the fishing itch

Life has been busy lately. I’ve started a new job working in fisheries and have just exchanged contracts on a 60 acre property just south of Canberra. Needless to say, finding time for fishing (and writing) has been tough, and is likely to be for some time. I’ve had a few short sessions here and there, mostly a few hours of an evening targeting cod on the surface with Graz and Hamish. While this has been a lot of fun, the bends in the rod have been few and far between, and the seemingly insatiable itch has started to grow. I need to go fishing and these are some of my thoughts.

Option 1: Head to the coast and chase flathead and salmon for the weekend. Cons are that it’s a long drive, I should probably do some more packing for the move and tidying up my shitty rental. Pros are that I’m almost guaranteed some fish, the weather is likely to be a few degrees warmer and d’oh I just remembered I can’t because I have shit to do on Sunday.

Option 2: Go coddin’. Pros are that it’s extremely enjoyable to walk up a river and the rewards are immense…a cod on the surface would be great. Cons are that it has been raining a bit and the river is likely to be high and dirty. Less than ideal. There’s also another low pressure system on the way, which is likely to bring another bout of inclement weather.

Option 3: Carpin’. Pros are that it’s been months since I’ve caught a carp on the fly, and it would satisfy the urge to get a good sportfish on light tackle. Man vs fish. That kinda thing. Cons are that because of the rain, the lakes will be turbid. Same story re developing low…

Option 4: Writing about fishing. Cons are that it’s not actually fishing. Pros are that I can get excited about fishing without actually doing it…

Option 5: Troutin’. Pros: Recent rain is likely to have brought a few early season spawners on the chew. Also get to go to somewhere beautiful in the mountains or on the edge of the escarpment. Another pro: it’s almost the end of trout season and I won’t get many, if any, more opportunities. Cons: zero!

Troutin’ it is! Wish me luck. Cheers

Lee

 

flickandflyjournal.com

Hamish Webb, Dan Firth, Graham Fifield and Lee Georgeson have been fishing the south-east Australian region since 1987. Since then they’ve become avid sportfishermen who are constantly looking for new ways to challenge themselves. They are all scientists and conservationists who are passionate about the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem in which they live. They promote understanding and appreciation of the complex socio-political, economic and environmental issues surrounding fish, fishing and fisheries, while never losing sight of the various motivations that keep them coming back. In English, that means they love all things fishing and have a damn good time on the water, and that’s all that really counts in the end!

7 thoughts on “Scratching the fishing itch

  • May 29, 2014 at 8:19 pm
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    TROUTIN’ OR CODDIN’

    Hamish

    Reply
  • May 30, 2014 at 1:40 am
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    Do somethign fun and better yet take a friend who has never done it before. Expose them to the sport. Exposing new people to fishing always stokes the flames of my love for fishing.

    Reply
  • May 30, 2014 at 5:22 am
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    Good choice. ..tight lines!

    Reply
  • May 30, 2014 at 10:25 am
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    Understand the dilema.

    Myself, at this time of year, I choose surf salmon wherever possible. They are magnficent sport on lures (equipped with single hooks) and relatively light gear.

    I avoid fishing for cod from this time ownwards because there is quite substantial scientific and observational evidence that stress of capture from early June onwards causes cod species to resorb their roe and not spawn the follow spring.

    Reply
    • May 31, 2014 at 10:58 am
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      Thanks for the comment green-cod. Interesting about the single hooks…I have considered it in the past but never got around to trying it. I reckon I lose about 50% of the fish I hook, so would be interesting to hear what your conversion rate is with single hooks. Cheers, Lee

      Reply
  • June 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm
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    Interesting question.

    I guess the short answer is that I find salmon are *always* bad when it comes to throwing the hook on metal lures. And I find it varies … some trips salmon after salmon will jump off (gets quite frustrating after a while) while on other trips they mostly stay on.

    As for the single hook, I find that at the very least I lose no more fish on it … and actually, I think it actually improves my landing rate — I think I do land slightly more salmon on the single hook.

    But the primary reason for using single hooks is to release them. I simply do not like salmon (or tailor) as an eating fish regardless of how they’re “processed” or cooked. And the treble hook does tend to damage them — especially tailor. And it is self-evidently pointless to unnecessarily damage fish you intend to release. So I switch to single hooks and it makes catch-and-release of salmon (and tailor) blissfully easy, with the single hook causing virtually no damage.

    cheers

    Simon

    Reply
    • June 2, 2014 at 6:12 pm
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      Thanks Simon, your point re minimising damage to the fish is excellent. I’ve noticed it more on tailor, but sometimes trebles can do all sorts of damage. Luckily, I’m one of those people who adore eating salmon and tailor so if I happen to do any damage, it’s usually destined for the pan. I’d also prefer to eat them over some of our more pressured coastal species (in saying that, some might argue tailor stocks are in pretty poor shape over parts of their range). Nonetheless, it sounds as though single hooks might be the way to go. Will be sure to give it a go next time and report back on the outcome.

      Cheers
      Lee

      Reply

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