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THE END OF THE SILLY SEASON

Discussion in 'Chewing the fat' started by Old fisho, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    This weekend will see many of the terrorists, sorry, I mean tourists, packing to go home, at least in this area. There may be some decent water in which to have a fish soon, though it seems the better fish are like local people. They appear to go into hiding as the multitude arrive, and only slowly surface as the visitor numbers decline. It would be good to assess the results of holiday fishers, as their reputation for taking undersized fish is broadly accepted as gospel. There is much support for this theory as few decent fish are taken during the holiday season. Why is this so? someone once used to ask.

    I think it's because the ratio of better fishers is lower, and some of us with a fair bit of experience (not necessarily ability) are hardly seen on the water. In the past, there's been almost a month pass after the caravan parks etc. quieten down, before the fish revert back to normal. Perhaps lures and baits not being presented as well by many could result in less takes. But if this were so, the more experienced guys would still get their good fish, which they generally don't do. What do the fish do for food if they don't eat normally during this time? My guess is that they forage at night more while it's quiet, and remain pretty much dormant during the days. Is that likely?

    This is a concept that I perhaps will never fully understand, and wonder if others give it consideration or see similar results. We have for years noted much the same at Lake Eucumbene over Christmas holidays, and have attributed it to the sudden increase in boat activity. This would not be quite as noticeable here as we generally have more boat activity than on Eucumbene.

    Would like to hear what you think. Noel

    Born to wonder
     
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  2. MSB

    MSB Active Member

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    Morning Noel

    I reckon you are spot on! I won't fish weekends in my neck of the woods to many boat owners that don't know the boating rules, particularly those relating to courtesy on the water, and to many jet ski convoys running flat out.

    On your undersize fish taking thoughts, I always drummed into my young fella the importance of not keeping undersize fish and more importantly knowing what the size of a species had to be to be legal, anyway many years ago when he was about 10 we went on holidays to a Yamba specifically to fish for luderick, after our first session, we pulled back into the boat ramp and I left the young bloke to hold the boat while I went and got the car, when I came back my young bloke was having a heated conversation ( in a respectful manner of course) with 3 older gentleman that also pulled up at the ramp about same time as us, turns out one of the older guys asked the young bloke if he has caught any keepers, young bloke said only 4 keepers but lots of small ones, that went back in the water to grow bigger so he can catch them next year, older guy says they caught 60 between them and proceeded to open a sugar bag and show the young bloke, the sugar bag was full of under size luderick and the young bloke told them so, one of the guys said to me that my son was a cheeky little smart arse, when I asked him why he thought he was a cheeky little smart arse, he said that he had a shot at them for keeping a sugar bag full of under size fish and had also told then they were fortunate that a fisheries officer had not looked in the sugar bag as they would have been fined and possibly named in the paper, so I just said to the guy is he right or wrong, if he's wrong I will give him a kick up the arse right know, however, if he's right you should thank him, so you know for next time you go fishing.

    They drove off with a few unsavoury comments directed at me and the young bloke. Few miles down the road the young bloke says to me, you know its not that hard Dad, I am only 10, and if I can learn the fishing rules, older people should be able to.

    About a week later we saw them again at the boat ramp, same deal half a sugar bag full of under size fish, some people couldn't care less about fish stocks.

    Young bloke is now 32 years old and a very keen lure fisherman, pic attached.

    Ron
    MSB
     

    Attached Files:

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  3. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    Good morning. Our young bloke turned 50 last year. He is a highly skilled troutie, mostly fly fishing Eucumbene. Ties flies almost like an art form. He arrives here tonight for the weekend and we'll hit the water tomorrow, something not often done at weekends, especially this time of year. He's not all that interested in salt water, but he'll learn one day that all water is good. We sometimes use flies for bream and flathead. Might even prove my fish theory wrong tomorrow, but doubt it. Good to have you on board Ron. They're a good lot of blokes on here.
     
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  4. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    Just had a look at BoM report for tomorrow. Fishing is off at this stage, however we'll see, as they've often had it completely back to front in recent months. Sat/Sun expecting winds 40-50km, with 20-25mm rain. I can handle the rain, not wind. Monday expecting swells off shore to almost eight metres. Doesn't auger well.
     
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  5. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    BoM had it dead to rights for last weekend. We had around 50mm rain, accompanied by winds gusting to 50kmh. The next available day would be Wednesday. They were right; it was good. Last night, Wednesday, we had steak with veg for dinner, not fish. After two hours on the water, it was looking like doughnuts on the menu for dinner, but finally got one, a definite throwback, followed by hooking another a bit larger, but not by much. It wasn't even landed. After six hours out there, the score never improved. No matter where I went, there were usually 10-12 boats in sight, and I never saw a fish landed in any other boats, but two guys met at the ramp said they got a few, but only a few, gars. Two charter boats were out and buzzing all over the lake. They were obviously doing no good either. A favourite area up the back of the system, where I have caught hundreds of great flatties, provided a totally negative response too, after almost two hours there. The day concluded as perhaps the worst, at one and a half fish, as close to, if not, the worst day ever on Tuross Lake. I don't think I've ever had a zero day in all the years I have fished here. A real disaster.

    The silly season is continuing.
    Old fisho
     
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  6. Rod Bender

    Rod Bender Well-Known Member

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    Too bad about your day. When the holiday period finishes, do you find it takes a while before the fishing recovers? Does it recover?
    Cheers
    Jim
     
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  7. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    G'day Jim. Hope this is not overly boring.

    Question one: There are different views heard around the traps. Yes, it does take a while to restabilise is my opinion. For example a couple of trips before Christmas saw me with a 22.5lb jewie boated, with next trip hooking four flatties that would have all been over 70cm. It doesn't get much better than that; but it's a bit above normal too, even out of the ordinary these days.

    Second question: The answer is not a simple yes/no one. I admit to being a sceptic at times, but never a pessimist. However, here as in many other places, there is a deterioration seen by those who care to look. Perhaps the number of fish caught is still high, and I compare our lake with our son's two weeks at Lake Eucumbene recently. He says he caught about twenty trout, both trolling and fly fishing. But only a small number were keepers, with no bigger fish.

    The same can be said of here. I generally work on getting around ten on any given day as a benchmark. This only takes into consideration the number; nothing to do with sizes or species. Where we once caught many flathead above 50cm, they are now much more rare. One extreme day a few years ago, I released something like 25 in one day; all above 50cms. I suggest 75% of the fish caught today are undersize, and in NSW for dusky flathead, that means under 36cm, but we rarely keep any under 40 as we don't need to; we're never desperate for a feed of fish. There are still some thumpers caught, and we've been lucky to get our fair share, but the increase in fishing pressure is increasing rapidly on all waters, and as such, fewer fish get a chance to grow bigger as they once did. While there are still reports of an extra large flattie being caught now and then; we must relate this to the increased number of fishers out there. With thousands now fishing each year, with a couple of flathead over a metre caught, it hardly compares with former years of the same couple of monsters from the earlier numbers of fishers. In my statistical opinion, they are actually far more rarely caught now than in the past. There are so many ways numbers can be used to create confusion and/or an individual point of view. I understand Sir Robert Menzies once said 'There are different types of lies: Big Lies, little lies, white lies, and statistics'. Never truer words.

    Anyway, this is further exacerbated by the silly season wherein many fishers are on holidays, understandably desperate for a fish or two to take home, with the resulting desire/need to kill smaller fish, that people like us can afford to put back. I actually sympathise with many of the holiday makers.

    Something else worthy of consideration is the way in which we fish. I am a dedicated fisher of soft plastics, and have not used bait in the lakes for close to fifteen years. That means I am as guilty as others, except that we return perhaps 95% of our catch. SPs are fun to use, and they work; far more than half the fishos now use them. On the negative side; they have revolutionised estuary fishing in particular. Coupled with better and more reliable boats and increased access to waters, many more fish are caught now, using SPs than perhaps ever before.

    So while making lots of comments; I don't have too many points on which to create a good debate, as my thoughts will all have contradictory views from others.
    Noel
    Sorry it went on a bit.
     
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