We all love summer, especially us fishing nuts. It’s great being able to get up in the morning and slip on some shorts and a t-shirt without having to worry about a jumper or shoes, with the only thoughts being how much you can cram into your day.
We all work pretty hard so when you do get some time to go away you’d like to think that you’ll be spending as much time as possible doing whatever you want, which usually involves plenty of fishing, diving and seafood gathering. This means the coastal towns across the nation are flooded with keen anglers brimming with enthusiasm - which is great - but often these keen holiday-goers are so focused on what they want to do, that they can upset locals and other tourists.
So in the interest of social harmony I thought I’d jot down a few things to be wary of so your recreational time isn’t ruined by a bop on the nose from a disgruntled local.
Boat ramps - don’t block them up. Good weather over the holiday period brings a lot of traffic to boat ramps. So before you go to the ramp, put your bungs in, check the fuel is connected and the motor starts. Ensure everybody knows what to do when launching. If you are up early to beat the traffic, make sure that in your haste to get out fishing you don’t take up four car parks with your vehicle and trailer. If you have driven to the ramp to go in your mate’s boat, don’t park in a car park designated for a vehicle and trailer. When retrieving, get the boat out of the water and get off the ramp, put your straps on and take the bungs out in the car park or on the side of the road.
Respect others - don’t go charging through someone’s berley trail, or anchoring in the way of a boat that is drift fishing. Don’t motor up to a boat that is fishing and say “hey mate how’s the fishing?”. They are going to lie to you anyway. There are plenty of chances to swap stories back at the boat ramp.
Watch out for swimmers and kontiki’s when fishing or boating near beaches. The kontiki’s can be a couple of kilometres off shore, and if you see one, go around the seaward side.
When you are driving on the beach, the kontiki fishers will have their lines flat on the sand, go around them if you can, if you can’t, drive slowly over their line. Please don’t drive fast on the beach, it’s hoons that could see an end to vehicles on beaches and this will have a serious effect on the elderly folk who like to drive along the beach and find a spot to set out a kontiki and cast a line.
If you are a parent who has just bought your 12 year old a motor cross bike for Christmas, make sure he or she doesn’t hoon past my kids, or any kids for that matter. These little punks that think they are Evil Kinevil can’t operate a motorbike properly, and I’ve seen some very near misses.
Children don’t expect cars and motorbikes to be racing through areas where they are swimming, making sandcastles and chasing balls. So the onus is on the person operating the motor vehicle to be travelling slowly and giving beach users plenty of space.
While we are on the beaches, don’t dump your fish heads and frames on the beach. For a start you should only be taking enough for a feed, and if you look after your catch with ice, then I’m sure you’ll find someone grateful to take the heads and frames off you.
Kontiki fishers, don’t leave the stingrays and sharks you winched up on the beach to die then rot in the sun. If you are too scared to get them back into the water then find another hobby.
Geez I’m starting to sound like a disgruntled local, when in fact I love sharing summer days with likeminded fisho’s. Just remember you aren’t the only one on holiday.
Keep ‘em Tight – Matt.Reads: 1957