THE THRILL OF THE CHASE Growing up I was fortunate to have a Dad who took me on a couple of fishing holidays every year. The Fraser Coast (Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Fraser Island, and Burrum Heads to name a few favourite spots) was our hunting ground. Whiting, tailor, the odd mackerel and were the fish we chased and my Dad taught me about these fish. Feeding habits at different times a year, behavior during different weather conditions and different times during the day were an important part of this learning experience. In short, I was taught how to think like a fish. I lived in Perth for twenty years and each area I fished the learning started again. Research, listening to locals and experimenting with different baits and lures have meant I have learnt a lot but somehow the fish still usually win!
Now living in south-east Queensland and having a fishing guru in the form of David Hodge who does some work for us at Engel (and also is a mate), the learning curve has increased. I have learnt so much over the past few years and each time I fish I seem to find something new. As you know I’m a strong proponent of only keeping enough for a feed. Catch and release is a fantastic way to fish and while there is nothing more exciting than the pull of a big snapper or tailor or knowing you have a barra or a coral trout hooked, there is a special feeling when you drop one back in the drink so it can go forth and multiply. While we love to fill the Engel with fillets, our kids also need to be assured there is enough left behind so they can experience the same joy that we have.
Over the next few months, Engel are again involved with the sponsorship and entering of teams in several of Queensland and Australia’s premier competitions. The Boyne Tannum Hook-up at Tannum Sands near Gladstone is one of my favourite weekends of the year. This is a great competition run by some really nice guys and is one of the biggest events in the region over the June long weekend. We have a very strong involvement in the Barra Nationals again this year and will follow that up with one of the team favourites in the Barra Classic. I’ll keep you posted in other events and look forward to catching up with you over the next few months at one or the other event in your region.
As a bit of a bonus, I asked Hodgie, Queensland’s Barefoot Fisherman for a few fishing tips and he kindly provided me with the following. If these work for you good luck but remember the joy of fishing is just that. Just to be out on the water or on a beach or on riverbank is all we can ask for. If we catch a feed, that my friend is a bonus. Engel’s ten top fishing tips • When beginning lure fishing, make every retrieve as though the biggest fish you could ever want to catch is following the lure. You’ll find it becomes habit to work a lure to its full potential every cast. • Use braid wherever possible, but learn the knots to join them properly. • If bait fishing, be sure to learn how to catch your own bait. If you can’t, buy as fresh as possible. Fish can tell the difference. • Lure size should be as close to the sought-after species normal prey as possible. • Knots are the last connection to the hook or lure. Learn the best knots possible and practice them till they become perfect. • Hooks are the last connection to the fish and the most expensive outfit isn’t worth 2 bucks if the hooks are dodgy or not needle sharp. • Be persistent and think outside the square when things are tough, eventually you’ll find an effective presentation on most occasions. • In rivers, dams, lakes and estuaries your presence should be concealed as well as possible. Make no noise, and stalk the area you wish to fish from as far as possible. Don’t cast a shadow over the area you will be fishing, shadows to a fish usually mean a winged predator is on the prowl. • Involve the family whenever you can. It’s a real buzz to hear the kids and missus talking fishing lingo and the kids grow up with an understanding of nature. • Look after fish you wish to keep for the table in a quality icebox. Bleed fish and put them in an ice slurry. Saltwater for saltwater fish and freshwater for freshwater fish. Try not to freeze large quantities of fish as it becomes dry and loses flavor. Besides, it gives you a reason to go fishing more often!