FULL-TIME anglers like myself sometimes get caught up competing amongst peers and forget to realize what a huge amount of effort, focus and experience we sometimes have to put into practice.
Especially when it comes to guaranteeing a fish in difficult conditions for a photo or film shoot.
So when you see a pic in this column, or an angling host on the TV holding a fish, it is worth realizing it may be a result of a mission far beyond what many weekend danglers might realize.
This was reinforced last weekend when I held a ‘fishing basics’ tutorial session for a lovely group of grey nomads at Lake Sea Park in Durras on the NSW South Coast.
The first half hour flathead spinning tutorial was held near the last deep section towards the mouth of the lake.
I did this when the sun was high; I needed some brightness so attendees could see the shallows, drop offs, weed patches, current and other features that combine to create a prime flatty lair.
I also explained how and why a shallow running hard body lure is ideal for water a meter or less deep, and how the sinking plastic or vibe is best for deeper water.
I also went through running sinker rigs and prime baits such as white bait, pilchard and striped tuna.
The group were quick learners, and went on to do an hour or two of practising their new skills.
A few small flathead and flounder were caught, but it was very tough; wind made casting and feeling the lure hard, and cold weather and cold water pretty much shut things down.
I strongly suspect that if I was ‘on the tools’ myself, I’d have to put in a full on effort an hour either side of dawn and dusk just to get a few legal sized fish.
The surf fishing clinic was much the same, bright sunlight was needed to teach folks how to see the gutters, currents and foam cover.
The surf was not too big, there was not too much weed, and there was a few nice gutters several hundred meters just south of the mouth, not a bad start.
A few small salmon and one quality three pound specimen was landed, bringing much joy to a couple of anglers in the group.
But the fish were not on the chew and most went home fishless that session.
On the up side, with the basics covered I believe the anglers can now put the essentials into practice knowing they are not doing much wrong.
And with a warmer reception from the weather and the same amount of effort, especially at dawn and dusk, it could easily be a whole different story.
I’ve seen the exact same spots produce quality fish on many occasions, especially around this time of year.
In other news, the new series of Fishing Australia kicks off this weekend, 5:30 pm on WIN Television, there is some amazing stuff in the can with lots of local and national content among the 13 episodes.
Just be mindful that ‘sometimes’ the fish you see my colleagues and I catch require a lot more effort than at first might be obvious...