David Bateman enjoys fishing in Moreton Bay and it seems he's not alone with half of all Queensland's recreational anglers going to the same place every year.
But don't worry, everyone gets enough water. David, 74, says that anglers need only know where they are, and when they hit. As the deputy chairman of the Sunfish Queensland recreational fishing association and author of a guide to coastal fishing from Tweed River to Cairns, he should learn.
David has been fishing since he was about two and started their boat around the Moreton Bay islands with his father. When he was about 17 he joined a club because he wanted to learn how to fish properly.
David says Moreton Bay provides opportunities for anyone, with Moreton Island offshore and boat fishing and even surf fishing.
The resident of Newport says the bay has all the features required for good fishing including mangroves, large river channels, tidal waves, mud and sand and rocky foreshores.
“People say all the fish are gone and I say they are there, they’re just not biting.”
“If they’re not biting, you’re not going to catch them anyway but having the right gear and the right bait, you stand a better chance.”
Anglers need to learn what the fish eat, and the best lures to match the fish conditions and species.
The moon, wind, and tides will decide where the fish are and how they behave.
David fishes mainly in Moreton Bay but he also likes the southern end of Bribie Island, the Red Beach district, for the southern whiting that runs through September, October, November, December and January. Rock worms are his favourite whiting-bait.
Depending on the season, he goes fishing two or three times a week, keeping family and friends filled with fresh fish.
“It’s a good, clean, healthy sport and activity and it provides a nice meal,” he says
“There’s nothing like a nice piece of whiting or flathead. They’re easy to catch and there’s plenty of them.”
TIPS FOR FISHING SUCCESS
■ Seek advice from local tackle shops. They talk to anglers regularly and know what gear is best.
■ Try not to buy cheap gear.
■ You don’t need a big tackle box, just the right gear. David uses a small pill box containing just hooks and sinkers.
■ Look after fish when you catch them. Always have an icebox with ice slurry.
■ Take all rubbish home with you (don’t discard anything like plastic bags or line).
■ Put undersized fish back in the water.
■ Put discarded bait in the water.
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