of the keys of significance in all 'Man versus the Wilderness'
situations, is the fact of changing seasons. How they help highlight
the changing playing field is of importance if hunters or anglers
want to get a handle on how to approach each day in the outback
or every day on the water. I see many chapters that apply to all
three of these interests; filming, fishing and hunting. Like it
or not, our level playing field is not level; or if it is, it
is not level for very long. We have our fishing tackle, our film
cameras, our rifles, bows and so on. In all of those fields, there
are countless types of tools that we call upon to use to our advantage.
Not any single piece of weaponry is the right choice every time.
I remember years ago when I hunted an outback paddock. The grass
was long, the pigs were fat, they camped in the long grass on
the flats, and short range shooting was the key to success. In
that example, if a hunter had returned to that paddock 12 months
later armed with a pistol, and a brain that was expecting the
same scenes to unfold, he or she would most likely be sadly disappointed.
I did that exact thing, but this time around I was faced with
drought, no grass, kilometres of open paddocks, no long range
shooting equipment and no pigs in sight. What had happened, where
had that scene gone, and lastly, how do I get it back? The truth
is, that exact scene may never come back, not in 100 years, and
the point of difference is that I had to search for the 'new chapter'
that had been created by Mother Nature.
In this case, the pigs camped about 5 kilometres from this same
point, high in the hills, returning to the low lands on dusk and
after dark. To find them camped up by day was difficult in the
heavy, noisy terrain of mountainous country. To sneak up close
when they wandered into the open was a mammoth task to ask. Simply,
I never had the ideal equipment required to put to use at that
time. I needed a camera with a 30 X zoom to produce any kind of
decent image, but fading light made that part a bit of a problem
also. My results were poor until I changed tact, re adressed the
situation and worked within the chapter. Why all this talk about
feral pigs? Well, we can simply change suits here and apply the
same thoughts onto our inland lakes, whether it is for bass fishing
or for barramundi fishing. To race for a barramundi lake this
season and expect to find the water and environment exactly the
same as last season is way off track; hence why the changing seasons
and changing dynamics of any waterway needs close attention on
every visit. For example, Lake Awoonga is going through a chapter
where mass weed banks are breaking down quickly and dissolving.
There are no distinct weed edges or plants reaching a climax at
this point in time. In a few months time, another chapter will
unfold. Lake Monduran has recently had a small water rise and
it is going through a phase where submerged land plants are decaying
and rotting, hidden below a metre of water. Each lake has a different
chapter in operation. 12 months ago, both lakes were operating
in chapters far opposeed to what I just described, and their inhabitants,
the barramundi were operating in modes that suited those situations.
scene may just be a one off situation that never ever repeats
itself in one hundred years. This exact water level, the
air temperature, the water temperature, the plant life on
the bank and the amount of weed in the lake may never align
the same way ever again. Our lakes are new waterholes every
season, the fish adjust to exist within, and new rules can
apply in each chapter.
on image for larger version
we have any lake's very existence as a standard given. Imagine
it just like a book on the shelf. Within it are many chapters
that are created by the changing seasons. Not only is it up to
an angler to firstly identify the chapter, the next skill set
is to be able to discover what page you are on. Once you realise
the chapter and the page number you can then proceed to apply
the tactics required to get the best out of that situation. Each
and every new day represents a new page until finally after many
days, that chapter will end and a new one will form around you.
Survival skills of the human being start with a process of tuning
in to what is going on around you and forming a game plan from
which should best give you some kind of success. Like I have said
for years, every chapter often deserves a new approach, which
from a fishing angle means a new lure style, a new technique and
a new way of thinking to get the best out of the situation. We
have to blend in, and discover what the fish is doing, work out
why the fish is behaving like it is and marking that down for
future reference. To say that lake such and such will be in its
prime in 6 months time is a wild call that could be so wrong.
As anglers, we will discover that a different kind of lure will
help in each chapter, some lures that have done extremely well
in the past may just be useless in the up and coming chapters.
To leave a lake and head home saying that the fishing was bad
is sometimes another way of saying that as anglers we failed to
discover what chapter was in operation.
Happy Reading,(Books, Chapters and Pages that is.)