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Author Topic: From the Fishers Mouth - 28 March 2011  (Read 4626 times)

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From the Fishers Mouth - 28 March 2011
« on: March 29, 2011, 12:11:58 AM »
From the Fishers Mouth 28th March 2011

Fish appear to be an instinctive creature with the functions of eating and breeding their sole purpose for existence. To a degree this may be true, but in my experience fish exhibit a degree of intelligence that enables them to learn from their mistakes and become more wary as they mature.

This appears true for most animal species with large old specimens being the most difficult to capture, whether it be on film or for the hunters, through the scope of a rifle. Feral deer for example are reasonably widespread throughout the Riverina and grow to the size of a small horse, yet we rarely see them. The deer know to hide from humans, else they risk harm.

Fish are no different. Juvenile fish are greedy and consumed by the need to grow rapidly so they can assume a size where they are no longer prey for larger fish. As small fish grow into adults, they may have been hooked several times and each time that fish becomes a little more educated as to what it should and shouldn’t eat.

Having said that, when fish are in the mood for feeding they lose this ‘intelligence’ and bite with reckless abandon at anything that could possibly be food. These feeding frenzies are relatively rare, but offer anglers the chance to capture fish almost at will.

Heavily fished waters such as Lake Mulwala, Blowering Dam and Burrinjuck Dam suffer from angler pressure during the peak season with large numbers of boats putting the fish off the bite. When there are a lot of boats it’s common to get bites at first and last light and even through the night, but through the day, fish refuse to bite.

If you get the opportunity to fish remote areas or on private property where access for the public is reduced, it’s noticeable that fish are easier to tempt. When guiding, I spend a lot of time and energy moving about so that I am avoiding the crowds and showing lures to fish that may not have seen a lure for a few days. I also seek remote and inaccessible locations where the average fisherman doesn’t have the equipment or drive to pursue.

The good old days pre and post WWII where cod and goldens were able to be caught in massive numbers using relatively simple methods are long gone. Our fish stocks are coming back slowly, but we have a long way to go before the number and size of fish is even close to what it once was. Our children and grandchildren may get to see it, but for the moment at least we just have to fish smarter.

Picture: Tully Forbes and Luke Cruickshank posing with a Mudguts Spinnerbait eating Murray cod from Lake Mulwala


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