We have started sometimes fishing on Wednesday nights. I like it and think that it will become a regular thing. It will give us a nice relaxing evening out and it will give us crabs and more fish to eat.
We have been crabbing a couple of times this year and one night when we were camping over at Herron Point we saw people with nets out. Husband got to talking with one, liked what he heard...and he is now the proud owner of a net so that we too can feed ourselves with more fish.
It is fishing with a gil net and of course there are all sorts of rules and regulations that go with it. For this fishing I agree with the rules. Where we go you are allowed to net only on Wednesday nights between 4.30 and midnight and only during a limited season. The most people we have seen out there with their nets is maybe a dozen but once or twice there were only us and a couple of others. There seem to be always more crabbers than fisherpeople. When we go we get there around 4ish, pick a spot and set up our little area. Net is not allowed in before 4.30, that's husbands job then back to shore to wait. The net has to be checked every hour but we go out more often especially if we see splashing which means that a fish is caught.
The fish is removed from the net and put in a bag. That's husbands job too. There are limits to how many fish you are allowed, 30 mixed types this year, 2012, but regular checking with Fisheries is advised as there seem to be regular changes to any fishing rules.
We needed to buy the net and a licence with 30 fish allowed per licence. ..It wasn't a cheap setup but we will have fresh fish on a regular basis. Mostly mullet so far and as they are an oily fish and one of the healthiest we think it is worth it. Whiting is another fish caught and others as well but I cannot remember what type. The licence has to be renewed every year, $40 each this year. Not sure how much the fish is per kilo but I think we'd come out on top if we had to buy it. We probably wouldn't buy it so not sure if we will be ahead dollar wise but we eat fish and this is another way of ensuring we will have a good supply.
The husband puts the net out. He says it's not hard, he just walks out putting the net in the water as he goes. There is a float with his licence number and a weight on each end. To pull the net in he removes the weight from the ends and pulls the net in, feeding it into it's box.
Cleaning there or bring the fish home to clean depends on how fast they are caught. If we only get a few each time we check the net he makes a start while waiting to go out again. If we get a school going through all at once then we don't stay as long and he cleans them when we get home.
This lot were caught over a few hours so brought home to be cleaned and filleted.
These heads were inside some of the bigger Mullet. No wasting here and these were put into bags to be used as bait. Heads from the catch are bagged up and used as crab bait when they take the boat out and use nets for that.
If we end up with heaps of fish we call an elderly friend to see if he wants to come down and get some. He appreciates this as he was buying this fish and now doesn't need to. He also now has no need to buy crab bait like he was doing as he too now uses the fish heads for bait.
Below is the catch from the first time we went. Caught a massive school as soon as the net was in and so were home within an hour.
Depending on which part of the estuary we are we can swim or walk or just sit and watch. This particular evening the daughter and grandaughter were with us. She was having a great time watching blowies swim around and we managed to catch a few with a scoop net. Here she is letting them go again.
We wont be going out every Wednesday but we hope to have enough fish to last through the non netting season, some for us, some for other family members.