Report 9/5/18

Mal McKinlay
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 9/5/18

Post by Nicole Penfold » Fri May 11, 2018 8:50 am

How nice it is, to finally be able to slip a light blanket on of a night, at bed time, instead of a fan or the air con. After our hottest summer on record anyone who is still not convinced about global warming is dead set living under a rock. We now move into the time of year when we have warm sunny days (not stinking hot) and glassy waterways.

The Maroochy has just about lost all its colour from the last 2 months rain and as winter comes on it will become even more clear. This of course means that the big whiting will become more cunning to catch because as the water becomes clearer they become more boat shy. I haven’t fished for whiting on my last 2 trips, but I reckon they are just about ready to clock off for winter.

Where do they go to in winter? Well if you look at my reports from last winter you will see that I discovered big schools of whiting along the beach at Mooloolaba while swimming in the surf. So, I reckon they all head out into the ocean and spend their winter lazing behind the surf break, waiting for the water to warm up again, in spring. Anyway, it’s good to have a change from whiting fishing, with the winter species right on our doorstep (I can’t believe I just wrote that).

By all reports in the local rag, fishos have been nailing sizeable tailor already of a night, at the cod hole, on lures and live baits with jewies mixed in among them. June should see the return of quality bream also. I have been concentrating my efforts on garfish and, so far, I have not had any bream congregating in my berley trail at the back of the boat. I do think their usual winter run could be a bit late this year, because summer hung on for so long. However, the gar have been very accommodating in numbers, if not size. On my last trip I threw back more gar than I kept because they were far too small to eat but I still managed to boat 42 good sized keepers in less than 2 hours fishing (see photo). I know I might sound a bit like a broken record when I speak about these much-underrated fish, but they are just such good value as a table fish. Their small but beautiful white flesh fillets are a gourmet’s delight when cooked in bread crumbs or a light batter…YUM!

Garfish are very finnicky little buggars to clean but after you have done about 2 million of them you get into a good rhythm. First you need a good flexible, sharp knife. Wack the sides off, then nip off the anal fin first (so you don’t forget it), then it’s just a gentle slice under the rib cage and… Walla! a piece of fish worth its weight in gold. I love them done in a light batter. For my batter, I put enough self-raising flour in a bowl for the number of fillets I have to cook (about a cup and a half). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add enough of your favourite beer to make the batter a nice runny consistency. Dust your fillets with SR flour first, then into the batter, then drop them straight into a light olive oil at a temperature that makes it bubble as soon as it enters the oil (critical…don’t let the oil get too hot). Then the most important thing, if there is any beer left in your stubby, drink it before you open the next one.

One of my favourites is, Beer Battered Garfish on a bed of fluffy steamed rice, garnished with a nice sweet and sour sauce poured over the top. Crickey! I’m salivating just writing about it. Now if that doesn’t get you inspired to give the garries a go…nothing will.

At the moment we are on the change over of summer to winter species but all local media reports say that there are still quality flathead being taken in the lower reaches on live baits and lures.

For more info email me on malcolmmckinlay0@gmail.com. Good Luck, Mal McKinlay

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