QUICK GUIDE TO FISHING IN THE WILD
Ever dreamt of escaping the hustle and bustle of urban life but not sure where to start? Are you super keen to explore Australia’s stunning countryside and embark on an adventure in search of Australian native fish? Well, with a bit of planning and preparation, it’s not nearly as difficult as you might think. Here are some tips on preparation and gear essentials that will help you break free of the daily grind and get into the wild.
THE THREE Ps: PINPOINT, PLAN AND PROCEED
PINPOINT YOUR LOCATION WITH GOOGLE EARTH GOODNESS
WOW is all I can say. Google Earth (GE) has revolutionised the world for us fishos. High-resolution satellite imagery at your fingertips means there are very few geographical secrets. You can discover hidden creeks and waterholes, you can identify access points and you can even spot coastal reefs and outcrops. Never has there been a more appropriately designed tool for the exploratory or daydreaming fisher. GE is essential tool NUMERO UNO for backcountry exploration. Download it, master it and reap the benefits.
Research your target species thoroughly. Australian bass, Murray cod or trout will be common targets in temperate waters, while sooty grunter, jungle perch and barramundi are the likely contenders in the tropics. Use Google Earth to pinpoint waterways that are likely to hold fish and start putting a plan into place to explore.
PLANNING IS THE SECRET SECRETS OF SMOOTH SAILING
Think about entry and exit points. Can you enter the system upstream and safely exit downstream or do you need to backtrack along the same path? Keep in mind that backtracking poses psychological challenges in knowing that the area has already been fished. On the return leg, the excitement and anticipation has diminished and the trek feels much longer and harder. Make sure you allow enough time for the return leg if you’re on a day trip.
A canoe is also a great means of exploring many waterways. Park your mate’s car at a planned exit point (bridges and road crossings usually provide good access) and then drive your car and canoe to a launch spot upstream. Work your way downstream until you reach the first car and then you have a means to get back to the drop-off vehicle.
Consider all of the potential dangers in the location you intend to fish. Are there crocodiles? Is there phone reception? Are there exit points along the way?
Make sure you hike with an adequately prepared buddy and inform someone staying in civilisation of your trip and expected return time. Carry some basic first aid equipment, a GPS, plenty of water to avoid dehydration and try to have a means of emergency communication.
To ward off snakes and warn them of your approach, shuffle or make noise along the track, especially around leaf litter. I’ve had some very close encounters. Obviously don’t enter or get close to the water if there are crocs lurking.
PROCEED WITH RIVER RAMPAGE
Once you’ve carefully thought through your plan, start locking in dates and times for your adventure. It’s also a wise idea to keep a close eye on weather predictions because flash flooding can quickly turn a gentle stroll or paddle into a white water rampage in a very short period of time.
Relax, enjoy the scenery, catch plenty of fish and have an adventure. Go nail ‘em.
Is there anything you would like to add to this article? Share your experience with everyone through the comments section below.