I just managed to get home after a 12 hours rock fishing marathon. It was a fantastic day to see many mates in the dark lighting up the flight path and welcomed the underated Tailors and a school of yellow tails.
I endeavor that this is not a rant at our new anglers who has taken their hobbies to some of the most deadly rock fishing spots on NSW Coast. I hope this message goes out to them and asking them to reconsider their safety and seek expert advice on how not to get hurt or even killed. I also hope to get our expert anglers to be patient with these gentlemen who are new to this sport and plea with you to give them your best available advice to guide them so that they may learn and change their attitudes to recreational fishing, looking after their safety and protect the Australian environment and the future of fishing.
Today, I ventured to one of the most recognised rock fishing spot which had a posted big warning signs "4 deaths" ((with multiple languages attached) and the new compulsory "life jacket must be worn" as of 1st December 2016".
The minute I hit the ledge, I greeted four adult males of Asian and four males of Sri Lankan appearance whom I have never seen before for the last 12 months. None of them was wearing any form of life jacket or fishing cleats. Some were wearing thongs like sandals. A few had alcoholic beers in their hands and sat comfortably on the rock behind where their mates was casting bait into the water. Their reels and rods were considered too short and the setup was not doable for rock fishing and plenty of snagging occurred on the bottom. These gentlemen did not understand when I tried to explained to them that they will be flogged, hurt and maimed by their mate's sinker and hooks. They just laughed it off and carried on. They were constantly reminded by two experienced Caucasian anglers to get off and not to sit behind where other anglers were casting lures. Again it was ineffective. I can foresee a serious punched up coming within minutes or a few broken rods and bottle or two.
I did my best to explain to these gentlemen but neither they understand English nor I can speak any Mandarin or Cantonese. I explained to them not to sit with their back turning toward where the waves was coming as these waves could easily pushes them of them ledge. I showed them the importance of having and wearing a life jacket, fishing cleats and where to buy them. All I got was a returned smiles and a blunted facial (affect). Suddenly, there was three hooked up of reasonable sized (Bonitos and Tailor) landed by the two experienced Caucasian male and the spectators roared. Unexpectedly, I witnessed the crowd then rushed toward the slippery weeded ledges on their thongs with their hooks and sinkers flying and all I can said was "here we go again".
There was no other hook ups for the afternoon and the Sri Lankan gentlemen picked up their gears and left but they conveniently left a few of their empty alcoholic bottles behind. Not to mention flying other items such as plastic bags, tangled mono lines and a puddle of human excrement faeces deposited on the rock walk way (which I personally don't know which gentlemen it belongs to). I have never seen such a rude and disrespected behaviour.
I have only started fishing since January 2016 and thank you to this forum and many experts both on this forum and many others on the field for their guidance. Certainly, I have absorbed their kind advices to surpass many difficulties on the field and learned new skills to not only enjoyed recreational fishing but also to respect others around me and preserve / protect the environment so that the longevity of fishing is available to future generations.
On my final important notes, I wished to refer back to my first paragraph and hope that the expert leaders and new anglers can network to share information and learn from one another. If anyone likes to post their personal opinion, I will be glad to take it on board to share and help the new anglers to get their "Learners" like I did.
Wishing you all a happy new year and many hook ups to come. Tight lines.