Coffs Harbour February 2011 - Mark Kallman

Bless the Southerlies

In my last Coffs update I was whinging about the sudden change in our fortunes but then the southerlies came through. Oh joy! We had mud one day and a day later, it started to improve. By the weekend things were great and then the news started to get through...


We are lucky to have big numbers of fish but little in the way of diversity or maybe I am just over shooting small rats and mice. The majority of fish speared would be in the 10kg+ range unless there was something very special. By this time of year, all the impressive pelagics are around. Imagine finding a big black ray at 20m with a huge school of  cobia following them. It happens here, when conditions allow and they have.

The first fish that makes us go weak at the knees are wahoo. They have arrived in fair numbers and as conditions improve we should start to see more of them. I had one swim up to my flasher together with a 'couta in 10m of water! Couta are about and their numbers will continue to improve into April. It is not unusual to find several small schools around, in a day of diving. Fishermen take their bag limits regularly but most spearos will limit their take considerably. Makes little sense to load a boat full of fish and have them go rotten. The esky always has a large quantity of ice to keep the fish cold but once it is full, diving is done. Recently we took 7 couta, 2 yellowtail, 3 sangora and a kawakawa in a day of diving. There were schools of couta still about, cobia and kob swimming under us in schools. Anymore fish would have been wasted.

Reports are coming through thick-and-fast of good couta catches at all the usual haunts. It has been necessary to scratch around to find the right conditions but when you do, the diving is great. Just drove over the hill into Coffs and the sea is that deep blue colour that just screams at you to go diving. Off the shelf we have that deep purple water and there are heaps of dorado and marlin giving the gamefishers stick. Most spearos will be concentrating on closer pickings though because the diving is just so good.


1 March sees the new marine park borders come into force. We lost some ground but will still have good access, with one nearshore venue opening up, after being unavailable for at least 5 years. Apparently a great spot for couta but the other fish, like crazy nervous snapper may just be calm enough to get themselves killed at the start of the month.My gear is ready to go on Wednesday and here's hoping the weather is good.

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