This week I got plenty of bites, unfortunately they were not of the fishy variety.
They were from some of the biggest and most persistent mosquitoes I have had the misfortune to encounter — as big as jumbo jets, as hungry as a ravenous lion, and with teeth as big as those of the legendary sabre-tooth tiger.
They dived headlong through a cloud of commercial-grade insect repellent as if it was a Dior perfume to plunge their pointy proboscis into my tender flesh.
We have had ideal weather conditions for these blood-suckers to breed up in huge numbers and even during sunlight hours they were ready for a feed.
So be warned, if you plan to go anywhere near water in the next few weeks, wear clothes that will protect from these parasites, and get yourself some industrial-strength repellent.
Apart from the annoyance of their itchy bites, there are some that carry diseases and viruses causing serious illnesses, including encephalitis and Ross River fever to name just a couple.
Around the traps
Bites of the fishy variety were not so numerous despite conditions being good to wet a line.
Those I did have were not a serious attempt by a fish to get a decent feed.
They gave me the impression they were silver perch and as we all know they have a tiny mouth and will be content to drive you mad as they just pick away at your bait.
Having said that, a friend managed to catch a couple of nice healthy cod around the Jordan’s Bend area of the Goulburn River, one of which was just a couple of centimetres from being a keeper.
Other reports from around the region have likewise been reasonable with cod and yellowbelly being caught.
Speaking of yellowbelly, Mick the yellowbelly king from Stanhope continues in his quest to beat last year’s haul of fish.
He has been catching them two and three at a time while fishing around his area in an undisclosed secret spot.
Lake Eildon is fishing well but be warned — the annual influx of holidaymakers has begun and, despite its vast area, expect the waterways to be crowded with boats.
The same goes for all areas in our region.
As this is my final tale before Santa arrives, you better get that wish list finished in a hurry.
Remember you can’t have too many rods, reels, lures or other odds and ends relating to the noble art of fishing.
Get your orders in now.
Saltwater fishing is going gangbusters and, according to Rod Lawn and Peter Smallwood from Adamas Fishing Charters at Queenscliff, a Christmas dinner can be perked up with baked snapper on the table.
They are getting good hauls of them at present. Rod said all the usual spots around the bay and offshore near Barwon Heads were fishing well.
Rod said there had been signs of kingfish appearing around the rip and also off the Point Lonsdale lighthouse.
He said while it was still a little early for them to be around in numbers, the signs were encouraging.
They were under the schools of salmon and deep-running lures and live bait were worth a try, he said.
Peter said some horse-sized fish had been taken off Mornington, which is about a half-hour run up the bay from Queenscliff, and some good fishing could be had on the way back, including flathead and whiting around St Leonards and along the edge of the shipping lanes.
He said snapper were biting along the rubble bed at Hastings and along the edge of the shipping lanes, and gummy shark were being caught in the deep water mainly using fresh fillets of salmon or squid for bait.
Eden is getting ready for the annual inflow of holidaymakers, according to John Liddell.
He said the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, which gets under way on New Year’s Day, was a magnet for yachting people, but it was also a great time to go fishing around the area.
He said snapper, morwong and other reef fish were being caught along the inshore reefs and action off the shelf was now starting to get busy with some marlin being sighted and tagged.
John said kingfish were also being caught, mainly in the Green Cape Area.
He said anglers were also being pestered by huge schools of couta that were smashing lures being used for more desirable fish.
At Narooma, Graham Cowley said it was also holiday time with tourists filling the region. He said charter operators were reporting good hauls of reef fish, flathead from along the sandy bottom, as well as kingfish and marlin off the shelf to the north of Montague Island.
Fishing the lake was also a worthwhile proposition with big flathead and bream being caught around the oyster leases, he said.
At Flinders Island it is all go, according to James Luddington. He said he was catching gummy shark and flathead around the islands as well as some snapper, salmon and an occasional kingfish. He said most of the action was around Chapel Island and Lady Baron.
Finally on behalf of Rod, Peter, John, Graham and James, have a happy and safe Christmas.
If you will be driving, drive carefully, take plenty of rests and don’t speed.