By Kevin Tyler
It’s hard to believe that we have less than seven weeks of winter left and we will soon be reminded there are only so many shopping days until Christmas. The days are growing longer and it also means we have more sunlight, which brings me to today’s topic — skin protection.
I have a friend who has just had treatment to his face that sounded quite painful but necessary to make sure that odd spots did not develop into skin cancers.
While it is cool we often do not think about covering up to protect from sunburn, but the weather is drying to the skin and reflected sunrays can still be harmful.
On my recent fishing trip to Portland, we stepped off the boat with a tingle on our faces which we blamed as being windburn, but in reality it was reflected UV rays — and they can cause cancers.
Australia still has one of the highest incidents of skin cancer in the world despite an ongoing campaign to alert us to the dangers of getting a tan.
Even at this time of year, the message should still be heeded, so cover up and use sunscreen to protect your skin.
So in the words of Syd the Seagull, ‘‘Slip, Slop, Slap; Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat’’ — and don’t forget the back of your hands and arms when using sun block.
In our region, it has been a quiet time for fishing. River levels are high at the moment due to releases of water going through the Goulburn and Campaspe rivers. This has made the water dirty so bait is the best method, with worms the best bait to use. A bunch of garden worms dropped alongside a snag will get the best results.
Some cod have been caught upstream of the Broken River in the Goulburn and also in the Murray near Ulupna Island and the Barmah Rapids, but generally fishing has been a little on the slow side.
I am yet to see the hint of yellow in the trees lining the rivers that means the wattles are blooming. Possibly in another week or so they will, and then it will be time to get ready for the yellowbelly to come on the bite.
My old fishing mate Bob Darley used to say that when the wattles bloomed it was time to chase yellowbelly.
The most productive spots are still Eildon and Dartmouth. While you can catch trout at both locations, Eildon does offer a little more variety with cod, redfin and yellowbelly. Try the river arms for the best results and deep-diving lures near the wall for cod.
Fishing at Dartmouth is also good and trolling a Ford Fender trailing a bait or lure is the best method; hot spots include the Dart Arm as well as the Eight Mile, Larson’s Cutting and the bay near the boat ramp.
Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters set some sort of record this week when he bagged out on tuna in 20 minutes while fishing with a group of six early this week. The trip to the fishing spot and return to the wharf took longer than getting the fish into the boat.
Rod said he expected the tuna to stay in the area for at least a couple of months.
He said he’d had reports of flathead and squid from around Queenscliff and an occasional snapper off Barwon Heads.
From Eden, John Liddell said the boys from Freedom Charters were still getting good hauls of reef fish along the coast from Boyd’s Lookout to Green Cape.
He said they were also getting among an occasional school of kingfish, using knife jigs and live bait.
John said some early reports of bluefin tuna being caught off the shelf had started to reach him, but he said the water temperature was still too low to attract schools of bait fish.
At Narooma, Graham Cowley said most of the action was still along the inshore reefs with snapper, morwong and other reef fish being boated.
Graham said big schools of salmon were being located along the surf beach and anglers were catching good-sized fish using silver lures and whole pilchards.
He said when it was too rough to go offshore, fishing inside the lake was an option, and anglers using soft plastics and hard-body lures as well as bait were catching bream and flathead mainly around the oyster leases and other structures.