FINE FISH: Wayne James out with Mark Patton with a cracker of a trout.
FINE FISH: Wayne James out with Mark Patton with a cracker of a trout. Contributed

Take care of fish by knowing about barotrauma

THESE past few days have been incredible as far as the weather has gone, with smooth seas and light winds.

Along with that we have seen the last quarter of the lunar phase over the weekend with little, wee tides and the fish have certainly come on.

My employer, Mark Patton, ventured to one of his spots in the hunt for nannygai, emperor and whatever else liked to chew on his bait.

He caught the 'whatever else', hooking a number of cod, one of which took a while to get back down after it had a bout of barotrauma.

After much persistence, they did manage to bring the fish back around where it swam freely to the bottom.

Now you can help it when one of these beautiful fish wants to chew on your bait, but keeping it in good nick along with knowing what to do to prevent barotrauma is very important.

Barotrauma is when we lift a fish from high pressure depths to a low pressure atmosphere and the air inside the creature expands, resulting in the swim bladder protruding out of the mouth or eyes.

Divers can also get this - commonly known as decompression sickness.

Some of the TV shows we have in Australia regularly deal with this issue as quite often we see the likes of samson fish being pulled out of 100m or more, off Western Australia, only to be sent back to the bottom on a rig designed to release the fish once it reaches that destination.

In this case, Mark was fishing in only 30m of water and he still had this issue, so it's best to read up about it and look after what we came to enjoy.

We often see this up on Lake Awoonga when pulling a barra out of the depths and they are hard to swim, not only because they are knackered from the fight, but also some have come up from the deep to take the lure and not returned, but instead they have been whisked away to the top.

This week we have a weather pattern which will keep us all pretty close to the coast.

Yesterday afternoon the wind did drop out for a little while, but back up this morning and looks like 15-20 knot south easterly right through the weekend.

Those with RDO and holidays on Monday, Tuesday next week, will be rubbing their hands together, because at the time of writing this it's predicted that come sunrise Tuesday you might be able to water-ski all the way to the reef.

Those few days after the new moon on Friday night should be excellent.

In the meantime, over the weekend we'll be slightly restricted to the sheltered areas.

There are still loads of flathead at the entrances to our creeks and up to the Boyne Bridge at Benaraby.

The gravelly or rubbly bottom had been host for some excellent grunter in the Boyne and also the Calliope.

The Calliope is still fishing very well for blue salmon, jack and the odd barra, but that should improve with the warmer weather heating the water temps up a tad resulting in more active barra.

Up through The Narrows the crabbing has been hit and miss, but there are still some black jew lurking around the structures, along with king salmon and barra out on the flats.

The north end of Curtis Island will be sheltered later in the weekend and the fingermark around Keppel Rocks could be on the chew.

Turkey Beach region has been fishing well with jack, whiting and flathead being put in the esky. Outer Rock off Bustard lighthouse has been yielding some good spanish mackerel.

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