EASTER SEAFOOD: Where to buy and what’s biting

SOME people excel at catching fish, others are better in the kitchen, and the majority of both enjoy eating them.

The Easter long weekend will be different in a lot of ways, but seafood is one tradition that will carry on.

It's difficult for Gladstone Fish Market manager Megan Whittingham to predict how COVID-19 will affect what is usually one of her busiest periods, but she's prepared for a lot of people to come through the door.

On the menu are banana prawns, ocean king prawns, Moreton Bay bugs, mud crabs and fresh Tasmanian oysters and salmon.

Ms Whittingham is also hoping for supplies of fresh blue salmon and grunter.

"We see massive sales in fish," she said of typical Easter trade.

Gladstone Fish Markets manager Megan Whittingham.
Gladstone Fish Markets manager Megan Whittingham.

She'll be eating hers crumbed and deep fried with salad, chips and garlic bread.

The market will be open from Thursday to Saturday and closed on Sunday and Monday.

For freshly cooked seafood, HotBox is open between 11am-2pm and 5pm-8pm from Thursday to Saturday.

Queenslanders are still allowed to fish for food providing they abide by social distancing measures and don't travel any more than necessary.

As a general rule, when the butterflies are out, the fish are biting.

According to Greg O'Reilly from Pat's Tackle World, there's plenty of both at the moment.

School mackerel are plentiful and there have been reports of metre-plus queenfish, 15kg tuna, sightings of feeding spanish mackerel and good numbers of coral trout, red throat and nannygai.

There are also prawns around and mud crabs are on the improve after a few weeks of slim pickings.

 

Mr O'Reilly said it was important for people heading out on the water to make sure their boats were in good safety order.

"VMR (Volunteer Marine Safety) are doing call-outs, but they have to put a crew together and that takes time," he said.

Many local fishers took the opportunity to catch a feed on the weekend when the weather improved.

"People were trying to restock empty freezers after such a long windy period of about six weeks," he said.

Tackle shops are not immune from the downturn in trade, and Mr O'Reilly said bricks-and-mortar retail needed support more than ever.

It supports local businesses and the shops are a good spot for advice.

"We don't play the 'it's a secret fishing spot' game. I'm sure the boys keep a few marks to themselves, but we're happy to share," he said.

Tackle World is open over the four-day Easter period and people can shop in store or ring up and have goods delivered to the carpark.



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