Overseas trip nice, but there's no place like home
ISN'T it amazing what a decent break can do for the well-being?
As you will be probably aware my good mate Pat Laws has been helping me out over the past four to five weeks while Jen and the I have been travelling around the Mediterranean on a mighty big ship, waking up in a different port and quite often a different country every morning through the Greek Islands, Turkey and Italy.
Many thanks Pat I owe you a beer or three.
You kind of pinch yourself to realise where you are and how inviting that crystal clear blue water of the Med is until you dip your toe in it…brrr.
You look at the vast array of seafood dishes in the recipe books with fish like swordfish, sardines, anchovies and more.
Then you visit these places and you realise that the fish they are scaling are half the legal size of what we consider a decent fish here.
Or the tuna they catch is on display and also slabs are being cut off for someone to purchase at a market.
Our food safety program comes into play with me after 22 years of serving tucker at Caltex Boyne River, but for some reason no one is standing back from purchasing fresh seafood and everyone is getting right into it.
Most know that the Med has been dramatically over-fished and unregulated - netting takes everything.
Before I start talking about the local scene and how good we have it here, I was at Mykonos Island in the Greek group of islands.
Now, Mykonos is an island which is a haven for artists, nudie beaches, and cruise ships.
In the centre of the small village bay was the best cleaning bench I have ever seen measuring about six metres long.
Either side was on a slight tilt and the whole set up was under a sail either side.
I did a wee clip up for the Gladstone Regional Council hinting that the Bray Park Boat ramp could do with an upgrade such as this.
If any of you saw the picture you'd also note that the ladies were scaling and gutting the catch!
Righto, locally things have been fairly good with plenty of 16-20kg Spanish mackerel about, but today and tomorrow might rule a lot of people off the water with strong winds and rain forecast through to at least Saturday and maybe a bit on Sunday.
But there after though Mackerel cruising through the region could be in danger as conditions really improve.
Also with the full moon now been and gone we are right into the last quarter and the tides also dropping off.
Come Monday after lunch onwards, many of you with days off should be taking full advantage of the conditions.
There might be a little westerly in the breeze, but don't let that stop you from chasing a few pelagics.
Offshore things should be reasonably good as well, with reasonably flattish seas and the opportunity to smash those deeper spots for some reds and pearl perch.
In close, the barra are starting to move as the water warms up a tad.
The fingermark are a bit more active around those structures so make sure your gear is up to scratch.
Up through Colosseum, 7 mile, and Turkey Beach, the whiting are about in good numbers as are the flathead, with a few good keepers being nabbed at the Boyne River mouth and in 1770 creek.
Getting back to the comparisons I have made with the Med, I showed a few photos to various local fishermen while over there, and their eyes popped out of their heads.
For us an exotic place to visit is their back yard, yet they dream of being able to visit our back yard, which is exotic to them.
How lucky are we?