Hooked up on Diamond Creek

As mentioned in a previous column, I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of weeks in the South Island of New Zealand in October.

It really is a stunning part of the world and fly fishing for trophy trout in the South Island is one of my absolute favourite things to do.

Hence I find myself back there every couple of years, pitting my modest fly fishing skills against some clever fish, and often some ugly weather.

Choosing when to visit the South Island is a tricky one – get there in October or November and you get the first crack at the fish in the new season.

However, this is also the most unpredictable time of the year for weather in the South Island, while visiting after Christmas usually ensures perfect weather, but by then the fish have also seen a lot of anglers and can be nigh on impossible to tempt.

Action at the Hobie Australian Tournament final in Mandurah

West Australian anglers were to the fore in the Hobie Australian Championship kayak fishing tournament final last weekend.

The catch-and-release bream event was held in Mandurah over three days and pitted 45 of the country’s best kayak fishers against each year.

It was the ninth season of the tournament and the first time the final had been extended to three days.

A strong contingent of local anglers was joined by a number of eastern staters, all having earned their spots through qualification rounds across Australia throughout the year.

Anglers travel from across the globe to catch permit around Exmouth

Exmouth Gulf would have to be one of my favourite places to fish.

Although some would view it as a poor relation to the spectacular bluewater fishing on offer in the area, the gulf has a magical appeal all of its own and holds a special place in the heart of many visiting and local anglers.

In recent years I’ve been lucky enough to fish it at least once a year and it never ceases to amaze, offering exciting shallow water fishing around its edges for giant trevally, queenfish, golden trevally, permit and even barramundi.

Plans to close the Canal Rocks boat ramp

Recfishwest, the peak body for recreational fishing in WA, has hit out at plans to close the Canal Rocks boat ramp.

For many years this ramp has provided important access to the waters off this area, not just for anglers but also for marine rescue groups.

However, the , the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) recently announced it was considering closing the ramp, citing safety concerns.

This has angered many sections of the local community and resulted in a large public rally being held at the ramp last month.

Getting into trout fishing can be quite daunting

I've received several emails and queries about trout fishing in recent weeks, so I thought I’d offer some freshwater fishing tips.

For many people, getting into trout fishing can be quite daunting and it is hard to know where to start.

I cut my teeth at Waroona Dam more than 30 years ago, catching trout on fly and trolled metal lures when this spot was at its peak.

I really didn’t know much else about trout in WA, but read Neil Coy’s Freshwater Fishing in South-West Australia time and again, such was my thirst for more knowledge.

It wasn’t until a few years later that I had a driver’s licence and started doing more trout fishing.

My goal was to try for them in rivers as well, and guided by info found in Fishing the Wild West, I started with the streams around Waroona.

Lo and behold, the first spot I tried I caught two big rainbows on bladed Celta lures, and I was instantly hooked on trout fishing.

A common catch at the Mackerel Islands

The annual Western Angler Mackerel Islands Seafari was held last month and was once again a very fishy occasion.

Around 35 anglers descended on Thevenard Island for the week and they were rewarded with some typically good fishing.

A wide variety of species were caught, with some of the best action coming in the shallows around the various islands in the Mackerels chain.

Steve Hart from Tackle HQ teamed up with Dave Quigley and the team spent the entire week fishing 6-10kg gear in a few metres of water on the latter’s Bar Crusher.

They mainly cast sinking stickbaits such as Shimano Oceas and Ima Barbarosas, as well as the hand-made Iredtank lures from local fisho Isaac Tancred, and were rewarded with some exceptional action.

Good polarised sunglasses are essential to success in New Zealand.

I tell you, I was spotting raccoons!

Keen fans of Seinfeld will recall the episode called The Glasses when the lord of the idiots, George Costanza, was feted by Jerry for his ability to squint his way down to 20-30 vision while driving after he lost his prescription glasses.

As we walked the rivers of New Zealand last month chasing trout I was feeling a certain kinship with George as I triumphantly spotted countless brown and rainbows in the many waterways we fished.

But unlike Cantstandzya, it wasn’t squinting that did the trick for spotting the fish on my latest visit to one of my favourite fishing destinations, rather it was a timely change in lens colour in my sunglasses after the first couple of days in the South Island.

I’ve always preferred rose-coloured lenses for my polarised fishing sunglasses, which are simply an essential tool if you want or need to see what is happening in the water around you.