We head off to troll and spin with lures and prawn bait along the sand flats and a sand gutter drop-off where we will target flathead. The trick is to cover a lot of ground with moving bait and you’ll be sure to score.
Within a couple of minutes wack, wack: we get sharp tugs as our bait is taken. We feel the weight and start winding the lines tight and find they have hooked themselves.
After a few short runs they give up and soon we have two in the boat. Between the three of us we catch five or six fish but none is large enough to keep.
We repeat the drift and at the edge of the sandbank I catch a humble bream.
It’s gone all quite so we head off to the inlets and bays up the South West arm to a place known as Gooseberry Bay.
Both banks of the arm are covered with untouched red and grey gums that have grown up in the untroubled environment of the Royal National Park. This park was formally proclaimed on 26 April 1879 and is the world’s second oldest national park after Yellowstone in the United States.
Soft green turfy banks and carpets of bracken reach out towards the water. Waratahs bloom; rock lilies grow and a large Christmas bush stands 20-30 feet high. Nature creates a romantic surrounding for fishing and what we love is the feeling of one on the end of the line.
It’s not too long before we have two little snapper in the boat. Their colour is a reddish golden pink with light grey on their backs and sides.
From spring to early autumn this part of the South-west Arm is noted as a prolific snapper ground and that’s why we came here.
We throw them back and realize that our time is up for today so we head back to the boat shed past the numerous river shacks.