WHILE the escape of some 20,000 kingfish from a commercial farm has been a bonanza for professional and recreational fishers alike, it’s a different story when it comes to prawns.
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Friction of barnacles during recent monster swells could very well have been the cause of net failure at the trial farm some 7km off the Port.
The good news is that a few thousand of the fish have been reclaimed.
Apparently, they hung around the site and wanted to get back inside to be fed!
Wild kingfish stocks have soared since the very effective commercial traps have been banned.
These traps used to be suspended beneath the surface and were covered with shade-cloth which attracted the fish.
Currently, the fish are swarming around the reefs and headlands and are being caught by spearfishers, professionals and amateurs in record numbers.
An ‘exclusion zone’ has been proclaimed around the farm and authorities are worried that the plague of kingfish could lay waste to the marine parks as they hoover up anything that moves.
Meanwhile, our prawners have never seen it so bad with very little action in the Hunter River.
Long time professional Robert Hamilton puts it this way, “We need a major rain event to make them run.
“Without this it’s just not worthwhile going out.”
“I had a trial shot recently and returned with hardly enough prawns for bait for my son to go fishing with,” Mr Hamilton told News Of The Area.
By Geoff WALKER