Gladstone angler says ‘fishing is not dead’ at port
THERE is a flipside to losing access to good harbour fishing spots, says angler Darryl Branthwaite.
The Observer Top Spots columnist said security restrictions around port industry sites were not a bad thing for fishermen.
"The restrictions have created habitats for breeding," he said.
"All you hear is the splash of drool as fishermen go past these areas."
Mr Branthwaite made his comments following a story in this paper about a fisherman being fined for trespass on land controlled by Gladstone Ports Corporation.
However, Mr Branthwaite said private landholders were also putting in access restrictions.
He said privately owned land, used by anglers to access fishing spots, was also being shut off because of new owners and fishermen "leaving a bloody big mess".
"It's also getting harder to access spots because of the risk to owners of litigation, of being sued," he said.
"It's nothing to do with keeping places off limits, it's the way of the world."
Mr Branthwaite said with land access getting harder, people should buy a boat.
"We are so blessed. There are multiple places to go."
Tannum Sands fishermen Mick Megaw and Steve Griffin said there were still lots of great fishing places offshore.
"The fishing is not dead here," Mr Megaw said.
But he said some areas like the foreshore around Turkey Beach had been fenced off by landholders.
"I was very sad years ago when we were stopped from fishing off Auckland Wharf."
He called it "harsh" that a fisherman was fined on GPC land.
"I don't like these restrictions that close off parts of the harbour. It's unfair," he said.
"It's a fisherman's dream, sitting on a wharf fishing in deep water."