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Fishing Fanatics

Fishing Fanatics

For everything fishing on the Gold Coast

With more recreational fishers having
a virtual social meeting place, fishing
for a cause has never been more
exciting. PETER KER, the creator of
the Facebook community Gold Coast
Fishing Fanatics, and lead facilitator
of Tilapia Busters, has become a
fishing fanatic for a cause.

HOW DOES A MEMBER BENEFIT FROM BEING PART OF FISHING FANATICS ON FACEBOOK?

As a member, you get access to two free fishing events each year with the Gold Coast Tilapia Busters events loaded with prizes, weekly fishing reports to find out what’s been biting and where, plus the chance to meet like-minded people and make new friendships. Interestingly, our membership numbers have been growing consistently by about 10% a year.

HOW HAS FISHING AND YOUR GROUP EVOLVED SINCE WE LAST INTERVIEWED YOU?

The last few years have been challenging due to COVID. To adapt, we formed a Private Group on Facebook, Gold Coast Fishing Fanatics Group, so our members can actually get together and interact. Traditionally, our page content is moderated and selected on what we feel will interest our members. In this new group, our members get to see a lot more content and opportunity to engage with other people sending in material. With additional requirements for COVID-safe plans for our Tilapia Busters fishing events, the Gold Coast City Council has taken responsibility and helped us conduct a COVID-safe event.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF MANAGING SO MANY MEMBERS?

Moderating such a large group of diverse individuals does have its challenges. We have a set of rules individuals must agree to before becoming members, and we regularly moderate content. In rare cases, we do remove members who are repeat offenders – such as violating the page and group’s code of conduct. But on the whole, all our members are courteous and helpful.

My personal motivation has changed over time, too. Currently, what motivates me is working with Gold Coast City Council, in particular, with Division 11 Cr Hermann Vorster, who has been a magnificent supporter of the event.

Gold Coast Fishing Fanatics run two Gold Coast Tilapia Busters fishing competitions, usually in March, and the next event is on November 6 at Clear Island Waters, Robina.

The Gold Coast Tilapia Busters event is the biggest pest fish event in Southeast Queensland.

Run by both Gold Coast Fishing Fanatics and My Catch Australia, the event was launched originally in 2015.

The event is a free community event designed to raise community awareness of tilapia’s devastating effect on the environment. The day aims to remove tilapia and other introduced fish (Goldfish, Koi and European carp) from the lakes. We then introduce 10,000 Australian bass fingerlings back into the system. The aim of the event is to improve bass numbers while reducing pest numbers. Mozambique tilapia (Mozambique mouth-brooder) is an introduced fish that competes with our native species, damages aquatic plants and increases water turbidity (cloudiness). The event is family-friendly.

At the event, we have fishing and pest displays, Biosecurity Queensland and City of Gold Coast exhibits. On the day, there will be a bait store selling worms and tackle. The competition has a list of prize divisions that can be won.

GOLD COAST FISHING REPORT

The Gold Coast has hundreds of kilometres of waterways from saltwater to freshwater. The warm salt water currents offer a variety of species for all types of world-class angling experiences. The fresh water dams and tributaries offer the astute angler unforgettable fishing for Australian bass and saratoga.

Lately, fishing out at sea has been very productive with good catches of snapper and jew fish, being recorded. Estuary fishing has been sporadic with few bait fish in the system, but that should improve shortly when the weather warms up.

In the months of October to December, you can expect to catch snapper, teraglin, cobia, tailor, tuskfish, mulloway, tuna, cod, Moses perch, pearl perch, wrasse, amberjack and kingfish.

So get out there now and have a go!

 

Published in print October-December 2021