Where have all the bait fish gone?: Grant’s story

Photography by Casey Pratt, 2021

Well, we move to the Bluff I think I was 5 years old, and from then we started going down to the beach and swimming, so it has been a long time and there are lots of memories. There were lots of things we use to do, fish and sorts of things. My father taught me to fish, I think I was about 6 years old. I would classify myself as a recreational fisherman. I have fished off the beach, I have fished off a paddle ski and I have fished off a ski-boat and I have caught lots of fish off all three. But I think the best one I had was fishing on a paddle-ski and I caught a 27kg barracuda and it towed me for quite a bit. It towed me between Brighton and Anstey’s so. I landed it, it took me close to ¾ of an hour, and I have just one photo. Fishing has changed, there is a lot of sand that is pushed in close, and it does not get moved out again. So, it kills all the closer reefs, and it chases all the fish away and that is a problem. We are catching way less fish than even 10 years ago, and different species. There are a lot of species that you don’t get close in anymore, you know Pinkies and Wave Garricks. We use to catch things a lot of fish like that off the Bluff, and you don’t see them anymore, things like Spratts you know your bait fish that the bigger fish come and feed on…they are just nonexistent anymore. All along the ledges just here use to be that green seaweed, we use to run along and slide on it, but you don’t see that either anymore. A lot of the plants have also disappeared. The sand covers them, and they die off and then nothing grows anymore. You know we are all trying to make things better for the ocean, but with the amount of pollution and the amount of sand we have close in shore now, you know…its not doing too much good for the ocean.

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