Archive for category Fish Pictures
During the 1970′s Cairns was put on the international map by big game fishermen. Before this the town was a sleepy fishing port and the only tourists were Australians who made the long trek north on a narrow sealed road we called The Crystal Highway (littered with broken car windscreens, one every 2 Km).
The story how black marlin were found as they spawned along the edge of the continental shelf is best told by the experts.
The changes to the town of Cairns between 1972 and 1982 were enormous. Free or very cheap vacant land given by the state government allowed international hotel’s and a resort at Port Douglas to be fast-tracked.
Today Cairns is the gateway to The Great Barrier Reef. Previously the major gateways had been further south.
In this collage are the boat skippers who went searching for big fish, Peter Bristow, Peter B Wright and Dennis ‘Brizakka’ Wallace.
The octopus have not killed anyone lately – which is a wonder. It was almost an annual event years ago. A common resident of Sydney Harbour these tiny octopus will kill a man with their bite. The ‘victim’ dies quickly. It is obviously very unwise to handle a live Blue Ring octopus.
The rings glow bright blue on the legs as a series of tiny disc-shaped circles rather than rings around the entire leg.
A science-themed story is contained in our FATHOM magazine No.3
The Late John LeBrun pictured
John LeBrun (a professional camera equipment salesman and diver) taught us a couple of points about photography he had learned from his service in the air force.
“When you focus on an object, the area that is actually in focus (also called depth of field) is 1/3 in front and 2/3 behind the point that you’ve focused on”.
You can use this knowledge to some advantage at times.
Generally we were all self-taught photographers. The most difficult part in the learning days was getting a good exposure, especially underwater. Most divers tended to over-expose pictures.
Today the camera’s are automatic in this respect but sometimes adjustments make a nice difference. Sunsets are better if the exposure is make darker, for example.
Vic Ley was filmed by me spearing this Black Cod in 1969 at Fish Rock, South West Rocks – now a sanctuary. The sequence appeared in my first film Aquarius – People and Wildlife of the Sea but was dropped from later editions. Today it should be of interest to environmentalists. Vic Ley remembers how prolific marine life use to be at this now famous scuba location. New South Wales mid north coast.
Brian Davies was a professional fisherman, surfer and free diver who lived is a cabin at Seal Rocks, New South Wales. His father was a local pioneer professional fisherman – a true man of the sea as was Brian. Brian took a job in Japan which involved working with toxic chemicals. A few years later, back in Australia his liver packed up and Brian passed away – just a short time after his father.
The young fellow takes a Rock Blackfish ashore for his father, Geoff ‘Boots’ Towner, our long term friend.
Conditions for ‘rock hopping’ are not ideal, as the picture illustrates. A strong NE sea breeze has made the water choppy.
Early morning’s are a better bet for calm conditions although during bthe summer, the NE breeze starts early too.
We were on a diving safari on the New South Wales north coast. A fisherman in a club told us of “a monster” tangled in his deepwater fish trap line. He failed to recognize the catch and was quite frightened of what he saw without a face mask handy.
We helped bring his catch home the next day with our twin 40 hp outboards doing the work his boat could not handle.
As fishermen need to do, the ‘monster’ was disposed of – it was a prize catch. The ‘meat’ sent to the fish markets in Sydney, the ‘saw’ retained as a souvenier by the fisherman, the late Keith Knox of Minniewater near Wooli, NSW. He spoke of the encounter for many years as a great adventure.
This is first and only sawfish any of us have seen alive and underwater to this present era. The photograph recently ‘surfaced’ and was signed by the glamourous young model posing with my speargun for this tongue-in-cheek picture.
A satire on ‘divers and their sea trophies’, extendable to all fishermen, all over the world.
Photos: John Harding collection
Press SHIFT then click RELOAD for all the recently updated news on this blog.
Snapper words are coming…….
It was the first black marlin caught at Cairns by Peter Bristow and his crew. Gordon Hallam alongside Peter. Both were beach fishermen at Point Lookout, Queensland beforehand.
After six-solid months of boat building Pete’s \\Avalon\\ was launched and so began his remarkable life on the sea. Japanese advertising agents named him \\The Old Man of the Sea\\ for a whiskey commercial.
We’ve touched on these subjects before. Briefly there were three young game-fishing skippers that went to Cairns and started an industry that became the talk of the world (of big game fishing).
The spin-off for Australia was it put Cairns, then a very sleepy fishing port, on the international tourist map.Large hotels eventually followed and hoards of tourists seeking access to the Great Barrier Reef.
Exact figures on how the catch rates went over the years is another story. During the 1970′s many one thousand pound (or larger) fish were caught and later, many released with tags.
Peter later moved to Pohnape (Fed States Micronesia) then on to the Portuguese island, Madeira, off the west African coast, where he has found a fisherman’s paradise, and a lifestyle most dream of.
“The sailfish shot was about 1980. The water was full of cornflakes after several days of strong NE. Its a shame. You can see it in the shot. That was the time I shot the u/w 16 mm on the sails feeding and jumping on hookup.
I sold it to Malcolm Florence Films for $10,000. He was making fishing films with a Government grant.
I hired a camera from B&S and the bloody thing flooded after two days shooting so I never got much.
They had an underwater cameraman for a whole year and got absolutely nothing, so I was in the right position to make a killing.
He (the late Malcolm Florence) put my stuff into a video called **\\The Boy and the Sailfish\\**. They didn’t give any film credits (for all the purchased material included) at all which ‘pissed me off’ some.
I got the cheque and thats more than a lot of other people got”.
(\\by\\ **Peter Bristow**, \\the former Cairns Queensland charter boat owner-skipper, now based at Madeira\\)
Picture courtesy RJ Taylor collection
The Tweed Heads to Brisbane area was a super-hot spear fishing zone, Australia 1961. While we were seeing Red Morwong and Blue Groper around Sydney, the real underwater champions senior to us in age and experience were seeing giant Black Cod and Queensland Groper in shallow water up north. Pictures published in Australian Skindivers Magazine whetted our desire for a trip north. With friend Vic Ley our dream came true in July 1963 when we quit our jobs and drove north with a boat, outboard and camping gear. We’d swap speared fish and lobsters for food and fuel. The adventure of a lifetime awaited us.
Me with a typical coral trout. Aboard Riversong, a second trip in 1964. Captain Wally Muller and South Australian Brian Rodger in background. We speared thousands of kilo’s of fish during a ten-day voyage in the Capricorn and Bunker Group.
Vic Ley and myself on our first voyage with Wally Muller, August 1963. We speared fish in exchange for a boat ride out to North West Island – where I developed ‘coral poisoning’ in my leg and came close to dying, sulpher tablets pulled me through, probably not with some harm to kidneys.
Ron Taylor and Vic Ley August 1963, Riversong - Wally Muller‘s fishing vessel became legendary in the sixties. We were later to venture to Saumarez Reef in The Coral Sea aboard this small boat in October 1964.
Photo taken with Calypso-phot 35mm underwater camera
**Valerie Taylor** makes an inspection, a cave with cleaner wrasse and a large fish.
Cleaner wrasse are most important to dive tourism sites. These tiny fish attract many species for their service – which is, removing parasites from the gills of any fish that present themselves for this purpose.
Therefore, cleaner wrasse deserve 100% protection from aquarium collectors.
This one might have made a new Australian Spearfishing Record – 17.5 pounds. Not claimed. It was almost under the charter boat when I slipped in from the duck-board. No one else was in the water.
Catching adult eastern rock lobster, especially with scuba, **then go to jail**. (i.e. expect a fine).
Too small is illegal as is too large. The large lobster are the breeders.