Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Grey Area

There is a grey area between bass and bream that attract a particular type of angler, the type that likes grey areas. 

EP's are 'The' fish of that grey area and EP fishos are the grey area anglers. I consider myself a grey area fisho, I love bass fishing and dedicate a good amount of my life to the pursuit of drinking water bronze fish, but in pursuit of bass I very often find my self fishing up estuaries. 

In doing so I find I am catching bream, whiting, flatties and eventually EP's before I find bass when the water becomes drinkable. The moveable transition from EP water to bass water can be fine and almost indiscernible at times, I love this zone and more and more find myself seeking it out.

My recent fishing mate Mike is another such fisho and we share a love of the intertidal zone and the search for consistent and trophy grey water fish.

EP's are habitual fish that respond to many variables; water level, seasonality, salinity, and tides....they are very hard to predict. I have landed dozens and sometimes hundreds of these fish in a season yet I consider I know little of them and have struggled to improve on my PB after more than 10 years of chasing them. My latest effort, a 44.5 cm model, a mere 0.5 cm improvement after several hundred EP's and several years trying.....a lean large headed fish indicating an old fish with it's breeding days behind it.

Mike did a research project on EP's as a young fisheries student a few years ago, his knowledge of these formidable fish is impressive, this trip yielded a 44 cm PB for him also despit his strong background in catching EP's.

Which came first???...the EP is the precursor to the bass and ep's in the 40 cm range are likely to be 40 year old fish in many instances. Such fish deserve respect and I would encourage those that pursue them practice catch and release as habitat destruction has reduced their distribution dramatically over the years to the point that they are now becoming scarce.. 

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