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More FADs!

THE seemingly relentless north east winds felt all along the NSW coast from October through to December is an obvious indication of the rapid warming of the land as summer approaches. This usually happens just ahead of the inevitable pouring of the East Australian Current down the NSW coast.

With this change of season, the focus of anglers soon turns to summer, warm water and the pelagics which appear in it. The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) also turns its attention to getting its array of fish aggregating devices (FADs) back out offshore ready to intercept this warm water conveyor belt.

The DPI FADs Project, using funds from the Recreational Fishing Trust is now heading into its 13th year of operation, starting way back in 2002/03 with 5 FADs. If last year’s FADs season was anything to judge by, this year is already shaping up to be just as memorable with steady reports received of dolphinfish being encountered as early as September. The only difference this season is that there will be more FADs out there than ever before to choose from!

Following the bumper year experienced all along the NSW coast around the FADs over 2013/14, the DPI received a large number of requests from clubs and also individual anglers for more FADs. As a result, for 2014/15 four new FADs have been added to this ever expanding FADs list. Yamba, Nambucca Heads, Shellharbour and Ulladulla all now have a FAD to call their own. As this is the first year for each of these four sites, DPI is very keen to get reports back from anglers as to how the devices are performing. You can send fishing reports, including photos if you have them, to fisheries.fads@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

As with every season, FADs will from time to time go adrift. The best way to stay up to date with the latest news is to sign-up to the FADs email update. The update is a free email service provided solely to keep fishers informed about when the FADs are installed, if they go missing and most importantly when they’ve been replaced.

To sign up to this great service or get hold of the GPS coordinates for your local FAD, simply visit the Fisheries NSW webpage at: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/recreational/saltwater/fads

The FADs program is run each year using funds from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust.

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