Mullet season has hit the Sunshine Coast with this batch caught off Kings Beach over the weekend.
Mullet season has hit the Sunshine Coast with this batch caught off Kings Beach over the weekend. Robyn Hills

Tonnes of Coast fish just 'waiting to be caught'

THE annual winter "mullet run" has arrived on the Sunshine Coast with thousands of fish "sitting there waiting to be caught".

For these fishermen who catch them, it is like shooting fish in a barrel and they're been doing it for generations.

Over the years, the Caloundra area has produced on average 60 or 80 tonnes of mullet each year.

Last year saw an incredible 98 tonnes caught.

Raymond Chaplin and his crew will be on the beaches daily for the next two months.

They'll be pulling in fish and loading them into trucks for hours on end, on the weekend at Kings Beach, yesterday Dicky.

"It is a bit slower this year compared to last year's," he said.

"We're not expected to reach the heights, more like just a normal season this time."

Members of the Chaplin family have fished in the region since Fredrick "Charlie" Chaplin obtained a fishing licence in 1911.

He and his sons fished the Pumicestone Passage and supplied fish to both the American and Australian armies stationed at Caloundra during World War II.

 

Kevin Cannon is another seasoned angler who gets a buzz for the mullet season.

"Winter time the mullet school up and travel north and hold up in rivers," Mr Cannon said.

"They can come to the Coast from as far as Richmond or Clarence rivers in NSW, or Moreton Bay.

"They come out and travel when the south-westerly winds are blowing.

"We just sit and wait for them, we can be there all day catching with the nets.

"Some go to the local markets, some are exported to Japan, Saudi Arabia, Spain."

While Mr Cannon won't give away too many family secrets, he said patience was key.

"And being able to see them and put the net in the right place," he said.

"The blokes who do it know what they are doing. There's a lot more involved in it than the general public see."



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