Now the NFZ concept was roughly 15 years in the making and was carried through by a handful of passionate and dedicated volunteers. As I came in on the tail-end of this lobbying etc, I can’t really take the credit for the Mackay zone getting up. However, I am now responsible for coordinating data surveys within the NFZ to quantify these zones and prove that they are working. This is extremely important to justify their cause. This is being done via boat ramp surveys and getting fisherman to fill out a simple data sheet with their catches. Well surprise, surprise – people are catching a stack more fish, bigger fish and less time (effort) taken to catch them. Who would have thought… 😉 I have fished the NFZ many times since implementation and the whole place is alive. Bait everywhere and the average size of fish being caught is considerably larger on previous years.
So many people are catching large barramundi and even Threadfin Salmon which have been quite scarce in recent years. But above all that, mum and dad anglers with their kids are catching a feed and that’s what its all about for me. Good anglers will catch a fish anywhere, but for me this zone is about having a place where our kids can have a higher chance of catching a fish rather than sitting in a boat all day struggling to get a bite.