Friday, November 29, 2013

Muurikka Smoking Oven - The Easy Way

Smoking meat and fish isn't as popular in Australia as it is in some countries, but maybe that should change.

We recently tried the Muurikka Electric Smoking Oven and were really impressed with how easy it was to use and how good the results were.

Smoking food has been around for a long time and people love the flavour of smoked food and the health benefits of no-fat cooking.

We followed the instructions to smoke some great flathead fillets we'd caught the day before, and the smokey flavour really added a new dimension. It took about 25 minutes for the fillets to cook, but this will depend on the size and thickness of the fillet. You'll know the fish is ready when the bones and skin lift easily.

We prepared the fish with a simple wash of salty brine water about 15 minutes before, but another good tip is when making the salty brine to dress the fish, replace half of the water with white wine.

You can also use the oven for chicken, beef, lamb, pork, sausages and even  cheese or vegetables!

The smart attractive design of the Muurikka oven was light, portable and weatherproof and best of all this
electric smoking oven simply plugs in and you’re ready to go. It’s simple to use and easy to clean and as it is only 57 cm long, 28 cm wide and 43 cm in height you can  and weighs just 4.5kg it’s highly portable, so you can take it camping or fishing and simply plug it in to any standard generator.

Muurikka is apparently a big name in outdoor cooking in Scandinavia and now you can try it too. Muurikka Electric Smoking Oven is  sold online through and a limited number of speciality stores.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What's Under the Tree This Year?

Santa Knows What It's All About

Each year at about this time, we have to focus on the "chore" of listing what we want for Christmas.

We all know we can't trust anyone else to buy rods, reels or other important tackle (and god forbid, the wife finds out how much we spend), so we've again put together a list of great suggestions for those good fishing boys who want something under the tree they'll really enjoy.

Click here for our 2014 Christmas Gift Guide for Blokes.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Honey Let's Buy a Boat!

Now there are words that many a man has uttered, and unfortunately a few have lived to regret.

Australian author Darren Finkelstien has written a great book which will hopefully help any prospective boat owner identify the possible pitfalls and Darren sure knows his boats, he's been messing about in boats for most of his life. For the past 10 years he has earned his living in the industry as Dealer Principal of St Kilda Boat Sales in Melbourne.

Recently he took to a computer keyboard with the single and simple aim of demystifying a process that is his passion. "I wanted to let everyone know that buying and owning a boat is not a massive hurdle," says Darren. "If you apply some common sense and seek good advice, you and your family can be out on the water enjoying the boating lifestyle."

The result is "Honey, let's buy a BOAT!", a straightforward guide through the seeming maze of power boat purchasing.

"Honey, let's buy a BOAT!" is a 360-page book packed with information both general and comprehensive.
It includes a detailed description of 20 different kinds of power boats, from the simple tinnie to the massive Flybridge Cruisers. Each includes a pricing guide as well as engine and accommodation options.

There is a section on hull construction types ‐ aluminium or fibreglass ‐ along with the positive and negative points of each, a guide to the plethora of engine options and a straightforward explanation of berthing options. Do you store it in your shed or your yard, rent a garage or rent a berth at a marina? What is a dry-stack or a hard stand?

Each chapter is illustrated with photographs and Darren has added useful tips throughout the narrative, from a warning about trailer brakes to a tip on flushing an outboard engine.

He has provided tables for working out the full cost of boat ownership and an entire chapter each on the process for buying a boat at the best price and value (they are not necessarily the same) and selling your boat for the best price.

You can buy this great book online just in time for Christmas at  for $29.95 + P&H.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Grunter Fishing on Lure, Fly or Bait

Karumba is often touted as the grunter capital of the world by lure, fly and bait fishers alike. Grunter fishing is great for those who like the idea of soaking squid, and if it is barra you crave then Karumba also has plenty in store for you.
Lure fishing for barra on a secluded beach is what all fishers can daydream over. The thought of sand between your toes and barramundi jumping all over the ocean is appealing to all. Catching fish from a beach where there is little chance of being busted-up in snags, allows for a nice clean battle – completely enjoyable.

The most obviously starting point is at that the beach – but not just any beach. Barra around Karumba love hanging around the mouths of rivers and creeks looking for action and a bite to eat.

For successful barra fishing on the beach there must be a steady food supply in shallow water. Most of the thriving beach spots in and around Karumba are on the rising tide when the food is channelled into the main river along a beach gutter. The gutters don’t need to be deep, as mullet and whiting only need centimetres of water to move on the incoming tide. It is important that the end of the gutter has an area from where the predators can ambush. There are no snags or rocks so the only camouflage for a predator barra must come from discoloured water or a deep edge.

The next part of the beach fishing equation is tidal changes. The beaches in the region fish well on the incoming tides. This is because the bait is moved by the current along the beach and into the river or creek.
The sand bar will produce on the run-out tide if there is a deeper section left on the bottom. This leave’s nowhere for the bait to congregate as the tide drops away.

As the tide rises and the water starts to trickle in and around the point of the beach, it’s time to start casting. Begin by working the deeper edge first as the barra will know that the tide is rising. At times there might only be the slightest run and not looking appealing to the angler, but the fish will know and hole-up 20-30m off the drop. A deep diving lure or a jig like a Prawnstar is a valuable tool and allows for some bottom research as the tide begins to flow.

As the tide begins to push harder around the point of the beach then the fish will move up right onto the edge of the channel, especially if it is dirty water. Barra will sit right on the edge and await their rewards for such bravery. Mullet, whiting and prawns drift along the shallow channel on the migration up the beach without the knowledge that a deeper edge is just in front of them.

Once there is enough water to comfortably and safely cruise into the shallow gutter the barra and salmon move in. If the tide is fairly strong then sometimes a pressure wave presents itself as the two tidal forces meet. This discolours the water and is a favourite place for the predators as eddies are created giving them a free parking space with little current and disorientating the poor old food item.

Normal baitcasting rules apply, but it should be of good quality. Some other demons lurk in the same area and a good quality outfit with plenty of line may allow them to be chased in the boat and captured. Light threadline outfits are also fun to use – just pretend barra are just like big whiting that jump.

Prawnstars are unbeatable at the start of the tide in a deep hole and along the edge. Even with the tide higher they work as they bounce along the bottom. The Prawnstars do extremely well as prawns are a major dietary intake for the estuary predators as they migrate up and down the beach.


Fly selection is simple – pink thing first, middle and last. At the beginning of the day tie one on and you will catch fish. There is probably other fly patterns that will work equally as well but I can’t tell you what they are as the old pinkie has never let me down – never change a winning formula.

Barramundi are the main target species off the beach. All of his usual mates can make an appearance with the most common gang members being the king and blue salmon, queenfish and fingermark. As mentioned above, even demons like big GT join in on the act just to spice things up.

In our neck of the woods, straight after the wet is the time to start looking for a beach scene. Anytime from February to April depending on the size and length of the wet. The end of the year would no doubt be good but our seasonal northwesterly winds put an end to too much travel up and down the coast. If you are fortunate enough to have vehicle access to the northern areas of the bottom of the Gulf, and the rain hasn’t started, you are in for a show.

Smaller tides are the go at any time. However, as the weather cools at the end of April and into early May the bigger tides seem to keep the barra clan in the mood. The smaller tides early in the year are still pretty big and it is a major consideration before attacking the beach. The bigger tides can still be fished by anchoring the boat in the beach gutter and fishing back into the pressure wave but this certainly doesn’t get the sand between you toes.

Monday, November 11, 2013

2014 Robe Boats and Fishign Festival dates announced.

Robe Boat and Fishing Festival 2014 Date Announced
The historic township of Robe nestled gently on the South Eastern coast of South Australia, where the vineyards and lush pastures of the limestone coast meet the aqua marine waters of Guichen Bay.

Robe is many times blessed with beautiful buildings dating back to the 1850’s, abundant seafood caught daily by our fleet of fishing boats, which include specialist Cray fishing boats, which supply southern rock lobster to the great restaurants of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo as well as the wonderful eateries of Robe.

This exceptional village also boasts a picturesque harbour with world class marine, safe bay beaches, renowned surfing beaches along the placid lakes and water ways. Rugged ocean beaches ringed by graceful dunes. All part of state parks alive with all manner of birdlife.

Robe attracts many artists, writers, musician and food and wine lovers to its many festivals that celebrate all things robe has to offer.

The corner stone of the Robe events calendar is the annual Robe boats and Fishing Festival which takes place in January. The 2014 Festival will be held on January 18 & 19 and will showcase everything Robe has to offer, along with a huge collection of boats, tackle, electronics, 4 wheel drive vehicles, rubber boats, engines, sailing dinghies, a seafood feast, wines, local beer, an art show featuring the harbour and its boats plus much more.

In January 2014 the festival will include many extra entertainments including 2 Australian first events.Dining on Board with The Fisherman isunique to Robe. The Skippers of 12 of our Cray fishing fleet welcome 10 guests each on board their boats for a lobster banquet accompanied by the best wines from our Limestone Coast region.

The proceeds from this event are donated by the Fisherman’s Association to a local charity of their  choice. The Fishermen and their families are the back bone of Robe village and the gesture demonstrates the great sense of community that exists in this wonderful village.

In addition the Fishermen put on a display of their boats capabilities. This is a sight not to be missed. Mighty 45 foot plus state of the art planning Hull fishing boats performing maneuvers on the sparkling waters of Guichen Bay just off the shore next to the Festival site. At 12 noon a Grand Parade of boats will emerge from the bay and enter the harbour, we expect over 30 boats to take part including 6 large Riviera ocean going cruisers, 60ft fishing boats and every type of craft you can imagine down to a 75 year old gaff rigged sailing boat.

The flotilla of Riviera cruisers will motor down from Adelaide for this event. P

And in the air the excitement will continue with a fly past by the Robe Aviators Society which will include a Tiger Moth performing aerobatics and a 60 years antique fabric covered Auster. Plus many more light aircraft.

At lunch time patrons will graze on several crayfish dishes, local whiting, snapper, sushi & sashimi, great Limestone Coast beef and lamb on the Lions Club BBQ accompanied by the best wines of our region and a few soft summertime tunes.

For more information, contact

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sneak peek at Honda’s new BF80 and BF100

New Honda BF80 Outboard

Honda has just released details of its brand new BF80 and BF100 outboard engines, which will hit the market next year to coincide with Honda Marine’s 50-year anniversary.

The BF80 / BF100’s 1.5L, SOHC, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder engine is inspired by the same engine that powers Honda’s number one selling motor vehicle, the ‘Jazz’. A range of Honda-exclusive technologies combine to deliver exceptional power, superior environmental performance and best-in-class fuel economy.

Incorporated within the BF80 / BF100’s lightweight and compact design is BLAST – advanced ignition timing control system, which significantly improves hole-shot performance; ECOmo – sophisticated lean burn fuel control system, which contributes to excellent fuel economy; and VTEC (BF100) – variable valve timing technology, originally developed for Formula One race cars, to deliver incredible power.

A refined high-performance gear case enhances hydrodynamic efficiency, while engine exhaust is even further reduced – inline with Honda’s unwavering commitment to the environment.

An optional Trolling Control function allows precise control of engine speed, with adjustments in 50rpm increments from 650rpm to 1000rpm, which is ideal for various styles of fishing and slow speed manoeuvres.
BF100 Honda Outboard

Honda's new BF80 and BF100 are also NMEA2000 compliant, allowing engine-to-electronics data communication to deliver engine management and performance data to compatible marine electronics displays. (Honda’s marine engine line-up from the BF40 to the BF250 is now fully NMEA2000 compliant.)

The new engines can also be networked with Honda’s VeeThree multi-function digital gauges. Designed to provide a comprehensive range of information to users, the gauges also feature Honda’s unique Eco light, which indicates when ECOmo mode is in operation (for best fuel efficiency during cruising).

Further strengthening Honda’s comprehensive marine engine line-up, the new BF80 and BF100 are scheduled to be available in Australia from early 2014.

For more info, visit

New Lifejacket standards

Watersnake inflatables
Make sure you've got the right lifejackets


The former Australian safety standard that labelled lifejackets as PFD 1, PFD 2, etc., has been superceded by new Australian Safety Standards. Here's a preview of the new Watersnake PFD Level 150 Yoke lifejackets that comply with the latest AS4758.1 safety ratings.
The Watersnake Inflatable PFD Level 150 Foul Weather Offshore Yoke is designed for all-day comfort, with a soft neoprene neck-liner to avoid irritation or chaffing on the back of your neck. It is designed to wear over your clothes and has a large 50mm webbing belt with a twin-tab synthetic nylon buckle for quick and easy fitting.
The tough and durable material is nylon Oxford 420D with convenient access for maintenance and servicing. It is rated for adults heavier than 40kg+, with chest sizes 80cm to 140cm.
This Watersnake Inflatable PFD is designed flat for easy storage and has a manual inflation system that is easily activated by pulling down on the toggle to initiate the release of the 33g CO2 gas cylinder. There is also a mouthpiece for oral inflation.
Watersnake Level 150 lifejackets are designed for general offshore and rough weather use, where a high standard of safety and performance is required. They are designed to maintain a fully clothed person in a safe position on their back with their head clear of the water without any action required by the user. They are now also available in five colours: black, blue, red, pink and racing-car green. 
Click here for more information on Watersnake marine safety products.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Iron Man Fishes from Back of Ski

Exclusive Fishmax Interview: Champion Ironman Zane Holmes’ dedication to Surf Lifesaving led him to create the Medibank Wave Warriors Junior Challenge, an annual event now in its 4th year.  What a lot of people don't know about is that Zane has a very interesting fishing technique.

FM: Zane we know you've been competing in ironman events since a young age, but what’s your earliest fishing memory? 
ZH: Going out with my dad about the age of 5. We had a Seafarer VC and used to go out off the Gold Coast all the time to the reefs.

FM: Where is your favourite fishing spot?
ZH: Lord How Island, is great, I had an amazing fishing experience there but nothing beats the GC.

FM:  Speaking of fishing your local beaches, you have a rather interesting fishing technique that not a lot of people would know about. Tell us about that?
ZH: I fish off my racing ski a lot. My technique is to troll a lure attached to a bike tube which I put over my shoulder while I paddle. I Usually catch tailor and bonito in the surf zone but I caught a fair size Mac tuna one day which was a real buzz trying to haul that in just by hand.
FM: OK, and when you catch them, how do you like to  eat them?
ZH: I love a simple recipe like garlic butter grilled on the bbq. Works great with whiting, flathead and any reef fish but my favourite fish is definitely tuna sashimi or lightly seared tuna though. 

FM: Tell us more about the Wave Warriors challenge
ZH: The Medibank Wave Warriors Junior Challenge, is open from under nine to under fifteen year old competitors and  is a beach and surf spectacular.

My goal was to create a unique ocean and beach spectacular for junior lifesavers (Nippers) so they can come together from around Australia to participate in an exciting competition.

The Medibank Wave Warriors Junior Challenge has events across all surf sports disciplines with individual events such as beach sprint, beach flags, surf race, board race and iron person and team events including surf teams, board relay, warrior relay and a two kilometre all age beach relay.

The four events in the series are:

·         Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October, 2013 - Greenmount Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland
·         Sunday 24 November, 2013 – Sunday 24th November , Perth, WA
·         Saturday 4 January, 2014 - Ocean Grove, Victoria
·         Saturday 1 February, 2014 – Newport,  NSW

The national finale will be held on:

·        Saturday 22 February, 2014 - Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

For more information about Wave Warriors go to –

Words: Stevo Perry Pics: Zane Holmes' private album