Fishing champ says it’s all about the twitch and jerk

About to cross rods: Carolyn Benniman caught 79 tailor in the annual Department of Fisheries survey, beating husband John with 67 at Point Walter on the Swan River.
About to cross rods: Carolyn Benniman caught 79 tailor in the annual Department of Fisheries survey, beating husband John with 67 at Point Walter on the Swan River.

She caught more fish during the 12-week survey than any other volunteer, including her husband John who is a fellow fishing fanatic.

In 10 evening fishing sessions, she caught 79 tailor to beat long-time Fisheries volunteer Laurie Birchall who came second with 70, while John was third with 67.

Her catch-rate of 4.3 fish per hour made her the most efficient fisher and she also took the largest tailor of the survey at 34.1cm.

‘I’ve been a fishing volunteer for the survey for the last seven years and I’m a very competitive person, so it was especially good to come out on top and beat John,’ Mrs Benniman said. ‘It’s all to do with the speed of your retrieval using your reel and it also helps to twitch the top of your rod to jerk your bait to entice the fish to bite.’

In its 20th year, the survey has volunteer fishers catching juvenile tailor from the river then Fisheries staff log the details before returning the fish to the water.

The data gathered allows scientists to forecast future abundance of the adult tailor stock, which is important to ensure the stock is managed sustainably.

‘We are very grateful to volunteers fishers like the Bennimans, as we are totally dependent on help from recreational fishers to monitor the health of tailor,’ senior research scientist Kim Smith said.