Hold on, it’s drummer time

The wild seas that have battered the coastline over the past week or so have provided perfect conditions for one of the most underrated fish in the ocean the black drummer, or correctly named Eastern Rock Black fish.

BLACK DRUMMER: Great fighting fish, but take care on the rocks. Picture: Rod Owen

BLACK DRUMMER: Great fighting fish, but take care on the rocks. Picture: Rod Owen

These scrappers thrive in the washing machine, white water that fringes the rocky foreshore, headlands and islands from Birubi north to Broughton Island. Feasting on rock crabs, shellfish and cunjevoi, the drummer pull like the Bobs Farm tug-o-war team.

In the kitchen they provide a white firm fillet ideal for curries, seafood chowders or simply tossed in the pan.

Best baits include big prawns or fresh or salted cunjevoi that you have collected off the rocks when the sea was calm. Hottest spots are Boat Harbour, Rocky Point, Fingal Head and Tomaree headland. 

As we all know, fishing off the rocks – particularly on a rising sea – is dangerous, so I recommend that you wait for the sea to drop, wear a life jacket on all occasions, put on suitable footwear, and go with a mate. 

John ‘Stinker’ Clarke