Salmonitis – the epidemic hitting the metropolitan

If you thought the man flu was bad, then look out for the epidemic of ‘salmonitis.’

It begins as an increased usage of social media, with your partner spending hours at a time staring at their phone, scrolling through the newsfeed and keeping an eye on the Facebook page – Salmon School Tracker 2018.

Peter Adam’s daughter catching her very own salmon this season!

It progresses into the need to suddenly layout all their fishing gear on the garage floor, carefully reviewing line strength, reel capability and determining what lures you have (and need).

You’ll begin to notice over the next few weeks, your partner acting extremely helpful, suggesting they run to the shops on your behalf to ‘grab some milk.’ Running errands on Thursday evenings leaves you feeling suspicious but also quite grateful your partner is doing something useful and helping reduce the workload.

It’s not too long before you’ll notice the increase in spending, the trip to the shops, become spending sprees with the bank balance slowly diminishing. If it’s not the shops they’re going to, it’s the online shopping that has suddenly taking a priority except nothing actually arrives at your address…. leaving you feeling puzzled. Instead, it’s been carefully re-directed to their work address, just to avoid the argument no one wants to have.

It isn’t until you watch your partner squirm as they tell their boss they aren’t feeling ‘too well’ over the next few days that the dots begin to line up. It’s not a coincidence that your partner’s sick days become carefully aligned with days where the weather seems just perfect, 10-15knot easterly winds, with minimum swell.

Exciting times with the family all catching salmon over the weekend in the Southwest. (Photo credit David Scott Holmes).

This is when you know they have an extreme case of Salmonitis!

Salmonitis is highly contagious and once you and the kids have it, there’s no turning back! As it comes in waves, on an annual basis, it’s something you can’t shrug off and pass off for another day. It’s here, it’s right on our doorstep and the value of it is extremely high.

With more than 20,000 people expected to flock to nearby jetties, beaches and boat ramps in the upcoming weeks for the salmon season, the mental, physical, social and economic benefits it gives to us, our partners, our families and communities cannot be underestimated.

Being part of a network of people that share a common interest does wonders for our social lives and can lead to life-long friendships. It allows us to be part of something, share knowledge,

Jess Webber’s kids enjoying catching salmon from Hamelin Bay

insights, stories and findings with one another, continually growing, learning and on the search for that bucket list fish. That hunger is what builds our determination, our need to succeed, to be better than the fisher beside us on the jetty. It teaches patience as we wait for the bite, and resilience as we drop what may have been the biggest catch you’ve ever seen! Our bodies get a damn good work out too.

If you’re lucky enough to catch a table eating fish, then you’re doing a world of good for your brain and your heart. Or alternatively if you’ve reached your bag limit or you’re a catch and release fisher, well there are benefits in that too! You’re ‘paying it forward’ and contributing to the preservation and enhancement of fish populations for the future.

For kids, it helps cut back screen time, raises awareness of the environment and all the skills gained above are completely transferable in all areas of their lives.

For communities, fishing provides an economic benefit to the town and region, creating jobs and opportunities for many.

The list goes on for what we can all gain from casting a line. Better yet, recreational fishing is accessible, cheap and fun, so why not take the family out fishing this weekend. If need be tell the boss it’s a mental health day, they’ll be sure to understand – we can even write you a note, a fishing prescription!

We want to see your pics! So send them through to us at Alanna@recfishwest.org.au to star in our weekly fishing reports.

Have you seen our top lure pics for beach fishing for salmon? View it here.