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Leatherjacket Plague


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Our last two trips close in off Sydney (both north and south) have witnessed the worst plague of jackets we have seen. Swarms of the little buggers follow your lines up to the boat. On Sunday we managed to get a few flathead and morwong but it was hard going. Ten of us lost thirty sinkers and countless rigs. With so many jackets around, do the other species get a chance to have a feed?

Do leatherjackets prefer cold or warm patches of ocean? I have heard all sorts of theories about this but have not been able to detect any pattern given that they always have been around in the past five years or so.

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I think you will find that this leatherjacket 'plague' is not unprecedented. Julian Peperell in his paper about fishing in the old days around Sydney shows accounts from the 1880's. Ie fishermen compaining about lost gear caused by voracious leatherjackets. I will put a quote when I get time.

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