COLIN Tran, "The Noodle Man", is fast earning a name for himself on this fishing page. And not just because he runs Noodles at the Bay restaurant at Warners Bay.
Colin is a mad-keen fisho from way back.
But during the past 12 months he has escalated, via family connections, from fishing local jetties to bagging out on bream by boat.
Make that boats.
"My brother, and my brother's brother-in-law, both bought boats in the last year," Colin explained this week.
"Before I used to just fish off the jetty. Now we head out together by boat."
Colin reports there has been a noted increase in catch since the transition - but not so much from being on top of the water as opposed to what they're dropping into the water.
Namely, their wonder berley.
"When we first started going out on the boat, we'd catch nothing but when we came in we'd see people were cleaning fish," Colin explained.
"We weren't exactly sure why that was but we vowed one day it would change."
Frustrated, but hungry for knowledge as well as a feed of fish, Colin took to the internet, as did his brother and brother-in-law.
Research revealed the concept of berley.
That dark art of mashing something tasty (if you're a fish) together and dropping it in the water.
"My brother-in-law owns a bakery at Kotara," Colin explained.
"So we started using the leftover breadcrumbs to make berley.
"It worked a treat.
"Now, every time we go out we carry at least two 20-litre buckets of bread berley mixed up with water."
The crumb berley has proved magnetic in its fish-attracting capabilities and Colin reckons catch rates are way up.
Last weekend, he and brother Byrne and the bro-in-law hauled in 19 bream, averaging about 38 centimetres, with the biggest measuring 44cm.
"And that was a quiet day," Colin said. "Normally we get heaps more. The bread really gets them going. About 95 per cent of the fish are bream, the rest is flathead."
Colin and the boys are still coming to terms with their boats, but the longer-term aim is to venture outside for a fish.
"We're just looking to get a few more hours under our belt on the water before we get too adventurous."
Byrne's wife Jasmine is a really keen fisho too.
The couple welcomed baby Zara aboard two months ago but that hasn't stopped them fishing.
The boys and girls usually head out from Valentine each Sunday about 6am.
The fleet tends to fish in close proximity in a few secret spots around Bolton Point.
Sometimes they get their lines crossed, but not when it comes to the wonder berley.
In baking terms it's called rising to a challenge, but like all great success it has its origins in the crumb of an idea.
ENTRIES are fast approaching the ton for the Allworth and District Social Fishing Club Flathead Classic, which is running at Allworth this weekend.
Anglers will be vying for a range of cash prizes, with $500 on offer for the largest flathead caught and released.
"We have weigh-in boats along the river, and the idea is people catch their fish, put it in a bucket, get it weighed and then release it," club secretary Kelly Sinclair said.
Competition starts at 6am Saturday and concludes noon on Sunday with a prezzo to follow.
Entries will be accepted throughout if you want to pay up and get stuck in. Local band Too Stuffed To Jump will headline the Saturday night festivities and a canteen and potato bake stand will run over the two days.
For more information, call Kelly on 0428 945 860.
Map app mania
ANGLERS have been quick to take their bearings since NSW Marine Park Zoning Maps were made available for smart phones and tablets via the Avenza PDF Maps app, with more than 1400 downloads recorded.
"The app uses the GPS in your mobile device to show you exactly where you are in a marine park and what types of activities you can do," Department of Primary Industries (DPI) district fisheries officer Brett Vercoe said.
"For example, many marine park boundaries are on curves, and can be really awkward for the public and fisheries to identify where they are. The app incorporates constant curves.
"The app also does away with having to establish fishing portfolio marks on Google maps and then confirm whether you're in or outside them on your boat.
"Now you can go to your phone linked into the on-boat GPS, look at both, and see whether you are in the pink or green zone within an accuracy of five to 10 metres."
The Avenza PDF Maps app and the Marine Park Zoning Maps are free for download from the iTunes Store or Google Play.
Not a bad deal when you consider you pay for similar land-based maps if you're into bushwalking.
Another advantage is you don't need phone coverage, as the map is downloaded to the phone.
The only thing to be wary of is that the phone tends to suck a bit more juice in GPS mode, so get yourself a power pack so you can recharge during your trip if needs be.
"There are tutorials on the DPI site if you are bamboozled by technology, which go through all the steps from start to finish," Vercoe said.
"It's all about giving people the tools to do the right thing and it's going to be of such benefit to all parties."