Keep the ‘service history’ filled out on inflatable life jackets.

Safety must always come first

This time last year we were predicting that Moreton Bay would be producing some cracker fish.

Well… we were right!

With some great boating weather being probable over the next few months, get everything ready now and not later.

‘Professional’ anglers Jase and Bailey. Jace endured the workout of a lifetime bringing a cracker giant trevally to the boat. The GT was safely returned after a few well-deserved photos for the brag board.


Check your trailer, get your motor serviced and, most importantly, check your safety kit. Flares run out of date and life jackets can rot or even make a nice nest for rats and mice.

Nothing is worse than getting out there and filling the Esky only to be pulled up and have someone empty your wallet.

Twenty minutes spent going through everything will save not only money but potentially your life, a friend’s life or that of a family member.

So, a bit of a heads up:

  • Out of date flares or no flares carries a fine of $287
  • No life vest, unserviceable or unsuitable is $287
  • Not having your 360 light on while underway or at anchor after dark is $287.

I spoke with the Queensland Water Police and asked what the two most common offences were.

Their response:

  • Not having the ‘service history’ filled out on the inflatable life jacket
  • Not having your 360 light on, as previously mentioned.

To fill out the service history, disconnect your gas cylinder, use an accurate set of scales and compare the weight to the required weight stamped on the cylinder. If it does not match, replace the cylinder.

Most tackle shops carry replacements or can get them for you.

Use a permanent marker to record the weight and date you checked it on the inside of the flap, where the gas cylinder is. Two minutes saves $287.

If you need further information or if you want to check a requirement you are not up to speed on, give your local water police a call.

My call took under a minute, and it might hopefully save a life.

Andrew landed a cracker wahoo before it damaged his gear.


One thing that is regularly overlooked is a well-stocked first aid kit.

You can pick them up ready to go from a vast range of outlets, in various sizes and formats, and some are very reasonably priced.

Make sure that the perishable items are in date.

A couple of boaties I know actually carry a range of cable ties – these are great for a quick fix to get you home and can also be a critical piece of first aid equipment – as an example, for securing a bandage quickly to prevent blood loss if you lose a digit to a shark or one of the other countless species that can remove fingers or toes.

We saw the early arrival of tailor in the Brisbane River and some out in the bay, with longtail tuna in good numbers and above average sizes too.

Plenty of mack tuna were caught, though a larger number were lost as fishos were not expecting the razor gang!

The author with a nice little mackerel.


A few weeks ago, I decided to grab a pack of white bait, turn off the phone and hit the Shorncliffe Pier – such a great way to clear the head and take stock of what matters.

I even made a new fishing buddy – Harvey.

Such a cool dude, and he can fish too!

We had a few in-depth conversations between losing bait and hooking fish.

Harvey even came to my rescue to help hook and pull a cracker bream up for me.


About Mark Templeton

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