The fish might be biting but for Burrill Lake tackle shop operator Rob McFadyen it's the worst season he's seen and if relief isn't forthcoming soon, he fears he'll go under.
During what is normally his busiest period, business is down by 80 per cent, thanks to the fire emergency and the highway closures and mass evacuations that came with it.
Mr McFadyen said he had lost about $50,000 in turnover, money which would normally sustain the business through the quiet winter months.
He and his wife Wendy have been trying to access some of the relief funds announced by the federal government but have encountered a bureaucratic merry-go-round
"My wife's in the process now. The biggest problem she's finding now is there's a lot of red tape to go through, a lot of things they are asking for that are semi-irrelevant to what's going on," Mr McFadyen said.
Frustrated, they sought the help of Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips.
"First, they were told they should apply for the disaster recovery allowance, which is like an income supplement for bushfire relief," Mrs Phillips said.
"Wendy then got onto someone else, who said, 'You should apply for Newstart.' And then she was talking to someone else who said, 'No, you should be applying for the disaster recovery allowance."
Mr McFadyen estimated his wife had spent 20 hours on the phone and online just trying to get some guidance, only to be told it would take up to six weeks for their application to be determined.
That's six weeks they cannot afford. Mr McFadyen said the business would "more than likely" go under without immediate help in the form of cash.
According to Mrs Phillips, their story is not unique. She says many South Coast businesses are on the brink of financial disaster.
"The government announced $75,000 grants for farmers on Tuesday so I'm hopeful they're going to do something similar for small business owners," Mrs Phillips said.
"A cash injection needs to be given to small businesses. It's an immediate need."