By Craig Edmonds, Jim’s Bait & Tackle

YET another week of un-predictable weather and another week of frustrated customers with very limited opportunities.
More frustrating than the weather is the fact that there are good numbers of fish around at the moment; it’s just you can’t get out to get them often enough.
As always there were short periods in the week that certain areas were fishable and those lucky enough to be able to take advantage have now got a few meals of flathead, gummy, whiting, calamari and snapper in the freezer. If you don’t live too far away there have been some very good breaks in the weather, unpredictable at best but the good hour or two of weather each day has often lined up with the tide and the best time to fish.
One thing the weather has done has forced many to fish in areas they normally wouldn’t and to their surprise they have found fish. As most will know rarely are two days ever the same in fishing and standing here behind the counter you see it all the time.
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people that will go time after time to exactly the same spot for hours on end and many times for no result.
A question I get asked often is “someone said I need to do it this way, or must use this colour jig or I must have this bait to be successful. Is that right?”
It’s a very strange industry, this fishing, because everyone of us has an opinion of what and how to do it, especially us experts that stand behind counters; the problem is the opinions often differ.
The truth is everyone’s opinion at some stage is correct so how do you work out which one is the right one for you. The answer is probably all of them at some stage.
My most successful customers don’t go to the same spot, and don’t do the same thing every time they go out. Most of the books you read tell you the best time to fish Western Port is the hour before and after the high tide. This year from the reports best time for the better catches has been the last hour of the run out tide.
The most important rule there is in fishing is there are no rules, apart from fisheries of course. If you haven’t been all that successful lately change it up and try different things, try different places at different times – you might be surprised.
Whiting dominated the reports this week which was probably due to the winds during the week especially only allowing you to fish in the whiting areas.
Sunday was a bit better because the conditions were much better and people were able to fish the corals and more of the open areas of the bay.
The whiting numbers were very good this week but it would seem some of the quality is dropping off a bit with several smaller ones reported. Customers said that for the first time in many weeks they actually released fish but it was only those under 30cm and they still managed well into double figures of 30cm and above ones.
They reported that the quality of the bigger fish was still the same but although the smaller ones were size they have dropped off a bit of condition.
It was a bit of a mixture with water depth too with a few reported from deeper water but the majority still shallow. We also received several reports from land based customers with very few from one spot in particular but one or two from several spots.
Boating wise during the week it was in close in Cleeland Bight and close in at Rhyll out of the wind but Sunday with the better conditions reports came from Dickies Bay a bit wider at Rhyll, Cleeland Bight and from the Corinella whiting spots.
Good snapper was reported this week with the best up around 8kg but they were a bit hard to find which is typical of a season like this where every time you go out you have to go searching for them.
Although they don’t stay in the same spot for long they are generally in the same area as the season goes on and when you can get out a few days in a row you can work out a pattern.
It would appear from the reports the snapper are moving up to the shallower areas even as far as the mud off Coronet Bay.
There are plenty of pinkies around and they are spread out all over the bay and while fishing for whiting you will probably catch a pinkie or two.
The better size ones have been reported from on The Corals but you will also have to deal with several flathead and cod still.
One pattern that has stood out over the past few weeks is if you are catching plenty of cod you won’t be catching snapper.