THE fishing reports were as mixed as the weather last week and difficult to know exactly what either was going to do.
There was almost no wind on the weekend, but it came at a cost with plenty of fog making visibility low.
Saturday started off sunny but in a matter of minutes we couldn’t see the bridge from the shop and it hung around for much of the morning.
Those who were out early got set before the fog came in and the best of the fishing.
Sunday was a bit better with more mist and smoke than fog with the best of the reports coming from early in the day.
We are starting to get more land-based reports as things get colder and boats get put up on blocks for the winter.
We had some good reports during the week from our land-based customers fishing the beaches and jetties, that is if you like salmon and calamari.
Although calamari and salmon made up most of the reports from the land we had a few reports of trevally from Newhaven jetty and a little surprisingly from the Rhyll jetty.
There were the usual rays from everywhere and those fishing Cowes jetty managed a couple of Couta and pike.
The best of the salmon reports came from the Kilcunda beaches with cemetery beach the best as it was the cleanest for weed that has been blown up with the strong winds of the last couple of weeks.
Towards the old rail bridge had its moments but those who fished there said there was too much weed and you had to work hard to not lose rigs.
There were some good numbers reported and a few salmon close to 1.5kg whereas at the beach at Woolamai and most of the surf beaches on the island the salmon were much smaller.
There were a few from the Newhaven and Cowes jetty but should have been more if those there had lures. Customers told us that the salmon on the jetties just showed up but disappeared as quick and because no one had a lure with them they were trying to catch them on baits.
It pays to have at least one lure in your tackle box this time of the year because you will get schools of salmon, couta and pike swimming past the jetties and it is too difficult to catch more than a couple with bait whereas you could get three or four casts or more with a lure.
Although not saying a lot about what they are catching consistently this week I have seen a few local boats out in the mornings or late afternoon on the whiting grounds which to me is a good sign.
Backing that up during the week was also some good reports from customers who had caught bags of mixed size whiting.
It’s a little different than the bags of all big whiting we have been seeing over the last couple of years but closer to what you would expect as normal.
There was the odd 45cm whiting but most were closer to 35cm and plenty of undersize ones. Another sign things might have changed a bit was the majority of the reports told us they found the fish and didn’t have to move until they had enough.
Offshore the flathead are there but its back to doing a bit of work to find them and there are a lot of smaller ones out there now. Two of our customers that know each other fished towards the Powlett and only a few hundred metres apart.
One boat bagged out and the other only managed a couple so if you don’t find them within a drift or two, move and keep searching.
Those who managed to find the flathead got mixed bags of type and size but a good feed – a few pinkies on the hard bottom areas and Couta in schools in most depths.
Arrow squid were hard to find and we only had a handful reported.
Plenty of seven gills are moving into the gummy areas offshore but the quality gummies are still there and those who went looking for them on the weekend found them.
Around the Bay – 24-4-2018