With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

IF you could order the weather it would have been difficult to get any better than what we have had for the last week.
Cool yes, there was some long periods of sunshine, but it was the wind or should I say lack of it that was the best part with several days glassing out.
Although glassing out isn’t always the best, it certainly makes for more pleasant day on the water.
The reports were typical for this time of the year with most saying the quality of the fish made up for the effort needed to catch them.
Offshore didn’t settle down until late in the weekend and even then was a little bumpy at times.
With the fine days a few reports came from the rivers and the surf, although both were challenging with plenty of water in the rivers and no shortage of weed in the surf.
If you are heading out in the boat this time of the year, give the batteries in the boat a bit of a boost on the charger the night before and if you have a battery pack jump starter take it with you.
With the crisp mornings it is the perfect conditions for a suspect battery to finally give up which will leave you stranded at the ramp or in the bay somewhere.
If you are new to boating; through the colder months, batteries will do it harder in cold conditions and fail quicker so always be weary of this and conserve where you can.
A bit of a charge the night before and only turning on what you need to have on during the day and for those with an electric winches start the motor as you are packing up to give your battery five minutes or so of charge before you start to lift the winch.
Land based fishing at the moment is concentrated on calamari in the bay and salmon on the open beaches.
There are other fish being caught but with the colder weather we find that people will tend to target a species and a tide so as not to spend too much time in the cold.
During the warmer weather it’s a bit easier to stand on a beach or jetty all day just to be out in the sunshine.
The beaches, as they have been all season, have been difficult at times with the amount of weed that is washing in.
It’s not always the big clumps of kelp but the smaller single pieces of weed that get tangled with your line.
Kilcunda seems to be worse than Woolamai, but the bigger fish reports consistently come from Kilcunda.
During the week we had several reports from Woolamai of smaller salmon and reasonable numbers if you were there at the right time.
Kilcunda we saw a few around the 1.5kg mark and mostly from cemetery beach although I did hear of a few fish from the middle beach and was told the beach was a bit cleaner, especially on the high tide so before you decide where you are going to fish it might be worth spending 10 minutes walking down onto the beach and see how clean it is.
The best of the land-based calamari reports came from the last of the high tide this week and it was a battle between San Remo Jetty and Newhaven Jetty as to which was better.
We are starting to see more and more from Newhaven but unlike the San Remo Jetty they are being caught from most sections of the jetty and you don’t often see them in the water it’s a bit of blind fishing.
The best of the report this week were from those using artificial jigs but the reports from the boats was opposite with baited jigs accounting for more.
The baited jigs could also be because many are putting out a jig under a float while fishing for whiting and I didn’t have a lot of people tell me they were just going out to target calamari.
Gummies were very good, as they normally are this time of the year over the moon periods and with the quality weather people were able to stay on the water for the after dark tides.
We had reports from offshore and in the bay but we didn’t see any of the 10kg plus and around 4kg to 6kg was the average.
There were good numbers reported and those using the oily, bloody baits like tuna and fresh salmon with some berley did the best.
We had plenty of whiting reports this week and while not many of them were over 40cm the quality of those around the 34cm to 36cm made spending time chasing them around the bay well worth it.
Most of the whiting reports came from four areas: Rhyll, Long Point, Coronet Bay and Dickies Bay.
And often those who had the biggest bags fished all spots during the day.
Everybody told us that they needed a few moves and they were on or off and wasn’t difficult to work out when to shift.
Although you needed to move when they stop biting; from the reports only one or maybe two moves were needed.