With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

WEATHER conditions are something, unfortunately, we have no control over because if we did, we would order much better conditions on weekends.
Again, this weekend it was all over the place and while the sun was out, there was a definite chill in the air and a moderate breeze from time to time which determined where you could fish, despite the forecast on Friday night saying very calm winds until Monday afternoon.
There were plenty of people that dragged the coats and beanies out of the cupboard and headed out into the cold to have a fish with some very pleasing results.
Fishermen weren’t the only ones standing on the beaches or up on the bluffs checking out the conditions. The reports of the first whales showing up a week or so ago has seen plenty of people out for a look and although it’s only the start of the migration more were sighted over the weekend.
We get a lot of people this time of the year phone up or call in asking about the best times to see the whales. It’s a little surprising what some people think and the questions they ask and you find yourself at times thinking it’s a prank.
That is until you hear the disappointment in their voices when we tell them the whales are not actually part of a choregraphed show but part of the more unpredictable show called nature.
While it sounds unbelievable, the best calls are the ones from Melbourne that tell us they don’t want to waste their fuel so could we tell them a guaranteed time to see them before they come down, if only life was that predictable.
The San Remo Fishing Festival, Saturday, September 14, is well into planning and the seafood dinner on the Friday night is almost sorted. Looking at the menu draft it will be a great celebration of the quality seafood that comes from Bass Strait and tickets will sell fast.
I will put it up in my report when they become available but to be assured of a seat keep an eye on our Facebook or the Fishing Festival Facebook page.
Another activity that is now sorted is the deckie race and entry forms are now available. It’s a reasonably simple four-leg race for teams of two competing for their share of $1000 prize money.
There are two sections, Open and Junior (15-17), entry fees apply, limited number of teams and you must enter as a team of two, more details on Facebook this week or give me a call at the shop.
Most of the reports came from over the weekend where there was a lot more out fishing not only because of the long weekend but because the weather during the week was nothing too flash. Calamari, whiting, salmon, leather jackets, and flathead made up 90 per cent of the reports from both land and boats.
The reports came from most of the land based areas that you would expect and from the boats several places you wouldn’t normally expect to fish.
Calamari were very mixed in size from the land with the bigger ones a little more consistent from the boats. We had several people that happened to be in the right place right time actually get their bag and other told us they have several feeds of hoods and several heads ready for the snapper season in the freezer from the weekend.
We had a handful of almost 2kg models reported and saw plenty around the 1kg mark. We also had a lot of customers, many new to squid fishing, tell us they caught a big one but put it back thinking they were looking after the breeding stock. We hear this often and while it is done with all good intentions it isn’t necessary.
Calamari would be one of the most sustainable fisheries we have according to the experts because of the life cycle of a squid. They live on average only 300 days and when you look into the figures of eggs they lay and the survival rate it’s no wonder the numbers are very good.
I know I will get the comments that the numbers are dropping off, but as I said a few weeks ago the reports we are getting suggest the numbers are just as good but reports now don’t all come from the same place.
Those chasing whiting found several calamari also with, the smart ones now throwing a squid jig under a float out the back while whiting fishing, one customer telling us they caught their personal best calamari which kept 20 quality whiting company in the fish box.
We had a handful of whiting caught from the jetties over the weekend and while several of them were undersized a couple were keepers. No real pattern to the whiting reports which is typical of these weekends where there are a lot of visitors who just tend to go out fishing when they wake up not at certain tides or times of the day.
Plenty of people giving the beaches a fish over the weekend and we are starting to see several make their way to the surf and back beach during the week also. Some good reports of salmon but most are on the smaller side.
We are still getting reports of weed at times at Kilcunda making fishing difficult. Some of the reports were from those using lures but the majority are still from the bait fishermen.
Like all the other fish reported this weekend the salmon were caught in many different spots and one didn’t really stand out. Our salted pilchards are now bagged and ready to go and caught several salmon over the weekend.