With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

FOR those who work all week the weather has been turning it on lately with the weekends being the pick of the fishing days and last weekend was another.
These are the perfect days that we see regularly over the winter but normally it’s during the week while most are working.
The boat ramps on the island were a little busier than you would expect for this time of the year, with some of it due to the weather but from conversations with customers over the weekend they would normally launch at Corinella. The rebuild has started at Corinella and it will be out of action for some time, estimated to be late September.
This date could change and be a lot sooner with perfect weather and no problems, but it could also just as easily push out until well into October or even November with ordinary weather and unforeseen problems.
You don’t need to put too much thought into how that will affect the boat ramps on the island, and I think plenty of patience will be needed at the start of the season.
Calamari and whiting were the species targeted the most over the weekend and those chasing them weren’t disappointed with plenty of both reported.
The majority of those reporting catches had both, whiting and calamari as they set up to target both fish before they left.
Last weekend the majority of the reports came from above the bridge whereas this weekend it was about even with above and below. The whiting size hasn’t changed, and they seem to be all from the same school, around 32cm to 38cm and not a lot above or below that.
While the length is average most of them are as heavy as 40cm ones being in excellent condition. Most of the reports over the weekend came from the run-in tide and just after the change then it was like someone just turned a tap and they stopped. Baits were nothing too different and pippies and pilchards did the job, often a cocktail of both was beneficial.
The reports were spread out and there was a bit of moving around needed especially from above the bridge with anywhere between Leolia shoal and dickies bay productive whereas below the bridge it was around the sand hill where most of the reports came from.
The calamari below the bridge were spread out a bit but in a line between the public mooring buoys and the sand hill, a few drifts along this area landed plenty.
The majority of the reports came from those using artificial jigs with the odd report from baited jigs, probably a bit to do with the water, despite the weather, being reasonably clean at the moment.
The bigger calamari came from cleeland bight and most of those we spoke to had, at least one if not more over the 1.5kg mark.
More reports of salmon but still nothing all that big and a lot too small to even take home. The swell has made it difficult to fish even when the wind was down the swell was still reasonably big and messy.
Neither Kilcunda or Woolamai were standing out with reports from both as well as the other surf beaches further onto the island.
Those in the boats chasing gummies are getting mixed bags but the serious ones are finding something to take home. Winter is also bringing the usual rays and draughtboard sharks, nothing you can other than move.
If you don’t mind eating the odd leather jacket, gear up and head out because we are seeing plenty of the right sort for eating and the average size has almost doubled from last winter.
If you haven’t tried them before give one a go, just google how to clean, it’s not as difficult as you might think and I guarantee once you have cooked one up for tea you won’t be throwing the bigger ones back anymore.