With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

WITH almost perfect weather over the school holidays we had plenty of reports from those able to fish especially over the last week.
The reports have been good from both land, the jetties and boats but the surf has been a little slow and hard work.
In fairness to the surf there has been a lot of weed around, mostly Kilcunda and even though the weather was reasonable it seems to take a good week or more of calm weather after strong winds for the beaches to clean up.
Many are out chasing bait still, a quick calamari fish after work but if you were lucky enough to be out in the boat a couple of days this week your bait freezer would be full with a couple of very large schools of salmon, couta and pike swimming up and down the channel at Newhaven.
The best part about the reports this week, and it usually happens when there are a lot of visitors around, is the reports have come from many different places all over the bay.
Whiting were on top of the list this week and we had some very good reports both in size and number.
There was a couple from the land, Ventnor beach in the evenings but most came from the boats as is normally the case.
Below the bridge in Cleeland Bight the size and quantity has been a little inconsistent and even the time of day has been hard to pick but those who have persevered managed a feed.
The other two areas were far more productive and easier to get the time right with Rhyll the best.
Those fishing at Rhyll reported the best time was the change of tide and we did get reports from both tide changes with whiting averaging in the high 30s.
The other area we had consistent reports from was that of Dickies Bay to Reef Island but the average size was smaller.
That’s not to say some bigger whiting weren’t reported from that area just the majority were on the smaller side.
Everyone that reported whiting said that the sizes were very mixed with some in the low 30s not worth keeping while others were almost a meal on their own.
This time of the year they tend to grow quickly and by the time we get to winter there will be some quality fish around.
Many are now starting to chase the snapper when the winds allow and the reports are getting better each week.
As expected, most of the reports are for bigger snapper and 5kg is about the average size but we have seen a few pinkies this week from those fishing on the corals.
The bigger snapper are coming from the deeper water, many from Corinella and above but with the ramp at Corinella still closed instead of seeing dozens of boats up there fishing we are only hearing of less than a dozen, so the snapper are being left alone at the minute.
The other reports of the bigger snapper are coming from the deeper water in the channels around Cowes also towards the entrance and along French Island towards Elizabeth island but all deepwater nothing in the shallows as yet.
Similar to last year is most of the reports are telling me that not too many are bagging out despite picking up schools of fish on the sounders.
The other thing to remember early season don’t dismiss what seems like a flathead tapping away at your baits, several have told me already they picked up their rod and hooked what they thought was a flathead or a cod that turned out to be something totally different by the time it got to the boat.
Calamari have been a bit frustrating, but we are getting plenty of reports and the size is very good and we have seen much better quality than we normally see for this time of the year. We haven’t had a lot of small calamari reported and we have had plenty of reports of large numbers.
Those who reported good numbers said you needed to be organised because when they came on it was for a short time and they were aggressive.
The boat reports have been the best with those fishing on the beaches or jetties telling us the numbers they are getting aren’t as good but the quality is.
As is always the case for every report of fish we get we also get 10 reports that are nowhere as good, many without seeing anything at all.
I often get asked why with another question frequently asked is where I can I go to be guaranteed of catching a fish.
If I could work out any of the above I would be writing a very different report so for now I can only write on the reports that walk through the door and if you have enough luck on your side you should do well.