With Jim’s Bait and Tackle
OVER the long weekend we had a customer who had moved from overseas to Australia for work six months ago.
He had come down to the island for the weekend and dropped in to get some supplies.
While he was here, he asked what service we use to get our weather forecasts because he said he was very confused with the one he was using, it never seems to be right and sometimes the exact opposite of what the weather is.
We told him what he is using is no different to any other and they all generally just have a guess.
That was the case on Saturday especially when the forecast was for very ordinary weather and strong winds.
The conditions were perfect from about mid-morning until late in the day.
The smart ones had a look out the window and went for a fish, many much later than they normally would because of the forecast.
The smart ones also didn’t go all that far from the boat ramp in case the forecast happened.
The forecast for the rest of the weekend wasn’t all that close to the actual weather either, especially if you looked at the weekend’s weather forecast on Friday.
Not sure the reason they get it so wrong most of the time but maybe if the concentration was on a couple of days ahead and not seven or 10 or even trying to forecast what next summer will be like they might get it a bit closer. Still waiting for that hot dry summer they forecast back in the spring.
Luckily there are plenty of anglers around on these long weekends that will wander down to the jetties or land-based areas if the boating is out.
We also get a lot of customers with boats now into kayaks and are able to find a quiet bit of water somewhere around the island even on the windiest of days.
We could take a lesson or two from the kayak anglers who, for the most part, don’t head far from shore, are quiet and often drift and catch plenty. In the boats we all tend to drive as far as we can, make lots of noise, anchor and often catch nothing.
We have had a couple of quality days over the last week which have produced some quality reports from in the bay and offshore.
The reports have been a little quiet offshore but with the conditions even the biggest of boats haven’t ventured out.
There was a couple of breaks over the last week and the handful lucky enough to have time off headed out.
Some went in search of tuna and kings and while not as thick as they were a month ago they are still there.
With the tuna, we were told plenty of miles was needed to find them. But when they did, the school was smaller than the last time they found them but still the same size fish around the 25kg mark.
Kingfish have been left alone over the last couple of months with only a few still chasing them, the rest chasing tuna.
One customer that has been continuing to look for them managed a couple, after a lot of hard work he said, between the eastern entrance and Kilcunda.
He also searched around at Pyramid Rock and said he had some good soundings he assumed were kings but didn’t manage to hook any.
Those chasing the flathead managed a feed of quality fish while not reporting any big bags of fish… unless you include the hundreds of undersized ones they caught. The best of the flathead came from around the entrance area from the old quarry out to about 40m.
In the bay we had good reports of whiting and pinkies, all with hundreds of very small ones as well which kept the kids occupied.
The whiting reports came from all the usual spots with the area above the bridge towards the police station the best for those first there, but once people turned up the fish went quiet.
Other reports of whiting came from Cleeland Bight, Tortoise Head, Reef Island, the edge of the channel at Newhaven, Boys Home channel and along the bank at Rhyll.
When was best at each spot was more about the conditions for the day rather than tide or time.
Pinkies, read above and add the corals and you will have the pinkie reports. Like the whiting there were several spots reported and more to do with the conditions than anything else.
Also like the whiting, there were plenty of undersize ones and other rubbish fish, toadies and leather jackets. Those who did fish the corals manage a few more of the take home pinkies and even a couple closer to a snapper size.
While we did see a few bigger ones off the corals, most of the pinkies/snapper 40cm or better came from the channels, Elizabeth Island to Gardners channel and from in the western channel off Cowes.
Those fishing in the corals area also reported plenty of small salmon, yakkas and mackerel so best you have a rod set up ready with a small lure in case a school comes along.
Calamari just don’t seem to run out and we had lots of good reports from off the land, the boats and kayaks. They were reports of all sizes and numbers which is typical of this time of the year when there aren’t as many just going for a squid fish but more of a couple for bait for the day’s fishing.
It is generally those on the land that are just targeting calamari for a feed and while the reports were good, those in boats and kayaks tend to get bigger bags of them.
The beaches at Ventnor and Woolamai and all the jetties produce some calamari over the week and while those on the water catch bigger bags because of the weather, there was probably more caught from the land.
We are now only about one month away from our Easter fishing competition which means there is just over two weeks left to get your entries in to be a part of our early entry prize draw, something new we have brought into the weekend.
This year if you enter before April 3, you go into the draw to win a $100 Waterview Restaurant voucher for Silverwater Resort, so get your entries in.
The prize list is out and it’s worth entering even if you can’t fish over the weekend. Each category prize is valued at around $200 or more with many of the lucky entry prizes valued over $150 each.
Every hour over the weekend we draw a luck entry winner, you don’t need to have caught a fish or even be fishing, just entered. Don’t forget, 100 per cent of your entry goes to the Good Friday Appeal.