With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

THAT’S another summer been and gone and if you blinked you actually missed it with one of the most inconsistent seasons we have seen since taking over the shop.
We had a few good patches but overall, it was very frustrating for most trying to match time with weather to have a fish, and those who had extended periods of stay didn’t manage to get too many days in a row out fishing.
We fitted out more boat customers with land-based fishing gear this season than any other with people just wanting to have a fish. It was also to the surprise of a few what you can actually catch from the land if you put the time into it.
The unsettled weather often makes the fishing reports week to week seem like they are months apart with how different they can be.
A prime example of that has been the last few weeks, three weeks ago we had good temperatures, good coloured water offshore and a reasonably clean bay but with not many more than a handful of people fishing.
Last week/weekend we had some very good and consistent reports with lots of people fishing, we had a dramatic drop in water temperature and the tuna offshore pushed out over the 70m line because of the very ordinary water in close.
This week the temperature offshore has come back up, the water has cleaned up, tuna in as close as 15m of water, not as many people fishing and nowhere the amount of reports. While some things may stay similar nothing really stays the same.
There certainly wasn’t a lot of opportunities for fishing during the weke with the windy weather but some of those who were able to take advantage were rewarded with a feed of fish.
Being the weekend just before a long weekend is always a little quiet with people saving money for, what they hope will be three days of fishing.
There wasn’t much of a break to head offshore during the week, but the swell dropped off a bit on Sunday and some tried their luck.
Most were heading out for a feed of flathead that were so good the week before, but it seems the big swell has moved them around a bit because there wasn’t the concentration of fish like the week before.
The tuna had moved back in close with the improved water temperature and those who found them did in water not far offshore.
Finding them and getting them to bite was two very different things and we only had a couple reported, we did get reports from one evening during the week when the wind dropped off, two taken in about 15m of water and a couple more from those who were both fishing and diving.
Mixed reports from in the bay where there were a few more opportunities during the week to fish but because we have had those long breaks in between fishing days it’s like prospecting every time you go out.
There was a handful of decent pinkie reports, but they are a little harder to find and probably started their exit from the bay. It would appear that the tiny ones haven’t got the same idea and plenty of them were reported and from every corner of the bay. We had one report of a good size snapper, estimated at around 6kg but it was lost at the boat while trying to find the net.
Whiting reports have continued to be confusing but consistent with those fishing a couple of days in a row saying the fish weren’t in the same place as they were the day before but a little looking around the same area found them again.
Tortoise Head was one of the best spots with good size and numbers. There was some quality calamari being caught in the same area and many more following up whiting that were hooked.
Several reported that if you had the net ready, and a little practice, you could actually catch a whiting and a calamari on the same hook.
The trick was if the calamari grabbed on to the whiting keep it in the water, take your time and get the net in behind the calamari. You need to be slow and take your time and it will certainly help if there is someone else on the boat.
We have had a great response since we put the entries up for the Easter Fishing Competition and almost half of the kids show bags are gone, with the best part is of all the entries we have had in – half are kids.
The prize pool is still growing and after feedback from last year, we have added gummies into the junior section.
Some of the feedback we have received over the last couple of years has been requests for us to make it a more serious competition with bigger prizes.
When we started the comp a few years ago, one decision was to not turn it into something that takes away from the reason for the comp, raising money for the Good Friday appeal. We feel the best way to do this is to shape an event that the whole family can be part of and regardless of ability, people can enter with the family for a fun weekend.
While we respect our customers that would like us to make it a more serious competition, we feel it would take away from the event.
We are more than happy to work with a club or group to organise a more serious competition but at another time of the year.
Another request we have had, although everybody can enter, everybody fishes for the same prizes, is for a land-based section only.
We have looked at this and could set it up but would need a sponsor for this section, we are still speaking to a few but no luck yet.
Hopefully next week we will have some news on another sponsor and another section we are adding for a team total bag weight for the weekend.