By Jim’s Bait and Tackle
TO say this year has been challenging for many would be an obvious understatement and just when many were to get back to work in hospitality, another hiccup. In business you learn to adapt and take challenges head on, but nothing works without support from your customers. Speaking with other businesses in the area, and speaking from our own business, support has been great and even to those not open fully yet, the texts, calls or emails of support are helping greatly, and are much appreciated. As we have seen over the last week or so there is a little bit to go yet before it’s all over. We have also seen what a selfish few can do to many. While your support is appreciated, we are yet to hit the biggest hurdle for business with the predicted cliff to be around September. Continue supporting your local businesses where you can but pace out your support to extend it into the spring and beyond. Hopefully, come Christmas time, this will be something we just talk about when sitting at one of the many cafes in the area with friends, more importantly we can all do a bit to help ensure everybody still has their door open then as well.
While the 2020 season has had its challenges, it has come with plenty of unpredictability, and if someone had given you this rundown of the season this time last year, you would ask them how much they had to drink. A non-existent summer with only a handful of days over 35deg and another handful over 30deg, the best part of the year around here, autumn not living up to its reputation with a lot of wind and rain plus fishing banned and business forced to close, most places receiving their annual rainfall before the winter then, very little wind, sunglasses, hats and sunscreen needed in June and that’s only a brief description of how it has gone so far. Then, after all that, you have to try and predict the best spot to fish for the day.
The week has seen another week of opportunity for people to go fishing with perfect weather at times and with the wind dropping off most afternoons there was time for a fish after work if you could get an early finish. Like all season so far, it has been those willing to try something or somewhere different or new that have been most successful. Whiting went a bit quiet over the full moon, but the reports have improved a little. Where they are catching them hasn’t changed with the answer still the same, in the water. The reports we are getting are coming from almost every whiting spot and if I had to pick one that was slightly better it would be around the Bass River to Maggi shoal. Every report we received was similar in that it wasn’t easy, very few bagged out, the fish sizes were mixed but in good condition. If you are prepared to look around though you will get yourself a good feed of whiting and don’t spend too much time in the one spot if you aren’t catching fish. It would appear at the moment; you need to go and find them as they are not going to find you. Berley isn’t helping much to bring whiting to you and all it seems to be doing is attracting leatherjackets, todies and small pinkies. What will help is a berley pot, quality berley (mushed up pilchards) and when you get your first whiting drop it over to keep them there, you will only get a short time before the rest show up but, from the reports, it will definitely help.
We are getting a lot more land-based reports now that we are into the winter with many boats parked up for a few months, the light winds and sunshine are also helping. Calamari and salmon are the two most targeted fish and the reports of both are about the same. Patchy and small describes both but there are enough around to make you head back to try again. The calamari reports have come from all jetties, except Rhyll and the beaches at Woolamai and Ventnor. There has been nothing normal to them and the reason plenty are missing out, only fishing what is considered the right time. Regardless of time or tide if you want to go for a calamari fish just go, that seems to be working for those catching them.
Salmon are small and the same as calamari, those fishing when everything is supposed to be right aren’t necessarily the ones catching them. The reports are all over the place as far as the tides go and while some big schools can be seen while you are standing on the beach the fishing is patchy. We did have some quality salmon reported, 1kg and better, most were well under the 1kg and was almost even between lures and bait.
Fishers praised for sustainability
THE Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has congratulated commercial fishers working in Corner Inlet for their leadership in embedding sustainability into the official rules governing their operations.
State Minister for Fishing and Boating Jaala Pulford announced the new rules at a special event in Port Welshpool following a public consultation in which the fishers pushed to have their voluntary standards made official.
Catches from the fishery including high quality King George whiting, flathead and calamari are highly prized by the state’s top chefs and Victorian seafood lovers because of the low impact, sustainable methods employed for decades by fishers. Chefs and the food industry rallied to make supportive submissions to the consultation, including GoodFish ambassador chef Ben Shewry from the award-winning Attica restaurant.
AMCS’s GoodFish program manager
Sascha Rust said: “The Victorian food industry are seeking local and sustainable sources of seafood, and the Corner Inlet fishers have gone above and beyond to ensure the sustainability of their fishery for many years, so seafood can be caught and enjoyed not only by their generation, but for more to come.
“We want to see more fisheries in Australia working towards these standards, so we can ensure all fisheries have more fish for tomorrow’s world.
“We also wish to congratulate the Victorian government for their support of this high-level stewardship of the environment.”
The new rules solidify sustainable practices which help reduce bycatch in Corner Inlet, and include allowing setting of fishing gear only twice over a 24-hour period and using only one type of net or fishing method at a time. This helps ensure bycatch can be quickly released unharmed, and reduces pressure on fish stocks.