With Jim’s Bait and Tackle
OUR last report was a couple of weeks ago and things were looking positive for the season ahead with many businesses opening again and planning for summer holidays.
How quickly things can change in a very short amount of time.
Melbourne back into lockdown, positive cases climbing and local businesses all of a sudden not looking too far forward and just trying to survive.
While all this is going on, the keyboard warriors are at it again on social media making some very uneducated comments and even got to the point where people sitting outside cafes were being told they should be going home by some of the local residents.
I understand the concerns around the virus, but some of the generalised comments towards visitors, not even knowing where they have actually come from, has been very disappointing.
There has also been some commentary we have heard about businesses simply looking after themselves with no concern for the locals also disappointing. Businesses are doing all they are required and more for the safety of all and many are just hanging on because of the restrictions. After all, they are the last to want things to get out of control around here.
I think everyone just needs to step back a little and take a deep breath, stick to the facts and not the rumours then sensible conversations can be had, leave the policing up to those in a position of authority and the most important thing if you are really concerned, simply don’t put yourself in a position of risk.
Hopefully some of the admin people of these pages take charge and delete the ridiculous rumours and comments, get the pages back to a useful tool for locals and visitors alike then maybe we will still be known for a friendly place to visit when this is all over.
Seems the fish have been a bit wary of the virus lately as well with reports few and far between and the fish hard to find. The lack of reports probably has a bit to do with the ordinary weather of late but in between, the quality winter days have continued and there has been plenty of opportunities to have a fish.
The reports we have been getting are well worth the trip out and you need to head out this time of the year with a lower expectation than you would in the season. You are still chasing all the same species with the added benefit of schools of salmon and other bait fish for the freezer.
Cowes jetty has seen a mixed bag with reports of almost everything, not many of each but a huge variety over the week. A few left with a feed of fish or at least some bait for the season to come, flathead, pinkies, small gummies, calamari, salmon and a couple of schools of mackerel turned up. There were a few reports of calamari from the beaches at Ventnor also and one customer told us they caught two whiting one evening closer to the Cowes boat ramp.
Still not what we expect but more calamari than we have seen lately at the San Remo jetty but not from the typical ends of the day but from random times during the day. Didn’t see much more than wrasse caught as far as fish go off the jetty. The jetty at Newhaven produced a few more fish but not a lot of take-home ones. We were told of salmon, flathead and a couple of couta with plenty of rays and other non-keeper species.
Boat reports were a little better and some good bags of whiting, still not big numbers. There were quality fish but it required a bit of searching around to find them.
We haven’t had any reports of the very small pinkies for the last couple of weeks so it would appear they have finally gone. There’s plenty of cod in the bay now and the odd draughtboard shark which is a sign of the cold water.
Search hard enough and you will find keeper gummies in between the tiny ones. The best of the gummy fishing has been around Gardener’s Channel and a couple of reports from the top end towards Tenby Point. From the same area we had a report of 2-3kg pinkies as well and one bigger something, snapper or possibly mulloway, after seeing a quick flash of colour, lost before it got to the boat. The reports of whiting have come from the more traditional spots and nothing from the deep water this week.
With the perfect weather offshore, it has been open to most and mixed success with some starting to fish only to see a whale spout and then spending more time following the whales than fishing.
If you do come across a whale you can watch it but there is a legal distance that you must keep from it. For those who weren’t lucky enough to see a whale and kept fishing they found some flathead, but the reports were from a few different areas. The most consistent area was in front of the club house at Woolamai, but you had to search around between the 25m and 40m areas. To the east it was a little more difficult and reports from these areas patchy at best. If you were lucky enough to drop on them, you managed a good feed quickly otherwise it was an all-day trip searching around for a few.
There goes your flake ’n’ chips
THE Australian appetite for flake, they say, is driving school shark towards extinction, having been just listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Since 1990 the population of school shark in Australia has crashed to around 10 per cent of its original numbers with genetic testing estimating that there are only 80,000 adults remaining.
“I’m gutted. It’s getting tiring hearing that Australia’s fisheries are fine when they’re not,” said shark scientist at IUCN, Dr Leonardo Guida.
He said it’s time to move away from fishing school shark altogether and to reduce our consumption of flake.