With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

GENERALLY, this time of the year is difficult enough to put a report together but
COVID-19 has made it even harder this year with no traffic coming out of Melbourne.
It is the same for all the local businesses and anybody that has been around San Remo or the Island lately will notice very few people.
There are, however, several visitors from further up the coast in Gippsland and from northern Victoria, taking advantage of the accommodation deals around.
We think we have had difficult times here over the last six months, that is until you speak to those from the bushfire areas who are telling us of many businesses that have no idea what the future holds with very little trade since before Christmas.
Hopefully when this is all over or even earlier into the spring they will get plenty of visitors from these areas helping them to get restarted.
Sadly, for two visiting families that came into the shop, their holiday also included the ugly side of the situation we are in at the moment and has tainted their holiday a little.
One family in Cowes on the jetty fishing and the other in San Remo walking down the street were approached by, what they thought to be locals, telling them they shouldn’t be here and to go home.
When they explained where they were from an apology was offered to one family while the other was asked for ID. The family questioned who this person was to ask for ID only to be told they were looking after the interests of the local people, a few words ensued, and they all went their separate ways.
I understand that people are concerned but I would have thought staying home was a better way to stay safe not walking the streets acting like vigilantes. Leave the policing to the police.
Reports were very patchy this week, despite several days of perfect weather there was very few out fishing. Those who did get the boat out fished both in the bay and offshore with both areas having mixed results.
In the bay, we had whiting, gummies, salmon and calamari but not a lot of take-home fish. There were several smaller whiting caught around Dickies Bay and Reef Island with only a handful of keepers.
The better whiting reports came from around Tortoise Head and off Ventnor with a couple from Cleeland Bight. There weren’t a lot of whiting caught but there weren’t a lot fishing for them so, for the amount of reports we had, it probably wasn’t too bad. Having said that, those who were successful only had a handful each.
Calamari reports continued to be all over the place with no consistency at all from the boats or from the land and trying to give advice is difficult. We have seen a couple from the jetties and from the beaches but not necessarily from the times you would expect so if the weather is good, just go and have a fish regardless of the tide.
The boats and kayaks were a little more successful and the calamari we had reported were very good in size and most only managed one or two. They were caught in a few different spots and from those who were targeting them generally before they headed out to chase whiting.
Gummies in the bay were mostly small and we were only told of one worth taking home caught in a boat off Elizabeth Island. The better ones were reported from offshore, bigger down towards the windmills and respectable size from off the western entrance. We also had one reported that went around 6kg caught off Woolamai in 40m of water.
The catches of the week though go to those who managed to land quality bluefin tuna off the western entrance. We have seen a big change in the tuna fishery over the last few years with stripey turning up several years back, lasting for a couple of years, then four barrels caught and the two years after that seeing tuna of various sizes turn up for varying lengths of time.
Just before we were shutdown from fishing earlier this year we saw a run of 20kg to 40kg bluefin caught for about seven weeks. Now we see another run of barrels again with two over 100kg landed, just wonder how much longer before we start hearing of the odd marlin or yellowfin tuna caught.

Lights, boat ramp camera, action!

CORINELLA boaters will be able to check conditions at their local ramp from the comfort of home as Maritime Safety Victoria launches new cameras across Victoria.
The ramp and carpark cameras, which feed live images to the Boating Vic app every five minutes, will be live at 25 locations by the end of the year, with the new Peters Street, Corinella camera among the latest to be switched on.
Smart technology allows the cameras to count the number of vessel launches and retrievals per hour, prompting a status of ‘quiet’ or ‘busy’ on the Boating Vic app.
This is displayed alongside localised hourly weather forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Maritime Safety Victoria director Cameron Toy said boaters coulduse this information to make safer decisions on where and when to head out.
“We know boaters can become frustrated if there are long wait times at a boat ramp and we hope to ease some of that congestion.
“We see situations where the weather starts to turn, but people decide to head out anyway because they have already loaded up the boat, driven down to the ramp and waited around.”
Boating Vic allows boaters to check how busy a ramp is and how the weather is looking – without setting foot outside.
“They can also access this information out on the water, which is important as conditions can change fast on Victorian waters,” said Mr Toy.
“If they know a front is coming and can see there is a wait at the ramp, they can make the call to head in early.”
Data collected on the number of launches per hour can be analysed against weather conditions at the time.
“This can help us to better understand how weather impacts boaters’ decisions to head out on the water and creates a clearer picture of boat ramp usage and trip frequency,” Mr Toy said.
Camera images can be viewed by downloading the Boating Vic app or at boating.vic.gov.au.
Corinella Boating and Angling Club president Murray Wannan said the camera was a welcome addition to the boat ramp, which recently underwent a $1.4 million upgrade.
“It gives us a chance to go on the web and see what conditions are like; and when it gets to the busy months, you’ll be able stop and see how many boats are in the area,” he said.
The Corinella Boating and Angling Club welcomes new members, and you can sign up via their website corinellafishingclub.com.

No rego for low-powered kayaks and canoes

PADDLERS of certain low-powered kayaks and canoes are now permanently exempt from licensing and registration rules in Victoria, following a trial exemption that ran from January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020.
The exemption applies to the owners and masters of kayaks and canoes powered by an electric motor of no more than 40 pounds thrust (1 horsepower or 750 watts). In all other respects these vessels are regulated as powerboats.
There are a number of conditions that apply to this exemption. For more information, go to bit.ly/3giEEcR.