Snapper quality high but calamari difficult
By Jim’s Bait & Tackle
WHILE things are a long way off the normal we all knew 12 months ago, the easing of restrictions this week and the re-opening of restaurants and cafes for sit down meals and accommodation has bought some much needed trade back to the local area.
Everyone also needs to be a little patient as well because there is no book for this and business planning is being made up as they go. Yes, there will be a few delays and stock shortages and you might not be able to get the booking you need but I can assure you all the businesses are doing all they can for now.
We had a lot of comment in the shop over the weekend about the influx of people to the area for the school holidays. From the conversations we were having with the visitors to the shop the majority are from regional areas north of Melbourne and not from Melbourne itself.
With the sun out, fishing on the improve and restrictions easing, we will be going to opening 7 days a week as of October 1. Weekdays we will be opening at 8am and 7am on weekends, closing at 5pm, some days may vary slightly.
We are very slowly getting stock back in and have a lot of new product already. A lot of the more common stock items are still a little low but suppliers are telling us that they are receiving deliveries regularly now so all should be back to normal before too long. We have decided to continue our Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night Facebook auctions even though we are getting into the season and while there is still enough interest.
More people fishing is adding up to more fishing reports and there was plenty of quality amongst them this week. Most of the reports are of snapper which you would expect for this year and while they haven’t settled down to any one spot and reports are all over the place, we are starting to see more of them in the expected areas. Whiting and calamari could best be described as tough as both continue to be very inconsistent with only slight improvements in both, calamari probably slightly better than whiting.
The best snapper reports this week that came from the areas you would expect to find them, all came from the ends of the day. Either before daylight or just after daylight and the quality was excellent and so was the quantity. Those who caught fish in the best times managed their bag over 40cm easily and most had at least one that went between 5kg and 6kg. These reports also told us the fish were aggressive and hit baits hard. For all the other reports we received there wasn’t much of a pattern and very mixed in where and when.
The pre- and post-light reports came from the deeper water in the channel along French Island from Tortoise Head to Spit Point. The daylight hours reports came from both shallow and deep and we even had one snapper we weighed that went over 6kg from 40m of water offshore. The only place we have had any reports is from below the bridge in Cleeland Bight.
Whiting reports over the last month or so seemed to be on the improve but have come to a bit of a halt this week where customers told us they couldn’t find very many at all. In fairness to the whiting, the conditions didn’t really suit whiting fishing with winds often sideways to the tide. Those fishing for whiting still managed a couple and the quality was good but a little frustrating as most explained.
Calamari, what colour or size jig, where or when is best are the normal questions we get every day in the shop.
Our answer at the moment is sounding a little like we don’t want to tell people and keep it to ourselves. This is a comment we get told a bit which doesn’t makes sense at all because the best thing we can do in the shop is get people catching fish to come back and buy more gear we are simply reporting what is happening.
Calamari are the most difficult species to give any advice on. At best we can give advice based on past history because while we are seeing quality calamari, we just aren’t seeing a lot of them. This week we did get a couple of reports from San Remo jetty and a few more seen in the water and the odd ones from the boats but the best of the reports came from the two most popular beaches, Cleeland Bight and Ventnor, with the afternoon tide the best. There is no reason why they are a bit slow and one would expect they will improve in the near future – just put it down to the very strange year we are having.