With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

JUST to add a little more frustration to stock levels, there is a strike – work slow or wages dispute – on the docks which is holding up containers of not only fishing tackle stocks but affecting many other businesses as well.
We have received some of our season’s orders and the shelves are almost full again but I think we have more on backorder then we have received, so if you are waiting for that new piece of gear for the season, they tell us it won’t be long.
Our bait freezers, however, are full and there is no problem with supply.
We have a couple of new baits this season with our fresh, straight off the local boats, octopus heads.
We also now have the larger 1kg boxes of USA squid, there are twin packs of salmon, perfect size for when the sharks turn up or strip baits for snapper and gummies.
So far, the silver whiting is bigger this season for those who want baits for their squid spikes plus all of our usual baits.
We have 10-litre buckets of dry burley pellets and finally back in is tuna burley logs. We have gone back to seven days a week and while business is still limited in the amount of customers around, we are expanding our hours as the weather improves and if you are heading out for an early start, just gives us a call at the shop to check we will be open for you.
With the patchy weather last week, reports were understandably on the quieter side but those we received were on the quality side.
It was definitely a case of opportunity this week and just heading out for a quick fish in between the changes of weather.
All the reports came from customers that looked at the weather and headed out to fish a tide change between the wind, sometimes in the rain.
We had a few reports from the land where the wind isn’t really a factor, just a nuisance at times. The advantage of fishing on an Island is if it’s blowing on one side, drive over to the other side.
Snapper are the main target at the moment, and they seemed to have settled into the expected spots rather than all over the bay as they were a few weeks ago.
All over the bay, however, are hundreds of pinkies of the very small variety.
It’s as if they didn’t leave and just took a break for a while but are back with no shortage of numbers. They seem to be in the biggest numbers across the shallower areas of the corals and not so many in the deeper channels.
Maybe it’s the reason we aren’t seeing the bigger snapper over the shallow corals with the pinkies just stealing baits, with those who have persevered still not seeing anything big.
The best of the reports is coming from Elizabeth Island and above, up to the fingers. The snapper we had reported were all good fish at 5kg or above with a report we were told of a snapper that pushed the scales over 9kg.
Although we had some good reports, the numbers of fish caught didn’t reflect the pictures showing up on sounders which probably has a bit to do with the temperature of the water still a little low.
There were some good reports from off the land this week, including at beaches and jetties, with several not able to head out in the boat so chasing a bit of bait on the beach.
The salmon showed up a couple of times this week on the beaches at Kilcunda, but the fish were small, a couple of reports from Woolamai as well.
Calamari reports were better from beaches than the jetties with Cleeland Bight a bit better than Ventnor. The best land-based reports lately have come from the Cowes jetty where a few quality snapper and gummies have showed up.
Overall, the whiting reports were OK and while we did get a couple of quality ones, the rest were nothing too special.
They were hard to find and several moves were needed to find a decent feed. The fish that were caught were all of good quality.
The best of the reports came from the Rhyll side of the bay and reports from Dickies Bay all the same with whiting hard to find. Double figures were rare but as one customer told us he caught eight that all went over 40cm, so he didn’t need 20 anyway and had whiting for several meals.
If you are needing to update your fishing licence, we are not doing them in-store at the moment so you will need to go online at vfa.vic.gov.au/fishinglicence. It’s an easy process. When you finish, you are sent a confirmation and it’s valid immediately. Don’t forget to check your safety gear and make sure everything is in date. Another law many don’t know about or just don’t think about is when you are launching or retrieving your boat and you are the only one in the boat, you must be wearing a life jacket.

Get your boat back in action

MARITIME Safety Victoria (MSV) is encouraging boaters to prepare their vessels to head back out on the water after a delayed start to the 2020-21 boating season.
Preparing now would mean keen boaters could head out on to the water safely for summer, according to MSV recreational boating safety manager, Gareth Johnson.
“Following the extension of the State of Emergency in April, we noticed an increase in call-outs to respond to broken down boats in May, June and July,” Mr Johnson said.
“Most of these call-outs were due to old fuel, lack of fuel and batteries running flat, so we’re encouraging people to check their vessels and safety equipment before heading out on the water.”
One of the easiest ways for boaters to get prepared for the return of boating is through MSV’s Boating Vic website and app.
Mr Johnson said boaters could prepare for future trips by heading to the Knowledge Hub.
“The Knowledge Hub provides comprehensive safety advice, tutorials and tips – from servicing lifejackets, to maintenance checklists and advice on what to look out for when buying a second-hand vessel.
“Boating Vic has boat ramp cameras around Port Phillip and Western Port to help boaters choose which launching location they want to go to before making the trip.”
Boating Vic also provides users with real-time weather forecasts and warnings for more than 400 Victorian boat ramps and launching facilities.
Discover Boating Vic at boating.vic.gov.au or download the Boating Vic app.
MSV is also asking users where they want to see boat ramp cameras next. Have your say at tiny.cc/boatingvicrampcams by Sunday, November 1.