A nice result for this pair of fishermen.

Happy with his catch!

A happy young fisherman.

with Jim’s Bait & Tackle

THEY say what a difference a week makes but, at the moment, it’s what a difference a year makes.

Twelve months ago, we were hearing about this new virus that was spreading around the world and while it sounded serious, there were more tragic events happening with the bushfires. Little did we know how serious all this would become in a very short time and what a change it would make to all our lives. Was it handled correctly? Was it over-policed? Did we really do enough?

Everyone will have different opinions and who is right or wrong, only time will tell when all of this is looked at more closely, but I guess, if nothing else, it give s us a base next time something like this happens. While this is appearing to be far from over, the pleasing thing is most of the businesses around this area survived, sadly not all did, and I think people need to be careful how they judge those who didn’t make it or even the way some businesses are now operating. For almost every business owner it has been an extremely stressful time and a day-to-day proposition often making things up on the run. Be patient, there is no doubt things will be different going forward and some change will be needed from all and will take time to get to a new normal, so if you have to stand in a queue for a little longer than normal, pay only with card, wear a mask or wait outside until someone leaves to make room for you, spare a thought for the business owner who has no choice or has made a difficult choice.

It seems the good weather is having a bit of a break last week as well with a return to some very strong winds and almost tropical rain. What will this change do to the fishing? I guess we will find out when people are able to head out for a fish again. Disappointing for those who decided to work Christmas and have some time off once kids went back to school but the weather is the one thing that none of us can control. There were those who found small windows or know the area and found a fishing spot during the week and while reports were mixed some went home with a good feed for the table.

The end of January sees a bit of a breather for us at the shop and with most back at work, we also reduce our hours. We are still open seven days a week but go back to 8am opening during the week and 6am weekends. Our stock levels have been reasonable through January and we have several deliveries scheduled during this month. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for what is arriving as well as some clear out specials we will have during February.

There were as many fishing from the land this week as there were from boats, after Australia Day anyway. It was one of the worse Australia Days for weather in the last few years and I think because we had such a good run up to it everybody had fished enough and headed home early to get ready for the return to work and school.

Those fishing during the week deserved all the fish they caught with some ordinary conditions. The surf beaches produced several smaller salmon, and it made no difference if you fished Kilcunda or the Island beaches. What we did see though was a few other species from the surf, Kilcunda near the bridge, Smiths and the Colonnades produced a few flathead and even a couple of pinkies with a handful of whiting and trevally from the rocks at Sunderland Bay on the low tide.

Only a handful of calamari this week, boating was difficult with little opportunity until the weekend and land difficult with the strong winds. There was a lot of weed in the water as well, fouling up jigs very quickly and only those with lots of patience managed any from the land. The best of the land-based calamari this week came from the Cowes side of the island which was protected most of the time from the winds. Boating calamari reports came from a couple of places out from Cowes but also from in Cleeland Bight when the winds allowed.

Whiting was the main target from the boats this week with snapper and gummy grounds not really fishable for most of the time. Unlike the calamari, we had reports from several different areas with people using tide and wind to their advantage and fishing where it was best. We didn’t get any reports of customers getting big bags but enough to make it worth the effort of putting the boat in. Because you needed to fish the wind and tide, it meant fishing one spot until the tide turned then traveling to continue fishing so the tide and wind were in your favour. That’s why there weren’t really any spots that stood out as being better. We had many reports from many different whiting areas, deep and shallow with mostly small bags from each area, all due to the ever-changing weather and to get a decent quantity of fish required lots of moving. The bigger whiting, from the reports retreated to the deeper water with plenty of small fish up in the shallows.

Now we do have some quiet time we are starting to work on our Easter fishing competition for the Good Friday appeal. Keep an eye on the reports or our social media where we will add information as we work out the details.