With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

Check out this haul caught locally.

There’s a couple of meals in this catch.

THE time warp has continued, it was hot in the shop this week, yes hot.

We all know exactly how much Victoria’s four seasons in one day can happen but this week we have stuck to one, the majority of the days have been sunny t-shirt weather. There are plenty of people around but not many fishing, especially on Mother’s Day but that was to be expected when old mate weatherman gets his job wrong.

Let’s talk about wastage! As someone from a chef background, there is almost an absolute injustice that certain species of fish tend to be subjected to regularly. This time of year, without a doubt, those predominant species tend to be subject to this more so. No, this is not directed at every fisherman out there but to some of you, as we do have some extremely inventive home cook fisherman out there that really are slightly more educated than others as to what to actually do.

So, what do you do with your catch? Are you a fillet, fry and batter person or are you a crumb, cut and cook? These days humanity has lost the ability to sit down and enjoy the process of cooking, preparing and eating the food they have especially caught, we are all busier and time seems to become lesser than the more it goes by so whipping off that quick fillet is just that: quick.

As fishermen, especially, we need to do what we can to continue efforts made by others in the industry to contribute to sustainable fishing. This doesn’t just mean taking the amount you need but it also means that we need to evaluate what size you take. Honestly, because something is just legal size, do you need that tiny little fillet that much or can we maybe let it grow another six months?

Back to sustainability and food – so now you have caught a fish, why should you stop at the fillet? Don’t necessarily eat every inch of the fish but use the fillet, use the bones, make a soup or stock, everyone knows the best meat is in the head! If you’re not into eating the nose to tail don’t just throw away your frames, save them up, great berley!

Especially this time of year salmon is generally the main species, not that we have seen many, yet they are still hiding. Australian salmon for some reason always seem to get a bad rap, I hear the same thing nearly daily “I want to catch salmon because they’re fun, but they don’t taste good” to which I often ask, “how are you cooking it?” Ninety per cent of the time people are just filleting and frying (the old trusty fried fish). You just spent a lot of time and effort to catch that fish, spend that time in the kitchen, make some smoked salmon, poach it, oven bake it in a pie, and if all else fails turn them into patties. Herbs and citrus are absolutely your best friend when it comes to seafood! The moral of this long-winded story is, there is more than one use for a fish, get the kids, grandkids or your partner involved and teach them about how to sustainably catch and cook to ensure that there is fish for the future.

It’s nice to think that we will be spoilt for choice every time we step out to go fishing but this last week is becoming a regular occurrence from the past few weeks. There is fish and they have slightly improved from previous weeks although there are still more fisherman struggling to get their bag than there is getting them.

Whiting have become back on the bite this week, most coming from off of Rhyll in the boat or down towards the sand dune on Woolamai back beach off the land. Plenty around that 40cm mark and still nice and fat.

Calamari have drastically improved this week, plenty of 1kg ones off the boats and land-based at Ventnor, Rhyll and again Woolamai back beach.

I am getting a lot of people noticing a lot of breakoffs up the top of the bay, there are a lot of schoolies up there at the moment so try running a stronger leader or run a bit of a wire leader. Also keep an eye out for the gummy sharks up there as there have been a few decent catches in the past week, the majority from the guys overnight.

We are starting up our regular auctions on our Facebook page this week so don’t forget to head over to our page so you don’t miss out on any specials.