With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

THERE is no denying the last two weeks for fishing have been somewhat of a sad but hopeful tale.

There still remains that uncertainty that you’re going to catch anything at all every time you step out but with the weather we have been having, it has almost been worth it. Not all was completely lost this week, as I stated already, the weather this week has been good, very fishable and consistently good for more than one day in a row (I know, super rare). Does that mean heaps of fish got caught?

Yes and no. I obviously get that vast number of people coming through the door giving me reports almost daily over summer. As we enter the cooler months, the number of people coming through the door and those fishing dwindles. Yet still the expectation is when you have a tackle store you know everything, I don’t want to disappoint anyone, but we don’t have the fish on the books, we don’t slip them some notes under the table, they don’t tell us where they are.

We rely on our customers, if you asked our fishing gear the last time we used it, it would tell you that it has forgotten what water is. The good days to fish we are here at the shop, helping others to fish, so unfortunately, if we do not have reports for you when you call/come in, it doesn’t mean that there are no fish out there, it just means there isn’t anyone telling us.

Lucky for you guys, we have had some people through the door this week, there have been people out fishing and they have been out their catching fish!

The whiting has really been the most predominate species of the last month, which has slightly changed over the last week. Again, those that have been doing okay have been getting up earlier in the morning and chasing them as the sun rises, typical to the form you would traditionally use in summer. There isn’t that one magic spot for them as of late, land-based off of the Rhyll jetty and back beach at Cape Woolamai have been the hotspots.

Flathead – everything, from everywhere.

Salmon are still very quiet. There has been a few nice 3kg ones coming from Anzac’s Beach, but these are the product of a lot of hours sitting in the wind and the extremely large swells we are continuing to have. Kilcunda’s Cemetery Beach has been crystal clear water just a bit weedy still, a few trevally but that’s the extent.

Don’t put away that snapper gear they seem to still be hungry. No, I am not talking about large pinkies but in fact actual snapper, a lot of 70cm, a few 7kgs again this week and a large number of 3-4kg ones to go. Most of these are coming from up the top of the bay just past the red pole, with the 7kg a by-catch from down in Cleeland Bight.

Whilst the gummy sharks are starting to become more dominant, it’s hard to look past the size of the school sharks that are being caught with plenty from inside the bay towards Elizabeth but the majority of the bigger ones coming from outside in the Strait. Of those offshore schoolies the biggest report was 18kg.

It seems our tuna friends have decided to make our waters their permanent home, not a great number of sightings have transitioned into actual catches, but they are still there. The last report I did, I stated that the big bait balls that were keeping them here had subsided, but they’re back. The ocean is currently sitting at around 15 degrees, the whales are making their way back here and the ocean is absolutely alive with fish. There have been a few catches of tuna but all focused towards Inverloch.

Don’t forget, no report is too small. You can always come in, call us, send us a message on Facebook.

$4.1m for Rhyll boat ramp upgrade

BASS Coast Shire Council last week awarded a $4.17m contract to Simpson Construction Company Pty Ltd to upgrade the Rhyll boat ramp and surrounding area.

Although the total value of the contract was $4.17m (GST exclusive), which included a provisional sum of $175,000, costs could be as high as $5.2m after contingencies and project allowances.

The existing facility will be replaced by a three-lane boat ramp extending deeper into the bay allowing all-tide operation; two new fixed and floating pontoon jetties; car park upgrade and other land-side infrastructure.

Cr Ron Bauer, who is a council representative for the Rhyll boating facility upgrade community reference group, said the works were a good result for the community.

“I’ve used the boat ramp there for years and it’s the only 24/7 boat ramp on the Island,” Cr Bauer said.

“Even the Anderson Street boat ramp can only be used successfully at high tide.

“The signage will be very good and when people come for fishing, there will be fish cleaning facilities.”

Two construction windows will be aimed at minimising disruption to boat ramp users and to accommodate snapper fishing season.

• Stage 1 – Onsite works are planned to be undertaken between June and August 2021. This work will focus on the car park reconfiguration and seawall replacement works.

• Stage 2 – Marine component works including jetties, pontoons and boat ramp lanes will be programmed for delivery in February/March 2022 and completed by August 2022.

Funding for the project came from Better Boating Victoria – $4.08m and DELWP (contribution towards seawall works) $340,000.

It’s anticipated to be completed by August 2022.