With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

ANOTHER week of cold starts, fog, wind and then calm. The week started with wind that seemed to come from every which way, and bit of weed at the beaches.

The rest of the week came good, more favourable light winds, clear water and a larger fishable window presented itself. Unfortunately, towards the weekend the fog kicked in, thick, which haltered those willing to head offshore until it disappeared closer to 9am, then the pristine conditions really shone through.

Still, the amount of phone calls and messages we have received this week has been overrun with tuna; people are still madly chasing the big fish. The desperation in people’s voices has a hope with it that we are going to tell them what they want to hear, unfortunately, there is a bit of yes and a bit of no with the common “are there tuna still?”

Yes, the tuna are still around, all week there has been good-sized numbers of schools and good-sized fish amongst them, but that’s where the good news ends. The fish just are not hungry. We have seen many try and throw every lure, every skirt every which way but they are just not interested. Like I said a couple weeks ago, the tuna being full doesn’t help those eager to catch them, but it does help us, the basis for any good ecosystem starts at the bottom. Baitfish may be at the bottom of our food chain but they’re higher up on the fish on ours which makes this catch 22 important.

Apart from the odd whiting that is too skinny to worry about or the odd small salmon from the beaches, there really isn’t a huge array of successful catch stories to report. The calamari are still in good numbers, mainly from the San Remo jetty and caught in decent sizes, but from the beaches have quietened a bit, especially with the week in Cleeland.
Over the last fortnight, we have however heard of two reports of small mako sharks being caught, one of which was landed while the other was just a chance meeting. Stating the new normal makes no sense anymore, we get so many phone calls regarding people wanting to know if it’s worth bringing some heavier gear, the easy answer is always. If you have the room to bring it then do, the worst result is you don’t use it, the best result is you use it and catch a shark or a tuna. Nothing like leaving it at home and the person next to you didn’t and hooked up.

Without the risk of sounding like a broken record, South Australian pippies are not available currently, the season does not open again until at least October 31, 2021. Whilst we love being able to provide you with all the baits you want to use, sometimes it’s just not possible. Like our snapper season, there are bait seasons, especially for pippies from South Australia, and the last 12 months have seen this season a bit shorter. There are a variety of reasons that pippies are unavailable but due to conservation, the commercial collection does not begin until at least the end of October. For extra information, please visit the South Australian Fisheries website; there is some great information on what’s going on.

School holidays are now over. It is now the time of the year where we enter the coldest, quietest time of the year. There is a lot of good things that come from this time of year, the wind is generally at its calmest, the season is not too far away and it’s too cold to go out, giving you time in front of the fire to make some rigs.

Don’t forget we are always wanting to hear your reports, send them in, call or contact us on our Facebook page. Need fish identified? Send them to us via our social media pages and we will do our best to help you out.