Cup weekend and the weather couldn’t have been any better with sunshine, light winds creating plenty of opportunity to head out for a fish. Once the easterly stopped the reports were good during the week in the lead up to the weekend, then Saturday was patchy but picked up for the rest of the weekend and we had some very good catches reported. Being the cup long weekend there was plenty of visitors from other regional areas and it was good to see the tables out the front of the pubs, restaurants and cafes full with people enjoying the sunshine while helping put some money into the local economy. Overall, the fishing has been ok but patchy over the last couple of weeks but with the warmer days it’s definitely showing signs that the fishing is on the improve. We have seen some very good catches land based this season so far and hopefully the weather will settle soon and we will start to get reports from those waiting to fish offshore.
Land based this week has continued to be consistent and at times out fished the boats, especially for calamari. The beachs at Ventnor and in Cleeland bight produced plenty with some that were first thought to be clumps of weed they were so heavy. There was a mixture of baited jigs and artificial ones under floats and we had several reports from customers starting to cast and retrieve off the beach catching a few. If you are not using a float and casting off the beach just remember not to let it sink too much as it will get caught in the weed and the jig will be gone, it takes a bit of practice to get it right. Finally some better numbers off the jetties and plenty of ink stains to go with the reports, artificial jigs the preferred and most successful but some using baited jigs did ok its just a little harder off the jetty using a float with other people fishing.
Boating and the calamari were ok with most looking for them at least finding a couple to use to up grade to a red or two. Most in boats now are only putting in very short sessions for the calamari are usually on their way to look for a snapper or some whiting, probably why the numbers are down a little in the boats. Squid jig colours are as usual very difficult to work out and we had times again in the shop with customers discussing the best colour, all different of course which shows the importance of building up a variety.
Snapper, while they haven’t started spawning as yet with the water temperature a bit low still are far more aggressive than they have been. There are still the odd bigger fish that is just mouthing baits and not really hitting it hard so make sure you have options with your hook types and sizes. Most of the reports came from the deeper snapper areas but with the warm days we are starting to see more in the shallows late in the day. There is plenty of smaller pinkies being reported and not a lot you can do if they ware annoying you other than move, the problem is most of the bigger fish are with the pinkies so extra baits and perseverance is needed. The reports are also changing with more size pinkies being reported and most catches are a mixture of pinkies and snapper. Baits don’t seem to be too critical either with customers telling us one day its pilchards the next its squid then the next its anything. The bait with the slight advantage over all the rest is fresh, head out early catch some calamari, salmon, couta or yakkas then head over for a snapper fish.
Whiting reports are up and down but much better now that a month ago with bigger fish and bags being reported. We held our whiting competition over the weekend and while I have to write this before the comp is finishes Tuesday afternoon we have had several good whiting from both boats and land weighed in and somebody will walk away with a $200 rod and reel combo cup day. The whiting reports were concentrated at one stage below the bridge in cleeland bight with boats gunnel to gunnel all getting good fish. It then changed and the reports are coming from all over the place and its back to a guessing game as to the best spot to go but when you find it you will quickly get a good feed.
As the weather is warming up and the days are getting longer, we are extending our shop hours, 7 days a week, 8am to 5pm Mon to Fri and 7am to 5pm weekends. Our stock levels are getting better but its still a struggle with suppliers having plenty of issues of their own. We have a good local supply of fresh octopus heads for your gummy, snapper and whiting fishing as well as a large variety of baits and berleys. We will start our guess the weight comps on Facebook soon and continue our auctions on Mon, Tue and Wed evenings with the odd clear out of stock on weekends so if you haven’t started following us on Facebook yet now is the time to do it. We will also have details soon of a competition we are running during December and if you enjoy a pub meal this one’s for you.