Just to add a little more frustration to stock levels there is a strike, work slow or wages dispute, one of the above, on the docks which is holding up containers of not only fishing tackle stocks but effecting many other businesses as well. We have received some of our seasons orders and the shelves are almost full again but I think we have more on backorder than we have received so if you are waiting for that new piece of gear for the season they tell us it won’t be long. Our bait freezers however are full and there is no problem with supply. We have a couple of new baits this season with our fresh, straight off the local boats, Octopus Heads. We also now have the larger 1kg boxes of USA squid, there are twin packs of salmon, perfect size for when the sharks turn up or strip baits for snapper and gummies. The silver whiting is bigger this season, so far, for those who want baits for their squid spikes plus all of our usual baits. We have 10lt buckets of dry berley pellets and finally back in is Tuna Berley Logs. We have now gone back to 7 days a week and while business is still limited in the amount of customers around we are expanding our hours as the weather improves and if you are heading out for an early start just gives us a call at the shop to check we will be open for you.
With the patchy weather this week reports were a understandably on the quieter side but those we received were on the quality side. It was definitely a case of opportunity this week and just heading out for a quick fish in between the changes of weather. All the reports came from customers that looked at the weather and headed out to fish a tide change between the wind, sometimes in the rain. We had a few reports from the land where the wind isn’t really a factor just a nuisance at times, the advantage of fishing on an island if its blowing on one side drive over to the other side.
Snapper are the main target at the moment, and they seemed to have settled into the expected spots rather than all over the bay as they were a few weeks ago. All over the bay however is 100’s of pinkies, the very small variety. It’s as if they didn’t leave and just took a break for a while but are back with no shortage of numbers. They seem to be in the biggest numbers across the shallower areas of the corals and not so many in the deeper channels. Maybe it’s the reason we aren’t seeing the bigger snapper over the shallow corals with the pinkies just stealing baits with those who have persevered still not seeing anything big. The best of the reports is coming from Elizabeth island and above, up to the fingers. The snapper we had reported were all good fish at 5kg or above with a report we were told about of a snapper that pushed the scales over 9kg. although we had some good reports the numbers of fish caught didn’t reflect the pictures showing up on sounders which probably has a bit to do with the temperature of the water still a little low.
There were some good reports from off the land this week, beaches, and jetties with several not able to head out in the boat so chasing a bit of bait on the beach. The salmon showed up a couple of times this week on the beaches at Kilcunda, but the fish were small, a couple of reports from Woolamai as well. Calamari reports were better from beaches than the jetties with Cleeland bight a bit better than Ventnor. The best land-based reports lately have come from the Cowes jetty where a few quality snapper and gummies have showed up.
Overall, the Whiting reports were ok and while we did get a couple that were quality the rest were nothing too special. They were hard to find and several moves were needed to find a decent feed, the fish that were caught all of good quality. The best of the reports came from the Rhyll side of the bay and reports from dickies bay all the same with whiting hard to find. Double figures were rare but as one customer told us he caught 8 that all went over 40cm, so he didn’t need 20 anyway and had whiting for several meals.
If you are needing to update your fishing licence we are not doing them in store at the moment so you will need to go online at www.vfa.vic.gov.au/fishinglicence it’s an easy process, when you finish you are sent a confirmation and is valid immediately. Don’t forget to check your safety gear and make sure everything is in date. Another law that many don’t know about or just don’t think about is when you are launching or retrieving your boat and you are the only one in the boat you must be wearing a life jacket.