Jim’s Bait and Tackle Fishing Report: 13/12/2020

Saturday 19th December, 2020

Typical early spring weather this week, winds all over the place, forecast nowhere near right, temperature from one extreme to the other, barometer needle moving faster than a second hand on a clock and when you did get out plenty of time needed to find the fish, the problem is of course its early winter and not spring. Generally, this time of the year we still see days of wind, normally an afternoon sea breeze, and you need to be lucky enough to be able to take advantage when it arises but not diving in the cupboard for warm jackets. As you would expect the reports reflected the weather and the time of the year. With many getting ready for Christmas, work and family gatherings and tradies trying to do the impossible and finish off jobs before everything closes it has left the pool of those able to fish a little low. We did however have some very good reports from those lucky enough to be able to fish and those who haven’t been able to get out don’t need to worry too much because the fish haven’t gone anywhere.

Whiting dominated the reports this week, if you don’t count undersized pinkies, mostly because the windows in the weather were very small and people didn’t venture too far from the ramps. There is still just over a week to go on our “Tins for Tings” fishing comp so don’t forget to bring in your catch to weigh. The heaviest whiting so far weighed in at 625g but there are 2 major prizes, heaviest and second heaviest so while yours might not beat the 625g it might be enough to take out the second heaviest. Last week Duncan and Ian were lucky enough to win a $20 drinks voucher at the San Remo and Westernport hotels when their whiting was closest to the weekly mystery weights. The reports this week were mostly from shallow water with only a handful from the deep. I don’t think the whiting have gone from the deep, but the pinkies seem to have moved in by the 100’s and the whiting are not getting a chance to get to the baits. We had a couple of reports from customers that bagged out and some that got close with the majority of those coming from Cleeland bight and dickies bay, often both areas were needed to get your numbers.

Snapper reports this week definitely slowed down but more due to the fact there wasn’t very many out chasing them. The reports from those who did target them suggest that numbers and size are still good. This week the snapper was like the whiting with the shallower better because of the weather not allowing you to fish the deep. We only had a couple over 5kg reported with most of the bigger snapper closer to 4kg, perfect size for that Christmas day BBQ. Best areas were Corinella and as far up as the fingers then close to Rhyll.

Calamari reports are just rolling along while being nothing too special but on the same token no one is complaining much about what is around or the quantity they are getting. We had some quality size reported from in Cleeland bight, both from the boat and from the beach. The majority caught on baited jigs this week with the calamari often following the artificial jigs but just not taking them and even the customers that caught them on the baited ones saying that they seemed a bit timid. No one reported getting their bag of calamari but 5 or 6 seemed to be the standard and the sizes were all over the place with everyone managing at least one big one.

Offshore hasn’t been that friendly for the average size boat to head out with a reasonable size swell over the last few weeks now. There has as there always is a few opportunities for those more experienced and while the flathead were patchy and the pinkies seem to have also found their way into the deep the best report for the week came from a customer that headed in Sunday, just after I had been sent a video of a large school of kingfish and decided to pick up a lure just in case he found them. Getting out there and finding it a bit choppy to fish for flathead he decided to just do a bit of blind trawling and to his surprise was rewarded with, not a kingfish but a Bluefin Tuna. It is about a month earlier than they showed up last year but showing up now just fits perfectly with the strange year we are having, a handful were also caught off port Phillip heads Sunday as well.

Christmas is almost here and from speaking with the accommodation businesses there isn’t a lot left and if the weather is fine there will be a welcome influx of visitors spending plenty of money we hope. It means ramps, jetties and beaches will be busy and you will need to fish a bit smarter to not get caught up in the traffic. Christmas also means longer hours for us and from Boxing day we will be open at 6am every day until at least the middle of January then 6am every weekend. For up to date opening hours and fishing reports jump onto our Facebook page. 

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