It has been another slow week and apart from the armada of boats out looking for the elusive barrel bluefin there hasn’t been a lot of people fishing in the bay or people standing on the jetties. We have seen a few on the surf beaches but with a couple of days with big swell there was a bit of weed blown in and difficult to fish at times. Were ever you are fishing in a boat the draughtboards will keep you busy and that’s why it pays to check your baits often. They will just sit on the bait and chew away and you won’t always know they are there until you do a bait check. It’s just part of winter fishing and not a lot you can do other than move but we are getting reports all the way up to lang lang now, there will be more around the bay entrances and patchy in the bay itself. For the middle of winter, the winds have mostly been perfect with plenty of patches of sunshine. The daylight hours have increased noticeably over the last couple of weeks and it won’t be long before the land based squid areas will be busy in the evenings with people getting their snapper baits.
While fishing is a little slow it’s time to get ready and at the shop we are running weekly auctions. Those who follow us on Facebook will know what I am talking about for those who don’t every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights we have an online auction between 6.30 and 9pm, there have been plenty of customers that have picked up a bargain or two and it’s a bit of fun. We also include postage for the winning bidder if they want it delivered to their door. We are always looking at ideas to include those who don’t have Facebook and always open to ideas that our customers might have. We also have other specials during the week and will start out online competitions and once people get out fishing regular reports.
We are getting reports from those in the bay of the usual whiting, calamari and snapper but not too many and mixed sizes this week. All that gave us reports had the same message, be prepared to look around if you want a feed of fish. as is always the case through winter, the fish are there but just don’t seem to feed as often and are harder to find. You will encounter plenty of unwanted fish while fishing at the moment but those successful told us just to persevere and something will come along. There is one thing consistent with all catches over the cooler months and that’s the quality of what you catch. Not often do you catch small or undersize fish, they are usually better quality, not necessarily in length but in weight.
The best reports this week came from the Cowes side of the bay and down as far as Cat bay for whiting and calamari. The reports from the San Remo side came in and while the quality was similar the numbers weren’t as good. The reports are coming from the usual spots you would expect to catch calamari or whiting but the better spot is different every time we get a report.
Flathead offshore are as difficult as the rest of the fish at the moment but just because you find them in one spot one day it won’t mean they are in that spot next time and nothing changes, pick an area and work it in a grid of short drifts until you find them. Those who caught them during the week said the sizes were very mixed and more went back into the water than into the esky. It’s worth the effort to head towards the windmills on the better days with a couple of reports of quality gummies and even a couple of small snapper.
The snapper season is just around the corner and it won’t be long until the reports start to come in, once the current situation with the virus settles and the weather warms up a bit of course. When you do head out for an early season snapper fish don’t forget it’s the start not the end of the season. Don’t just sit there and wait for the hit and run, complaining that small fish are just picking at your baits, we get plenty of reports of solid 6kg plus snapper that was originally ignored as a nuisance flathead bite. If you are someone that uses circle hooks only I would be looking at least 1 rig out with normal octopus style and try and hook a few of these smaller bites, you might just be surprised. We now have a regular local supply of octopus heads which not only make excellent snapper and gummy baits, but small strips also make great bait for whiting.