Bit of a mixed week this week with the weather and the fish not playing their part when they were expected to. There was still some quality fish caught but came from in the windows of opportunity rather that a few of the times people expected they would. Friday night was a perfect example where we had a very warn afternoon, not a bad tide and calm conditions expected after dark, so the shallows was going to be the place to head for a snapper. The problem was no one told the snapper and very few showed up. The weather also changed and for those who stayed a bit later and it wasn’t the best of trips back to the ramp.
It’s great to see the ever-increasing numbers of visitors to the island which is helping to put smiles back on the faces of the business owners with the extra trade. While the mask wearing rules have been relaxed for walking around in the open don’t forget that they are still required when entering shops, something that seems to be forgotten by many over the weekend. Agree or don’t, that’s not an argument we aren’t interested in we are just not interested I the negative advertising that it will bring when caught by the mask police. We are at the moment still restricted to 4 people in the shop at any one time, apparently we don’t qualify as a business that can go to the 22m rule, still trying to get clarification on that but hope to be able to increase it soon, until then we just ask for a little patience, also please remember we don’t make the rules we just have to pay the fines.
During all the restrictions, shutdowns and the changes of Covid over the last 9 months or so we have and are continuing to make some changes to our business. One of those changes is Fishing Licences, we stopped doing them when the first lockdown happened and then the rules around sharing pens, cleaning made it difficult for us to continue with them. Fishing licences can be quite an effort for a business, that why many no longer do them, and despite the, “it brings people into the shop” that we get often, because of where we are over 50% of those who purchase a licence purchase nothing else and are not customers. Add the time involved in writing out the licence the time processing the licences monthly, the fees of credit card payments and that’s before we get into the, because we sell them it’s our fault you have to have them or the difficulties in dealing with admin of fisheries we have decided that we will no longer be doing fishing licences. They are very simple to sign up for online for your licence, valid as soon as you have paid and cheaper than in store, just jump onto the fisheries web site and follow the directions.
“Tins for Tings” is the name of our December whiting fishing competition. It’s a simple competition that starts on the 1st of December and runs through to the 22nd. The two heaviest whiting caught during that time will win a $100 meal voucher for either the Westernport or San Remo Hotel. There are also weekly prizes of $20 vouchers for the San Remo or Westernport hotels for those closest to the weekly mystery weight. FREE entry, NO registration, Weight 2 whiting each per day towards the mystery weight prize, fish from the land, boat, kayak, more information, and results find us on Facebook.
Overall, the Whiting were a little smaller this week, but the numbers were still good, and we had several reports of customers into double figures. Times of reports were all over the place and no real pattern other than from those fishing the deeper water where the last of the run out tide was the best, the rest of the reports from all over the tide. The wind made it difficult at time also with it against or side on to the tide making it difficult get the boat to sit right. Baits to be successful in the deep were a mixture of squid and pilchard with pippies a distant 3rd but if you don’t like catching tiny pinkies don’t go chasing whiting in the deep because the ratio is around 6 pinkies for every whiting.
Snapper reports, for the opportunities available were ok this week but we didn’t get as many reports of customers bagging out but plenty of reports of two or three for the boat. Reports were spread out this week and we would get one from someone fishing off Elizabeth in the deep water of the channel then 5 minutes later a report from 4m off coronet bay on the mud. Even the reports we had from those out after dark were the same, some in the deep, some in the shallows and others from the middle of the corals. No monsters this week either but plenty around the 4kg mark which are a good size for baking whole on the BBQ or taking a couple of generous sized fillets off.
Calamari reports didn’t slow down, and the dredge had no affect at all on the San Remo jetty, if anything made them more aggressive. Beach reports were the same and most people commented about how aggressive they were this week, not just dragging the float under but trying to take line as well. Boating customers seem to have no trouble finding one or two for a session on the snapper or whiting, but I didn’t get any reports from people just going out to chase only calamari. We did get several reports from customers chasing snapper or whiting, even across the corals having a jig down and landing the odd calamari or two.