A question we get asked often in the shop is “where can we go to be guaranteed to catch a fish, we have been trying and no success so far”. If the answer was a simple one and I could guarantee an answer I wouldn’t write about it in a free newspaper report but charge for it and probably retire early. There is no simple answer and no we aren’t keeping it a secret, there can be many different reasons but ultimately fishing is not really a science it is one of the oldest forms of feeding the family and still as basic as it was in the cave man days, it’s just been complicated by a thing called retail. When you come in and ask us that type of question, we generally will start from you gear and work our way through what you are doing to see if we can help. There are a 100 things that could help your chances but one thing we can’t control or give you the formula for is, exactly when the fish will be there and if they will be hungry. A very important thing to remember is how is everyone around you doing. I don’t mean your mate who caught them in your spot yesterday but, especially on the jetties or beaches, is anybody else catching them by the bucketful. If the answer is no, very little is being caught then chances are you are doing nothing wrong at all. When you should really question what you are doing is when you are the only one not catching. Experience while not necessary it just helps to fine tune what you are doing but the one thing that will guarantee you a good catch is something you can’t but for any price “Luck”. If you are unsure of your set ups or methods drop in and see us at the shop, bring your gear with you and while we can’t give you that guarantee we will do what we can to improve your chances.
Reports were a little quiet this week with the weather turning to the no so favourable side for both boating and land based, there was the odd patch that people took advantage of. Wind, rain, and a bit on the cool side until the weekend where we had a good patch of sunshine and light winds. The problem was I think everyone was having a sleep in after watching the grand final because there were very few around early. The weather is nothing too surprising for this time of the year and neither was the fishing reports. Some good fish reported but nothing much in the way of consistency in when or where. There was however a few more signs that some species are starting to show up where and when you would expect.
Snapper are of course the main species chased this time of the year and for the first time this year we had the reports we expect. While a few were caught the expected came in the form of those reporting some very good sounder pictures from the top end of the bay, Temby, Freemans, the Fingers. The fish were still a bit timid and hard to get them to bite but the pictures showed much bigger schools of good-sized fish and the pictures from further down the bay were of much smaller schools. Those who caught snapper this week continued to report the same as has been the trend over the last couple of weeks, fish a spot your chances were slim but spend plenty of time on the sounder and find the fish, anchor on them and berley away generally produced a fish or two. Early season snapper also can be very soft on the bite and more like a flathead bite than a snapper run, so light drags, good hooks, and patience.
Calamari reports improved this week both land and boat/kayak and seems they have got a little more aggressive once you get them interested. Everyone has a different method, especially when it comes to an artificial jig and sometimes you have to try them all to make it work. No way is the wrong way, despite how you or your mate caught them last time there is just a right way for that day, colour is the same. So, try it all, fast, slow, deep, shallow, white, black, green, or purple. When they are very aggressive, they will almost hit anything, but they seem to get into a lazy mood and spend more time just following the jigs or playing with them and unless you drop it on their head, they won’t take it. We tell the above to many customers and it surprises me how many say they just do the exact same thing every time and are not always successful, but it worked last time so should be ok this time. The best during the week was Cleeland bight with those in boats/kayaks doing the best and a handful from the beach. When the water cleaned up those fishing the jetties found a few also and with all it was a mixture of baited and artificial.
Not that there was a lot of opportunity for whiting fishing during the week with the weather, but we did get a few reports. The reports mostly came from those in boats looking for calamari dropping a whiting rod. We didn’t see a lot, but the quality was excellent and if you did manage a handful, you had plenty for a feed and some for the freezer.