Another week in snapper season and plenty more snapper reported and double the amount of those not having any luck. There seems to have been a bit of a change and the reports we are getting now are almost what you would expect. It’s been pleasing to see the other main species for this time of the year also settling a little and better bags being reported. nothing has really fired, and the conditions are still very changeable but plenty of promising signs for the season ahead. It will still be sometime before they are jumping onto the hooks and looking back through diaries, I think it will be an old fashion season with cup weekend when it all fires up with the fish lasting longer. There is no shortage of fish in the bay, even if you only take ½ those showing up on sounders being snapper. they are starting to stack up in groups and mostly found on some sort of structure. Whiting seems to be seeking out the clearer and slightly warmer waters with calamari much the same. A bit of movement in the tide has also helped and the new moon produced some healthy gummies. While the gummies in the bay might drop off a bit for the next couple of weeks the rest we would expect to continue to get better and better.
Most of the Snapper reports this week came from the top end of the bay, Elizabeth Island to the fingers with very few back towards Rhyll. The bite was as you would expect with them hitting big baits and hitting them hard. The snapper was almost all big and only the odd smaller one was reported, if you don’t count the undersized ones that is. It was a mixture of baits that were successful but squid and pilchards the best. Those who caught the best or most put plenty of time into sounding the fish up and fishing the tide changes with a lot of the reports coming from overnight. The schools of fish, while getting bigger, still seem to be in lots of smaller groups and you might only catch one out of that group and need to go and find some more. They are also getting more aggressive not at the stage where its life or death for them to grab your bait like they will be in another month or so. We also had a handful of reports from the jetties and as you would expect it was from Cowes and Newhaven. What you might not expect is all the reports we had were from during the day and not at night.
Calamari have finally woken up this week and while we didn’t have too many reporting bagging out, we did get several report they caught at least 6 or so which is much better than we have been getting. Both the boats and the land was good, and the size was anything from tiny to very very respectable. Land boat or kayak the best was the baited jigs by a long way and once those on the water worked out those on the land were getting plenty and changed to very shallow water, they increased their catches. Cleeland bight the best for on the water or on the land with a couple from Cowes jetty and a bit better at San Remo jetty.
This week I think many gave up on driving to every bait shop they could looking for pippies and just started using mussels, squid or pilchards and went fishing. We had dozens of calls this week from people looking for pippies, real SA ones. Many of those calls came from Melbourne and despite a couple of them asking me if I was keeping them just for locals the sad facts are we don’t have any for anybody and neither does any suppliers. It is becoming very taxing with almost every customer asking the same question about pippies, if we could find some, we would certainly have some. Hopefully, the situation will be a bit clearer come the end of the month when the commercial season opens again. the whiting reports this week came from the shallower, cleaner, warmer corners of the bay when the tide cleaned it up. The tide movement also helped this week with the dead tides having an effect over the last couple of weeks. A few reports from Cleeland Bight but the majority from Maggi shoal, Bass River, Leolia shoal and coronet bay.