Responsibility and Etiquette! Two simple words but the two things that we get the most complaints about from customers. Normally we I bring these topics up the first comments we get is, “the people from Melbourne just don’t care” unfortunately for those who use this excuse it just isn’t valid at the moment, not that it is anytime. For some reason I have had more than usual and are losing track of the calls or comments from customers about both of these issues. The question of etiquette is a simple one that starts at the boat ramp and are so simple they should be second nature, be ready, don’t wait until you are backed down the ramp to put all your gear in the boat, hang back in the line, wave people past. If possible and there is two of you launch your boat and one drive it out the way while the other parks the car, don’t tie it up 2m from the back of the trailer so no one can use that ramp until you come back. Same when you get back, load your boat then take your fish to the tables to clean them this keeps the jetty clear for those who are on their own to tie up. If you see someone struggling offer to give them a hand, this will be the quickest way for you to use the ramp, standing there yelling at them doesn’t achieve much. I could write a whole page on etiquette once you are on the water but the main one is just give others space. Don’t anchor on top of them and give a bit of distance to those trolling or at anchor already, very simple to do and will take a massive few minutes out of your day.
Unfortunately, responsibility is the one that is standing out at the moment and for all the wrong reasons and again most of the time it’s something that only takes a few minutes or a bit of care. We all know the responsibility to follow the rules and regulations and while we are a fishing tackle shop, we don’t actually make or enforce these rules so next time you are at the filleting table and see someone with undersize fish don’t call us because there is nothing we can do, call the fisheries number. There seems to be plenty of bait bags getting washed up on the beaches and seen floating on the water. We have all been guilty of not securing our rubbish and occasionally it will blow off a bait board or jetty but the excuse “the shops don’t give out plastic bags anymore, so we have nothing to put our rubbish in” doesn’t really wash as an excuse. There are plenty of concerned residents that walk the beaches and for some reason have a need to drop the empty bait bags into us at the shop, something we would rather not have to deal with. The other excuse for leaving or dropping rubbish is “if the council supplied more bins I would have somewhere to put it” while this is something I actually agree with and something we will be chasing further once we get through this covid problem, it still isn’t an excuse for leaving rubbish around. By far the biggest complaint of late has been the state of the filleting tables. Two things’ people don’t take enough responsibility for is, disposing your fish frames and offal and the state you leave the cleaning table in. Cleaning tables have been removed from boat ramps for reasons like this because of the unpleasant odour that the residents have to put up with. Its again very simple, make sure you throw everything well past the high-water mark, not just at the bottom of the table and wash the table down when you are finished. Excuses like, “doesn’t matter the birds will get it” “the tide just washes it back in” (needs to be in the water at least for that to happen) “there wasn’t any water” “I was in a hurry” but the best is “the council should be sending someone around to keep things clean” There is no excuse really and again only takes a few more minutes to do the right thing. I do agree with the comment from almost everyone that the facilities are pathetic and again something we will be chasing up after we get past period. Having travelled through SA and WA and seen the importance given to the boating sector there in both ramp facilities and cleaning tables it really is embarrassing to see what we have.
I will again expect a few calls about the above, but I have always said if customers have something they would like mentioned I will write about it, especially when several of the same complaints come in. Normally I do these opinion pieces when it has been a slow week of reports, but it’s been anything but with plenty of good numbers of the three main species for this time of the year, snapper, whiting, calamari, have come in. It was a week of good quality fish and good numbers, some even bagging out, but it has been a week of having the opportunity to just go. The forecast and the actual was considerably different at times making it very difficult for those who don’t live close to the water. For those who do and were able to take advantage there will be plenty of fish in the freezer and the best part is with these conditions you are generally only out for a handful of hours and not an all-day session. There was of course plenty who missed out but that’s just fishing.
Snapper were best in the deep water during the early morning this week while the afternoon fish came from the shallows then after dark produced them from all over. They still haven’t really fired up yet but are showing signs every day that it won’t be long. The odd one has been reported from the corals area and I think it will still be a couple of weeks before they move down to this part of the bay.
Whiting reports were a mixture of deep and shallow, but time of the day didn’t make much difference as we had reports from both at the same time. The bigger fish were deep as they usually are and those fishing deep reported trevally and pinkies from the same place. Shallow was a mixture of sizes but all in good condition no matter the depth. The numbers were still nothing to write home about and if it wasn’t for the quality many might not have even chased them.
Calamari finally look as if they have turned up and the numbers were very good this week from both land and boat/kayak. Almost every spot you would expect to find them you did with a mixture of sizes but much more consistency in the size than previous weeks. The best method is still baited jigs, but artificial jigs weren’t that far behind, especially when the water cleared up.