Weather presents mixed blessings
  |  First Published: December 2014

It would be fair to say that this season has been a mixed blessing. The culprit has been the stop-start weather conditions where we have a couple of days near perfect and then we are suddenly hit with a cold windy snap that seems to put us right back to where we were.

Fortunately the better conditions seem to be more regular, which is great news, and snapper numbers have been pleasing. I have received numerous reports from the boat storage of snapper to the 10kg mark that have been taken on pilchards, squid and fresh fish fillets.

Tim Sawyer and a crew have had a number of trips out to some GPS marks where they have been doing very well after a couple of false starts. All that was put behind them when they bagged out on snapper that were to 4.5kg with the smallest just over 3kg and they were happy with their efforts.

When conditions have allowed there have been literally hundreds of boats on the water as the news spreads where gummies and big flathead have been caught in Singapore Deep, which is located at the entrance. This is where the water depth goes down to 40m but the same place can be dangerous. The reason being that for some reason the wind can suddenly get up and the unsuspecting boaters can find themselves in a dangerous situation. The idea is to head for shelter as quickly as possible.

Outside the entrance there have been good numbers of salmon being taken on a variety of natural baits and surface. They have been to the very impressive 3.5kg mark and really put on a great performance when jumping out of the water as well as their great fight. Quite a few will escape but it doesn’t really matter as there is always the next one and they make better whole bait for makos and similar type of big predators. Many anglers don’t go much for heir eating qualities as they have a fairly bland taste but of course that’s up to the individual choice.

Out wide near Cliffy Island there have been good reports of big flathead and gummy sharks being caught. This is an area where the fishing can be great but the weather can change quickly and being about 32km south of Port Albert, sufficient fuel is a must as it is on any trip.

As the emphasis has been on catching snapper, not many boaters have been concentrating on whiting for some reason. Those who have been going after the royals have been doing well where they have been to the 38cm mark in the Lewis Channel. This is where boaters have also been tying up to the Long Jetty, which flows on by and as well as whiting to the 38cm mark there have also been flathead, silvers and salmon making up very acceptable bags. The best of the baits have been pipis, small pieces of squid and Bass yabbies.

Nearby Port Albert has also been going along very well where land-based anglers have been catching plenty of squid. Shortly before this report they had been huge but have come down in size, but they are still all right, both on the table as well as very good bait. There have also been good numbers of flathead, silvers, mullet and big eels making up bags that are making a visit to the jetty well worthwhile.

Inside the entrance here have been pleasing numbers of flathead, silvers and gummies being caught on both sides of the tide. The area known as the ballast heap is just a few minutes by boat from the boat ramp and this where there have been good numbers of whiting and flathead being caught on a variety of baits.

Peter Zuiderland is a renowned angler and targets whiting whenever the opportunity arises. He has been catching royals that have been to the 40cm mark and as the season wears on, no doubt we will hear a lot more of the local legend.

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