Photos: Spero Kartanos.
BY SPERO KARTANOS
The weather in August is hit and miss with cold and blustery westerlies and then some dead calm days, but the fishing should be excellent.
Plenty of local species will be in abundance. The whiting will be all throughout the Small Boat Channel, Rous Channel and Amity Banks, the Sand Hills and the Blue Hole, so there’s no excuse not to get a feed for most families! Bait-wise, my favourites are blood worms, beach worms, peeled small prawns, and squid strips, with the easiest rig being the paternoster. This works best and creates fewer tangles; my tip is to get a good run in the tide.
School mackerel should also be abundant in the bay, especially in the Small Boat Channel towards the Rous entrance. This time of year, there will be lots of undersized fish, but there will be some really nice ones in between. There are also a few tailor in the bay this month, so try floating pillies or trolling diving boards with spoons or smith jigs, and you should catch a few.
The squid and cuttlefish are still in good numbers in the deeper water east of the mainland, and some will have moved into the weed banks, but I’m finding the dull jig colours work best on cloudy days and the bright colours best on sunny days.
The snapper season re-starts in the bay on the 15th of August, and if it’s as good as it was before the four-week closure, we are in for some good squire and snapper fishing. Cuttlefish heads, any whole little fish and grinner fillets (and of course whiting whole or heads) are the best baits.
On a serious note, this time of year, in the past, we have lost too many lives as a result of drownings in the bay due to strong westerly winds. Please, if you have a small boat, be careful – just because you can’t see the whitecaps from shore does not mean it’s safe to go out. Also, this is the first 12 months of having the newly-installed BOM weather beacon on Hope Banks, so there’s no excuse for not knowing the wind strength and direction. Keep safe and good fishing!