Jamie Crawford brings you the news from Port Lincoln
We’ve had a pretty mild winter here in South Australia overall, and although we’ve had plenty of rain we haven’t had too many winter blows. These bouts of wind are important for stirring the inshore water and kicking our shallow water species to feed. As such our inshore King George whiting has been a bit slower for eastern facing coastlines, but our west coast bays which are exposed the winter westerly winds have been fishing ok.
King Geroge whiting and gummy sharks
The Farm Beach and Frenchman’s grounds to the north of Coffin Bay have been fishing well for King George, with a few nice gummy sharks taken on slop lines in the same area. It’s a similar story further up the western side of the Eyre Peninsula with Venus Bay, Bairds Bay and Ceduna offering the usual run of winter King George.
When the swell is low the reef fishing has been very good through the bluewater grounds wide of Coffin Bay and Port Lincoln. Although we don’t get our pelagic species at this time of the year, the demersal fishing has been good with catches of red snapper, queen snapper, school sharks and gummy sharks taken around the bigger reef systems.
SA still has the extended pink snapper ban through our Gulf and west coast waters, so this species is still off the target list for the time being. This ban is proposed to be lifted on the 31st January 2023, but we’re still waiting for confirmation from PIRSA on the snapper management plan going forward.
Salmon fishing off the beach
Winter and into spring is prime time for Australian salmon from our surf beaches, and with low swell and with wind from the northerly quarter the fishing can be exceptional. Beaches such as Locks Well, Sheringa, Gunyah and Sleaford all hold salmon of varying size during the cooler months. Casting 60g metal lures such as the Halco Outcast at visible schools of salmon is an exciting form of fishing.
A light surf rod of around 6 – 10kg and between 9 – 11ft in length with a spin reel of a 4000 size together with 20lb braid offers a lightweight outfit which casts well and maximises the fun on these great sportfish. Here at Seamaster Port Lincoln we’ve been recommending the Daiwa Aird 902 matched with a Daiwa Laguna 4000 as a great light surf combo.
Calamari on the way
The calamari fishing has been up and down locally here on the Eyre Peninsula, with the recent freshwater runoff thought to be impacting stocks in the bay. The calamari fishing normally heats up as we move into Spring.
Tuna finished for the season
With tuna harvest done and dusted for another season, most of the tuna farming companies have taken some well-earned time off before starting their maintenance routine. These commercial companies will start preparing for the next wild-caught season over the next few months with fishing expected to commence in December to intercept the migrating schools of bluefin as they transit through our waters.
Prawn fleets return
The prawn fleet are slowly returning from their time off, with maintenance and slipping of vessels currently underway before the next season begins in November. Seamaster Port Lincoln are now offering Dyneema main trawl warps and bridles with the uptake quite strong. These Dyneema warps accompany the Portuguese trawl wires and bridles we offer to the prawn fleet. We are still planning on offering in-house wire swaging at some stage in the near future.
Oysters are growing
There is renewed confidence in the oyster farming regions with good growth and results reported. The couple of bouts of wild weather have impacted some lease sites, but we’re confident not too much damage has been done. Food counts are dropping, but that’s pretty normal for this time of the year. We are finally returning back into low daytime tides which will assist the oyster farmers to access their lease sites. These dropping day time low tides also allow our Port Lincoln workshop to resume cage building projects.