Sunday, 20 May 2012

Wet and Windy Western Port

I have always bragged that my boat is the driest center console I have ever been in and many others have also made the same comment, however, when you dont have a cab there is no way of staying dry in the rain. This weekend was testament to that, most folks know that I am not a fan of pants, for some one who lives in Melbourne this can prove a challenge. I left home at about 0530 along side my mate Dan, the tell tale signs of moisture on the windscreen had me convinced that today was going to be a wet day. We arrived at Hastings ramp and I started to get the boat ready for launch, Dan was AWOL. I walked to the other side of the car and here he was dressing in full Stormy gear, bib and brace and jacket, at this stage I had a chuckle because things did not look that bad, I thought my shorts, crocs tshirt and jacket were going to be just fine.

Was not long before I was proven wrong. We exited the Hasting Channel and all looked fine with the exception that we could not see Yaringa harbor through what I thought was mist, oh dear that mist was in fact a heavy thick rain. Traveling at around 70kph those small rain drops felt like extreme acupuncture and the cool wet wind running up the leg of my shorts was no consolation. I turned to look at Dan who was snug and dry in the Stormy outfit. Not to be deterred I was only wet a little bit as my Jacket was water resistant I figured I would be fine. Well the rain kept up and we made our way to our fishing location, we arrived to find fellow squid fisher Peter Ferguson sitting on the exact same drift line that I had planned so after a quick chat we headed further east to give him some space.. I thought that the rain would have made the water clarity bad but with the king tides that the port had experienced during the week must have seen a big change over of water and I could see my egi working in 5 meters in the top end of Western Port, that is exciting as it is not often that this occurs. Did not take long for the squid to come to the party. As predicted the squid were just starting to gather to spawn, this meant that the average size of the squid was bigger than normal but not quite 3kg yet. Within 30 minutes my live well was over flowing with both squid and ink and a few crackers averaging 2kg amongst them, we did weigh one that was the 3rd biggest and it came in at 2kg on the dot but the scales are not water proof so they stayed hidden for most of the trip.

Soon enough we also discovered that my jacket and I were not water proof and being in the top end of the Port we decided that a coffee was in order to dry out a bit, so a quick dash into Warneet Bait and Tackle to see Dom. It was tough to leave the warm heated coffee filled tackle shop at Warneet but we had squid to catch so after a thaw out and a quick dry up it was back out into the rain to do it all again. The fishing had quietened down some what but still managed a few more crackers and some smaller models over the next hour or so. The wind had a strong pick up from the west so we headed to he western side of Western Port to seek refuge and shelter, we managed a few more and I managed to cop a big spray in the face from a nice squid so decided we had enough of the cold and wet so back to the ramp.

We got back to the ramp and I decided to get the scales out again and to weigh the bag. We had 14 squid in the bag of which 8 were less than 600g, the total weight of the bag was 14.6kg. I took 6 of the bigger models and weighed them separately for a total 12.66kg so a thumping bag at the end of the day, I am sure that in the next few weeks the squid will only get bigger with some expected to gain about a kg extra on top of the 2kg they are at present. Another cracking day on the water even though I was soaked through to the bone, suffice to say that may day today was spent trying to find a new water proof jacket.