Saturday, 5 January 2013

Finding small squid for a feed

I was faced with a challenge last week, normally the challenge is to find some big squid, however when your mates want some smaller ones for a recipe it had my mind wondering where to go to find small squid.

In the past I have attempted to focus all my squid fishing on finding big squid so when asked to present some smaller squid I had to think back some time to the places where I could consistently find smaller squid, still not talking babies but looking for squid between 25 and 30 cm because apparently they taste nicer. I knew that Western Port has plenty of squid in all sizes so we headed to Hastings boat ramp and planned the rest of the day from there.

We started off with a forecast saying it was going to be about 10-15 knots from the south so I thought a trip to the eastern entrance of the port was in order, however, the 35 knot south west wind we were presented with was not what I would call ideal for a long trip. That said we powered on down towards Cleeland Bight the ports eastern entrance through the chop and rubbish wind. It took a little longer than first planned but we made it all the same. We spent about 30 minutes down here landing about 1/2 a bag of just the right sized squid, I had to down size my jigs to size 3.0 as I was looking for smaller versions. The place was just not firing like I had expected so after the first round of punishment through the weather another move was made towards Stoney Point where the wind and tide were playing nice for a good drift. It did not take too long to find our bag of squid with a couple of Cuttlefish thrown in for whiting baits another day.

No matter how bad things are with weather in the boat it beats the hell out of working.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2012 Greatest year in my short life.

I have noticed many saying that 2012 was just another year and it is done and dusted, however, for me it was one of the most eventful and exciting years of my life.

It started off a little sad with the passing of a family member in Lois Stewart (Mother in Law) at the end of 2011 but it gave me an excuse to dedicate the name of my new boat to this beautiful woman who was able to bring me her beautiful daughter Kim who I was able to secure with a ring in Melbourne shortly after during a cracking wedding in the city of Melbourne. Yes I had to wear a suit but it was well worth it.

Kim has been my biggest support thus far and without her in my life I would not have been able to achieve so much with my fishing projects. Time on the water and time travelling around the country and the world in aid of the humble squid, this could not have been possible without her support and I thank my lucky stars every day for the forgiving and understanding wife that I have.

Things were not always smooth in 2012 like every one else I suffered hardship with health, finances and limitations with a few injuries but my passion for the water was always stronger than the pain and I just kept fishing, I remember getting in a car with my 2 best mates Dan and Dale and heading for Portland shortly after surgery on my mouth and keeping the good folks that make pain killers in business. Could hardly stand up by the end of the day but we got  a nice Tuna to make up for it.

One thing from this year that will always be in my 2012 memory bank is having the privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder with the masses of recreational anglers on the Super Trawler protest, watching the line of boats heading over the Westgate bridge was a sight like never before, that was not the only rec fishing political stand point and particular thanks go out the the team at WEFISH Dale McClelland,  Daniel Stanilovic and Ben Scullin who I proudly worked with on many issues through out the year that many would not have even been aware of, Daniel in particular spent countless hours supplying research to many groups who had never had it in the past and showed that the WEFISH group was a well organised and well oiled machine with nothing that could push hard enough to make us not push back twice as hard. Every angler who is looking for some one to thank for doing heaps behind the scene they should look these guys up and give em a pat on the back.

Something that I have always loved is spending time in Angling Clubs and tackle stores talking all things squid, 2012 took me to 5 states in Australia and 2 countries sharing with squid like minded people, its amazing how far we have come in the squid fishing market in such a short time, in the year gone I managed to pump out 28 talks in angling clubs and tackle stores, 3 radio programs, 2 tv shows, 4 days at the Melbourne Boat Show and publish 3 articles all in the name of squid.

Apart from my wedding my greatest highlight was my Japan trip, not only was it a cracking awaking of a whole new culture but the quality of people I came in contact with was nothing short of humbling, thanks to my friends already in Japan who I now call my Gan Craft Family my experience was surreal  spending time in the Gosen Factory sussing out how line is made to having a perusal at how Gan Craft lures are put together. I also had the opportunity to see a true craftsman playing with a new range of lures that came out on the market in Japan last week, watching the founder of Gan Craft in his office with his tools was like nothing I had experienced before and noting short of amazing, but the best bit was the Bass. I had a guided trip on Lake Gogawa with Mr Hiraiwa himself, this is not an opportunity that comes often, it was a once in a lifetime, although I had never really used a bait caster before Mr Hiraiwa's patience was incredible (I would have pushed me overboard) and to top it off I landed 3 cracking Large Mouth Bass, 1 at 55cm one at 51cm and one at 36cm I still get giggly like a school girl thinking of that day and then to play a joke on Mr Geki Yoshida with the electric motor and get it on film for endless laughs for years to ome topped it off, these 2 guys are considered to be 2 of Japan's if not the worlds best Bass Fishermen so to be able to learn from 2 true masters of the sport and absolute gentlemen was an honor. I am not gonna start on the food because we dont all have a week to read this so all I will say is MOS Burger and Akio Ogawa Stock up I am coming back in a few weeks.

All in all its been a spectacular year and one that is going to be hard to beat this year, however, already a few things happening with a new job, a new car another trip to Japan and maybe one to Malaysia along with a few other things that I will talk more about as the year progresses. None of my achievements last year could have been possible without the support of my wife, my mates and my sponsors. Special mention goes out to Stephen Blackmore from Gladiator Tackle, Yuki Kitagawa from Tsuda Group and my Gan Craft Family for giving me the ability to do what I needed to do.

Last year I had more than 50 000 visits to this blog and am currently averaging more than 4000 a month so I thank you all for your support and stick around we got heaps more where this lot came from!