By Jamie Coates
REASONABLE weather for the start of the long weekend was a delight to anglers across the Limestone Coast.
Plenty made the journey offshore in search of bottom fish, while others hit the surf beaches or even chucked in the craypots for the start of the season.
The offshore guys got some nice fish this week in varying depths.
There were a handful of boats headed for the shelf while the weather was nice and most found some cracking fish.
Matt Bell and Dennis Heinecke boated some nice hapuka in 450 metres and a lot of those came on metal knife jigs.
Jigging is hard work at the best of times, let alone over the shelf.
I did see a picture of one of Belly’s jigs that had a hapuka hanging off each end, so pulling two big fish up that far on one lure is a great feat.
In a bit closer, I saw some great shark from the 60-100m depths, with both gummy and school shark on the menu.
The calm weather allowed anglers a drift in the 100m area for flathead and there were some nice fish caught, along with a handful of knifejaw and latchet fish.
Surf fishos had a ball over the long weekend, with people spread out right along the coast and most were reeling in fish.
The Coorong fired up for a big group of local lads who headed up on their annual October long weekend boys trip.
Ten gummy shark to 6kg, plenty of small mulloway and some nice salmon were caught, so plenty of fresh flake went into the freezer.
Locally we saw some nice gummy shark.
Wayne Little fished Piccininni and managed some nice ones and some reasonable salmon in the mix.
Graeme Ploenges fished Nene Valley and managed some nice salmon to 2.5kg and a little gummy shark.
While we are talking salmon, I did hear of some nice fish to a couple of kilos from Nene Valley on metal lures down the western end of the bay.
There have been a few reports from up around Beachport this week, with numbers and size up and down.
The garfish have been in good numbers again.
I have heard of some nice catches from both boaties and land-based guys.
Livingstons and Cape Douglas are still probably the two most talked about areas, with good numbers and size at both spots.
There is plenty of room down in both bays, so you do not have to fish on top of each other.
Other spots like Pelican Point, Hutt Bay and the Petrified Forrest have also produced well and are worth a dabble.
Squid fishos have been into them again this week, and we are starting to see some of those bigger samples around now.
Early morning sessions when the sea is flat and wind is down have been the most successful, but now we are into daylight savings, I can see a few more anglers having a crack in that hour before the sun goes down.
I have no doubt there will be some great fish caught.
It will not be long until we start seeing the local jetties fire up.
A few keen fishos have done a couple of trips to Cape Jaffa already and they are starting to land some nice numbers, so it will not be long until Beachport, Southend and Port MacDonnell all kick off.
There has been a few more boaties chasing the whiting and with the settling sea, a few of the usually hard to get to spots have started to produce.
Boaties have been back into Red Rock and Lighthouse Bays down at Carpenter Rocks and have found some decent fish.
There have been some nice whiting also from Gerloff Bay through to Livingstons Bay, so they appear to be nicely spread out.
Anglers in the Port MacDonnell breakwater have found some reasonable fish, but as per usual for the breakwater, it is a bit of a nursery, so you do have to fish through the little fish to find some bigger ones.
Crayfish season has kicked off for the amateur fishos this week and quite a few have had a taste already.
There have been good reports from cray potters, drop netters, snorkelers and bait stickers, so when that good weather finally rolls around, it will be time to have a crack.
The freshwater scene is not overly big down here, but I did receive some pictures over the weekend of young Henry Smith and a cracking silver perch caught up at the Black Cockatoo Bush Camp over the other side of Naracoorte.
I have never been there myself, but it looks like an awesome little spot, something I can not wait to check out.
The Glenelg River has fished well again this week in the SA section.
Some lovely bream and estuary perch have been landed by the boaties on a mixture of baits and lures.
I am also seeing some cracking mullet landed off the Donovans Jetty of an evening.
Cam Ward managed half a dozen or so to the mid 40cm range which are absolute beauties.
The mulloway news has been a bit on the quiet side this week, but there have been whispers of some reasonable fish back in the estuary again.
I am yet to see any pictures, but when all the putters are down there, there is something going on.
The forecast for this week does not look super good, but looking forward into next week, we should really start to see some decent weather.
Hopefully the weatherman nails it and we can string more than a couple of days together.
Until next week, safe fishing.