It has been a long windy summer, thus a very frustrating period if you are a keen fisher – especially if you fish out of a boat.
But the weather gods have finally smiled on Albany, and remarkably so have the fishing gods, as the fish have generally been playing the game and most people are coming in with a good feed.
I have found the good old Albany staple for inshore fishers, the King George whiting, have really been on the chew in the Sound with the average size being very good. From what I have seen, most people are coming home with their bag of these tasty morsels.
As a note on King George, I noticed a Facebook post over the Christmas period with a sign at the Adelaide fish market selling the tasty fish for $99 per kg. Now that’s expensive but gee they are very nice to eat.
The squid have been a bit more hit and miss. One day you are getting plenty and the next you are struggling.
The really big calamari are probably still a month or so away, but the average size has not been too bad.
Very recently huge schools of sand whiting seemed to have formed and they have been of a generally good size, and though they will always be second to me on KG’s, they do make a very tasty substitute.
During most of my offshore trips of late we have caught a great range of tasty fish, but on some of these trips it has been a bit of hard work finding fish that were biting.
One trip especially was interesting as the spots I fished on the way out all had good fish showing on the sounder but very few were biting except for the likes of sea sweep, sergeant bakers and leather jackets.
But at around 3.30pm someone sounded the dinner bell and most of these spots produced a number of good fish.
We have caught a good range of fish as well, with a dhufish or two coming on most trips. Pink and queen snapper also have been caught but where I fish the size has not been huge. I prefer my pinks around the 600mm size, as in my opinion, these are the best eating size.
Talking about good eating fish we have caught some really nice Breaksea cod along with plenty of nanagui – those two would give most fish a run for their money in the taste stakes, in my opinion.
The other thing we have caught is a few of is gummy sharks, and while not my favorite to eat, all of my crew really love them.
On the sports fish scene things are definitely at their yearly high and are about as good as it gets in Albany.
Firstly, the annual salmon run is well underway and at times there has been huge schools of salmon around the Islands, plus at many of the popular shore-based spots so these anglers have not been missing out.
The only negative on the shore-based thing is that many of the local beaches have been eroded over the period of the strong easterly winds, and at this point they have not had time to build up.
For those that have spent anytime trolling around the islands or Bald Head recently, they would have come across plenty of bonito and bluefin tuna.
The new sports fishery that has been created in Albany is for Mahi-mahi or dolphin fish.
With Recfishwest’s help Fads have been deployed near the Albany canyon to attract these great fish and of late there has been quite big schools out there giving some great action to those that have fished out there.
All in all, it has been worth the wait through the windy summer to get to enjoy this great fishing and we are truly blessed to have such a varied and sustainable (partly because of the weather) fishery in Albany.
Andrew ‘Korg’ Jarvis.