My Big Catch: COVID lockdown – what it means for some

August 13, 2020 BY

This nice 60 cm brown trout was caught by an Ocean Grove Angling Club member near Lake Eildon.

HERE we are in COVID lockdown. While we are only in Stage 3, those in Melbourne who are in Stage 4 are doing it extremely tough.
It still makes it difficult for all of us to go about our daily business and how we deal with life on a day to day basis can be extremely difficult.
Fisheries themselves it seems have also gone into lockdown. At least their media department has; there has not been one media release since June 26, which means there have been no new announcement or any illicit fishing activities, or other activities reported on their site.
However, these restrictions made me wonder how our angling clubs were coping.
To say these clubs were in any way operating in a way they would have liked when they were open for business before these restrictions is truly an overstatement.
Clubs are struggling in most cases, as are most other community groups and organisations.
In the last lot of restrictions, some had tried to run competitions online with some success, trying to adjust to the lockdown conditions at the time.
Now all that work is out the door again and they are back to where they were as a result of the reintroduced restrictions.
Keith Miller of the Lorne Aquatic and Angling Club describes it as follows:
“Well, we closed, we opened, we closed, we opened, and now we are closed until further notice. Hopefully, everyone will do the right thing and we can reopen sooner rather than later, and our lives can get back to normal.
“It’s all hard to believe. I still wake up some mornings and think it’s all a bad dream.
“We have been very lucky down here in our beautiful little bubble to have escaped any COVID-19 cases so fingers crossed that continues.
“Hutch and his staff managed to open and run the club under difficult circumstances for a few weeks and they did a great job.
“Most nights we reached our limited capacity and didn’t have to turn too many away.
“We had a very dry but cold July so our three outside heaters were working overtime keeping everyone out on our deck and marquee warm and our tiny little indoor heater did the same inside. Now they are closed again.”

My comment:
I think this pretty accurately describes how most clubs and businesses would feel right now in our region. We have seen these same reactions in the media across Victoria, including those who are even more upset because they do not even have one coronavirus case in their area.
The question most asked of me when I talk to people on this subject is how long I think this will last. I tell them I would hope no more than the remaining weeks in this current lockdown.
But as I stated last week, common sense doesn’t seem to be in abundance right now.
So all we can do is wait and see what Daniel Andrews does and if this time his plans come to fruition. If they do, then hopefully we can all get back to loving and doing the things we enjoy including fishing the way we used to.
But for the immediate future though I don’t see it being quite the way things were.
For now, everyone keep safe, do the right thing and show that common sense still prevails at least among all of us in our region.
I would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone please keep those photos coming in of your own big catch!
We will now even take older photos of your big catch previously if they have not yet been published.
Photos: Please forward them to the email address below, with type of fish, weight, length, location, and your name. I am more than happy to place your photos in My Big Catch. Email photos to [email protected].

Fishing Reports
Current weather conditions are also making things quite difficult across the board for most anglers

Reports have not improved
A few whiting had been reported
Pinkies may still be around, but catches are few and far between
The odd gummy shark was being reported
Flathead were being caught out deep but numbers were minimal
Some salmon are still being caught off local beaches.
Thanks to the Rusty Anglers Angling Club Anglesea

Barwon Heads
Still a few reports of snapper coming in
The odd flathead has been reported
A few whiting were being reported offshore
Salmon catches are still being reported off local beaches
River reports are slow though the occasional whiting and trevally were being reported.
Reports compliments of the Ocean Grove Angling Club

We have been having some great fishing weather considering it’s July/August. The water temperature has dropped down to around 12.5 degrees so that should start going back up soon
There’s still heaps of krill in large patches, so the food chain is quite active with lots of dolphins and southern right whales in the area
The fishing has been good with flathead being caught in big numbers
Plenty of big gummy sharks being landed with the odd school shark among them
Snapper have been patchy but if you’re lucky enough to find a school they are biting well with good sized ones up around the 50cm mark
There has been a lot of big nannygai and teraki being caught which are great fun and also pretty good eating
The slimy mackerel have gone but still a few yakkas and couta coming in
Salmon and King George whiting are not setting the world on fire with the occasional one being landed
The Pier is still fishing consistently well with plenty of calamari, salmon, mullet, trevally, flathead and surprisingly quite a few King George whiting and snapper being caught.
Report thanks to the Lorne Aquatic and Angling Club

Whiting were being reported close inshore
Small pinkies and snapper were being reported
Flathead reports are still slow and far between
Some gummy shark were being caught offshore
A few salmon have been reported off local beaches
Spring Creek have reported small bream catches.
Reports compliments of the Torquay Angling Club

St Leonards reports King George whiting, flathead, squid, and a few snapper
Clifton Springs was reporting a few snapper, whiting, calamari, gummy shark, and a few flathead
Queenscliff reports consisted of a few whiting, trevally and flathead
The Creek was said to be producing the occasional trevally and salmon
Swan Bay was reporting the odd calamari, whiting and flathead
Point Lonsdale was seeing a few salmon, trevally, whiting and snapper
The White Lady was from last reports was seeing whiting, along with calamari and snapper
Indented Head has been reporting a few flathead, King George whiting, snapper and calamari
In the bay, there are reports of some nice Flathead.

Fishing Club Corner
Lorne Aquatic and Angling Club Face Masks
Face masks with our logo will arrive in a week. They are great quality and are $8 each. You can purchase them from CAFE KAOS during opening hours. All profits will go to local charities. Postage for those out of town can be arranged. Email [email protected] for more details. We will notify you on our Facebook page when they arrive.
If you are an angling club and you wish to let people know what’s going on within your club as well as help promote your club, just email [email protected] and we will post your club news here.

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