By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo

Phoenix was one of the many fishing success stories over Easter.

Denver was happy with his catch of a flathead on the weekend.

Cooper was thrilled to land this impressive whiting to enter the Jim’s Bait and Tackle Good Friday Appeal fishing competition.

NOT sure who organised the weather for the Easter break, but I would gladly give them a job if they could keep producing it.
The mornings were a bit cool but the days, aside from being a bit overcast, were dry with virtually no wind, almost perfect.
It was exactly what was needed for our first Good Friday Appeal fishing competition and because the conditions were so good, we had several families enter and plenty of fish caught.
There were several other events in San Remo on Good Friday and the money was pooled together, with the town of San Remo donating almost $27,000 to the appeal, a great effort from all those who organised fundraisers.
Whether it was our fishing competition or one of the other events, no money would have been donated without the generous support from those who actually entered, so to everyone that entered our comp especially, thankyou and hopefully we can make it an annual event.
With such good weather, there was plenty of people out fishing from both boats and from the land and as usual, when people are out fishing we get reports.
There was good quality and quantity of fish caught and we had a lot of families giving fishing a try for the first time.
The jetties were busy all weekend and the boats on the water looked like Christmas time.
Offshore was the only spot that the conditions weren’t always the best especially in the mornings, but it did improve in the afternoons when plenty of boats headed out.
One of the catches of the weekend was a whiting that went 55cm and when they phoned and said they were bringing it in to weigh for the comp, we were thinking it would go over the magic 1kg.
When it arrived it was a bit on the skinny side and just missed out at 935g, and while it missed the 1kg, it was still a quality whiting.
We weighed plenty over the weekend for the competition and were told of plenty more.
Like the last couple of weeks though, it has been very patchy and nowhere is really producing a lot of whiting, however if you are prepared to spend a bit of time out there a good feed is more than possible.
Although the season for many is coming to a close, when boats get put into storage, the ones that are still out will be catching whiting right through the winter.
You won’t get as many through the winter, but the quality is generally excellent.
Over the weekend we had several whiting reported from the land-based areas on the open beaches, all around 40cm or better and a few smaller ones from the various jetties around the island.
Normally at this time of the season I would be reporting the pinkies caught, but this weekend it’s all about the snapper caught.
While we had several pinkies reported, it was the snapper reports that stood out and the best we weighed was 6.6kg, caught offshore while looking for a flathead.
We were told of a couple bigger than that but we didn’t weigh them.
There were boats returning to the Rhyll and Newhaven ramps with snapper around 5kg and one boat that had nine over 40cm for the three of them on the boat.
There were some good reports come from further up the bay around Corinella, and spit point areas with a couple from the jetty at Cowes.
One fish I expected to see plenty of this weekend was gummy sharks but we had very few reported.
Gummies were very difficult to find, especially from the boats, and we had more size ones reported from those who were fishing land-based.
Boats reported plenty of undersized ones but very few to take home, and the size ones were only just size.
Land-based customers that targeted stockyard and Temby did better and several small keepers were reported.
We also had a report of a couple of Hammerheads around the 4’ mark caught in the bay on the corals.
Those chasing Gummies offshore struggled with the big swell early and once it dropped, they managed plenty of Seven Gills and not much in the way of a Gummy.
The bigger than expected swell also made it difficult for those chasing Kingfish, as it was difficult to find live bait and hard to get into the areas you need to for Kingfish.
The only report we had of Kingfish was from the Newhaven jetty, where a small one was landed mid-week.
Calamari are continuing with their frustrating ways and despite some putting in many hours, they managed only a couple, while others that put in little time got plenty.
Again this week, several people told me they seemed very shy and would come up and look at the jig, but not grab it.
While it seemed like a pattern, the next person that came in said they were very aggressive and at times chasing each other for the jigs.
Kayak customers faired a bit better with most telling me they got what they needed without too many problems.
There was no better spot again, land or boat and reports came from almost every part of the bay, even areas like the corals and the shallows towards Coronet Bay.
This week the only real pattern was the catches on baited jigs had improved significantly from previous weeks, which was maybe to do with the bay not being as clear as it has been, or it could also be that people are now starting to put a jig under a float everywhere they go in the bay.