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

ALTHOUGH things have changed a little over the last couple of years with the bluefin being caught along the coast, most of the summer the majority of people chasing them will now start to head towards Portland area to try and hook a few.
It’s also a time to head north to places like Eden and Bermagui chasing marlin, tuna and kingfish.
If you are heading away soon give yourself the best possible chance to land a good fish and don’t just grab the rods out of the shed where you left them last year and head off.
If this is gear that you only use at this time of the year, put a bit of time in before you go away and give the reels a bit of a check over, change the line if it is getting on a bit and re-tie your doubles.
Check all your leaders on your lures in case the mice have had a chew over the summer time and have a good look at your hooks, maybe even run a file over them to put the edge back on them.
If you are lucky enough to hook even a medium size one of these species, they will test your gear and the slightest problem will lead to failure.
Every year I get at least one person chasing these bigger fish come in and tell me that their line is no good because it broke after a short time fighting the fish.
So far every single time there is nothing wrong with the line and it is a fault of their gear.
Apart from a knot failure there are three things that will cause the line to break for no reason – a cracked guide or tip, a seized roller tip which is normally the major cause, and for those using a spinning reel, a seized line roller on the bail arm.
All of these problems are easily fixed with a small amount of maintenance and can save you the heartache of losing possibly that fish of a lifetime.
If you are heading away, drop in with your rods and reels and we will have a quick look over them for you.
If you are someone that is putting your fishing gear away for the winter and it needs a bit of a rod or reel repair or maybe a service, now is the time to drop them in.
Don’t leave it until the season starts to get your reels serviced, re-spooled or rods repaired, because we might not have time to do them quickly for you.
Drop them in now and leave them with us for a few weeks, then they will be ready for the start of the season for you.
Don’t forget our layby, which we will do on anything from your sinker needs to a new rod or reel, giving you plenty of time to pay it off over the winter and saving you the all at once cost when the fish show up.
With the last month or so of long weekends, school holidays and plenty of people out fishing, I think everyone was looking for a bit of a rest from fishing and this week was it with very few people around.
The weather played a part as well with a blunt reminder of what is to come and plenty of smoke coming from chimneys of houses with wood fires.
Most of the fishing this week was done by locals with only the odd visitor on the better of the days.
We are starting to see several land-based fishermen, especially those who chase salmon off the beaches.
We haven’t had a lot of numbers of salmon reported from the beaches, but from the reports we have had, the fish were very good size.
Kilcunda has been very weedy as it usually gets when the swell is up, but from the reports it might be worth persevering with the biggest of the salmon coming from the beaches there.
We had several around the 1kg or better with a couple just over the 2kg mark, which were mixed in with smaller ones.
With the weed, most fishing at Kilcunda were using baits, bluebait and pilchards with it difficult to use lures without them becoming caught in the weed.
The story was a little better on the island beaches for the lure fishermen with nowhere as much weed.
The only problem was the salmon weren’t as big.
There are a few more opportunities on the open beaches at the island of getting fish other than salmon, whereas at Kilcunda most of the fish reported are salmon.
Areas like Smiths Beach and Sunderland Bay from the rocks especially on the low tide we see a lot of varieties of fish caught and it is an area I would recommend fishing over the next couple of months when the swell is down.
This week we had whiting, flathead, salmon and a couple of pinkies reported.
You are fishing from rocks and will get plenty of wrasse which is unavoidable, but put in enough time and you will not only learn the best spots to fish but be rewarded with quality table fish.
It is an area that for some reason also works with soft plastics, especially for catching trevally.
Calamari reports are still patchy and while many missed out we did have several reports, mostly from the boats and those in kayaks still brave enough to chance getting wet.
A couple from the jetty at San Remo, but not a lot of people are fishing from there and would suggest that will change shortly as the weather settles into a winter pattern and people dust off the silver whiting squid gear.
Cleeland Bight was the best for those on the water, but again not a lot of people are putting in a lot of time and most said once they had a couple they were happy enough and changed to target something else.
Other calamari reports came from the Cowes jetty, the beach at Ventnor and boating from Dickies Bay and Tortoise Head.
This time of the year also brings out the land-based gummy anglers heading to Temby Point and Stockyard Point, as well as the surf beaches at Woolamai and Kilcunda.
So far, we have only been told of a few smaller gummies and the odd elephant fish, but I am sure that will change over the next few months.
From the boats, a couple of bigger gummies around 1.2m were reported during the week, but hundreds of undersized ones to keep you occupied.
The smaller ones were mostly in the shallower areas on the corals and the channels for the bigger ones.
Whiting were ok and because of the quality of those caught, it defiantly makes up for the numbers of whiting being caught.
There wasn’t a lot of opportunity for the whiting fishermen with tide and wind often making it difficult to fish their favourite spots.
When things did work out, it took a bit of moving around to find enough to take home.
As I said, size was good and most of the reports contained a fish or two over 40cm.