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

I think several people might have had a bit of a grand final hangover on Sunday because it was very quiet in town early and things picked up after lunch. The weather was a bit windy as well which put a dampener on it being a long weekend.
Those down for the weekend did their best to get out onto the water for a fish and we did get a few good reports. We also have some reasonable reports from during the week with many trying to fill the bait freezer ready for the upcoming snapper season. With a lot of visitors usually comes more land based reports and that’s exactly what happened over the weekend and while they weren’t necessarily catches for the best of, they were catches never the less.
Whether you were fishing from the land or the boats Cleeland Bight this week had plenty of tackle thieves, Couta! There wasn’t a shortage either with plenty of all sizes making their way back into the bay. If you were chasing them for bait you would have plenty but problem is most were chasing calamari for bait so it got a bit expensive after a while. Couta are a bit of an underrated bait now days but if you go back, not too far they were the number one pick for most. If you are going to catch a few for bait do yourself a favour and, if you can vac pack them or at the very least wrap them in a plastic bag to stop them getting freezer burn, most importantly though is don’t cut them up. Leave them whole until you need to use them and even better is to use them while they are fresh before freezing.
Because of the Couta the calamari were tough to catch but as is always the case some people managed to find a few. Probably some are just luckier than others and managed to go on a day when the Couta numbers were low. From the beach in Cleeland Bight the sizes were the best with the couta not have as much of an effect as from the boats. The numbers being reported are certainly down on this time last year but so many other things are also different so not much of a surprise at all. The jetty at San Remo has continued its quiet stretch with only a handful reported this week. The boats in the bottom part of the bay have struggled because of the Couta but those looking towards Reef island and that area have been a bit more successful. Maybe they aren’t as easily scared off as the small ones but the biggest calamari reported this week have come from the areas where the Couta are in the biggest numbers while around reef island they are reasonably small.
Up to 40cm was caught in Cleeland Bight and the ones from the top end closer to 25cm at best. We have had very few reports from around Cowes and Ventnor but that’s not to say there are none there just those being caught aren’t being reported.
Snapper are still a bit hard to find with the temperature in the water still not all that warm and not really looking like warming up anytime soon. There seems to be plenty of fish in the bay from all the reports of good schools being found with sounders but just not that interested in biting yet, simply swimming around mid-water and not feeding.
That’s not to say that there haven’t been any caught just not big numbers of them yet. The way the weather is its looking more and more like a normal season and the weekend around cup day will be when they go on the bite. Having said that now the grand final is over we will start to see more people on the water fishing so reports should naturally improve.
The fish we had reported this week were typical new season fish in size with around 5kg the average but many hours were put in for just one fish. This will change once the water eventually warm up and the fish get a bit more active and hungry.