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

AS PART of the San Remo traders Christmas calendar month of specials this weekend we will be running specials on both days.
Saturday is the day to come in and buy those gift vouchers because when you do we will add another 10% for you free of charge.
Sunday is one for the game fishermen where all game fishing gear will be 10% off. Not only will you get these two specials over the weekend we will stamp your calendar for you and you will go into the draw to win vouchers to the value of $700 to be spent in town.
If you haven’t got a calendar we have plenty in store for you and there are still some very good specials to be had for the rest of the month.
After such a good November we were all thinking summer is here and the weather would continue on the improve but sadly that hasn’t been the case and we have almost gone back to the conditions we had in October. The fishing has gone backwards as well with a barometer that got stuck on 1010 and didn’t move more than a couple of points for almost 10 days. The good news is the barometer started moving up late last week and the reports started to come back in. Still not huge amounts of fish being reported but some very good quality was caught.
We are in that time of the year when we normally get the crossover between the big snapper and pinkies that wander into the bay. That was reflected in the reports and the snapper reports we were told about all included a decent one, best up to 80cm and several of all sizes down to undersized ones. Where the snapper were caught was a bit more to do with the conditions than in any area because the winds and tide made it difficult to fish many places. Rhyll/Silverleaves was the stand out area but again more to do with conditions. When people could take advantage of the lighter wind or tide and wind in the same direction, off Elizabeth island and the corals, they caught a few fish as well.
No reports as yet from below the bridge in Cleeland Bight or even at the top light in the channel and the only reports for the last couple of weeks of pinkies has been from the corals, but I would imagine that it will happen over the next few weeks then well into January. The problem is when they do arrive in number there is generally no shortage of undersize ones amongst them and finding some keepers can be difficult. If you are catching pinkies you have probably changed over to lighter leaders and paternoster rigs but don’t forget to at least have one running sinker rig with a decent bait out the back somewhere, there will always be a few of the bigger ones around or maybe even a gummy or two.
Gummies have been very good this year both offshore and in the bay with a noticeable trend to the reports in that the majority reported are males, or maybe its people have learnt how to tell the difference. Several big females in pup have been caught and released but we have seen some of the biggest males we have ever seen in the reports.
The offshore gummies have been slightly bigger than those in the bay but nothing like the normal trend where the bay fish are noticeably smaller.
Although the reports have been better and some very good size gummies caught, the big ones aren’t just jumping on the hook and most of what you find will still be the small to very small. Something else that has been noticeable this season is they are being caught all over the place, we have even had a few around the 5kg reported from in the shallows on the whiting grounds in dickies bay. Baits also have been all over the place, pilchards, squid, saurys, salmon, and many more all doing the job.
Whiting reports were on the improve before this last bit of ordinary weather then went quiet again for a week or so that was until this weekend where they are hungry again. Again it’s the quality of the whiting that is most been impressive with regular 40cm plus ones being caught. Early morning has been one of the most successful times, but several were reported from the tide change during the day, only on the very overcast days though. Pilchard fillet are continuing to do the damage at the moment, especially with the bigger pilchards that are around at the moment making it easy to get a fillet off. With the tides this week, Dickies Bay has been productive early morning during the first part of the week, and then later in the week to weekend Cleeland Bight is the best. I had a few reports sent through from Rhyll but was also told that Cowes and Ventnor were quiet.
Calamari, and not much has changed. They continue to be good for a day then not seen for three, with no apparent reason, which makes it even more frustrating. We had one of the biggest for the season reported during the week and with the hood almost 70cm long it might be awhile before it is bettered.
With the season the way it has been makes it almost impossible to advise customers where to go either on the land or in the boat.
The best advice I can give is to be prepared to put in plenty of time and continually try different colours which is nothing new, but I can’t even get an idea as to the best spot.
All the spots at some time over the last few weeks have produced some squid, but they have all also shut down for a period of time with no obvious reason. The only other thing that might help if you are in a boat is burley hard, it will bring other rubbish around, but it is probably the only thing that has been common in the reports lately.