By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
Fishing report from January 1, 2018: For the majority of the Christmas-New Year break the weather was favorable for the holiday makers with the typical fine mornings and afternoon sea breezes. The good conditions then added up to plenty of people fishing and plenty of reports to the shop. While the trend of quality over quantity continued not too may were complaining, able to catch a feed most times they went out.
While whiting, calamari, pinkie snapper and flathead made up most of the reports and we did see some quality makos, gummies and garfish with plenty of other species reported. Holiday time and as always, a lot of people around means more reports with a mixture of boating and land based from some who have never fished here before, so the reports are usually from the not so common areas. This is one of the best things about this time of the year, with visitors not really knowing where to go they will try areas not normally fished and generally with some surprising success.
Trying new places is normally the case with the land based fishermen this time of the year as boaters, even new to an area will tend to follow each other and fish together. There are a few spots around the bay beaches but most of the less fished spots by regulars are along the open water beaches. The reason this happens is when people come here to fish they do as we would going to a new area, get up high, look around for the areas where there is less kelp or sand patches, something none of really do in our own back yards.
Boating, and offshore is the place to be especially if you don’t mind a feed of flathead tails because the good numbers are continuing, and the best part is they aren’t that far out. Several people in smaller boats have fished in a bit closer, often not as far out as the end of the cape and while the flathead are much smaller in the entrance there is still plenty of size ones to catch. The bigger ones aren’t a lot further out but a lot further down the coast towards Kilcunda. Those who have been fishing out deeper, 40m plus have found some good flathead but nowhere near the numbers. Makos have been good, mostly shallow and a few that even come up to the boat without berley and not even fishing for them. The usual seven gills and a couple of bronzys off the bottom, a quality 50kg thresher and those fishing in close at Kilcunda have found several quality gummies also.
We have had some quality pinkies and even a few snapper around 5kg have been reported but most down around the 30cm. The best spots offshore for the pinkies has been down on the reefs off Kilcunda and around the end of the cape. Kingfish reports have started to come in but not from those above the water but from those below with several being landed from spear fishermen over the last 2 weeks, pyramid rock the best area. If you are fishing offshore you will eventually catch a gurnard just a little warning, if you don’t know what you are doing, for lip hooked ones use long pliers or a flatty flicker and if the hook is too far down just cut the line. While there are plenty that will keep them to eat, and they are worth it, they have also learned how to handle them. The internet or ask next time you are in and we can show you.
While not everyone will have a reaction like all fish one customer found out during the week just how painful a spike from them can be, having to cut their trip short and head in with a hand that was very painful and the size of a football by the time they got back to the ramp. I am far from any type of expert but when you read up on what to do they say hot almost boiling water asap on the wound will help, same for stingray spikes but ask your chemist or even Dr next time you are there and if you do have a severe reaction probably the emergency Dept is the best place to head, like the simple bee sting for some it is nothing more than a bit of pain for a few minutes for others it can be deadly.
Boating in the bay the pattern of the pinkies hasn’t changed from the last few weeks with the area around Rhyll in the deeper channels the best early morning and as the day goes on spreading out across the corals and the top end of the bay. We are still seeing the odd larger snapper and a 8kg was landed between Christmas and the New Year from the Rhyll hole, but they are few and far between now as is always the case for this time of the year.
If you are going out to chase the pinkies you will have changed you rigs dropping hook sizes back to a 2/0 to 4/0 and most likely now using a paternoster rig but don’t forget to always have that rod in the water with the larger rig, running sinker with snelled hooks and a larger bait just in case something bigger comes along. I get asked a lot about using soft plastics for the snapper and while the strong currents makes it difficult in western port bay this is the time of the year to give it a go if you want.
Those who have the most success will generally be drifting on the ends of the tides across places like the corals and one method we have tried at anchor with success is to use a slightly heavier jig head and a plastic with plenty of natural action, curl or paddle tail and when the tide slows down be casting forward of the boat and the plastic will naturally sink as it comes past the boat but once past comes to the top so you will need to cast back to the front again, takes some practice but will work.
One thing we seem to sell more of during the holiday periods, especially to land based anglers is soft plastics with so many visitors that fish in Port Phillip Bay where they are more popular. They will still work from the land here, but you will need some modifying from what you do in other areas to have success. First thing is a heavier jig head and the areas you will need to fish, jetties will be difficult, not only for the current but are generally very crowded. Most that use plastics from the land will be fishing on the various sand bank areas, wading into the shallows, working with the tide and long casting then simply flicking the jig off the bottom while walking further in the shallows. This works the best for flathead especially if you are trying to fish the middle of the tides. On slower ends of the tides or days when the jetties are a bit quieter flicking around and retrieving off the top, again using something with a big curl tail can be successful for your salmon and trevally and the odd pinkie.
Whiting and calamari are still impossible to work out but are worth persevering with because the quality is excellent. It’s a bit of same same with mornings below the bridge in Cleeland Bight then evenings above the bridge in dickies bay. Where you will catch whiting, you will catch squid, so it is worth putting both types of gear out while you are there. There has been the odd time where both have fired up in cleeland bight in the evenings but not that often. The only slight change this week to the reports has been the whiting have been a little deeper in water 3m and over during the day the shallows at each end of the day.
To keep up to date with reports follow us on Facebook and for those getting an early start we are open from 6am every day until the end of January.
Lunch for three
HOW many boys does it take to catch a fish?
Three, of course!
That was the case at San Remo on Wednesday afternoon, where young fishermen Panos Papas, Jordan Boyd and Vasili Papas managed to score some lunch.
Who can’t go past a tasty toadfish, right?
Brothers Panos and Vasili are from Cranbourne and are spending some of their summer break at a holiday house in Grantville.
After finding out it was going to reach 31 degrees on Wednesday, the fishermen – with some help from mum – decided to drive down to the popular pelican feeding spot and set up on the floating pontoon at San Remo.
Meanwhile, mum kept a safe distance from the hooks, catching up on some light reading.