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

CALAMARI and salmon make up almost all the reports now, with only the odd report of anything else. Reports have come from the land, boat or even the occasional brave kayak fishermen, with mixed results from all.
The boating weather has been patchy, and the wind has restricted you from fishing some areas, but generally what that means is that people will tend to try somewhere they normally don’t fish and are often surprised with their results.
The other reason most of the reports have been for calamari or salmon is that they are the two most targeted species at this time of the year.
We have seen a few other reports, but nothing really targeted and more of an accidental catch from someone just out for a fish.
It is this time of the year when tackle shops start to do their shopping for the upcoming season, with the release of companies’ new products.
Often, we get people coming in and asking for a particular model of a reel, rod or even a lure and its generally one they have seen online.
The problem is that some of the product, especially from the bigger international companies, is not available in Australia, which is a problem and you won’t be able to purchase direct from them.
If you are checking out new gear or looking for an edge with something different make sure you are looking at the Australian site of that company because then we can help you and get it in.
Maintenance is something I mention often and once you have had to purchase parts for your reel because something has seized you will realise that a regular service works out much cheaper.
Recently I have repaired a few reels that have needed parts as simple as bail arm ball bearings and while they have been good quality reels, at around $20 each for a bearing you can hardly see, and you need 2 of them, plus a few more bits, a $20 service can easily turn into a $120 repair, which is a pity when a $15 tin of Inox spry and regular service would have certainly prevented the problem.
Something else we see is when re-spooling reels is that the line is frayed, and when we ask the customer the first response always is, “its faulty line, that’s why I want to change it”. In all the years we have been in the shop and the thousands of reels we have spooled up I think there have probably been only a couple I would put down to faulty line.
In almost every case the problem is caused by two problems: a cracked guide or a seized bail arm roller, and the only reason they have decided to change the line is because they just lost that fish of a lifetime.
Another problem we get is, “I tried to service it and can’t remember how it goes back together” as they drop a bag full of bits on the counter and for some reason some even expect that we will put them back together for free.
“Why?”, is a question I have asked often and some of the answers are amusing, such as,
“It’s winter time and you don’t have anything else to do”, or “I’m a good customer”, but the best one is “the reel was faulty before I took it apart, so it should be fixed for free.”
As a service to our customers we charge as little as $20 to service most reels, plus parts if needed so not sure why you would bother trying to do it yourself if you don’t know what you are doing.
This service we offer during the winter months while we have a bit of spare time so bring them in, leave them with us for a week or so and you will be ready for the up-coming season.
Calamari reports on the land have come from the tide changes, even during the middle of the day, with high and low tides both producing on the jetties, but mostly high off the beaches.
We had a report from each one of the jetties and the beach at Ventnor and Cleeland Bight.
All the reports, regardless of beach or jetty, were inconsistent in numbers and size and you could have landed eight on one day and then nothing for the next couple of days.
The boats were a little more consistent but probably because you had limited chances to get the boat on the water whereas those fishing the land could fish anytime.
Cleeland Bight was the best. Nothing in the way of the best jig stood out, which is normal for this time of the year, and the reports were a mixture of baited and artificial.
Salmon reports are coming in regularly from Phillip island and Kilcunda beaches, but not a lot of bigger fish this week.
The numbers are good, and catches are consistent in size, but the best we have seen are around 600 grams.
If you are going to keep your salmon to eat don’t forget to bleed them and clean them as soon as you can, and that putting them on ice will also help to keep them in the best possible condition.
Anzacs at Woolamai is one of the best beaches, but try the shallows on the right if you are spinning as it is producing several fish.
The rest of the island reports have come from several beaches, and from the Kilcunda Cemetery back towards the Powlett River. Bluebait, poppers and white or blue lures are best.