Dave and Ian from Phillip Island Helicopters managed a squid fish and bagged enough for a feed and plenty of bait.

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

Fishing report to October 28, 2018. It’s Cup Weekend already which generally means the season is well and truly underway and from the reports you would have to say that was the case.
We have seen some very good quality over the last week or so but we are still not getting large numbers of fish consistently reported. What we are seeing a lot of is maxed bags of fish and again quality of several species.
The reports are telling us the greatest numbers being caught are whiting, problem is most are small, not worth keeping or undersize. They are followed closely by small gummy pups and then calamari which are probably the best of the take home fish if you don’t include flathead offshore, which aren’t available to everyone.
We have been getting plenty of reports of snapper but most only getting one or maybe two, there are exceptions of course. Plenty of trevally and salmon in the bay this year, both respectable size and the leatherjacket have been back in dickies bay, mixed good and bad ones. Couta towards the entrances and those able to head offshore, apart from the quality fish there is no shortage of gurnard. The land-based customers have also been getting amongst the fish, mostly calamari but plenty of other species as well.
If you have a few days off over the Cup Weekend and heading out for a fish, we will be open early every day and keep an eye on our Facebook page for regular updates and weekend specials. If you are heading out it’s the perfect time of the year to get a mixed bag of fish in the one day. Early morning; chase the snapper, from the reports in the deeper water, as the sun gets up head out into Cleeland Bight and fill up on the calamari then middle of the day if the weather allows, offshore for a feed of flathead. As the afternoon tide gets closer head back in to Cleeland Bight and chase whiting on the change of tide then if you are still keen into the shallows for the evening to chase snapper or gummies.
As you are moving around take your time and drop a lure out the back to try and pick up a couta or salmon for fresh bait. While it sounds like a plan you need a lot of things going your way to make a day like that happen, but it is possible.
The full moon was on last Thursday and it did change the reports considerably with some doing better and others disappearing. The calamari seemed to get better and better as the full moon got closer than shut down for a day or so, slowly coming back now and should continue right up to Christmas.
There were good reports from San Remo jetty with some customers managing to almost bag out with at least a couple of quality ones in the bag. The beach at Cleeland Bight has also been good and several have managed a full bag but almost all of the large numbers came from the late afternoon/evening.
I didn’t get many but a couple of reports from Ventnor beach and the odd reports from Cowes and Rhyll jetties. Boating and Cleeland Bight was the place to be and it didn’t seem to matter too much what time of the day it was with reports coming from most times of the day, especially before the full moon. Other reports from the boats came from Dickies Bay and over to reef island. Jigs and apart from baited ones just close your eyes and pick one out of your collection because it was one of those weeks where we received 30 reports from people using their favourite colour jig, trouble was there was it was 20 different colours with white and black the only colours repeated a few times.
Whiting were getting better and just when they seemed to be coming good, about a week before the full moon they switched off and became very difficult to find. The reports have been of a lot of very small fish in the top end of the bay but some bigger ones towards coronet bay and the majority of the bigger fish in Cleeland Bight. Hopefully as the full moon disappears the whiting will come back on just in time for the cup weekend.
Snapper are target species at the moment for most and if you get your timing right you should be able to find at least one. If you want the bigger snapper you will need to be prepared to be out of bed very early in the morning or set up to stay out into the dark. That’s been the pattern as it generally is for this time of the year and no real reason it will change over the next couple of weeks. Deep water early and shallow water late has been the pattern, Rhyll/Elizabeth island early then shallow corals to the mud evening. The quality of the snapper is continuing, and we are still seeing fish around the 6kg to 8kg but starting to see more of the 2kg to 4kg size as well. it won’t be long before the smaller pinkies move in and we start to see plenty over the 6m area of the corals.