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

WITH Christmas just around the corner, things will slow down a bit on the water while people go to family barbeques and work break-ups. We will also start to see a changeover of fish in the next month or so, with the larger snapper heading home and more of the pinkies showing up. That’s the way it usually happens, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this season was different with the way the reports are still coming in. We are continuing to get reports of quality snapper up to 8kg, and good numbers from many parts of the bay and times of the day. This time of year, many of our regular boat fisherman are off chasing the snapper up the top of the bay, and we see less reports from below the bridge, but several are now over catching snapper and are off chasing the whiting instead, which is seeing the reports slowly improve. This season, we have seen several good gummies from those chasing snapper, and even a couple of big schoolies. Over the last week, we have had several people complaining that they are getting bitten off again after hooking something big. While it could be a big schoolie, or even a seven-gill, the other possibility is that there is a big bronzy swimming around out there again. There are also several rods and reels on the bottom of the bay, with rods for one reason or another taking off out of the rod holders. While not always the case, don’t forget to set the drag and, especially in the flatter rod holders, set it on the light side.
Snapper reports were excellent for most of the week, but we are finding that the reports slow down considerably when the barometer is sitting steady, whether high or low, but when it is on the move, the reports change and fewer people miss out. The reports have come from several areas, and, again, one day the barometer was bouncing around and we were getting reports first thing in the morning from the mud, around 4m in depth. We also had reports from 6m, 14m and everything in between. The normal pattern is to see reports from deep water first, then shallower as the day goes on, but as we keep seeing, sometimes it’s worth trying something different. Several pinkies have been reported for a few weeks now, and this week we saw a lot of very small ones. We also had a couple of reports from Cleeland Bight of mixed sizes, and saw a photo of a snapper caught in the entrance. Although we didn’t get a weight, it looked to one of the biggest snapper we have seen since the 27lb a few years ago.
In Cleeland Bight, we have seen several quality trevally this season, and this week was no different, with a couple of reports from off the beach also. Also from Cleeland Bight were reports of flathead, and of course calamari, and finally a few whiting, but sadly we are still getting reports of draughtboard sharks. Not just one or two, but a dozen if you stay long enough.
Calamari have been very good this week, both from land and boat, with the jetties and land areas busy at night-time now. Unfortunately, we are hearing reports from the San Remo jetty of the odd argument over calamari, with a couple of locals thinking that being local means they own everything swimming around the jetty. Obviously, that is not the case, and if a calamari jumps off your jig and gets caught on someone else’s jig, that’s just bad luck for you. Whilst adults can stand up for themselves, I was told the other day that they had given a couple of kids a hard time, which is not on at all. I have said many times before the easiest way to stop a new fisherman to stop tangling is to actually help them out a bit. Teach them how to fish correctly, then it won’t be a problem to you anymore. Yelling abuse generally won’t do a whole lot to help your cause.
Whiting are slowly showing up in the reports, and during the week we had several reports of double figures. The best numbers, and even the best of the sizes, this week came from up in Dickies bay and around the Bass River/Reef Island areas. The reports that we received from Cleeland Bight were of good whiting, but not good numbers. We also had several reports from Ventnor, some off the beach, and to, from and around Tortoise Head.
If you are not on our Facebook page, it’s worth having a look and following us for up to date reports, but also for our weekly auctions. Twice a week, we have an auction for all sorts of fishing tackle, and approaching our Christmas season, we will be having a few large-ticket items going up. There are plenty of bargain items auctioned off, many below cost. Everything we sell at our auctions is new stock, and it might be an end or model or some of our display stock. We try and mix it up as much as we can so there is a variety, and we also have flash sales where we will price stock to clear. On top of that, you get to take part in our various Facebook competitions we run during the year. We will also have our usual Good Friday, Easter weekend competition, where all the entry money is donated to the Good Friday appeal, and this year, we will introduce a month-long whiting competition, with many prizes. The heaviest whiting of the month will be worth $600 cash, so keep an eye out for more information in December. If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping, now is the time to do so, and donÕt forget to take advantage of our lay-by.