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

Any more rain and we won’t need to worry about the congestion at the boat ramps because you will be able to launch in your back yard. As is usually the case with this time of the year the weather pattern is all over the place and so is the barometer dropping as quickly as it is rising. While most go fishing when they have the time, I do have several customers that make the time when the conditions, wind, tide and barometer are right. They will spend plenty of time with their diaries and will have the area they are going to fish worked out long before they get onto the water. They will have already caught or sourced their baits and rigs will be retied and hooks will be sharp, reels serviced and guides on their rods checked leaving nothing to chance. While this sounds like a lot of hard work when you next go to the boat ramp and that guy is there again with another box full of fish, chances are that’s exactly what he does.

While most people fall into the fish when you have time category you can increase your chances with a few simple changes. Tackle goes without saying that it must be up to scratch, I have lost count of the amount of times customers have told me they didn’t worry too much because they didn’t expect to catch anything too big and finished up losing the fish of a lifetime. Be prepared to fish for the fish that best suits the conditions at the time; strong winds, side onto the tide don’t suit fishing for whiting with the boat moving around everywhere but may help in channel fishing for snapper or gummies. Strong north winds won’t suit parts of the bay at certain tides but if the swell is down you can head offshore and get a feed of flathead and then come back and fish in the bay when the tide changes. Not everyone believes in the moon and the barometer for fishing in the bay and while I am being swayed more into believing in it, based mainly in the reports I get, I still have plenty of fish reported when the moon and barometer say you shouldn’t catch any. Diaries are a great thing but you must keep the correct information and be disciplined in filling it in every time you go fishing and it will take several years to get patterns showing up so it is hard work.

My advice to customers is if you would prefer to enjoy your fishing without too much effort and fish when it suits you but would like to catch a few more fish than you normally do, chase the fish that best suits the conditions, make sure your gear is up to scratch and spend time tying rigs and presenting baits correctly. It has been a bit of feast or famine this week with early in the week good then down came the rain, up came the full moon and down went the barometer and most of the fish switched off. Before the rain the whiting reports were very good in most areas except for Cleeland Bight where plenty of couta seemed to be spooking them a bit. Reef Island and Maggie Shoal were starting to show signs of more consistent sized whiting and good numbers, while the reports from Tortoise Head were of mixed size fish. I had a couple of reports from Sunday where a few people headed into the muddy water but they said it was slow fishing. The whiting coming back are in good condition like those around last season but there seems to be far smaller ones as well.

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Calamari was a bit like the whiting going well until mid-week then the muddy water and the fine weed in the bay made it difficult. Cleeland Bight, both from the beach and the boats was the same with anglers getting a few jigs back and couta getting plenty. In between the patches of couta the calamari were good and most were decent size around the 1kg mark. The jetty at San Remo was frustrating with one night producing plenty for all that were there then the next morning the fine weed had moved in and the calamari would follow the jig but before it grabbed it the weed would show up and they would turn away. Occasionally you were lucky and the squid got there before the weed and it was only a matter of landing it. Apart from the weed what also made it frustrating was the amount of squid you could see in the water but just couldn’t get them interested no matter what size or colour of jig you used.

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The one fish that we get more reports of around the moon is gummies and this one was no different with some good reports from land and boat. Most in the boats were caught from those targeting snapper and were caught in the channel along French Island and around Corinella. The gummies reported from on the Corals were mostly undersized or just size and not worth keeping with the better ones from the deeper channels. There were no monsters but some very respectable ones around the 5kg mark. The best of the land based spots was around Lang Lang and Temby Point with the best just under 5kg and the average around 3kg. Fresh couta and salmon fillets the best baits with the box Californian squid and pilchards not far behind.

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Plenty of positive news on snapper despite not a lot of fish being caught this weekend; there was no shortage of boats on the water looking for them and there was several reported but divided by the boats the averages aren’t good. The positive is those with the good sounders or better still those who know how to read their sounder have shown me plenty of phone photos of some good schools and size of snapper. On an even better note is the soundings came from all over the bay and not just up off Corinella like it has been for the last few weeks. About the only place I didn’t have reports from was on the shallower mud at the top end but probably wouldn’t expect to see much there for another six weeks or so. Apart from the bigger schools of fish there were a lot of smaller groups of fish spread out around the shallower Corals. One of the best reported for the weekend was from the Cowes Jetty where one estimated at around 6.5kg was caught Saturday night. In the boats the smaller snapper, 2kg to 4kg, are coming from the Corals area around 6m of water and the bigger fish from the deeper channels in 10m or more. They are still very timid and the bite is very light and it’s not till they get to the surface before they play up. Pilchards and squid was the bait for about 80 per cent of the snapper reported but there was no pattern to the best rig with some customers catching them on a couple of different rigs. One thing common to every report that I did get was they were using burley, either pilchards or frozen burley logs in a weighted cage lowered under the boat or off the anchor rope.

 

Web_xdboatrampTightlines by King George

A MIXTURE of conditions has seen ups and downs as far as the fishing is concerned but even so the overall outlook is promising. Last Friday visitor Ian Harvey decided to put his boat in at Beaumaris and said that the water was a dirty brown colour which would be no surprise after all the rain. He saw that there was a fair bit of activity as the tide was running in. As he ventured closer he could see that there were snapper being taken in good numbers. He and his crew joined in the action and they caught 31 fish that were around the 5kg mark and kept only what they wanted. Ian said that fish had schooled up around the jetty and they happened to be in the right place at the right time – something we all dream about. Despite his good fortune with the fish, he didn’t fare so well in other matters – there was a bit of a mishap Ian said when he lost his guide poles and somehow managed to run over his mobile phone.

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Surf: This is one form of fishing that doesn’t mind the rough conditions. At Williamsons beach near Wonthaggi a group of visiting anglers decided to try their luck on the run in tide. In just over two hours of the last of the run in tide they managed a very nice bag of 17 salmon that were all around the 1kg mark and took whitebait.

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Inverloch: The water remains muddy but we have been fortunate that the big winds have not eventuated, which has been a bonus. There are still very good numbers of tiger and dusky flathead being caught outside the entrance mainly on natural baits such as whitebait, silver fish, squid and fresh fillets. One favourite spot is just beyond the breakers at Venus Bay where very good size tigers have been often around the 1kg mark and making the trip well worthwhile. Just inside the entrance salmon are in good numbers and being caught on both sides of the tide along with flathead and silvers. The situation also applies as far as Pensioners Corner and the bathing boxes. The boat ramp at Inverloch is still undergoing renovations but the inconvenience should be well worthwhile in the long run so we have to just grin and bear it. Boaters are also still doing well around Stevies Gutter where whiting have been bagged in reasonable numbers but the going has been a bit slow at times. There are also plenty of those small flathead that never seem to grow as well as reasonable size silvers. Mahers Landing always seems to have land based anglers and boaters trying their luck. Their efforts have not gone unrewarded where silvers, salmon, flathead and a few whiting have been caught with best results being on the run in tide.

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Venus Bay: Land based anglers have been rewarded for their efforts where salmon have been taken to the 1kg mark. As usual the run in tide has been the best time to try your luck where whitebait and surf poppers seem to be the best of the presentations. The occasional gummy has also been bagged on top of the run in water and the results seem to be better if this coincides with evening as the fish will move in closer under the cover of darkness.

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Shallow Inlet: There have been positive reports from this productive stretch of water with good numbers of salmon, silvers, flathead and mullet making up impressive bags. Even though the water temperature is still cold Andrew Starrett who runs the caravan park is confident that things are beginning to look good. There was an interesting report from a regular visitor who said that his son caught a big snapper over the weekend outside the entrance in Waratah Bay. This is unusual for this time of year and the fish was around the 8kg mark, caught on a fish fillet.

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Port Albert: When conditions have allowed there have been quite reasonable numbers of flathead being caught to the1kg mark. Salmon have also been in good numbers and tailor are also plentiful. The jetties are also worth a visit where flathead, silvers and mullet are making a visit worth the effort. Squid are in good numbers but for some reason are not all that hungry and just looking at what is presented and ignoring them.

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Keep the fishing info coming to King George on snafu1@dcsi.net.au. Good luck and Tightlines.

View this weeks Tides here