By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
SNAPPER and whiting have been the catches of the week which is not too surprising for this time of the year.
What is surprising for the first time this season I have had reports from customers bagging out easily on both fish.
While that all sounds good not everybody has been lucky enough to drop on top of the fish especially the snapper.
With the weather nothing special but reasonable enough to fish the right areas on the right tides it was mainly the locals who had all the luck.
Of all the reports of snapper this week, from memory only two were from during the day and the rest spread out between morning and evening, with evening by far the best.
One comment from everybody that reported snapper was the fish have got somewhat smaller and the 5kg+ fish of a couple of weeks ago have turned into 3kg school fish.
As always a couple of exceptions and there were some bigger ones reported with the best 7.4kg from Rhyll Hole early morning.
The snapper caught early morning came from deeper water around Silverleaves, Rhyll Hole and the channel above and below Elizabeth Island.
The snapper reports from the evening were almost all from shallow water both on the mud and the top end of the Corals with very aggressive bites and no problem getting your bag, especially Monday and Tuesday night.
The only exception to all of the above was areas around Corinella where some good snapper were caught both during the day as well as into the evening in shallow and deep water.
The size of the snapper started to get a bit smaller as the week went on and now there are several small pinkies around the 1kg mark being reported.
The best reported baits are still the old favourites of pilchard and squid but those who landed on the schools of fish said anything put over the side would do.
A few gummies were reported but nothing too special with the best one a respectable 9kg but everything else was well below that at around 4kg.
There seem to be plenty of small undersized gummies in the bay and there also seems to be plenty of anglers that do know how to correctly measure a gummy.
Over the last couple of weeks I have had several people come in and tell me they have seen undersized gummies and other fish being cleaned at the boat ramps.
I do get a surprising amount of people that come into the shop not understanding the correct way to measure sharks getting confused between carcass and whole.
There also seems to be some confusion as to what to do if you see someone with undersized fish or over bag limits.
The fisheries have a number (13 34 74) that you can call if you see someone with undersized or over bag limits and despite what some people think it is nothing to do with tackle shops.
As much as we might also be concerned about people taking more than they should or smaller than they should, we can do no more than you can do yourself.
I have had people come in to the shop with registration numbers, photos on their phones of small or too many fish thinking that I can follow it up, but sadly as I said there is nothing I or other tackle shops can do and if you have a concern you should phone the fisheries number (13 34 74).
The whiting this week have been like the snapper, it’s the first time this season I have had several customers telling me they are bagging out.
The tides were perfect last week for that evening fish for a whiting or two but I had plenty of reports from during the day as well.
There was a pattern all week with the better size whiting being caught in the evening as it got dark and very mixed bags from during the day.
As with the snapper, not everybody was bagging out or even catching any but there was certainly more with than without this week.
There are plenty of undersized ones around at the moment and the further up the bay around Reef Island you go the smaller they seem to be or the more you have to throw away to get size ones.
The majority of the whiting keepers are in that 30cm to 36cm range but when the better ones come on 40cm to 44cm is not uncommon.
Plenty of customers reported that the whiting seemed to come through in waves of fish the same size and the first one you caught in that school was the same size as the last in that school.
For the successful anglers I don’t know there was too many tricks just more luck than the unsuccessful anglers.
Reports came from Cleeland Bight in most of the usual spots with the Sand Hill and Grollos the best, while above the bridge, Dickies Bay and the edge of the main channel, San Remo side, in slightly deeper water the best.
There were reports from Reef Island, the Top Light and Bass River as well as a few from Rhyll and Tortoise Head.
The best bait or at least the most used bait pipis but I do get reports from those using other baits like calamari, pilchard fillet and even pieces of salmon and tuna.
By King George
THE up and down weather has done nothing as far as planning days out on the water but there have been successful outings where the results have been pleasing.
Surf: The surf has been going along fairly well where Williamsons Beach has been going very well.
Walter James and a couple of mates decided to try their luck through the week after work.
The conditions were a bit on the cool side but after a few hours they had a very nice bag of salmon that were all around the 1kg mark and taken on squid and whitebait.
They also caught three flathead and Tommy roughs which made for quite a reasonable outing.
Inverloch: Near the entrance there have been encouraging numbers of salmon being bagged mainly on surface lures.
There have been some reasonable returns as far as whiting have been concerned with the best being around the 37cm mark with Bass yabbies, pipis and squid.
Flathead, silvers have also been in very good numbers along with mullet that seem to be everywhere and are providing great entertainment for boaters and land based anglers.
Further up the entrance the water has been virtually mud but even so there have been good numbers on both sides of the tide.
Mahers Landing always seems to be productive where best results have been on the run in tide.
As has been the case for some time, when conditions have allowed the fishing has been very good up as far as the Double Islands where salmon, silvers, flathead and the occasional pinkie snapper are making the effort worthwhile.
Port Welshpool: Information from the boat storage is that there has been a sprinkling of snapper ranging from 3kg up to the 7kg mark.
This is a bit on the unusual side as far as size is concerned where there are usually larger reds bagged.
The water temperature has been down around the 14.5 degree mark which is to be expected at this time of year due to the colder weather and accompanying wind chill factor.
There have been quite a few gummies being caught along with whiting that are plentiful up and down the Lewis Channel.
Out wide beyond the entrance near Refuge there have been quite good numbers of whiting being taken but there is a fair hike involved.
Local legend Graham Godding took two hours to get out to a spot and bagged quite a few whiting but on the way back he was with the flow and the trip was cut in about half.
The jetty has been worth a visit where mullet seem to be making up most numbers along with silvers, flathead and squid making up encouraging numbers.
The run in tide seems to be the best time to try your luck.
Port Albert: Britnay at the Port Albert Store says that the fishing has been great over the weekend.
Locals and visitors have been catching very good numbers of whiting inside the entrance on both sides of the tide.
Snapper have been bagged at the entrance and gummies are in good numbers in around the 20 metre mark outside the entrance.
Visitors have been very happy with a very good variety including flathead, silvers and mullet off the local jetties and locals are expecting things to pick up even further as the water temperature rises.
Lakes Entrance: Salmon are at the footbridge at dusk, they are taking pilchard fillets.
Salmon are also around Rigby Island on pilchard as well.
Some luderick and trevally at the town jetties, best bait being peeled prawn and sandworm.
Lake Tyres: At Blackfellows Arm good bream up to 32cm are about, also at Mill Point with prawn being best bait.
Devils Hole and up at Nowa Nowa has 40-50cm flathead on prawn.
You can also try for larger flathead on soft plastics. The entrance is still open.
Mitchell River: From Wy Yung Bridge to the Mitchell River Bridge perch are taking plastic wrigglers; 3km before Eagle Point and at Eagle Point for bream on worm, lures and prawn.
Also the Vic Bream Competition at Metung is on this weekend, with weigh in time 2pm Saturday and Sunday, for more information go to www.vicbreamclassics.com.au.
Tambo River: Bream can be found from Three Gums and up to Rough Road.
Also try Bennetts Brook, with best bait prawn and soft plastics.
Nicholson: From Thumb Point and back to the Second Fence is worth a try for bream and from the Tyres through to the Strait Six using mussel and prawn.
Metung: Flathead are cruising around the Shaving Point area and into Lake King, with soft plastics the bait to try.
Good bream in Lake King are being caught on prawn and worm.
Paynesville: Bream are out and about McMillan Straits, bait to use is spider crab and prawn. Also mullet are being taken on worm.
Hollands Landing: Jones Bay and up into Toms Creek for bream on worm and prawn, also give soft plastics a try.
Marlo: Still plenty of fish to be caught from Marlo and half way up the Snowy to Orbost.
The Platforms for bream and perch, luderick at the groynes, salmon and tailor are at the entrance.
Salmon and tailor are being caught on the surf and gummies and flathead are offshore.
Bemm River: Trolling in the channel for tailor on metal lures.
You need to keep on the move at the River and Lake for bream, taking worm and prawn.
Flathead are cruising about the Lake with vibes being the best of the presentations.
Tamboon: From Old Man Point, the Camp Site and down to Shallow Lagoon has been good for beam on spider crab and prawn. Also try at sunset for flathead.
Mallacoota: Luderick are at the slipway under the jetty.
Gipsy Point is good for perch on soft plastics.
Some bream are being caught in the Top Lake.
Good flathead to 70-80cm are cruising taking lures and vibes.
The surf is worth a try and offshore for good size gummies where the best bait is eel.
Keep the fishing info coming to King George on 5672 3474. Good luck and Tightlines.