By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
CONDITIONS over the weekend couldn’t have been much better especially on Saturday and as the later it got the better the conditions got.
Surprisingly for most of the day there was no one standing on the Newhaven Jetty.
Sunday saw a few more but still not as many as I would have thought there would be.
San Remo Jetty was a bit better, plenty were trying their luck trying to catch some calamari, problem was the water was very cloudy at times and it was only the lucky ones that were there when the water cleaned up that had much success.
It was even a bit slow for those using baited jigs and bright almost fluoro colours worked the best.
Those who fished the jetties for something else reported the odd fish from most of the jetties.
Cowes was a bit of a mixed bag with salmon, flathead, a seven gill shark also plenty of wrasse and rays.
The fish caught were nothing huge but many were size and keepers.
The open beaches are still producing plenty of salmon, again this week mostly small but if you are someone that likes them baked in foil they are perfect size.
They are also a good size for vac packing and freezing for fresh snapper or gummy baits.
Those fishing the rocks around the island are finding plenty of wrasse as normal but we did see a couple of trevally, flathead and even two good size whiting from Sunderland Bay.
The calamari beaches have also been very busy with people either fishing Ventnor or Woolamai, depending on the wind direction.
The reports have been good with a lot of calamari caught during the week.
Woolamai especially was a bit better than the jetty at San Remo because the water was much cleaner with the dredge not finishing till late in the week.
Almost all those fishing from the beaches are using floats with either a baited or artificial jig under it.
This week though there seemed to be several people here that normally fish for calamari land based in Port Phillip Bay and cast and retrieve artificial jigs.
Surprisingly they were reasonably successful in comparison to those fishing under a float.
If you are going to try this, I would suggest using a cheaper jig for a while to get used to fishing this way especially if you are going to use your surf rod because they don’t have to sink too far before they become snagged and lost on the weed.
You will find most of the people that fish this way will be using a much different rod and reel that is more suited to quick cast and retrieve.
If conditions allow it is well worth heading offshore with the reports and photos that I have seen over the last few weeks.
There have been some excellent bags of flathead from that 30m to 40m line both east and west of the cape with the size around the 40cm to 45cm.
Customers are also reporting large schools of bait with one customer saying they came across a large bait ball close to the surface so they stopped to see if anything else was around it and while nothing bigger showed on the sounder a few handfuls of pellet berley bought the bait to the surface where they could see it was actually a school of pilchards, you would have to think something else wouldn’t be too far behind.
The gummies have been quality size around the 8kg mark with no spot a whole lot better than the other judging by the reports because they have been random and not necessarily from people targeting them.
If you are fishing for gummies offshore make sure you are ready to land them because they can be very different than catching them in the bay.
As with most bigger gummies they have a habit of taking another run when they get to the boat.
The difference being in the bay they will tend to head away from the boat but offshore for some reason they tend to swim down under the boat where they can easily break the line on the boat or motor.
We had some good snapper reports again and if you want to chase them just fish where you would normally at the start of the season.
From the reports which are all be very similar to each other you can sound around and find what seems to be small schools of fish with the size generally big, over 5kg.
The snapper is mixed in what seems to be resident and new fish and are either hitting hard or just playing with the baits.
If we had only one or two reports, we wouldn’t necessarily think too much of it but we have had a dozen or more reports all the same over the last month.
The best spot this week was on the north east end of The Corals and much further up towards Spit Point.
Those catching the snapper are also telling us there are hundreds of undersize gummies and schoolies in the bay and as a quality by-catch some reasonable size ling.
We didn’t see too many whiting this week but I would suggest that had more to do with the conditions not being all that favourable to anchor and sit with the current.