By Craig Edmonds from Jim’s Bait and Tackle
THE South Gippsland Game Fishing Club is turning 40 and have asked me to mention in my report that they are having a reunion in August.
They have sent out several invitations but because there have been so many members over the years and people move address they will obviously not get to everyone.
If you are a past member and would like to attend the night, give me a call on 0409 018 980 and I will get the information sent out to you.
This week we had some perfect weather conditions especially late in the afternoon despite the weather being only 10C.
There were a few people able to take advantage of the conditions and get out in the boat for a fish.
Saturday night was all but perfect and a few keen customers spent the night rugged out fishing. I am starting to get a few people spending the nights on the surf beaches chasing gummies.
School holidays also meant plenty of fishing on the jetties, especially the kids.
Those fishing in the afternoons only had limited time before it got dark so targeted one species and most managed to find a few of what they were chasing.
The two targeted fish were calamari and whiting with a few salmon, couta and pike as a bonus.
The calamari were good around reef island early but over the weekend they were hard to find up there and most headed for Cleeland Bight.
The calamari we had reported varied in size but were on the better size as they go through their spawning period and we don’t seem to see too many small ones.
Drifting was by far the best way to catch them and the most successful customers trailed a couple of baited jigs under floats while casting artificial jigs around.
From the reports they weren’t jumping into the boat but with a bit of work you could get a good bag.
Those fishing from the jetty at San Remo for calamari found that first thing in the morning was the best time with the dredge working during the day.
Whiting were a bit harder to find and again with a bit of work and time you would at least find a feed to take home.
The condition of the whiting was excellent as it usually is for this time of the year and one or two will give you a decent couple of fillets. Where to find them was the difficult part and you needed to be able to rig for both shallow and for deep water to maximize your chances.
The whiting were in no particular area and one customer told me they got 12 for the morning from eight different spots between Cleeland Bight and Bass River area and while it was a bit of work with seven of them over 42cm it was well worth it.
They also caught a few calamari and hooked a 4’ gummy around reef island which they unfortunately lost at the boat when it went for another run and the light line touched the boat.
When the wind and the swell dropped Friday night there were several boats planning to head offshore on Saturday, a couple dragging lures for those rumoured tuna that have been off Kilcunda, others just dragging a few lures in case.
If you are heading offshore this time of the year, don’t forget to keep your eyes open for the whales that are heading past at the moment.
Sadly, I think the tuna rumours might just be that. Having said that, nothing surprises me anymore as we have seen some strange catches over the past 10 years.
Those that went out for a bottom bash looking for flathead had mixed success and if you found them you managed a good bag but the majority did a lot of winding for no reward.
There were a couple of gummies caught, a few couta by those dragging lures and a couple of customers reported silver whiting and salmon.
The kids were mostly catching wrasse from the jetties but that didn’t seem to matter as it was much better than going to school.
I did get the odd report of other fish being caught and again another big school of whiting under the San Remo jetty that weren’t interested in anything and just kept swimming.
The other fish reported from the jetties around the island with a few keepers amongst them was flathead, salmon and Port Jacksons.
Those fishing the surf beaches landed plenty of salmon during the week, when it was actually possible to fish from the beach and not get blown away.
We still aren’t seeing many bigger than 1kg and the average is probably closer to 500g.
We had reports from almost every one of the more popular surf fishing beaches and the reports were all over the place with people spending time finding a beach without much weed.
Reports were mixed between baits and lures with our new salted pilchards very popular as a whole. Lures around 40g worked and colour didn’t seem to be an issue with white, blue, green all successful.