By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
OVER the last few weeks you will have noticed that the usual report from Alan hasn’t been in the paper.
Alan is unwell at the moment and not sure when he will be able to return to writing his report, so to help keep people informed of what’s happening in the areas his report usually covers, I will try to expand my report but I need your help to get the reports.
If you have been successful or have a fishing story or photos let me know.
I am happy not to mention names if that’s what you prefer or even exact locations and include what you send me in the report.
Any photos I must have names, especially of kids where I need permission from a parent.
You can text your report to 0409 018 980 or email email@example.com
You can also drop in or call me at the shop 5678 5462.
Reports need to be sent to me by 9am Monday mornings for that week, otherwise it will be in the following week’s report.
Don’t forget you can also keep up to date by following us on Facebook and Instagram.
School holidays has seen plenty of young anglers around this week and many of them have been out chasing squid from the jetty.
We have also had plenty of other fish reported from those on holidays and there has even been a few days good enough to get the boats out.
Although you don’t need a fishing licence until you turn 18, the same bag limits and size limits apply no matter how young you are.
If you are sending the kids down to the jetty on their own, be sure they know the legal sizes and put back undersize fish.
It’s always this time of the year I hear the whinging from some of the, for want of a better name, more experienced anglers that the ‘kids are in the way’ or ‘the kids are tangling my line all the time’.
While this can be annoying, often the more experienced anglers handle the situation like a child themselves and some of the things that are said to the kids doesn’t actually fix the problem, they also forget they were that annoying kid once.
There is a very easy fix to the problem and that is usually to spend five minutes to help them so they won’t do it again.
While it would be ideal to have a parent there with them to help or supervise, sadly it isn’t always possible and it’s much better to have them fishing on the jetty than playing a fishing game on the computer all day.
I have been getting some very good reports from the Powlett River over the last few weeks of bream and perch.
I have plenty of customers that have now set themselves up and will head down to the river after work if it’s a bit windy to fish in the bay.
The best of the bream we have seen over the last week or so were 42cm but there was plenty of much smaller ones.
The best of the perch weighed in at just over 1kg.
You can either bait fish or lure fish in the river and it just depends on how you are set up, because your snapper gear out of the boat won’t quite work.
I find bait fishermen prefer a similar set up to whiting with a nibble tip rod up to 8’ long, while the lure fishermen need something that is a bit stiffer in the tip to get good direction when casting and good movement in the lure on retrieve.
The most popular baits are peeled prawns, bass yabbies and pippies, with small vibe or a floating hard body lures the best option.
Calamari reports continue to come in and while more people are fishing for them now and you would expect a lot more reports, I think they have become such a regular catch that people don’t report them as much.
I had several reports from the jetty at San Remo this week especially with the school holidays.
The reports came from all over the place and several from the kids fishing whenever they wanted to rather than worrying about tides.
A lot of the calamari were on the smaller side from the jetty and we were only told of one big one that was dropped when they tried to lift it up instead of walking it to the beach.
The other regular land-based reports came from the Cowes Jetty, Ventnor Beach and at Cleeland Bight and all had their moments with these areas producing during the week but none really standing out from the other.
The boats fared better as they normally do and we saw a couple of calamari that were over 50cm hoods but the majority of the better ones were around 30cm.
There were a lot of smaller ones that are perfect size for a whole bait and those that were taken for eating the heads went into the freezer for baits.
We also got one report from the Newhaven Jetty and a couple of reports from the Corinella Jetty.
For most of the reports, artificial jigs were used and just a handful of reports with baited jigs.
Colours is anybody’s guess and there was no pattern at all with about a dozen different colour, colour combinations or brands working.
On Sunday I had four customers come in to get jigs, telling me they had been trying all types and colours and the ones they were in to pick up were the only ones they had been able to catch them on during the week.
Typically, all four customers were getting different ones, which makes it difficult to answer someone when they ask what the best one is.
Snapper reports haven’t really increased in numbers yet despite there being more and more boats out chasing them now.
There are some keen people spending nights out on the water now, but I think you would need plenty of clothing to keep warm as the nights still haven’t warmed up that much.
If you are going to spend the night on the bay this time of the year you need to keep a close eye on the weather as it can still be very unpredictable.
You also need to make sure that you do have plenty of warm clothes with you because while you might intend to only go out for a short time if you do break down help might be some time away.
While we are not seeing a lot more Snapper yet the ones we are seeing are quality and mostly new fish now.
Surprisingly, we are getting reports of small pinkies and undersize ones which based on past years is very early, as we normally don’t see them until at least December.
Reports are coming from everywhere in the bay which still shows that the snapper haven’t really schooled up and you wouldn’t expect them to school up for a few weeks.
This is backed up by the pictures we are seeing on sounders of small groups of fish.
Those who are reporting Snapper are saying that the bites are very light and you have to hook the fish, so I would suggest keeping the circle hooks for later on and use your octopus style for now.
There is the odd report coming from those fishing from the land and the reports from Newhaven Jetty have slowed down a bit, with only a couple of pinkies over the last couple of weeks.
The best land-based report came from the Cowes Jetty where a local landed one that was 79cm.
For those who travel to Welshpool I have had a handful of reports from the Lewis Channel and just off Singapore Deep.
The Snapper size has been around 4kg and the best bait has been squid.
I don’t have a lot of other details about the Snapper but hopefully more reports will be sent through in the weeks to come.
The quantity of Whiting reports hasn’t changed for several weeks and it seems only those who are thinking outside the box are most successful.
The only reports I am getting are from those who have been going to the same usual spot they normally do, spending hours without moving and catching plenty of leatherjackets and toadies.
Although several have been successful, they aren’t bagging out and double figures is an exception but the quality of the fish they are getting is excellent.
There was an odd report from below the bridge but with plenty of Couta around, the Whiting have gone a bit quiet and the better reports have come from the San Remo side.
You are limited as to when you can fish there because of the weather.
Maggie Shoal, the Coronet Bay side of Reef Island and the mud bank on the Rhyll side of Boy’s Channel areas that are normally better later in the year have been the best over the last week.
Gummy reports have been ok without being special, and with the exception of a handful of reports, everyone is only catching undersized ones.
Those who managed keepers said they were at best 4kg with almost all of them coming from the channel along the island between Tortoise Head and Elizabeth Island.
This might have had more to do with the way the winds have been rather than anything else, but I am sure once more get onto the water chasing Snapper we will see a lot more Gummies.
Salmon reports are like the whiting, not much has changed over the last few weeks with smaller fish around and not too many over the 1kg mark.
The best beach has also been the same for weeks now.
It is as simple as the beach with the least amount of weed which has been the best to fish and produced the most fish, so be prepared to drive around a bit.
Anglers snap to it
THE warmer waters of spring signal the start of the snapper season and the pink skies of sunset and sunrise are the best fishing times.
“The snapper season traditionally marks both the start of the Victorian boating season and a spike in the number of vessels broken down,” said Peter Corcoran, director Maritime Safety.
“In 2015-16 there were 1122 disablements and there have been 68 since July 1 this year.
“Many of these were due to lack of preparation,” Mr Corcoran said.
The three key actions to be properly
• Ensure your boat is well maintained
• Have all the necessary safety gear
• Be able to raise the alarm.
“Before you head out, do some simple things like replace stale fuel and ensure batteries are fully charged.
“Have all the correct safety equipment – such as lifejackets, waterproof torches, flares and fire extinguishers – on board, up to date and in good working condition.
“We also strongly recommend having a way to raise the alarm in case of emergency, for example purchasing an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB),” Mr Corcoran said.
As many anglers will be dipping their lines in the water before sunrise or after sunset, Maritime Safety Victoria is reminding them that navigation lights are a legal requirement for all vessels operating at night or in limited visibility.
When underway, being visible and staying well clear of ships should be a priority.
To avoid colliding with other vessels, boats must display the correct combination of lights.
When anchored, display an all-round white light so other vessels can avoid you.
Lights must be fitted in the correct positions for optimal visibility. See transportsafety.vic.gov.au/maritime-safety for details on the lights necessary for your vessel.
If you’re fishing in Port Phillip Bay, remember that you cannot anchor in shipping channels or transit-only zones.