By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
CHRISTMAS is just around the corner and we are now starting to get to that time of the year when family Christmas get togethers, work break-ups and last minute shopping gets in the way of fishing.
It has been reflected in the fishing this week with very few out on the water or the jetties, not that the weather has been anything to speak about.
We are about half way through the San Remo Traders Christmas calendar month of specials and there are still plenty of bargains to be had and chances to go into the draw for $500 of shopping vouchers.
Our day is coming up next Saturday, where on presentation of the calendar, we will add 15 per cent to the value of any gift vouchers purchased, as well as stamping your calendar to give you more chances to win.
If you are looking for something to do this Friday night, bring the family down to the bottom end of Marine Parade in San Remo, where the Lions Club will be hosting the Carols.
There will be plenty of entertainment on stage from many different artists singing all your favourite carols.
Before the carols from 5pm, there will be plenty of free entertainment for the kids with an animal zoo, jumping castle, face painting and a clown turning balloons into various shapes.
There will be street buskers and the Lions Club will have their usual bbq with all the funds going to worthy causes.
Santa will pay a visit around 6.45pm and the carols will follow.
Christmas also sees us extend the shop hours and from Boxing Day right through to the end of January we will be open every day from 6am.
Often on the good offshore days, we are here earlier for our customers heading out for a shark drift, just call the shop to arrange an earlier opening time.
If you have a spare hour or so before your holidays, jump in the boat and make sure that all your safety gear is up to date.
We expect to see marine safety patrolling the bay and offshore over the holidays and the last thing you want to do is cut your trip short or be more expensive than it needs to be by having out of date flares or the wrong gear.
If you are unsure, your local tackle or boating shop can let you know what you need to carry with you.
The other thing you need to check is your boat and trailer registration has been paid and your fishing licence is up to date.
All of the above will take only a very short time, but will save a lot of stress and pressure on the wallet.
The reports are all over the place at the moment and trying to answer the most asked question ‘Where do I go to catch a fish? is harder than it’s ever been.
The question is not difficult to answer because of no fish, it’s just trying to work out where they are.
The reports that are coming in are very good, both in quality and quantity.
However, they are incredibly random and most of the time they don’t follow any of the more favoured times and places.
From the land, calamari were the best this week and probably show best what I mean about being confusing with one customer telling me he fished three days in a row.
On the first day they would only take his white jig and swim past anything else he tried.
It was the same for day two except it was black and on day three it was blue.
He said others were using colours he was having no luck on and catching them.
The best thing you can do is if you are having no success on one colour, try another and keep going until you find the one they want, even going back to your first tried colours later in your session.
The San Remo jetty was the best and at times there was only one person there, often with a bucket full of calamari.
The beach at Cleeland produced a few on baited jigs, but it was hard going and a few more came from Ventnor beach.
The odd one was also caught on Cowes jetty and Newhaven jetty but not many numbers.
Boating customers on this side of the bay reported numbers and sizes all over the place and no real consistency during a session, but the kayak customers were having far more luck and both the numbers and quality were better, especially in Cleeland Bight.
One kayak customer told me he had no trouble getting them but was in much shallow water than those in the boats.
The best reports from the boats was from the Cowes and Ventnor areas and maybe it was just a wind direction thing more than anything else.
The whiting quality continued but the numbers had dropped off a bit this week.
Like everything else, we received reports but they weren’t just jumping into the boat and a bit of effort was needed.
But like everything else, put in the effort and you will finish up with a feed of fish by the end of the day.
Although we have seen some very good quality this season, what we did see this week that we haven’t seen many of is whiting in the high 40s with the best about 2mm under 50cm.
Several others we saw or had reported were around the 48cm mark and had the same quality to them that the smaller ones do.
Not a lot of pattern to them this week with the usual below the bridge on the last of the run out and above on the run in, but we had several reports that were totally opposite to this.
A couple of reports came from Boys Home channel and over at the old Long Point jetty.
Snapper remain frustrating for almost everyone and I have plenty of customers that haven’t even boated one yet.
On the opposite side, I have plenty of customers that have bagged out on their last couple of trips.
There is absolutely no reason that this is the case other than some people have more luck.
What I am getting this season is more people than normal telling me that they are sitting there watching plenty of very good arches on the sounder but having no luck.
Maybe some are overthinking it or are having no luck and not willing to change things up and try different things.
Change bait sizes, go bigger, go smaller, change rigs, paternoster, running sinker, change hook sizes, and leader lengths
Just because it worked last time or worked for your mate doesn’t mean it will work this time.
The best of the reports this week came from a depth of 6m or less on the north-eastern end of The Corals or towards Coronet Bay on the mud.
Other areas like Cleeland Bight and The Corals seemed to be holding a lot of pinkies, some very small.
Baits don’t often change and squid and pilchards account for most reports, with each having their favourites.
Other baits like sauries, tuna, fresh salmon and couta fillets are baits worth trying.
Gummies over the last month have been very good and we are seeing some quality caught in the bay.
Most of the gummies have come from the channel along French Island between Elizabeth Island and Tortoise Head, but we have had a couple of reports from those fishing shallow for snapper and even a few that put out a bigger bait while fishing for whiting.
Although I am still not receiving a lot of reports from Inverloch/Welshpool areas I have had a couple sent in of quality fish.
The snapper seem to be much the same as we are seeing here and patchy with the weather playing a big part in where you can fish also.
A couple of customers told me they have been fishing the Lewis and Franklin and landing snapper to 5kg but nothing bigger.
Gummies have been slow and the best of the catches have come from outside with some of the usual quality Welshpool flathead being by-catch for most.
Port Albert Fishing Club fished Reeves Beach on the weekend and landed some good flathead with the best weighing in at 2.4kg.
If you are fishing in these areas, text me your photos and reports to 0409 018 980 so I can include them in my weekly report.
Don’t miss the boat!
VICROADS is urging boaties to plan ahead and book now to ensure their vessel is registered in time to hit the waterways over Christmas.
VicRoads Eastern Region Regional Director Scott Lawrence said there were more than 180,000 vessels registered in Victoria and the weeks leading up to Christmas was traditionally the busiest times for appointments.
“Last year, we saw appointments for boat and trailer registrations in December soar by 226 per cent,” Mr Lawrence said.
“We know that celebrating Christmas on the water is an Aussie tradition for many, so our message to those with a new boat or jet ski is to book early to avoid disappointment.
“We’ve put on extra staff in Customer Service Centres to help accommodate the spike in demand, but customers should be mindful that additional delays may be experienced.
“With so many people wanting to register their boat or trailer during this period, people need to allow up to two weeks to book an appointment.”
Mr Lawrence said that in addition to boat and trailer registrations, appointments for campervans were also in high demand.
“If you plan to hit the water in a new boat or jet ski, take that road trip in a caravan or go camping with your trailer, make sure your ride is registered and able to be enjoyed over Christmas.”
For more information on boat and trailer registrations, visit vicroads.vic.gov.au