By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo

THIS is the last report before Christmas but keep your photos and reports coming in as we will be concentrating on our Facebook page for the next few weeks.
As we get reports or photos we will post them on Facebook so keep checking to see where the best spots are.
There will be plenty of tourists down soon taking advantage of what we take for granted and hopefully for all the businesses, leaving plenty of money behind.
Yes, it will be busy at the ramps and on the roads but you can avoid a lot of this by timing when you launch and retrieve.
We find most of the visitors will launch late morning and will come back mid to late afternoon.
The best times generally when it is busy is very early morning, mid-afternoon and in the evening so time your fishing around these times and you will find it not too bad.
The combination of Christmas being so close and the ordinary weather still with us saw a lack of fishermen around this week and the reports were few and far between.
No doubt this will change over the next few weeks with plenty down for the holidays and we will start getting a lot of reports from areas we normally don’t get reports from.
Boating will be the same and with the reports we have had already from the start of the season we are expecting to see some good numbers and a variety of fish back at the boat ramps.
Plenty of pinkies this week but very few larger snapper and the biggest we saw was just on 4kg with the average closer to about 1.5kg.
It had a lot to do with the areas you could fish not allowing you to get to the areas you would expect to see the bigger ones.
Many of the pinkie reports came from those fishing for whiting in the shallower areas of the bay.
The smaller snapper we are seeing are in very good condition and reasonably heavy for the length.
These make for the best eating size snapper and if cooked correctly, they are far from a dried out piece of fish, which is often the comment I hear from customers that don’t eat snapper because they tried it once.
If you are not a fan of snapper as an eating fish it’s usually because you have had fish that’s cooked incorrectly.
The biggest mistake many make with cooking fish is no matter what method is used they cook it too long and this goes for any fish.
It isn’t a piece of steak where some have rare and some have well done, there are two ways to cook fish – the right way and the wrong way.
Once it is cooked that’s it, leaving it longer only spoils the fish and dries it out or makes it go rubbery.
Good quality homemade batter and cooked quickly in hot oil, the fish will be cooked almost as soon as the batter is done.
While this all sounds like it is as common knowledge as baiting hooks I hear some very strange ways people cook their fish and I also know a lot of customers that haven’t mastered the art of baiting hooks either.
Whiting are continuing in good numbers but we are definitely seeing a change in the size of the fish and a few smaller ones are showing up now.
It’s not a complete disaster though because the smaller ones we are seeing are what were considered good size a few years ago, and we have just been spoilt over the winter and spring the last couple of years.
The only pattern of late has been the run out tide in Cleeland Bight and above the bridge on the run-in tide, but it is not gospel and plenty give me reports opposite to that.
There have been a few schools of salmon swimming around the bay and several reports of them being caught, more from land-based anglers than boating.
Those in the boats that bothered to stop when they saw birds working or decided to trawl a lure or two on the way to their fishing spot picked up a few.
The size was good with 1.5kg about the average reported both from land and the boats.
By dropping a few lures in the water and taking your time getting to where you need to be it is possible to pick up a variety of fish, especially couta and pike.
But every now and again something unexpected comes along as one customer found out while trawling in Cleeland Bight during the week, picking up a kingfish towards the entrance.
We will be closed on Christmas day but then open at 6am Boxing Day and will be opening at 6am every day until January 29.
We will be opening every weekday at 8am and every weekend and public holiday at 6am.
We can open early if you want to pick up some supplies for an early start, all you just need to do is arrange it with us by phoning the shop.
From myself, Robyn and Melanie, have a happy Christmas and stay safe on the water and the roads, especially if you are travelling to unfamiliar places.
Hopefully you will have plenty of time to head out for a fish with the family and if you are visiting, drop in to get all the up to date information you will need for a successful day fishing.