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

WITH the early deadline this week due to Christmas, it is a bit of brief report but I am sure that will change with the influx of tourists over the next few weeks.
The weather has played its part in the lead up to Christmas but as I write this report it is looking very mixed for the week ahead.
The best part of holidaying on an island is there is usually a quieter and less windy side and not that often that you can’t find somewhere to have a fish.
You also have that advantage of so many land-based areas that you can adapt your boating gear and use it without too many problems.
If you are down on holidays, we will be opening the shop from 6am every day until January 29.
We also have our Facebook page at Jim’s Bait and Tackle where we will be updating reports as we get them.
You can also keep an eye on what is happening on our Instagram page or just the old fashion way and drop into the store for a chat.
The fishing in the lead-up to Christmas was OK while very patchy with times of an abundance of fish – sounds a bit like the weather.
The best in the boats lately has definitely been the whiting with Cleeland Bight better on the run-out tide and Dickies Bay best on the run in or into the evening.
Other areas like Tortoise Head and Ventnor have also produced fish but not with any sort of pattern and the numbers haven’t been quite as good either.
The size of the whiting has been consistent wherever you fish and it is only recently we have seen a couple of smaller ones show up.
There has been the odd report from Newhaven Jetty as well and while the numbers aren’t there, the ones we have seen are of good size.
We have seen several others from the land from areas like Smiths Beach and Sunderland Bay on the low tides and off the beach at Ventnor in the evenings.
Snapper have gone into hiding, or so it seems, with not too may big fish showing up in the Eskys at the boat ramp.
It’s not to say that they aren’t still around but I think with the bay losing temperature early in the month they have just stopped feeding.
I am still getting plenty of reports from frustrated customers showing plenty on the sounders but nothing they do can get them excited enough to bite.
Maybe with this stretch of warmer weather they will come back on before disappearing all together.
There are however plenty of pinkies and mixed in with the undersize ones are some quality eating ones at around 2kg to 4kg.
There isn’t any area standing out more than others for the pinkies and I have had reports from those targeting snapper on the corals and in the shallows to those targeting whiting landing a couple of quality pinkies. Reports from the land have dried up of bigger fish but same as the boats, several pinkies are showing up.
Newhaven, San Remo and Cowes jetties are the best of the land-based spots.
There were several reports of salmon from those in the boats and those from the land last week. The best we saw were just over 2.5kg.
From the boats, two spots stood out; the channel out from Cowes/Ventnor and in Cleeland Bight towards the entrance with all the ones we were told about caught trawling white metal lures.
There were several reports from beaches at Woolamai and Kilcunda but nowhere as big and closer to 600g.
The reports we received from the beach anglers said they caught them all on blue bait.
There were several reports from those fishing the rocks at Smiths Beach and Sunderland Bay chasing whiting but again smaller than the boats. There have been several mornings where I have seen the birds working up the main channel at Newhaven which would suggest they are travelling further into the bay as well so anywhere you are fishing over the holidays might be worth casting out a few lures.
Gummy reports have been very good over the last week or so and they have mostly come from those fishing along the island off the edge of the channel.
They have been of reasonable size and 6kg has been common.
There are plenty of undersize ones which comes with sitting on the corals and I would suggest several bigger schoolies or maybe even a bronzie has been responsible for reports from people telling us their baits have been bitten off.