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

THE weather is taking a bit of a turn for the worse now and up and down all over the place, making it difficult to get out in the boats for any length of time.
It has also been a challenging on the jetties with the wind blowing in your face most of the time and as for the surf, good casting technique is a must casting into the wind.
Having said all that people have still been getting out in the boats when the conditions allow and land-based there is always someone willing to put on an extra layer of clothing and brave the conditions.
Generally, we find the weather has more of an effect on the angler than the fish and we still get reports from those out fishing.
Whiting this week has still been patchy and a little difficult to get much in the way of good numbers but what was caught was good in quality still.
The best of the reports for reasonable numbers this week came from the Cowes side of the island and from around Tortoise Head on the western side.
Timing was everything and almost everyone that reported fish from over that side told us they came on the bite about 15 minutes before the tide change and half an hour later it was all over.
Over the San Remo side, it was slightly different with the most success coming from very early morning before the sun was up and once the sun got over the horizon it was all over.
The whiting were good size and if you were set up it was possible to get some very good numbers.
The best spot was below the bridge in Cleeland Bight with a couple of different spots working for different people.
Some managed to catch them around Grollos while others managed good fish from closer to the old quarry.
The opportunities to fish on the Footes side were limited and I only had a couple of reports of a handful of whiting from there.
There was the odd report from around the rest of the bay and despite numbers being far less during the day time the size is still very good. We have seen some just size fish over the last couple of weeks but nothing like the pencil ones that were around five or six years ago. Although we did see some very good reports, everybody said that it was hard going and has changed considerably compared to before Christmas. This week pilchards, squid or pipis, whichever is your favourite – it didn’t seem to matter too much.
Snapper have all but finished and only the odd resident one is being reported but there are still plenty of pinkies and when you can get past the undersized ones you will find some quality around 40cm.
The undersized ones are difficult to get past and it doesn’t seem to matter what size hook or bait you use they still seem to get hooked up.
From the reports the better size ones are just mixed in with the smaller ones.
The better areas for the week were in Cleeland Bight early morning and caught by those chasing whiting.
The same has been for Dickies Bay/Bass River area with the pinkies being caught by those chasing whiting. We didn’t have very many reported from the corals but several from Cowes and Ventnor, mostly from kayak customers.
Despite very few people fishing, we had pinkies reported from the land this week and while not dozens of them, any caught from the land are most welcome by those often sitting for a long time for nothing – Newhaven jetty, Cowes jetty and even Corinella jetty with one reported from Cleeland Bight and a couple off the rocks at Sunderland Bay.
There were also calamari at Corinella jetty this week which seems to happen at odd times during the year.
The other spot we had reports from this week that isn’t one of the more popular spots is from the Rhyll jetty where they seemed to come in to the jetty on the last of the tide.
San Remo jetty has been a struggle for a couple of weeks now and there have been very few days that more than a handful were caught.
There doesn’t seem to be any reason for it and it is becoming very frustrating for those who fish there often.
I think every possible colour and type of jig is being tried and hopefully it is just a hiccup and things will get back to normal soon. There are plenty of calamari being reported in and around the bay form the boats suggesting there isn’t a problem with numbers, although a bit more work is needed to get a reasonable bag of them.
Our boating customers are reporting that they are very timid and flighty at the moment which might have more to do with the amount of couta, pike and other fish that don’t mind a feed of calamari.
We received more reports from offshore of calamari being caught in as deep as 40m of water again.
Offshore, when the weather allowed, continued to produce quality fish for the table with extra for the freezer and plenty for the bait freezer as well. There is no shortage of couta still and the mackerel are the pencil size to those you need a small metal lure for. Schools of salmon with plenty of bigger arches sounded up under them.
Flathead have been the best for a number of years but difficult because the best of them are traveling under the schools of couta.
Flathead were reported from 30m of water to those really keen, bottom bouncing in 70m of water.
We had a couple of good reports of Pinkies and some that you would call snapper mostly west of the cape.
Gummies were caught but not that many this week and smaller at around 8kg the best.
The Mako reports continued and still in the same area 40m to 50m of water.
The best spots for all the fishing offshore at the moment is from the western entrance to Cape Paterson and everywhere in between. There are still some people missing out and a lot of the time it is the way they are fishing more so than no fish.
Unless you are on a drift for a shark the best thing you can do is spend small amounts of time in one area and move around till you find them. When you find a good school of flathead, two people can put a lot of fish in the esky in a very short time.