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

SAN Remo was a very busy place over the long weekend with plenty of people around for the activities that were on.
There was good support for the fishing competition we were running and some quality fish were weighed.
Lots of people picked up a bargain at our sale on Sunday and wandered over to the fishing festival to take part in those activities also.
Apart from the windy storm that blew through on Sunday morning the weekend was perfect for fishing, especially offshore and with the fish playing their part it was like the preverbal Bourke Street offshore on Monday morning.
From all reports the western entrance was just as busy on Friday and Saturday with plenty trawling around looking for the schools of Bluefin that have been sighted in the past few weeks.
The problem was with so many boats everything we were told about was found down near the bottom and very difficult to catch.
We were told of a few on Thursday and early Friday and the commercial boats are telling me they are still seeing schools of them along the coast.
There was one caught on Monday off Cape Paterson and somebody spearfishing on Saturday off Cape Woolamai also.
From the rumour mill, there were several bonito caught off Cape Schanck late last week and a small Black marlin hook that was lost.
I don’t disbelieve anything anymore. This time last year if I, like most, was told that they would catch barrels in August and school fish in February within a couple of kilometres of the coast of the island, they would have been told it was just wishful thinking and don’t waste too much time trying.
How wrong would that advice been so when customers asked me over the long weekend is it worth putting out the marlin lures my answer was, anything is possible.
While I don’t think we have a huge marlin fishery if we continue to have the schools of pilchards and other bait fish show up we will get fish like Bluefin and if schools of bonito were to show up then anything is possible as black Marlin don’t mind the odd bonito or two.
There were several eskies of flathead caught offshore over the weekend and with such good conditions some of the smaller boats were able to give it a go as well.
The flathead reports were from both in close 25m and out a bit wider around 45m. For most of the reports the size of flathead was very respectable with a few very close to the 1kg mark and most threw everything back under the 30cm because there was plenty around but still managed a good bag of fish.
The best of the reports came from the eastern side of the entrance and we only had a couple from the west.
There was some quality gummies caught as well from further down towards the windmills the best spot.
Only a couple of Makos that we were told about, but with no wind Saturday it was very difficult to do any sort of decent drift – conditions just too good.
The couta seem to have thinned out a little and we didn’t have quite as many complaints as we have had over recent weeks.
In closer and 20m to 25m of water there were good numbers and size of silver whiting and from those who fish in very close some very bid sweep.
Finally after a couple of very ordinary weeks we saw some good numbers of calamari again from both the land and the boats.
Although the jetty at San Remo produced some very good size ones you needed to be out of bed early to get the better numbers.
Again, this week there was some good reports of calamari from the Rhyll jetty and not just the smaller size ones but some very good size.
The beaches were patchy both at Woolamai and Ventnor but at times produced some quality and it was from both those who use baited jigs under floats and those who cast and retrieve artificial jigs.
The boating and kayak anglers didn’t have too many problems finding enough for bait and a feed and same as the beach both methods worked.
Whiting had slowed slightly from a couple of weeks ago, but still some very good numbers and quality with several around the 500 gram ones weighed for the comp over the weekend.
It was a bit patchy in that you either found your bag in the one spot and was as simple as drop down and wind in a fish or you had to make several stops to get a good bag.
It didn’t seem to have a lot to do with where or when from the reports and at times was simply as simple as 100m off the mark.
The more popular spots were Cleeland Bight and Dickies Bay but several good whiting came from some of the not so popular Boys Home Channel, around the top light in Newhaven, the bank off Rhyll back towards Newhaven and even a few off the shallow end of the corals.
Pinkies are either on or forget trying with each day or half day changing from what we were told during the week. Customers were saying they would go out and get plenty or not even see them and this was the same comments from several people.
Then the next day or afternoon it was totally the opposite and very difficult to work out. We did see some very good quality with a couple even up around the 5kg mark but for the most they were around the 1kg or smaller.
Where was also difficult to work out with one customer saying they cleaned up in the deep channel along French Island then the next saying it was the shallows of The Corals which you might understand if it was a day or so apart but this report’s from same day, same tide.
I know this sounds confusing but that’s exactly how the pinkies were and impossible to work out. One thing almost all the fish we saw had in common was you would almost put money on them being a second run because they looked like new fish.