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

WE HAD some very positive feedback from the fishing comp we ran over the Labour Day long weekend with many asking when the next one would be.
We looked at the weekends left in this season where it would be possible and came up with Easter.
We then contacted our suppliers and local businesses with an idea and because of their very generous support we will run a competition over the Easter weekend and 100 per cent of the entry fee will be donated to the Good Friday Appeal.
The comp will run from Friday morning until Monday lunch time and there will be categories for heaviest Squid, Flathead, Salmon, Whiting, Gummy and we will be adding categories just for junior anglers, Squid, Whiting and Flathead.
We have had some extremely generous support from the local businesses and as well as the category prizes we will have lots vouchers you can win just for entering.
We will have regular lucky angler draws over the weekend and a full list of the prizes and giveaways are available in store. So, fish all of the days or just one day, from the land or boat.
Please share this around as much as you can and get your family and friends to enter so as much money as possible can be raised for this very worthy cause.
More information and entry forms will be available on our shop Facebook page, website and instore and you will be able to sign up any time before the comp but must be entered before noon on Good Friday.
If you are not into fishing there is another major fundraiser in San Remo on Good Friday that will also be raising funds for the Good Friday Appeal. It is run through the San Remo Hotel with assistance from Rotary and it is ‘The George Bass Walk for the Kids’.
This event was extremely popular last year and promises to be bigger and better this year. For more information and to register phone 5678 5352 or call into the San Remo Hotel.
The weather continues to be all wrong and a little late, anybody with a vegie garden will tell you that and the fishing is much the same.
We have had more species of fish reported this season than we have seen in the past 10 years and they have been fish to cater for all types of angler from the smaller fish in the bay to the bigger and harder fighting fish from offshore like Tuna, Kingfish and Makos.
While you have needed a boat to reach the bigger offshore fish there has been some quality land based as well and every week there are reports that stand out.
This week despite some near perfect weather in the bay with light winds and calm seas the boating traffic has been reasonably quiet.
Offshore however has been a very different story with settled enough conditions for the smaller boats to head out and get a bag of flathead. This week again there were plenty of flathead caught, although a bit smaller than the last few weeks still big enough for a decent fillet and good numbers.
Despite good numbers being caught there are still customers coming in saying they are struggling to catch one. When the numbers are as good as they have been lately and you just aren’t catching them, where you are is rarely the problem. While you still need to be in the general area of where the bulk of the flathead are coming from, at the moment that being east of Cape Woolamai in 30m to 45m of water, I generally find those struggling are those new to fishing offshore.
There are a few tricks to getting it right and it would take me too much room in the report but if you call over to the shop I can help you out.
Offshore still and apart from the flathead there were more Tuna, Makos, Gummies, Seven Gills, Salmon, Pinkies, Squid and a couple of Cuttlefish. While the slimies and the larger version Blue mackerel have been caught for several weeks now another new species has turned up this week, Frigate Mackerel which I have only seen once before in our time in the shop and that was when the stripy tuna showed up in large numbers a few years ago. All we can hope is this is not a once off season and we continue to see this fishery increase over the next few years.
There are still plenty of couta out there although they seem to be fewer than the last few weeks and some very large schools of salmon than are just sitting off the back of the surf making them difficult to get either from the boat or beach.
Silver whiting are in much closer than the flathead but finding the bigger ones is a challenge with hundreds of small ones very quick to get your bait.
A few more kingfish this week but not how or where you would expect them to be caught with the reports coming from those trolling small skirts for tuna, and most of the kings were keepers but on the smaller side.
Back in the bay and early morning in Cleeland Bight has produced a few whiting but its back to hard work again and you don’t need to be far off the spot to miss out.
The quality was good but few people got more than half a dozen or so each. It was the same in most of the usual boating whiting spots and the evening wasn’t a whole lot better but as one customer said, six whiting of the quality that he has been catching is a good feed of fish for the whole family.
As far as the best tide for an early morning whiting fish we are probably about a week away.
What we have had this week is some good reports of whiting off the land based spots. Typically, with land based spots there isn’t big numbers but any land based whiting numbers are a bonus.
Reports came from Rhyll Jetty, San Remo Jetty, Newhaven Jetty, the beach at Ventnor and near the Boys Home in Newhaven but the most unusual was the beach at Kilcunda near the bridge.
Pinkies again this week but most of the reports came from those actually chasing whiting and the pinkies were a by-catch. There didn’t seem to be a lot of people fishing in the bay during the daytime which is normally when we get the pinkie reports.
Most during the week would chase the whiting on day break then head offshore for some flathead during the day. The pinkies that we saw this week were all around the 34cm mark with plenty undersize as well.
Gummies were mostly small and despite the full moon we didn’t see too many bigger ones. One reason could be the winds were up during the night for much of the week and that is when we would normally expect to see the bigger ones.
The best we saw from the day time was just under 7kg with the average closer to 4kg. The channel along the island and the gutter off Boys Home channel produced as well.