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

Steve caught this quality calamari from his kayak in Cleeland Bight.

A WEEK and a few public holidays makes a huge difference to the fishing reports with far less coming in this week despite the good weather continuing.
There were nowhere as many people fishing this week, and with the car racing over the weekend many just stayed away rather than get caught up in the traffic.
Despite there being very little wind all week there was a considerable swell and those who did head offshore said it was clean but had regular sets of around 2m plus.
With the bigger swell, it makes catching flathead very difficult as it is hard to keep your rig on the bottom for any length of time.
There are plenty of couta still around and they don’t mind the swell at all.
The schools aren’t quite as big as they were or quite as thick, but it doesn’t take too many for you to start losing gear.
Gummies have gone a bit quiet offshore and the couple of people looking for them during the week only managed seven gill sharks.
There was some good flathead caught, even on the days of the bigger swell and every report we had came from the eastern side of the entrance. The depth changed a bit and the reports were anywhere between 25m and 45m of water even a few flathead from back into the entrance itself.
Elephant fish have been very few and far between for a number of years now and this year is no different with only a handful of reports coming in over the last couple of months.
We normally start to see them around the full moon in March and they will fish until the end of April into May.
This season so far, we have had more reports in the last week or so than for the last couple of months. Much earlier in March we were getting reports from the net boats working offshore of big schools, further than most recreational boats will go but they didn’t come into the bay in any great number.
We might still get some numbers of elephant fish come into the bay with the way the season has gone so far.
If you are going to head out looking for them, go to the shallow areas of the corals and over towards Leola Shoal, squid or pilchard for bait and a paternoster or running sinker rig that you would use for gummies or snapper with slightly smaller hooks will do.
Whiting reports, just read the last couple of weeks reports because not a lot has changed with it still very patchy.
The quality is still there and the numbers are still down but as most customers are telling me six or so whiting at the moment equals a very good couple of feeds.
The only real difference this week is the couta moved into Cleeland Bight towards the later part of the week and people started fishing more in the top of the bay.
The kayaks did the best of everyone this week fishing in some of the shallow areas on both the San Remo and Cowes sides of the bay.
Something I am being told by the kayak customers is that they will find whiting in water as shallow as 1m.
Sadly, the story with calamari is very similar to what it has been for the last month except this week we had more people telling us they saw schools of small calamari travelling through the bay or swimming past the jetties.
Because of the speed which squid grow, it won’t be long before the small squid are of a size worth targeting.
The San Remo jetty produced a few but they were very random times during the day and not a lot to do with the tides or light.
It was the same was for most of the jetties around the bay with odd random catches.
The boats and especially the kayaks fared slightly better, probably because unlike the land based you could cover a lot more ground looking for the calamari.
Coming into winter this is about how it will be for the next couple of months and generally you need to head out prepared for anything.
You will also need to prepare for the rubbish fish that come into the bay during the colder months which is just part of it.
The best thing about winter fishing is, although we will get some very ordinary weather we can have some of the best days of the year on the bay during winter.
The other good thing about winter is you just don’t know what you might pull in and the quality of the keeper fish is generally very good.
The theory is because of the colder water the fish tastes much better which is definitely the case with gummies and whiting.
With the start of May then into winter we will be reducing the shop hours, mainly on weekends and as we do each year, will be closing on Wednesdays, but as we all know the new season will be on us before we know it.
During the winter months, we do our season ordering for new stock with most arriving towards the end of August.
If you are thinking of updating some of your gear don’t forget we do lay-by so head in and we can work out what you want and make sure we will have it for the start of next season.
It will also give you a few months to pay it off so it isn’t a strain on your wallet to do it all at once.
We offer this service on everything in the shop, rods, reels and all your terminal needs or even on new stock that will be coming in for the season.
Judging on the past couple of years with the snapper, land-based I would be looking at getting the gear out from mid-August and boating from early September.

Community support for Rose Lodge fishing trip

Group photo from left to right front row-Mary Florrimell, Len Witherden, Nell Dennis,
Bernie Winter, Alison Brooks and Geoffrey Ward. Back row Ralf Heusserer, volunteer Ian Kent, Alan Lowe and David Walsh.

ROSE Lodge Aged Care residents enjoyed their annual fishing trip to the Tarwin River held recently, organised by local community members.
David Walsh, the proprietor of Rod Bending’s World of Fishing at Inverloch provided fishing rods, tackle and bait.
Volunteers Ian Kent and Allan Lowe provided the freshly caught bass yabbies and then baited everyone’s lines and Shannon Burns was the head chef cooking up a storm on the barbecue.
While cooking the barbecue and offering drinks, the conversations and fishing yarns flowed as everyone reminisced about past fishing experiences and the hundreds of fish they caught before the days of bag limits.
Nell Dennis was overheard saying “this is the life”.
The morning delivered lots of bites and finally Len Witherden was the first to catch a fish – a very undersized but beautiful bream.
Mary Florrimell was fisherwomen of the day after catching two mullet and Nell Dennis with one mullet showed that it was ladies luck – or skill – outperforming the men who caught no fish.
That’s not quite correct – Ian Kent, David Walsh, Geoffery Ward and Ralf Heusserer all caught some very nice toadies.
All in all, “a bad day’s fishing beats a good day at work”.
The volunteers all enjoyed seeing the residents’ smiles.

Perfect weekend for a fishing comp

Phil Nebel and his first prize trevally.

Dale Walker with his haul which included a flathead which was good enough for second prize.

The visitor prize was won by Melinda.

THE Venus Bay Angling Club’s Easter Comp was held over four days starting on Good Friday and winding up at 1pm on Monday.
Weather conditions were generally good for boat fishing on Anderson Inlet and for surf fishing along the beaches.
It was pleasing to see a number of both senior and junior visitors weighing in as well as the usual members.

Senior members: 1st, Phil Nebel, Trevally 1000g for 500 points; 2nd, Dale Walker, Flathead 880g for 440 points; 3rd, Shannon Forrest, Trevally 860g for 430 points.
Senior non-members: Melinda, Salmon 400g for 200 points.
Junior non-members: Ella, Flathead, 320g for 160 points.
The angling club also ran a sausage sizzle and children’s Easter Egg hunt as its contribution to the community as part of the annual Tour de Tarwin festivities held throughout the weekend.