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

THE Easter Good Friday Appeal charity fishing competition prize list is growing with more businesses coming on board donating items.
As well as the prizes for heaviest fish in each of the categories, we have over a dozen giveaway prizes from hampers to vouchers.
You don’t even need to catch a fish to win because these will be random draws over the weekend.
By entering you also have the chance to win the major lucky angler prize of a helicopter flight for three people and if you enter early there is an early entry draw of an Uglyfish junior and adult sunglasses pack.
Fishing will start at 6am on Friday morning and you can weigh in fish anytime during business hours.
All fish must be weighed by 1pm on Monday so there is plenty of time over the weekend for you to catch a fish, but you must be entered and paid up before 12pm on Good Friday.
There will be categories for heaviest Squid, Flathead, Salmon, Whiting, Gummy and there will be categories for junior anglers only, Squid, Whiting and Flathead.
We are hoping to get around 100 entries to raise as much as possible for this very worthy cause.
So let all your friends and family know and enter for a fun weekend.
More information and entry forms will be available on our Facebook page, website, in store and you will be able to sign up any time before the comp.
From the reports, it would appear that the majority of Pinkies are on their way out of the bay with reports this week coming from those fishing towards the bay entrances and those fishing just offshore.
There will still be a handful stay in the bay and we will continue to get reports from right through the winter from those still fishing.
What we will start to see is the resident Snapper that stay around being caught.
There was some very good reports this week of Snapper but the fish didn’t look like residents and were possibly part of that second run that we seemed to get a few weeks ago.
Several were over 5kg and a couple from the land, Cowes jetty for one and the other customer didn’t want to say where he caught it.
There was a Pinkie reported from San Remo and Newhaven jetties with a couple of reports from those walking out onto the edge of the channel at San Remo on the low tide.
The Snapper caught in the boats came from those fishing overnight looking for a Gummy along the side of French Island and towards Corinella.
Apart from being the bottom end of the western channel or in Cleeland Bight, there wasn’t a lot of pattern to the Pinkies, because like the Snapper, the Pinkie reports came from those chasing whiting.
An odd report came from around The Corals and at Rhyll, but very few numbers.
Whiting reports this week were patchy from the boats, but all reports in general from the boats were a bit patchy.
The best of the Whiting reports came from the usual customers who fish very early or late into the evening on the tides with a couple from during the day.
Those who did catch Whiting didn’t get a lot in the way of numbers, but as has been the case over the last 12 months, the quality made up for it.
We had some good land-based Whiting caught from both Newhaven and San Remo jetties this week, along with reports from Cowes and Rhyll jetties as well.
Didn’t see a lot in the way of size Gummies this week, but any amount you wanted of undersized ones especially if you were fishing on the corals.
There was a couple of bigger ones caught, but in the channels in the deeper water.
The best area was the bottom of the western channel which takes a bit of knowledge and the right gear to fish there with the very strong currents.
I did get one report from a customer who dropped two good-sized Gummies at the boat fishing off Elizabeth Island.
If you are going chasing gummies at night or any time really, you have to expect to catch a big one and be sure all your gear is up to it and that you are actually ready to land it.
I get a lot of reports over the season of fish lost and while it happens, if you’re properly prepared it shouldn’t.
There will be the odd occasion where something fails and not through maintenance issues.
But when you haven’t got the net or gaff ready or the net is rotten because you haven’t used it for a long time, I am afraid there aren’t too many other people to blame.
Several people have been trying for calamari and they are all asking the same question, where are they?
Unfortunately I don’t have an answer for them and it is just a case of continuing to try and to try from different areas.
The Rhyll jetty has been ok for calamari but everywhere else is very patchy and it didn’t matter if you were in a boat or off the land.
Hopefully it will change around soon and there will be plenty around again.
It’s not all doom and gloom because there are still calamari being caught, it’s just we have been spoilt over the last 12 months with the quantity that has been around.

Wonthaggi fishermen supreme

Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club president Daniel McCausland congratulates Wonthaggi Angling Club president Steve Howell after Wonthaggi took out the annual Whiting Challenge between the two clubs recently.

Craig Baldock was the individual champion angler with the heaviest whiting (630 grams) in the annual Whiting Challenge. Daniel McCausland and Noel Macklin presented the award.

THE annual Rhyll Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) vs Wonthaggi Angling Club (WAC) Whiting Challenge was held between the clubs recently on a perfect autumn day.
Wonthaggi were the defending champions, but RPIAC went in this year with confidence to try and take out the title.
After a big day fishing, WAC travelled by bus to the RPIAC Clubrooms for the all-important weigh-in, which saw each club weighing in its 10 heaviest whiting.
The weigh-in was a great spectacle in front of over 120 people, who witnessed Wonthaggi just scrape over the line by a small margin of 270 grams.
While WAC celebrated again, the Phillip Island crew must regroup for next year’s challenge.
The individual champion angler for the day with the heaviest Whiting went to Phillip Island’s Craig Baldock with a 630g Whiting.
Heaviest fish overall other than a Whiting went to RPIAC’s young gun angler Heath Womersley with a beautiful gummy shark.
Wonthaggi president Steve Howell thanked his members for a great effort and another victory, and praised the RPIAC for their magnificent hospitality and a great dinner.
RPIAC president Daniel McCausland congratulated WAC on their win and thanked Steve Howell for his great help in organising such a big event.
He also thanked his members for volunteering their time to run such a fantastic day and night.
Both clubs also thanked Phillip Island Marine for their donation of great prizes over the past couple of years.
Phillip Island Marine’s Scott Huther has been a great supporter of both clubs, not only for this competition, but all club competitions held throughout the whole year.
Bowens Hardware donated an amazing outdoor setting for the secret weigh prize, which was won by Brian Allan from Wonthaggi.
After the presentations were over, everyone enjoyed a delicious spit roast provided by the RPIAC.
There was also a huge raffle and the prizes and awards were supplied from both clubs.
Many a great tale was told during the night over a few cold drinks between the rival clubs’ members, which only showed the great comradery between the two clubs.
Bring on March 2018.