By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
THIS week the reports have been almost 180 degREES different from last week, and I don’t think it is because the fish have up and moved out, it has just been a change in the weather. The barometer dropped after last weekend, around about Wednesday, and it really didn’t change all weekend, and the drop was reflected especially in the snapper reports. We did see a few good fish, but it was very slow and most struggled to find any at all. The weather was hard to pick as well. There were several small fronts that came through, especially over the weekend, and if you were caught in the wrong place it got uncomfortable for a while. Although the forecast mentioned the possibility of a storm it didn’t predict much of a wind change. Saturday night was typical of that when the rain came through and so did a 15 to 20 knot wind.
Sometimes these changes are difficult to predict but it generally happens when we do have these warm, muggy, dry spells, and the chance of a storm is forecast. The main decision you need to make is to not go at all or to just sit out the change. Obviously the safest thing is to not go or at least if you are wanting to head out pick a spot not too far out. Do make a trip offshore to Cody Banks. Generally, when these changes come through they come with a rush then settle down to a more consistent wind. Often the best thing you can do if you are caught out like that is, instead of panicking, let a bit more rope out and settle down for a rough ride for a few minutes, and then once it settles down head home. There are, of course, a million things that can change what and when to do and at the end of the day it is every skipper’s decision. By sitting out the first few minutes of a change it gives you a chance to get an idea of the pattern of the conditions. Boats are made to float and letting out more rope will just help the boat ride out the waves. It also gives you a chance of getting your sea legs before you lean over the front to bring up the anchor. By panicking and trying to move as soon as the front comes through you risk the chance of putting yourself into a worse place in the middle of the bay whereas by waiting you might see it will be much safer to head the opposite way into the lay of the land while the storm passes.
Although there were few snapper caught those that were followed the same pattern as the last few weeks with deeper water early and shallower water later in the day into the evening. We did get a lot more reports of pinkies this week and it would appear they have moved in a bit earlier than normal. They are of mixed sizes and the very quick, undersized ones will try your patience as you work your way very quickly through your bag of pilchards. Try a harder bait like squid or even fresh couta if you can catch one. Saurys are another good one as well because they are a bit tougher than pilchards and stay on the hook better. With the pinkies in now you probably need to swap a couple of your rigs over to a paternoster with hooks around 4/0 but don’t put the bigger hook rigs too far away and I would always leave one or two out for the bigger snapper or even a gummy.
Offshore the conditions have allowed boats of most sizes to head out for a fish and to fill the esky with flathead. Those who did head out weren’t too disappointed with the numbers of flathead continuing. Those who caught them the week before found them in the same place and filled the esky just as easily. 25m to 40m of water from the cape to Kilcunda and reasonably concentrated as well, making it easier to get a few fish. There is the odd tiger flathead but not the numbers we expect to show up in the next month or so.
Those fishing further towards Kilcunda have been catching the odd snapper and gummy but not big numbers. I have had a couple of reports from those fishing off Cape Paterson that they have come across a school of kingfish already, not been able to catch them but had them at the back of the boat following up other fish.
Whiting reports are coming in, but we are being told it’s tough going again and although you can get reasonable numbers, plenty of time and moves will be needed. There have been some good fish amongst the reports and we are being told if you find one you will usually get a few more, but there are a lot more smaller whiting around now and the bigger ones are easier to catch towards evening into the dark when the smaller ones seem to hide for the night.
Calamari, and I think what we have what might be the pattern for the year, and they just aren’t going to come on as they have the last few years. Hopefully I am wrong, and we suddenly get some big schools coming through and they become a bit easier to catch. The best of the reports have come from boats and kayaks, with those on the beaches next and the jetties the slowest of all for the week. Sizes of the calamari, like having the correct colour jig, have been all over the place. Just bait size to close to 2kg were reported and the correct colour seemed to be different every day. Time and effort will pay off, especially this week, when we will get some tide changes around change of light, and I would expect to have several reported from the jetty later in the week.
Flare safety a burning issue
MEMBERS of the Corinella Boating and Angling Club held a flare safety training night recently to learn how to use distress flares in the event of a boating emergency.
Maritime safety trainer Peter Donaldson took the group through some eye-opening insights into the use of flares in a boating emergency.
Covering basics like how to open the box or bag the flares are packaged in (not as easy as you might expect!), and types of flares and when to use them, members enjoyed some laughs as well as surprises.
The group headed down to the Corinella jetty for the practical part of the night with special permission from the Water Police.
Peter demonstrated different flares including parachute flares, personal flares (which can be stored in a life-jacket pocket), and the standard orange and red flares.
The heat generated is incredible, with the metal water bucket boiling when used flares were dropped into it. Expired flares were also used with varying and astonishing results, some not working or just falling apart.
Everyone had a shot at letting off smoke and light flares. After the session the group headed off to a social function.
More photos of the event are on the club website at www.corinellafishing.com.au
New members are always welcome and can join online.