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

THIS week is certainly a fishing and not a catching report with very little changing in the quantity of fish being reported. The little change we did see was on the positive side and it came mostly from those who have decided they have had enough of doing what they always do for no success and are trying different things. A perfect example of this is a customer who hasn’t been able to find any whiting in the usual shallows and who decided to go deep into a channel, with modified rigs and much heavier sinkers, and managed to get more than he needed without any problems.
The best of the calamari reports this week came from a customer who decided to try something different and drift across Dickies Bay and around Reef Island instead of the usual anchoring. I have written about it before and it still surprises me how many people do the same thing over and over and even with no success refuse to try something different.
Something different was the pattern of the week and I think most have had enough of not catching anything and in desperation are trying new things and areas. While this hasn’t improved things to the point where everyone is catching fish it has seen a slight improvement in reports. What makes no sense though is things people are changing to, and now catching a few fish on, are things others have changed away from because they weren’t catching any. I guess that is where the luck comes into it and why they call it fishing.
While the calamari have been a bit hit and miss on both land and boat the whiting pattern this week has been, fish deeper. The reports we did get came from a bit deeper than normal and not always 10m deeper but some cases just a couple of metres deeper and in the same area as you would be if you were fishing shallow. The size of the whiting being caught is still very good, which makes for a bonus when you’re not catching many. Where to go what to use is a question we get asked dozens of times a week, and at the moment the answer we give is rather lame, as one visitor described it, asking if we were just keeping the local secrets. Luckily there were a couple of customers in the shop at the time who backed up what I was saying. All we can do is pass on the handful of reports we are getting and as I said last week they are reports in the past: today and tomorrow are different days and things could, and probably will, just improve dramatically overnight one day. The trick I guess is finding the right day.
Calamari have been hard to work out all season and just when you think you work it out or you think they are on the improve it bites you on the backside and you start second guessing things you are doing all over again. The best of the calamari reports this week came from a couple of boats fishing for flathead in the entrance not far past the red pole. They caught a couple of flathead and had what they thought at the time was arrow squid follow up the flathead, so they grabbed out a couple of jigs and started landing calamari with both boats getting well into double figures. The jetty at San Remo and the beaches at Ventnor and Woolamai have all seen calamari caught during the week but not quite the numbers we would expect and take your lunch with you because you will be there for a while.
Offshore again has produced and saved the week, although not the same opportunity as we have had over the last month with some windy weather and a bit of swell during this week. Good size, good numbers and plenty of other species have been caught offshore still and almost no one is coming back without something. If you are one of these people not doing all that well offshore maybe drop in and we can go through what you are doing and help you out. The average for flathead has been around the 38cm mark, but on Sunday we saw some bigger ones pushing the average to 40cm or better for those with the bigger fish. The best part about the offshore fishing this year is it isn’t that far offshore, and several have reported bagging out in 25m of water or even less. There are some reasonable size silver whiting and the monster salmon are still around. Couta, slimmeys yakkas and arrow squid will all be on the catch list especially if you are using a bit of berley. The arrow squid seem to have moved off the bottom now and I am getting reports of them being caught 10m to 15m below the boat.