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

WE HAVE had some very good fishing conditions over the last couple of months, but the weekend ended all that with some of the strongest winds and, finally, rain that we have seen for a long time. It was a very quiet time in the shop over the weekend and a sign of the winter to come. There also wasn’t anybody out fishing and the jetties were a very lonely place. Thankfully there were some reasonable conditions during the week and we had some reasonable reports. As we do each year we have turned off one of the bait freezers in the shop and over the next week will be going through our stock and the top of the freezer will become a specials table over the winter as we start to make room for new seasons stock which will arrive before we know it.
It would appear the whiting have found their way back home with an increase in reports again this week. While there was an increase, it was an increase in the number of people catching them not much of an increase in the number of whiting. Almost all are reporting catching only a handful and we had one customer tell us they bagged out. That was on the San Remo side and I did get some better reports from the Cowes side from McCaffeys to Middle spit. Those fishing the top end of the bay towards Bass river are reporting a lot of undersized whiting and some big Leatherjackets. Whiting reports were a bit all over the place during the week. Most reports came from those who were visiting during the school holidays so they were not always fishing in the traditional whiting spots or the more traditional times which could be something to look at if you normally fish here and are not finding any fish.
We had several reports of pinkies also this week with most of the reports from the corals, both shallow and deeper areas. Again, most of the reports came from visitors so getting an exact spot they were fishing was difficult. When asked the answer usually that they were, “not really sure but just out off Rhyll” in the middle somewhere and could only give me a depth. The pinkies were around the 30cm and a couple that were bigger than pinkies, closer to 60cm.
Those who fished on the corals also found plenty of other fish, not many they could bring home but plenty of life and something to keep the kids occupied. We had reports of a couple of elephant fish, but the majority of other fish was small flathead and undersize gummies. A couple of people reported fishing the corals area when a school of salmon or yakkas came past and, because they had a rod set up and ready with a small lure, they could get a couple of casts in quickly before the school moved on.
Calamari reports continue to come in on both land and boats but they just don’t seem to be as good in numbers as we have had over the last couple of years, although they are on a par with reports in the years previous to that. While everyone is saying that the calamari fishing is not very good this year I think maybe they are comparing it to the last two years because when I look back over the reports for the time we have been in the shop, the last two years were exceptional, and this is about the same as a typical year before that. If that is the case of course we will be soon coming into our autumn/winter calamari fishing, a break for the mid part of winter, and then back into the best calamari fishing late winter into spring. Because the calamari over the last couple of years fished right through the year a comment I have had this year is customers saying they didn’t bother going out as early as they would normally and waited for the warmer weather.
As winter approaches we will soon go to our winter hours which means we will be closed on Wednesdays and opening later. The difference to the hours this year is we will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays through May, but still open the rest of the week for all your tackle needs.