By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
Easter Fishing competition raises $1800 for Children’s Hospital
FROM Melanie and myself a huge thank you to everyone that took part in our Easter Fishing Competition, and especially to the local businesses who provided prizes and giveaways over the weekend. We doubled the number who were involved last year, and because of everyone’s generosity we handed over $1,800 to the Children’s Hospital Appeal. While we had a few people who were a little more serious than others, which is all good, three-quarters of the entries were families and almost half of those who entered were under 12 years old. Many of our sponsors have already agreed to come on board again next year, and we will soon be working on ideas to make the competition even better.
Although fishing was a little tough at times the weather was good for most of the weekend and we had a lot of fish weighed in. There were no monsters but was some some quality for the table, and many of those who entered managed something for tea.
From our other customers the story was similar, but we did have some of the best whiting reports for a long time. The pinkies have slowed off a bit and the odd elephant fish report is coming in. Again, the surprising reports, or should I say lack of reports, have been about gummies over the full moon. Apart from the odd report over the last few months there haven’t been a lot of gummies reported on the moon phases, and those that have were on the small side. The ordinary weather lately has slowed the fishing down offshore with the water very dirty and the swell hasn’t been helping either. What the change in weather has done is cool things down a bit and it has certainly helped the calamari fishermen on both land and boat. The rough weather has also helped the land based reports, with more people fishing on the land when the bay was too rough for boating.
For the first time in many weeks or even months we had a couple of reports of people bagging out with whiting. While there weren’t dozens of reports we did get a few reports of good catches during the week and all from the same time of the day, namely the evening and just into the dark. We had several reports from during the daytime as well, but for those fishing daylight hours there wasn’t a lot in each bag. The best spots after dark were at the top end from Maggi shoal to Coronet Bay, and during the day it was a bit of everywhere. There were still reports of very small whiting, and for everyone that caught whiting we had reports from ten who didn’t, so slightly better but not what we are used to.
What was pleasing to see on the weekend were the number of calamari caught as well as the quality of them. It seems the cooler water has bought them back on the bite and we got regular reports from all fishermen, whether land, boat or kayak. There were a lot of smaller ones, but we saw plenty between 1kg and 2kg. The best in quantity came from our kayak customers, with the best in size from the San Remo jetty during the week. Boats were mixed in size and in the places they were caught with people chasing whiting now throwing a jig under a float and picking up a few. The majority of reports came from Cleeland Bight and the majority, but not all of them on the tide changes. San Remo, the Cowes jetties and the beaches in Ventnor were all best, just on the change of light. The best jig for the weekend was each person’s own favourite colour. At one stage over the weekend we had a couple of customers in the shop arguing over the best colour, each with a different colour as their favourite. As we always suggest, have a variety of colours from both ends of the spectrum in your tackle box, and if one is not working try another. Too many believe the advertising that this or that colour is the best. While it might be for one person it probably won’t be for someone else. We have a wall of different jigs and if I could narrow it down to 6 or so that are always successful that’s all I would keep. But the truth is we have over 100 different jigs and at some stage every one of them has caught a squid somewhere. My suggestion is to spend less time worrying about the jig colour and spend more time fishing when the squid are actually there. We had several reports also from those using baited jigs, many of these were from those fishing for whiting putting a baited jig out the back under a float.
Flathead offshore were a bit harder to find and there were not so many reports, but in fairness there was more swell over the last week than we have seen in some time, and we always find that with the bottom bouncing in the swell it takes a little more skill to be able to catch fish. Those who spend a bit of time fishing offshore and are used to fishing swell, with a bigger sinker, and a smaller hook reported some good bags of flathead. Gummies were even tough offshore with only a handful of smaller ones reported. There were plenty of arrow squid if you wanted to chase them but, as one customer told us, although he found them in every spot where he stopped for flathead, they were in a different depth in each spot.
Although Easter is over, the good weather and fishing will continue for a while yet and we will see flathead offshore all winter for those who want to do a bit of searching around. The calamari will now improve, and we will see those waves of very big ones throughout the autumn. I get asked a lot if you should put the big ones back as they are the breeders and the easy answer is to hold them up to the light and you can see if they have any eggs or not, and if they haven’t they are near the end of their life cycle and you can eat them, because if you don’t then other fish will very soon, anyway, as Calamari only live for around 300 days.
In the winter, channel whiting will show up with any luck and they will fish most of winter. And, while in your favourite whiting spot in the winter, take your gummy rod and a big bait because we get a lot of gummy reports in the shallows at the same time. And you might also pick up a resident snapper.
We will be staying with our summer hours through April, opening seven days a week, at 8.00am on weekdays and at 6.00am on weekends. We will be changing winter hours as of the first of May. At this stage, this year, during May we will be closing on Tuesdays and on Wednesdays, but keep an eye on our Facebook page where we will put up more information later this month.