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

FISHING licenses have gone up again and while it isn’t a big increase it is another increase and maybe something we need to expect each year, a small increase each financial year.
There are several other changes that are being introduced in the way you can purchase your license. All licenses can be purchased online but the one year and three year licenses have a discount attached for buying them that way.
You also get your license sent to you in the mail as a plastic license like a driver’s license.
There will be changes to buying them in stores as well with the fisheries wanting stores to now do them electronically.
Basically, we enter your information onto a fisheries portal and you get an email/receipt number to say your license has been purchased then one year and three year licenses are sent out as if you purchased them online yourself. No, the online discount doesn’t apply with us doing them electronically. There are some minimal background advantages for us as sellers but the disadvantages are fisheries are not supplying a tablet/computer to enter them on (the seller will have to do that), sellers will need to enter all licenses taking more time, and sellers will need to print and supply a receipt for every licence.
Because it works on the internet, I know how often ours drops out and seems to be common with the NBN so in those times, no licenses, same for power outages.
You will find many places just stop doing them due to the costs involved and we are considering our position at the moment especially when it will take us a bit over two average years’ commissions to pay for the setup we will need.
Fishing this week hasn’t set the world on fire but we did see a few quality fish caught when the weather allowed. Most of the reports were salmon and calamari but we had a couple of whiting and gummy reports also.
The forecast for the week is a bit of a breeze but sunny and with the school holidays I am expecting to see several reports from those having a bit of time off.
If you are on holidays fishing off the surf beaches don’t forget to keep an eye on the horizon for the whales that are heading past daily. If you are down for the holidays and want to a bit of fishing and not that familiar with the area, drop in and see us at the shop and we will point you in the right direction.
If you are new to the area a very basic rule is fish the hour or so either side of the tide changes. It’s not necessarily when there are more fish around, but it is certainly much easier to fish without the strong currents. A question we get asked all the time, especially during holiday times is; “I normally fish fresh water, so this is all different. What do I need to change?” Easy answer, bait and sinkers.
Don’t be too concerned about rig types and setups because everyone will tell you their way is best; simply tie the rig you know how to tie then you shouldn’t make a mistake and the biggest difference is obviously the current and bait types.
The salmon have been good size this week and from both Kilcunda and the island beaches but there have also been hundreds of very small ones as well.
There weren’t big numbers of large fish and no real sense to when they or others were caught.
I had several people come in and tell me they couldn’t find a fish despite getting them a few days before in the same spot.
The reports we got came from all over the place and on different tides. There was a lot of luck involved to be standing on the right beach at the right time. If you haven’t been down to the surf beaches over the last few weeks it might pay to go for a drive before you head out with the rods because there have been a few changes on the beaches with the weather creating a few gutters and holes and filling in others, Anzacs especially has moved around a bit.
Calamari were excellent for two days and ordinary for the rest, which sounds odd until you look at the weather and the reports together and it doesn’t take long to work out good weather and good reports went together.
It makes sense with more people around in the better weather but more importantly the water is cleaner and far less weed around all things that can make it difficult to catch the calamari regardless how many are around.
A mixture of baited and artificial jigs worked on most of the jetties and the normal beaches. Boating was a little different with the wind direction and we had a few reports from Dickies Bay and Reef Island areas.
We had a couple of reports and one very good one of whiting from in Dickies Bay where there was plenty of very small ones, but perseverance saw a feed of quality size ones. Flathead are still offshore if the weather permits but a bit like the whiting, you will need to sieve through a lot of small ones to get your feed to take home.


Big Merv at fishing comp

FISHING and cricket personality Merv Hughes is excited to be the MC of the annual Twin Rivers Business and Tourism Association Bream Classic, run on the Gippsland Lakes on July 14 and 15.
Merv visited the area in December and was thrilled by the fishing; catching several bream over 40cm over the course of a weekend with 2017 winner of the Bream Classic Frank Aloisio.
Merv will be emceeing the Sunday major prize presentations at Johnsonville from 11am.
Nationals Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester will also present one of the major prizes on the Sunday along with East Gippsland Mayor Cr Joe Rettino.
Jamie Malady, president of the Twin Rivers Business and Tourism Association said it’s an exciting event.
“Last year we had over 700 registrations with some people travelling as far as Bendigo.
“We’re looking forward to see what this year brings and we welcome Merv, Darren and Cr Rettino to our event.”
On Sunday at Johnsonville you will also find food trucks, marine industry displays and a BCF casting competition for children.
This is the 22nd year of the Twin Rivers Bream Classic.
This year, all participants go into the draw to win a Jeep Renegade from Dwyers Jeep, a tinny from Riviera Marine Centre, a roof top tent from Ironman Coast to Country 4×4 and a weekend away from Captain’s Cove.
The Twin Rivers Bream Classic committee strongly encourage and promote catch and release fishing.
All categories in the competition contain a catch and release component and the winner of the heaviest bream catch and release has the opportunity to win a Hobie Kayak.