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


WITH the football over and just Bathurst to go, then, apart from the odd lawn to mow, we will start to see the boat ramp car parks filling up on the weekends. We will also now, with the start of daylight savings, start to see plenty of boats on the water at night during the week. If you are heading out for a night fish make sure all your lights are working and that you know how, and when, to use them. Anybody that fishes at night will know what I am talking about, because there are plenty of people that seem to have no idea. When at anchor you need an all-round white light, and it says all round for a reason, so that a boat coming towards you can see you from any direction. And it must stay on all night, unlike one customer who told me he thought it was only for when you were fishing and that if you went to have a sleep you could turn it off. The all-round light must also be on when you are underway or drifting. The same problem applies for navigation lights, with plenty of people using them wrong: off at anchor and on when underway or drifting so that way other boaters know, one, that you are moving, and, two, can work out which way you are going.
We are now seeing more good than bad weather and also the barometer is heading north more often. As yet the snapper haven’t played their part, but with the water still around or below 12 deg for most of the bay it’s not surprising. It’s also not surprising with the water temp so low that the majority of the fish being reported are draughtboard sharks. The only good thing is that the majority of those reports are coming from the bay entrances and not up the bay indicating that they are heading out to the deeper water.
We are seeing the odd report but most in the boats are catching only one maybe two for a session and still in deep water. The reports are also all over the place and the dozen or so bigger snapper we had reported came from 10 different spots around the bay. At the moment when boating customers ask where is the best spot to head, and the honest answer is that we have no idea, but these are the 10 spots they were caught. The only pattern is fish deeper so head to the deeper holes off Rhyll, the channel along French island, the channel edge off Cowes and up around Corinella way in the deeper sections of the channels. The only snapper we had reported in shallower water came from in Cleeland Bight, with a couple around 5kg coming from the small gutter near the sand hill. The jetties also haven’t really fired up yet and just a couple of smaller ones from Cowes and Newhaven, and all from those keen enough to spend a cold night on the jetty.
Finally, some regular whiting reports, and quality fish with the reports, although there seems to be a lot of small and undersize ones around also. The bigger whiting have been coming from below the bridge, but this week reports from Dickies Bay contained a couple of respectable ones. The better whiting reports have come from either end of the day with evenings a little better. We had only a couple reported from during the day from anywhere in the bay. Dickies Bay reports came from the usual area along the edge of the sand but below the bridge the reports came from a couple of different areas and even in the deeper water beside the channel between the red and green poles. Everyone that fished in Cleeland Bight managed double figure draughtboards as well, which was a bit of a challenge but worth persevering.
Calamari reports are coming in, but it has been difficult to get an idea of the best times or places to chase them. We get several reports from one spot and think that they are finally starting then next thing no one is catching one from that spot. The reports in general are coming from all over the place so I suggest you just go to where you normally would as you have just as much chance. The quietest spot has been the beach at Ventnor for some reason, yet those in boats in the same area are sending in reports. Jigs are a bit of a mixture also, and a question we get asked all the time is, what is the best colour? The problem is that, despite what people think, there is no easy answer, and it is an answer that can change daily. There are some colours that we get more reports on but there is no magic formula and I always suggest when you are buying jigs for your collection buy a few different colours. And, most importantly, keep trying different colours while you are fishing, especially if your favourite one isn’t working.