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

ONCE again, last week, the forecast and the actual weather didn’t line up, especially on the weekend, and sometimes you just have to open the window and have a look. While you should always keep an eye on the forecast, it pays also to keep an eye on your barometer, because you will get a far more accurate idea of what the weather is actually doing. The important thing is to learn how to read it, and to get a pattern you must check it regularly, at least once a day, whilst twice a day, morning and evening, is even better. While it is a little more complicated, what you are looking for is a rapidly moving reading. This will generally mean a change of some type, and possible strong winds. By taking regular readings and noting what the weather is doing, you will find patterns over time and learn how long after the change in barometer the weather actually changes. Anybody reading their barometers over the weekend would have known that there was going to be very little wind for most of Saturday and Sunday. Whilst this can still get it wrong from time to time, you will find it far more accurate, as it is exact to your area and not general as most forecasts are. One other piece advise is that you can’t just look at it on Friday and work out the weather for Saturday; its readings gained over a few days that will help you forecast the weather.
The problem with perfect weather is that it doesn’t always equate to perfect fishing, and that’s what we got on the weekend. As always, we had some very good reports, but I would say we had more bad reports from Saturday. Sunday was a little better, but with fewer boats out, averages were probably the same. The best of the weekend reports came from those out very early, before the Sun was up, and then once the day got a bit brighter, the whiting and snapper went quiet. Calamari and flathead were still possible in the bright of the day, and a couple of schools of salmon in the bay also provided something else to target.
I often get calls during the week asking why I concentrate my reports on boating, and the answer is simple: I can only write about the reports that I am given, and we just don’t get given a lot of land-based reports. It’s sometimes difficult to get reports from boating customers because they want to keep things secret, but land-based is even more difficult, with customers very protective of where they are successful. Luckily, there a few that give me land-based reports, and some that come in and tell me what they have seen caught. As we head towards Christmas, we will see a dramatic increase of people fishing from the land, and that will help with the reports. Several salmon during the week came from the beaches, both on the Island and from Kilcunda, but the best of the salmon for size came from the jetties, Cowes and Newhaven. The numbers were better, but the sizes smaller from the beaches, and reports came from both beaches at Woolamai and from Smiths on the Island. with the beach at Powlett back towards the cemetery beach the best at Kilcunda. The rest of the reports from the land were mostly of calamari, with the jetty at San Remo and the beach at Ventnor the best areas. San Remo jetty produced several calamari for the week, and there wasn’t a lot of pattern to when they were caught. We had reports from many times during the day, and I would say the evening was a little better, while the beach at Ventnor was definitely better in the evening. Success came from a mixture of baited and artificial jigs.
Snapper were a little slower last week, and the reports contain more pinkies than snapper, but include greater numbers of both. There are a lot of very small pinkies now being reported, and those which are worth keeping are around the 34cm mark. We did see a few over 4kg, and were told about a couple that went better than 5kg from Corinella, but the majority of snapper were saw were only just big enough to call snapper. This could be because the larger ones are starting to head out of the bay, which is most probably the case, but this time of the year we still see the odd bigger ones, so would suggest that there are still some around. The reports of the bigger ones this time of the year are almost all from after dark, and you hardly see any big snapper during the daylight hours. I don’t think the bigger ones go anywhere, I think it’s just because the pinkies are more active during the day, and in such big numbers are just faster than the bigger ones.
Calamari from the boats have been good, and a couple of customers have said there are as many as you want if you go looking, and fish as the tide changes. The reports are coming from most corners of the bay and, whilst we got several reports from during the day, the majority of the reports were from the morning and evening. The same can’t be said for the whiting, with only a handful lucky enough to find them in any numbers. We weighed a few this week over the 500 gram mark, but they were from a few different people, and a couple of those only caught that one fish. I could tell you to try here or try there but, with the way the reports are coming in at the moment, the best suggestion I could give is just to try your favourite spot, and if that doesn’t work then try some of those spots you haven’t fished for a long time, or some of the generally less productive spots- anything is worth a try.