Every couple of years a 3kg plus shows up in the bay.

By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle

Easter is still a few weeks away but will be here before we know it and again this year, we will be running our Good Friday Appeal fishing competition and judging by the sponsorship already committed it will be the biggest one yet.
We are just finalising the entry forms and will have them out soon, check our shop Facebook page or the event page San Remo Easter Fishing Competition Good Friday Appeal where we will keep updating the information about the competition.
The list of giveaways is growing, and we will again have our much-anticipated hourly lucky entrant draws over the weekend with the major entry prize a helicopter flight, donated by Phillip Island helicopters, everybody that enters goes into these draws and you don’t even need to catch a fish or even fish, just enter to win.
We donate 100% of the entry fee to the appeal and we hope we can double last years $2,000. The competition runs from Friday to Monday over the Easter weekend, but you need to be entered by 2pm on the Friday so as we can get the donation included in the Good Friday appeal. We will be taking entries over the counter, online and over the phone with the final prize list available closer to good Friday.
There are no rules on how many days you must fish; one, two or all of them and we encourage families to take part and have a bit of fun for the weekend while supporting a very good cause. Now for the legal bit we are a registered event for the Good Friday Appeal fundraising authority no: FPA2019/614818.
The fishing reports this week were better than they have been for a few weeks and are continuing to increase as the bay water starts to cool. The temperature has steadied a bit now from the 5 deg fall we saw over the first two weeks of the month and from the reports is about where we want it for fishing both deep and shallow. The reports were good both in the bay, land based and from offshore despite there being limited opportunities for all.
With the big tides over the weekend we had some very good whiting reports from in the shallows which makes for a change from the last month where the best reports came from the deeper spots. The best times was very early on day break and just into the daylight, depending on the tide change and then the other end in the evening. The only time we had any reports from during the day was on the cloudy days where the light was low. Although there was some very good reports, both size and number we did hear of a lot of very small pencil whiting, especially in the top end from bass river to Corinella being caught. Getting a pattern was also difficult and often a couple of spots fired on the same day and tide but then the next day neither spot worked, and it was somewhere totally different that was best. About the only thing that stood out was those who had, not necessarily the most but the biggest whiting were all using pilchard fillets, almost a whole fillet,  and hooks on the larger side.
Pinkies and whiting were swimming around together this week and it was rare for those who gave us fishing reports not to include both. Some of the pinkies this week were very respectable at up to 45cm, but the majority were well under size and at times difficult to get away from. The only difference between the pinkies and the whiting was the pinkies kept biting after the sun came up, problem was they were mostly the small ones. The best of them were caught on daybreak or sun down and the reports were a little more wide spread than the whiting. Pinkie reports came from across the corals, the whiting spots and from customers fishing in the deeper channels.
A couple of schools of salmon showed up in the bay this week with reports both from the boats and from the jetties at Cowes, San Remo and Newhaven. while there was only a couple reported from the jetties, we did see several from the boats across the bay. The size was very mixed from just good live bait size to 2kg. The ones caught off the jetties were caught on baits while those reported off the boats from people using lures and plastics. The beaches produced a few also but mainly on the smaller side and the weed was still a challenge at Kilcunda. We had several reports of pike from those in the boats chasing the salmon and even from some catching whiting saying the pike would follow their hooked whiting up to the boat.
Calamari reports were all over the place and not a lot of regularity to them, but persistence paid off for many with some reports coming through both land and boats/kayaks. The sizes were good, and many reported around the 1kg to 1.5kg and of course plenty much smaller. Customers also told us that they were very fussy at times and you needed to change how you were retrieving your jig. One customer said it was like they were playing with you, chasing your jig then just turning away and waiting until you threw it in again so he started throwing his jig past them and retrieving very quickly which seemed to get them more interested and they would attack the jig. That all sounded good until that afternoon someone else came in tell us that the only way he could catch them was to cast the jig in front of them, then just little twitches of the jig. So, I guess it just shows there is no right or wrong method only the one that works for you.
I have been asked to mention in my report, from several different people and different areas about boats and jet skis travelling too fast and how some people show very little courtesy for others. I am not necessarily talking about in open water, although I did get a couple of complaints from customers anchored and fishing away only to have inconsiderate person coming past much too close and at speed. If you are in a bigger boat this is not usually a big problem but if you were like this customer in a small tinny with a couple of kids, it can be a little disturbing for those on board. The only thing I will add to this though is if you are anchored in or on the side of a channel you have to expect that this will happen at some stage. We had a customer mention they were fishing on the bank of the Tarwin river and fishing for perch so a reasonable distance up the river when a ski type boat we past and close and fast enough to actually knock them over. But the biggest complaint comes from those loading boats about idiots that will come into the boat ramp area way too fast creating an unnecessary wake that effects people trying to load boats. Again, I guess not so bad for the bigger boats that drive on but the smaller tinny that usually has someone standing in the water holding the boat it can create a dangerous situation. It’s really not that difficult and just needs people to be a little more courteous and give a little distance when travelling and slow down a lot sooner before you get to the boat ramp.