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

WE are still to finalise the prize list for our Easter Good Friday Appeal fishing competition because we are still getting donations.
But we have finished the entry form and you can register now. We have showbags again this year but only for the first 50 juniors or small fry that enter; but after the registrations we received this week they won’t last long.
You can register at the shop or there are details and entry forms on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/JimsBaitAndTackle we will also take registrations and payment over the phone at the shop 5678 5462.
Don’t forget 100 per cent of the entry money goes to the Royal Children’s Good Friday Appeal so grab the whole family and have a bit of fun while giving to a great cause, registrations and payment must be received by 2pm on Good Friday.
Fishing during the week was a little quiet with most at work and not having the time before a long weekend. There is however always someone that has time to go fishing and we did see a few reports during the week, mostly whiting and calamari but once the long weekend got here there was plenty out fishing and several reports came in, especially from Saturday and Sunday.
The weather bureau again did a great job of forecasting the weather, forecast on Wednesday morning was for perfect weather all weekend with hardly any wind, Wednesday afternoon the whole weekend was going to be unfishable, Thursday changed again, Friday looked like we would get Saturday OK, Sunday maybe, and Monday stay home – then it changed again all weekend.
The smart ones looked at the forecast but more importantly opened the blinds and looked out the window each morning to see what the weather was like. While I am being a little sarcastic and I understand it is a difficult job the weather bureau use some very sophisticated equipment and some very detailed models to do their forecasting but struggle to get tomorrow’s forecast correct let alone seven days ahead. I think people would be much happier with a very accurate three-day forecast than a seven-day guess.
Much of the action was offshore over the weekend and Saturday put an end to the rumoured bluefin that can be caught off the island with three around the 20kg mark being landed. Trawling a few skirts and X-Raps there was a school of, what looked like stripey tuna with some bigger arches underneath.
First was a double hook-up, then one more for the third member on the boat and that was enough so time to head home. Was there more there? Possibly and one would think there will be as they are school fish at that size, so if you are travelling offshore anywhere and come across a school of bait fish spend a bit of time, have a look around them looking for some bigger fish on the sounder and spend a bit of time dropping some lures. I did hear of another one being caught on the Sunday also in a similar area.
We had several other reports from offshore of flathead, pinkies and a few gummies but no one seemed to get too many of each, and they took a bit of searching to find them. The flathead were OK size but mostly on the small size and several were tigers but no pattern as to the best spot to look for them, and plenty of prospecting in different depths to find them.
The pinkies that were reported came from the reef area out from Kilcunda but much smaller than those of the last few weeks. One small Mako that we had reported from Sunday and plenty of slimmeys in the berley trails.
Several customers reported from the weekend larger schools of bait fish and bigger mackerel and salmon with some very good size arches under them but unable to coax anything to take a lure. The gummies caught were just random catches and none from where you actually go to target them.
Back in the bay and the best reports were those of whiting – the most fish caught though were pinkies and some so small the bait was bigger. The whiting reports have been very good over the last couple of weeks and certainly on the improve. They aren’t just jumping in the boat and a little bit of work is needed to get into the double figures. The reports have come from every day there has been an opportunity to get out and chase them.
The best reports have also come from those targeting tides and only spending a few hours on the water. Early morning has been the best for the bigger fish with plenty of smaller ones around in the afternoon and a mixture in the evenings.
The only days where the reports were reasonable during the day was the very overcast days we had. There wasn’t however a best spot and a bit of a guess. If two mates went out and one went to Dickies Bay and the other to Cleeland Bight at the same time, only one would have managed a good catch, problem was the next day could be the same or opposite.
The size of the whiting has definitely improved and while the length hasn’t got to the 40cm+ consistently yet, those 27cm ones from before Christmas are now around the mid 30cm and fat for their length.
We are still hearing of plenty of very small and even undersize ones and from those who have been successful with the better fish they tell me that if you get onto a patch of the tiny ones don’t just move a 100m or so, make a reasonable move and keep looking for the bigger ones as they seem to be in smaller patches. Don’t forget to try the areas in slightly deeper water as well, you will often find less but better size whiting.
The pinkies have taken over in plague proportions, the problem is they are well under the legal size, some even ½ legal size or less. A bit like the small whiting the pinkies will tend to find you rather than you actually finding them, especially if you are using berley and once they do find you will have no option but to move. The reports of bigger ones have slowed, and we have had nowhere as many reported last week. I wouldn’t say they have disappeared just that the small ones have taken over.
Reports of pike/snook also came in both from the jetties and those throwing a lure or two around while sitting at anchor waiting for something else. Several reports have come from those fishing for whiting having them follow up a hooked fish.
Over the weekend we had several reports of elephant fish from on the corals and a couple from land-based customers fishing Tenby Point. Schools of smaller salmon, yakkas and slimmeys are swimming around in the bay. The surf hasn’t produced much in the way of bigger salmon for a few weeks now and most customers are reporting small salmon only.
Calamari are all over the place as far as the reports go and I don’t mean caught in many places, but it’s only a guess as to the better spots, land or boat.
We have seen plenty and some very good size ones over the last week with some from areas you wouldn’t expect to catch them and from those not even fishing for them just seeing them follow up other fish. Odd areas like the corals, around Elizabeth Island and around the top light in the Newhaven channel also a few from further up around Corinella.
The usual areas have produced but as I said nowhere has been consistent and while some caught a dozen or more from the San Remo jetty for the week that was over five or six days and only catching on a couple of them.