With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

AS I sit here and write this report, (Sunday) the forecast for the Easter weekend couldn’t be any better, sunny days light winds and low swell.
If you are in San Remo or on Phillip Island over the Easter period it is shaping up to be an old fashion busy one and expect a delay or the at the ramps. The delays will be short and a little bit of common sense and stay away from busiest times of the tide and it will make life much easier for you.
There is also lots happening all weekend around the island for the whole family. We, of course, have our Good Friday Appeal fishing competition and entries have been good so far and we look like breaking last year’s donation that we made to the appeal.
There has been a little concern from some who have already entered regarding the kids show bags. We had a small problem with getting some of the promised items for the bags and it has only just turned up which has put us behind.
It will depend on how busy we are in the shop this week, because it has to come first we will be packing them this early this week. As you enter we allocate a number to your entry and all the kids within the first 50 kids entered will receive a show bag. The bags will be available towards the end of the week or just pick them up over the weekend. You can register up to 2pm on Good Friday and we will be opening at 6am all weekend.
The other Good Friday Appeal fundraiser that is in San Remo and right next door to the shop is the Walk for the Kids.
From the reports it would seem that the fishing is coming good at the right time and hopefully they play their part over the Easter break. There was some very good quality table fish caught during the week and will be plenty on the tables for food Friday.
The best of the reports came from the boats but with the school holidays, several reports came from those fishing off the land, especially from kids. Two species stood out in many of the reports, whiting and snapper, and I do mean snapper not pinkies.
There was plenty of other fish reported and unfortunately a couple of draughtboard sharks, although they were from a distance offshore and not in the bay yet, hopefully this warm spell will keep the water temperature up and keep them out for a while longer.
Pinkies we normally report in April and there are plenty of them, from the 1000s that seem to be just born to the respectable 36cm to 40cm you expect to catch now. What has been a surprise with the reports, and they first came from those chasing gummies around the Corinella area, has been the 5kg plus snapper that are being caught.
Looking at the photos over the last couple of weeks you would put money on them coming from September or October. The fish look like they have just come in from the ocean and are very clean but lit up like a neon light. The reports have all come from the top end of Corinella where you would expect to find the early season snapper.
We have had several reports from different people and not just the one or two. As I said before the first reports a couple of weeks ago came from those targeting gummies and not really thinking snapper. How many are there or when it will end, who knows? But it will be interesting to see if they spread out around the bay. With the drop in the bay water temperature maybe it’s those that have been living on the reefs wandered back into the bay to spawn a bit later than normal.
Whiting have been good this week, from a 50cm off the beach to a bag of six 48cm ones from in the bay. We had a few reported from the land-based customers this week and again probably more to do with it being school holidays and more fishing from the land.
There was a couple from each of the jetties, except San Remo and some from beaches you wouldn’t expect to find them. I did get told about a few from near the Boys Home in Newhaven but didn’t actually see them. The expected areas, low tide at Smiths from the rocks, the beach at Ventnor in the evening and the odd one from Cleeland Bight.
Boating was better for numbers and evening or morning the best times especially those days when the tide change and the daylight change were at about the same time. Best area was not too much of a secret and more from the shallow again with the cooler temperatures. Dickies Bay, Cleeland Bight near the sand hill, Reef Island and around Tortoise Head.