With Jim’s Bait and Tackle
SAN Remo might only be a small size town but on Good Friday they showed that it is a very generous town.
There were several fundraisers happening in town on Good Friday for the Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal and lots of people from all over. We of course had our annual fishing comp where we donate 100 per cent of the entry money to the appeal and each year we strive to do better than the previous year to be able to give a bigger donation.
This year, with the help of those who entered the competition and through the generous support of sponsors, we were able to smash last year’s total and on Friday afternoon donated the sum of $2825 to the appeal.
The most pleasing part of the competition this year is, when Mel and I started this competition, apart from raising money our aim for the competition was for it to become a family event and you could be as serious as you wanted to be or just have a bit of fun.
This year of the almost 140 entrants close to 50 per cent were kids with the majority small fry, 10 and under. We continued our hourly giveaways again and these have become a much-anticipated part of the competition and people eagerly await the text to see if they have won a prize. None of the competition would be possible without the very generous support we receive from our sponsors and we thank them for their support.
Another event in town that raises plenty and one we assist with is the Walk for the Kids, organised by Elyse from the San Remo Hotel. This year there was a few changes to the event with the introduction of a town walk and activities for the kids after the walk.
This event also couldn’t go ahead without support from sponsors and volunteers, people like, Southcoast bus lines, SES, Bendigo bank, Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club, friends and family and of course those who took part in the walks all coming together helping to raise just over $8500.
Many of the fundraisers in town are pooled together and donated as the township of San Remo. This year the total was just over $28,000 – which is a great effort by all concerned.
Naturally with the fishing competition and the fine weather we had plenty of fishing reports, mostly from the boats but some quality from the land as well. The reports came from in the bay and offshore with a few surprises.
There were three makos caught on Saturday that we know of, two from out the western entrance and one from off Kilcunda. Gummies were plentiful off Kilcunda on Saturday and if you wanted snapper that wasn’t a problem either. Flathead both offshore and in the bay were good, especially with the tigers showing up.
Whiting are quality and decent quality and the calamari are getting bigger. Everything seems to be at the right temperature which could make for a very productive May, for those smart enough to keep fishing for the next month or so. With the good weather offshore – that was where most of the action was over the weekend, especially Saturday when conditions were, as one customer described it “mint”.
Those looking for gummies headed towards the wind mills and weren’t disappointed with several between 8kg and 15kg reported. There was a couple from Cody banks also and one reported from off the point of the cape in 40m of water. Flathead were in the usual spots, 25m to 50m of water from the cape to the wind mills, you just had to find where they were hiding on the day.
The majority of the flathead we had reported were tiger flathead and 40cm to 55cm, short drifts and cover a few depths until you find them then once they stop biting go back and keep drifting back over the same spot and you should pick up a good feed.
We got several reports of large bait schools and lots of krill so there is every chance the tuna will still be around. There was plenty of snapper and pinkies on the heavy bottom areas off Kilcunda although there was plenty the bite was patchy, and you would get a few then they just seemed to stop for 15 minutes or so then start up again.
Other reports we had from offshore consisted of a couple of big seven gill sharks several bite offs, possibly couta. No shortage of gurnard and silver whiting and a couple of not so common, Sargent baker, nannygai and morwong.
Whiting were good in condition and now the water has cooled off a bit come up a bit shallower than they were a month or so back, having said that a handful of reports came in from 8m of water as well. There isn’t any real trick or spot just find some weed and sand and you have a chance to catch a whiting or two. I think one of the biggest tricks is to make sure you position the boat and that you are sitting straight with the tide so that might determine where you head once you see the direction of the wind.
Sounds simple enough and sometimes I think it is just that simple but gets over complicated by experts. We get as many reports from those who have no idea what to do and have never been here before than we do from those who fish all the time.
The main difference between the two reports is the amount of time each puts in to catch the same amount of fish. We find those who regularly fish for whiting put in a much shorter time than those who don’t know what they are doing but at the end of the day both finish up with a good feed of fish.
We also often get the comment that ‘this person never misses and every time we see him he has a bag full’, which might be the case but what you don’t see is the many times he goes out and catches nothing. They call them a frustrating species to catch and they can be, but they are also a species that people put far too much importance in how other fish for them instead of spending time and developing their own ideas.
One visitor from up on the river summed it up perfectly on the weekend when he told me he didn’t do any good on the whiting despite reading they were plenty of them being caught. We spoke to him a bit more to help him out and it was obvious not a lot of research had been put into it, 6kg to 8kg snapper rods with 30lb braid, rigs were ok in design but size 10, garfish hooks a bit small and 8oz sinkers a bit heavy, he was told you need lots of weight. The bait he got right, pippies and pilchards and then I asked where he fished and the answer was typical, I was told behind the police station and saw a boat so pulled up beside them.
I asked him if he was on sand or weed and he had no idea, the worse was still to come when he told me he had only just purchased all the gear knowing he was coming down here to chase whiting, I guess that’s the type of expert advice you expect to get from a supermarket type fishing store, sometimes it’s not the fishes’ fault they don’t get caught.
Calamari were very good in Cleeland Bight and some quality 1kg and better models were reported along with some as small as 70g. The best was evening and from the boats or kayaks, but reports came in all weekend from the jetties and beaches that you would expect to catch them.
There were several reports from during the day also, but the best quality came from either end of the day. The numbers were much the same from during the day or change of light it was just the size that varied.
We will be going to our reduced winter hours in May and closing on Wednesdays as we have over the last few years.
We will be opening at 9am weekdays and 8am weekends but if it going to be a fine day and you are heading out a bit earlier let us know and we might be able to open up a bit earlier for you. Weekdays and Saturdays we will close at 5pm, and 4pm on Sundays.