Jim’s Bait & Tackle Fishing Report: 29/2/2020

Tuesday 11th February, 2020
Craig Edmonds

We have just about finished the organising for our 4th San Remo Easter Fishing Competition and will open up early entries this weekend. The competition has grown over the last 3 years and is becoming exactly what we started out to organise, a fun family weekend of fishing for all ages and abilities. We had just short of 150 entries last year of which 135 were part of family groups and anglers between 3 and 80 years of age. Again, we will have free show bags for the first 50 kids entries, still more items coming in but the value at the moment is over $50. There will be an early entry prize this year, several categories for adults, juniors and small fry anglers and of course we will have our most popular, hourly lucky entry draw all weekend with the major draw a helicopter flight with thanks to Phillip Island Helicopters. There is plenty to win even if you don’t catch a fish and worth entering even if you aren’t fishing because the best part is thanks to all our generous sponsors 100% of your entry fee goes directly to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. For details, follow us on Facebook, drop into the shop or text 0409 018 980 with your email address and request an entry form. Details about the early entry will be available after Saturday, the kids show bags won’t be available until good Friday and will go to the first 50 paid entries, kids cannot enter on their own and must be accompanied by an adult, these went very quickly last year.

Fishing this week could be best described as, ordinary, with reports from everywhere, land and boating. There was one exception of course, there always is, and that is those able to head offshore towards Cape Shank and fill up on the millions of tuna that are swimming around there. So many that you don’t need any gear they will just be jumping in the boat. Maybe slightly exaggerated but from the reports that’s what many thought. As usual many don’t understand 100 reports of the same 2 fish doesn’t make 200 it is still only 2. For those who did manage to get to the right area at the right time they filled up and caught plenty but for the majority it was a lot of miles for nothing or very little. The biggest problem was working out those two things to be one of the ones that caught plenty. Those there, not necessarily at feeding time said they could see plenty on the sounders or even just breaking the surface around the bait schools but just couldn’t get them to feed. We re-spooled several reels for those who hooked something a bit bigger than school fish and had nothing but a story to tell. The most frustrating thing though came from the arrival of the best fitted out boat on the water for the day that from appearances was going to clean up . The problem is of course looks can be deceiving and to have spent most of the morning finding the bait, sounding the fish and working the edge of the bait to then have a boat drive straight through the middle of the school sending it to all corners is most times more frustrating than losing a good fish. We had a couple of reports from one of the days of a boat actually driving across lures of a trolling boat. The best time has been very early morning, launching in the dark to be there on daylight or the other end of the day and coming home in the dark. Those who did get on to them said you could have put anything in the water, and they were taking it, skirts or hard bodies and the best we saw photos of was just over the 40kg mark. While all the fish lately and for the last 4 weeks or so have come from Cape Shank way we had a very strong whisper that a few divers have seen some very respectable schools around Cape Patterson, might be worth a drive that way before everyone finds out.

As for all the other reports, as the full moon got closer the weather got worse and so did the reports we were getting. Early week there was some quality pinkies showing up around the 42cm and plenty just under that, but you still needed to put up with the very small ones because if they showed up it was like a plague of locust one customer described. As the week went on it was as if they all just disappeared and then the weather closed in and put an end to even looking for them. I would suggest they probably haven’t gone too far just hiding over the full moon. The areas around the corals, around 6m, and a few reports came from those chasing whiting in the shallows as well

The whiting did the same thing but were a little more consistent in size with the smaller ones not as big a problem as they were a month or so back. Nothing stood out as far as a pattern went and it was just go to your favourite spot and move if they don’t show up. We are getting a lot of complaints from those chasing whiting of toadies by the millions and while there isn’t a lot you can do, other than move, just hold back on the berley until you get a whiting or two before you drop your berley in the water, then make sure you are set up with an extra rod or two in case of any breakages because it won’t take the toadies long to find you once you drop the berley in.

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