xcfish_3713Around the Bay
By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo

IT’S amazing how a bit of sunshine helps out on the fishing scene with the water temperature as well as getting people enthusiastic to get out and about. With the spike in the barometer mid-week and the water temperature warmer than normal it was always going to mean a few snapper. But I think they were even better than everybody expected which was fairly obvious if you headed down to the Corinella boat ramp late last week and tried to find a car park. With more people out fishing there were some very good reports of whiting, calamari and salmon as well. It would appear that the north and north westerly winds, although very strong and constant over the last month or so have been in our favour as it has kept the water temperature above normal both in the bay and offshore. We can only hope that we don’t get a run of strong southerly to go with the westerly which will push some of the colder artic currents our way.

The weed has finally settled down and is nowhere as bad as it was and the water is cleaning up as well making finding those weed beds and sand patches easier to find. Landbased was steady while not setting the world on fire unless you are chasing salmon which have been steady. I only had one report of a small pinkie caught during the week from the land from Stockyard Point and several small gummies from Stockyard and Temby. But it won’t be long before the reports of snapper start coming from Newhaven and other popular landbased spots. Salmon reports were constant during the week especially from the beach behind San Remo and off the retaining wall with most of them caught on lures rather than baits. While none of the salmon from San Remo were monsters there were some good numbers of fish around the 1kg mark.

Several salmon were reported from the beaches at both Woolamai and Kilcunda and like San Remo no monsters but once you found them you were able to get good numbers.  The best on the beach was slightly heavier at 1.8kg but less than 1kg was more common. Lures worked best in any of the shallower areas and baits in the deeper gutters with more reports from outward side of the gutter. Blue bait and pilchard best baits and one customer fishing Kilcunda at cemetery was using prawns landing over a dozen fish. Calamari from the jetty in San Remo haven’t really come back since the last big blow we had with only the odd evening being worth the trip. The beach in Cleeland Bight has only been marginally better but there aren’t too many boats and kayaks fishing the same area that has missed out.  Both the numbers and size has been good with a few customers breaking off lures on big calamari they couldn’t stop on their light gear. The best method has been drifting along the beach over the weed beds but as it gets busier it is getting harder and harder to drift without running into someone else.

Because the water is cleaning up seeing the wed beds is easier anchoring in the right spot is possible you just might need a few moves to find them. Baited jigs are always successful but the artificial ones are starting to come into their own and white seems again to be the most consistent colour. Snapper is the fish most of the boats are chasing and those who timed their day off with the weather and the rising barometer weren’t disappointed this week. The best catches came from north east of Corinella as far up as spit point where snapper up to 8kg were caught.  Although the majority of the reports came from Corinella there was some good snapper caught from all round the bay as well. There seemed to be more of the bigger fish in the top end of the bay and most were caught at night and smaller ones but caught during the day further down the bay. Elizabeth Island produced several around the 4 to 5kg mark and was caught during the day and the same on the corals but a bit smaller fish. The one thing common to most of the successful anglers chasing the snapper was to sound up not necessarily a large school of fish but at least some fish and to burley reasonably heavily. The bait was as you would expect with pilchards and squid the best and larger baits with whole pilchards or squid heads on two hook rigs and squid strips on paternoster or snapper snatcher rigs.

Several customers told me they had more success when they used longer leaders on their sinkers getting the baits off the bottom but I wouldn’t say it was a must as I had just as many tell me they were fishing shorter leaders and catching fish. There seems to be quite a few gummies that have come in with the snapper as I have had more reported in the last week than for the last few months. Obviously there are more people fishing at the moment which increases the chances but those who regularly chase gummies during the winter have struggled. They have been caught in the same places as the snapper with the same baits and set ups. I had a report of one around the 10kg that was released but several keepers around the 5kg mark. Whiting are starting to show and while not many bagged out most that went looking for the whiting managed a feed. Cleeland Bight was a bit harder to find the whiting probably due to the amount of boats chasing calamari and some big couta still hanging around. The top end of the bay was the place to be with the top light in the channel, Reef Island and Maggie Shoal the best. From the reports there is no consistency to the size with customers reporting their catch contained whiting from just size to 42cm.

Tightlines by King George

Well known Wonthaggi anglers Rod Lyttle and son Taj can often be found out on the water looking for a fish and quite often Taj is showing dad how it’s done. On a recent trip was a bit different when Taj pulled up something a bit different, so different that neither of them knew what it was. It is believed to be a form of sea slug but certainly the first time either of them have ever landed one and just something Taj can tell the kids at school about.

Surf: Williamsons Beach has been worth a visit where anglers have been taking good numbers of salmon that have been to the 1kg mark. Wonthaggi legend Fred Kellow will often try one of the beaches the beach when he is not honing in his bowling skills. Through the week he decided to try his luck off the beach on the run in tide and managed a couple of salmon, which made the effort worthwhile. There is still quite a bit of weed washed up after the big blow but should disappear as nature takes its course.

Inverloch: Outside the entrance boaters have being doing well on the whiting where fish in excess of the 40cm mark are not uncommon. Like many other places local knowledge is essential and you can be just a short distance off the mark and fail to trouble the weigh master. There have also been good numbers of silvers, garfish and flathead making up impressive bags. Further out wide here have been gummies and flathead being caught but there can be long periods without an enquiry. The water temperature is still around the 13 degree mark which is cold in anyone’s language but the good news is that it will only improve. Inside the entrance the news is all-good where mullet seem to be everywhere. These under rated fish are great on the table but must not be frozen because like salmon they go dry are not worthwhile eating.

The black stomach lining must also be removed and the best way to do this is by filleting the fish. There have been good numbers of salmon throughout the inlet that are being caught on a variety of baits and lures. They will stick around for a while yet. There have been a few flathead being bagged but although they are in reasonable numbers but not all that big. Maher’s Landing is well worth a try where boaters have been doing reasonably well on both sides of the tide. In front of the “A” frame house there have been silvers, flathead and salmon being taken. Landbased anglers are doing fairly well near the boat ramp where mullet, flathead and mullet seem to be making up most bags.

Tarwin River: There have been a few reports of reasonable size bream being caught above the highway bridge. King George received a call from a visiting boater who had just purchased a kayak, which are gaining popularity as well as being successful. He launched below the highway bridge and worked his way upstream on the run off tide. He spent most of the run off tide looking for whatever might come along and finished up bagging five very nice perch that were taken on soft plastic lures.

Shallow Inlet: There have been quite a few good reports from this area where silvers are in good usually numbers as they do at this time of year. Salmon are also being caught as well as whiting which is further good news. There was a very nice snapper that weighed in around the 3kg mark that was bagged by apprentice we only known as “Tom” but he has bragging rights for the week. Quite good numbers of flathead have also been bagged but they are a bit on the small side but it is a good sign. There was also a tragedy with the death of a man who is believed to have been wearing waders in a boat. It appears that he got into difficulties and sadly drowned. This highlights the danger of wearing waders in a boat, as there is virtually no hope of surviving when they fill up in deep water. Deepest sympathy is extended to loved ones of the victim.

Lakes Entrance: Plenty of good-sized salmon and the odd Australian herring have been caught around the Flagstaff Jetty and off Bullock Island. Prawn and pilchard are best baits.

Lake Tyers: Bream are biting at Burnt Bridge using peeled prawn. A few flathead have been landed around Cameron’s Arm on soft plastics and pilchard.

Mitchell River: The Silt Jetties area is producing bream on sandworm and prawn, with the water clearing.

Tambo River: Bream are active around the Snags and Tambo Bay. Best bait is peeled prawn, mussel and sandworm

Nicholson River:  Jones Island to the Bay is the best spot for bream using shrimp, prawn and soft plastics.

Metung: Salmon are biting in Bancroft Bay with bream of the town jetties. Try silver lures, sandworm and prawn.

Paynesville: Large salmon have been taken off the beach on trevally fillets. Flathead and bream are in McMillan Strait with soft plastics and pilchard producing best results.

Hollands Landing: Large salmon have been taken off the beach on trevally fillets. Flathead and bream are in McMillan Strait with soft plastics and pilchard producing best results.

Marlo: Schools of mullet, bream, tailor and luderick are providing plenty of sport for anglers.Soft plastics and most baits are taking fish from the mouth to Bream Point. The surf has gummies and salmon on the go.

Hollands Landing: Toms Creek has good size bream being caught on sandworm, prawn and pipi.

Bemm River: Quality bream, tailor and trevally have been landed in the lake using sandworm and soft plastics. Luderick are still biting in the Channel.

Tamboon: Mud point has bream, flathead and luderick taking shrimp, sandworm and soft plastics.

Mallacoota: Bream and a few flathead have been taken in both lakes and Gipsy Point. Yabbies and prawn are best bait. Captain’s Point has plenty of luderick. Salmon are striking metal lures off the beach.

With more regular good conditions landbased anglers and boaters have been doing very well. Wonthaggi anglers Alan Bentick and Graham Gray had a very successful trip to the Tambo and Nicholson Rivers looking for bream. They did well in both rivers. The Tambo was productive with very good bream caught on crabs and Bass yabbies along with any number of mullet. The Nicholson River was even better and the bream were in excess of 40cm and also on Bass yabbies and the bigger fish were taking a liking to crab. There were also plenty of mullet which took a back seat to bream, but they weren’t complaining. There have been numerous other very good reports from this area and no doubt a visit would be well worth while.

Bellarine peninsula: Anchored up to catch the incoming tide off Queenscliff at 3am Saturday, Murray Scott, son Darcy and friend Scott Teasdale, didn’t have to wait long for whiting to come on the bite, in fact they caught 45 before daybreak and another seven after that making a total of 52 altogether. ?? Although most of their fish ranged from 38 to just over 40 cm, there were some bigger fish among them including one that Darcy caught which measured 50 cm and weighed 820 grams. Rod Ludlow of Beachlea boat hire at Indented Head reports that the whiting have not yet made an appearance off Indented Head, but that squid have made a welcome re-appearance while flathead are still the main chance along the edge of the Prince George Bank. Thanks to Geoff Wilson for this report.

Keep the fishing info coming to King George on snafu1@dcsi.net.au or 56 734 474. Good Luck and Tightlines.

View this weeks Tides here