WITH the holiday season now with us the fish seem to have gained an appetite with good reports coming to King George on a regular basis. No doubt this will continue.
There have not been a great number of surf anglers trying their luck through the week and most beaches have been deserted which can be expected at this time of year.
When festivities slow down this will change.
There have been however stories of success at Kilcunda where Tony Anderson and a group of mates travelled down from Dandenong to get ahead of the rush which was smart thinking.
They fished the beach out from the old railway bridge and Tony decided to try his luck off the rocks at low tide.
Although the fish were a bit slow he did manage of land four very big whiting that he said were well over the 40cm mark, which is impressive in anyone’s language.
Squid was the successful presentation and although he was expecting salmon there were certainly no complaints.
There have been also good reports that continue from Williamsons Beach where salmon to the 900gm mark have been taken mainly on the run-in tide on whitebait.
The torpedo fish have been to 1.2kg and caught on white bait, salted pipes and squid.
There has been the occasional flathead and at evening, gummies have been making an appearance.
This popular destination is always a must go to as far as boaters and landbased anglers are concerned.
Outside the entrance there have been many reports of success.
There is a fair hike to Venus Bay but just beyond the breakers very good numbers of flathead have been to the 1kg mark and taken on a variety of baits which include white bait, pipis, pilchards and soft plastic lures.
There are also gurnard and good size silvers that make the effort well worthwhile but be very careful of the gurnard as the dangerous spikes can inflict a very painful injury.
Some experienced boaters like to take a thermos of hot water, which seems to bring much welcome relief to a painful injury.
Out wide there have been very positive reports of gummies making an appearance but no reports as yet as far as makos are concerned.
Back inside the entrance landbased anglers have been enjoying success before the full flood of tourists hit where silvers are in good numbers along with mullet that seem to be everywhere.
The best time in this area is at low water on both sides of the tide where there have been very good size whiting that are also being taken that have been to the 45cm mark.
Not everyone is catching the royals and not to this size but they are there which is encouraging.
The renovated jetty has been a huge success as far as landbased anglers are concerned.
Mullet continue to be the main catch with the best results being on the run-in tide.
There have been a few flathead, silvers and the kids are enjoying themselves with plenty of crabs being caught in drop nets.
On the other side of the inlet at the snags experienced anglers have been doing well where this is the deepest water.
The best time to try your luck has been when there is not a great deal on both sides of the tide.
Then whiting are very good quality and have been caught to the whopping 45cm and better along with perch and silvers that will take a variety of presentations.
Further up towards Maher’s Landing boaters are happy with their returns.
King George came across came across a couple of local legends in Wayne Parks and Geoff Perssons who had just returned from a trip up near the double islands.
They had enough fish to make the effort worthwhile which included salmon silvers and a very nice size pinkie snapper.
Wayne said that they also had a double whiting rise whish was heartening for a short time. This all turned to woe, sadly.
Just as the battle to land the fish was being won along came one of those furry fiends in the shape of a seal and in no time scoffed both and left the anglers with unprintable names for the fish thief.
To make matters worse the seal decided to follow them around which of course meant an end to the fish and they decided to return early but they still had something to put on the table.
There have been other positive reports in the vicinity where boaters have been catching a variety of fish which include, silvers, mullet, flathead and pinkies but the whiting for some reason have not featured in many reports. Hopefully this will improve.
With the good conditions there has also been an influx of visitors.
Karen and Andrew Starret who run the caravan say the fishing has been great which is to be expected at this time of year.
Whiting have been in very impressive numbers along with salmon, silvers, gummies and of course big mullet that seem to be everywhere.
Over the weekend for some reason there has not been a great deal of boating activity where information from the boat storage is that they had only one boat out on the water. The conditions have been quite all right and from earlier reports there had been plenty of fish to make a visit to this great fishing destination worthwhile.
Good numbers of whiting have been caught in the Lewis Channel along with silvers, flathead and mullet on both sides of the tide.
Pipis, Bass yabbies and small strips of pilchards have been among the successful presentations. There have also been quite reasonable results.
The good fishing continues in this area where landbased anglers have been having a great time.
Rob Killury who has the general store located on the foreshore says that the jetty has been very popular with landbased anglers.
He has weighing facilities where a gentry can handle just about any size big fish and scales for the smaller varieties.
Whiting are in pleasing numbers from the structure as well as silvers, flathead and mullet where the best results have been on the run-in tide.
Boaters have also been very happy with the good numbers of snapper and gummies being bagged with not too much effort.
Phil Janson who runs the Seabank Caravan Park says that he continues to do what his wife tells him and has been going out fishing for gummies as this is the only fish she will eat.
However as well as gummies he has also been catching very good numbers of whiting on small size 8 circle hooks on small pieces of squid.
He says that there have been plenty of small but legal size gummies being caught and for some reason there have also been plenty of snook to the 80cm mark that have been caught on then light whiting gear. When this happens there is a real challenge.
Outside the entrance there have been plenty of snapper, flathead and gummies being caught on a variety of baits which include fresh fish fillets in around 20 metres of water.
Finally King George would like to extend good wishes to everyone and have a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.
Keep the fishing info coming to King George on firstname.lastname@example.org or 56 723 474. Good Luck and Tightlines.
Around The Bay
By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
IT is only a short report this week with only a handful of people having the time to go fishing.
Most around the island are finishing off work for the year or have that annual family barbeque to go to, but there a few lucky enough to already be on holidays and able to get out have some reasonable success.
Typical of this time of the year reports have been all over the place and consistency doesn’t exist.
I have seen a few good Christmas day barbeque snapper around the 5kg to 6kg over the last few weeks and are being caught day and night but anybody that did get one of these bigger ones reported that they didn’t catch anything else.
I have had a few bagging out on snapper as well with smaller pinkies moving in to the bay in numbers.
The majority of the bigger snapper reports came from Temby Point, Lang Lang areas and the better numbers of pinkies were below the bridge in Cleeland Bight and the southern end of the corals.
Big whiting have disappeared this week or should I say have spread out between the smaller ones with customers landing plenty but much fewer over 40cm.
The top end of the bay, Reef Island, Maggie Shoal and the top light areas still the best with a couple of respectable reports from Cleeland Bight.
I have also started to get some reports from landbased whiting fishermen as well and while you won’t be bagging out from landbased any landbased whiting caught is well earned.
The best from the land has been Newhaven Jetty, Boys Home road and Ventnor.
Offshore is starting to fire up and already a handful of Makos have been caught along with plenty of good size flathead.
The water temperature is still down a bit but if you look at all the research into makos and temperature, makos will spend most of their time in is around the 16 degrees so now should be ideal.
We just need to weather to be able to head off shore.
I have had several reports of birds working on I would assume are large schools of salmon especially in the Kilcunda area unfortunately it has been on days not all that favourable for boating offshore.
For all the visitors to Phillip Island over the Christmas there are plenty of options for you as far as fishing and a boat while an advantage not a necessity.
The best way to get all the information you need is to drop in and see us at the shop and you can also keep up to date with reports on our Jims Bait and Tackle Facebook page.
The shop will be open early, 6am every day from Boxing Day till the end of January for those who like to beat the crowds and we are often still here into the early evening for those wanting to get an even earlier start.
You can give us a call or send us a message at any time for tide or weather conditions we also have scales to cater for any size fish if you simply want to weigh your catch.
Feel free to up load photos and fishing stories onto our Facebook page as well.
If you follow us on Facebook you will notice we have the odd special of competition and we will continue this over the holiday period.
For those new to the area again the best way to find out when and where to go is to come into the shop especially for up to date advice.
As a general guide this time of the year the boating anglers are still chasing the bigger snapper but most of the snapper that will be caught will be small and more like pinkie size.
There will be the odd bigger one caught and will generally come from very early morning, before the sun comes up or into the late evening.
Whiting will be the other most targeted fish and should be in reasonable numbers but finding a quiet spot might be difficult and again either end of the day will be better but if you can only fish during the day do your best to find your own quieter patch of water.
The first person to an area might have no idea where he is and the only reason for all the boats around him is they don’t know either and just followed him.
Don’t forget wherever you are fishing for your whiting to put out a squid jig under a float for a fresh calamari.
You will see plenty of very small gummies this time of and generally perseverance will pay off and a bigger one will come along.
Don’t always think deep water and gummies we get plenty of reports from the shallows of gummies being caught.
There are plenty of other species that will be caught in the bay over the Christmas period but snapper, whiting and gummies are the main ones.
If you are someone that likes to fish offshore there will be some good bags of flathead and arrow squid to be had and if you fish a bit heavier makos will become fairly regular catches.
With any luck this strange weather conditions will see the return of the striped tuna which are always a bit of a challenge.
You will also start to see snapper and gummies on the offshore reefs and don’t forget the tackle shops friend the couta will be reasonable thick.
There are plenty of other choices in a boat but I would take up the whole paper describing them.
Landbased like the boats have hundreds of spots and its best if you drop in and see us but the main species you will be fishing for is salmon from the surf beaches of Kilcunda and Woolamai.
Calamari from the San Remo jetty and beaches at Ventnor and in Cleeland bight, Newhaven jetty will produce a mixed bag and we will see snapper, trevally, whiting, salmon, gummies and a few flathead.
Rhyll jetty is always a good one for the kids as the tides are a bit slower and generally there are plenty of flathead around.
Cowes will be like Newhaven with a mixed bag but might be a bit more difficult to fish from with plenty of people swimming.
San Remo will be the same and with a lot of people swimming you might only find you are catching Wrasse or parrot fish.
But as I said there is 100 places to fish around the island from the land too many to go through here.
There are the two rivers, Bass River and the Powlett as well and are always a relaxing day generally without the crowds.
The Bass River won’t produce huge numbers of fish but you often get a variety like flathead, whiting and mullet being some of them.
The Powlett River, now the level is dropping a bit will start to see some very good Bream and a bit further up will see several Perch as well with both of these being mostly caught on lures.
From Robyn, Dale and myself we would like to wish everybody a merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.
I would also like to say thankyou to everybody that has commented to me or the newspaper on the fishing reports through the year as it is your comments that help me to get the continued support from the paper and the reports published each week.