The heat wave we had during the week just past has raised the water temperature right up to the summer levels and the fish have responded with good results being reported from all locations.
Wonthaggi Angling Club:
Last Sunday the club held its first competition for the year where fish of the month was gar fish.
There were 27 members and visitors at the weigh-in who were welcomed by president Peter Clarke.
He also thanked the sponsor of the event Lightique of Wonthaggi.
The winner of the senior male section was Ian Gilbee with a 205gm garfish for 2460 points, which attracted double points being fish of the month.
The winner of the senior female section was Jenny Frankie with a 515gm whiting for 1422 points.
D Wood won the junior male section with a 175gm whiting for 495 points and Cheyenne Sharples won the junior male section with a very nice 560gm bream for 1412 points.
Alan Bentick won the veteran section with a 175gm garfish for 2100 points.
The fishing and swimming resorts are now in full swing, which is to be expected at this time of year.
As far as fishing goes there have been good reports as far as land based and boaters are concerned with the best results being at low water on both sides of the tide.
Just inside the entrance mullet numbers have exploded and they have been up to the 35cm mark and taking a variety of small baits on the light gear.
There are also quite good numbers of whiting that have been to the 40cm mark as well as quite good size flathead, silvers and good size gummies.
The situation is similar up as far as Pensioners Corner with the best time being at low water on both sides of the tide.
There is standing room only on the newly renovated jetty with mullet being the main catch on the run in tide.
Further up towards Stevies Gutter there have been reasonable size whiting to the 34cm mark being taken on Bass yabbies, silver fish and sand worms.
There have also been plenty of those mini flathead that never seem to grow and are all around the same small size and of course must be returned to the water.
For those who know where to look there are good size perch to be caught on a variety of natural baits and soft plastic lures.
Mahers Landing is very popular with boaters and land-based anglers.
There is not the same tidal flow that can cause grief at the Inverloch ramp but the boat ramp has a very shallow grade and can be very difficult at low water.
The best time is when there is a bit of depth and experienced operators will launch to the right side of the ramp.
There is a great variety of fish being caught in this area which includes flathead, silvers, mullet, pinkies and as the tide rises, quite good size gummies as the run in water nears its peak.
Outside the entrance boaters have been doing very well near flat rocks if they know where to look.
This is where very good size whiting are being caught to the 45cm mark and better along with quality silvers, flathead and gummies.
Out wider there have also been good size gummies and flathead being caught on a variety of natural baits.
This stretch of water that appears not much more than a splash on the map always seems to fight above its weight.
Andrew Starrett who runs the local caravan park with wife Karen says that the area is in full swing and the fish are biting like crazy.
He says whiting are being caught in very good numbers with many anglers easily bagging out and then go looking for something else.
Silvers are well into the 1kg mark and these fish will really test the skills of anglers as well as equipment.
Like most entrances there is a bar across the opening into Waratah Bay and this can be dangerous as was seen over the weekend where there was a boating tragedy.
This is not the first time and sadly probably not the last.
Andrew Starrett says that this area must be negotiated by experienced operators or be in company with someone who knows what to do.
If you are not sure then do not try and just hope for the best, as this is a recipe for disaster and the biggest bag of fish is not worth risking yours or other people’s safety.
Information from the boat storage is that when conditions have allowed there have been very good results.
Whiting have been caught in pleasing numbers and being to the 37cm mark they are well worthwhile going after.
Bass yabbies, silver fish and sand worms have been among the best of the natural presentations.
As well as whiting there have been quite good numbers of mullet that seem to be everywhere.
Flathead are also making the effort worthwhile as are quality silvers and gummies.
The jetties have been popular when there has not been that awful east wind blowing.
Mullet, silvers, flathead and squid are among the fish that have been taken with the run in tide being the best time to try your luck.
On the western side of the inlet at Yanakie there have been very good reports of gummies, snapper, flathead, silvers being taken on many natural baits and artificial lures.
The water is clear and the temperature now at summer levels which is further good news.
The good reports continue from the area and the General Store has had a variety of fish being weighed in where there is a gantry for the large game fish and scales for the smaller species.
In other words Rob Killury who runs the local general store says that he can cater for virtually any size fish and if they wish, fishers can have their photo taken for bragging rights.
Just before this report Rob had a customer come in with a fish he thought might be worth putting on the gantry.
Not a bad idea as it turned as he had a ripper bronze whaler shark that dragged the needle way down to the 91kg mark and was caught by the angler who gave his name as, wait for it, Jack Crapper!
There was a visitor who called in for some fishing advice and was guided to a spot not far off shore and returned with a very nice mixed bag of fish that included whiting flathead and very good size mullet.
The good fishing continues off the jetty where eels still are being caught along with whiting, silvers, flathead and squid.
Wonthaggi angler Noel Churchill and mate Stephen “Slacky” Horton have just returned from a trip to Bemm River where they stayed at the Cosy Nook fishermen’s units located on the foreshore.
Former Wonthaggi people in Chris and Rob Foster, who really know how to look after visitors, run the park.
On this occasion the fishing was great, as it is just about all year round.
This is a bream fishing wonder world as well as luderick, flathead and silvers that make up a huge fish population.
There is just another plus for the area being that commercial fishing which of course includes netting is and has always been banned.
The water is very shallow and there is plenty of weed and poles are used to stabilize boats in the wind.
There is of course another option being the river which runs into the inlet and the surf fishing is always good for gummy sharks, flathead and snapper which are among a wide variety of fish that bite best on the run in tide.
Noel and “Slacky” stayed for a week where Noel said the hospitality was warm and the fishing red hot and asks, who could want for more?
They had a variety of baits with Bass yabbies and sand worms being among the most successful.
Keep the fishing info coming to King George on 5672 3474. Good luck and Tightlines.
Around the Bay
By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
With the weather going from one extreme to another, it has been one of the hardest of the last few years to make plans to get out and have a fish, especially in a boat and it’s a year of having everything ready for the break.
While this sounds good not everybody has that luxury of spare time to just drop things and run.
What I have found this year is many of my customers that want to fish and only have a certain day they can go are prepared to go wherever the conditions will allow.
Land based fishermen of course fish this way all the time and can go fishing whenever they have the time regardless of the conditions.
I have set up more people for land based fishing this year than I have since I have had the shop and many of them are boating customers that just want to fish.
It’s a strange thing that happens when you buy a boat, you actually forget for many years before you could afford a boat you fished from the land.
I even had one customer that we had set up come in after a session on the land, landing several flathead up to 45cm telling me he didn’t realize you could actually catch size fish from the land still.
The land based reports this week were good again as they have been over the last few weeks and some quality table fish managed to find their way home.
Land based reports this week were a mixed bag and we had calamari, salmon, gummies, pinkies, flathead, trevally, whiting and garfish making up the better eating fish but we also had couta, wrasse, grass whiting, mullet, stingrays, Port Jacksons, elephant fish and from the land based gamefishing anglers a couple of seven gill sharks and some small rat kingfish.
Newhaven Jetty was good again but not consistent and many species off the list above were caught at some stage during the week with some quality amongst them.
The main catch for the week was salmon again closely followed by pinkies and flathead and after dark there have been several schools of garfish so a trip down there with a bag of bread crumbs, small hooks, float and silverfish for bait might be worth the effort.
One customer summed it up perfectly when he told me he had been there for about four hours and had barely a bite when another person wandered down and using similar rig and same bait and cast in not far away only to land two whiting and a small pinkie within the first 10 minutes!
We had some good reports from the open beaches and rocks along the island with salmon the main catch from both the beaches at Woolamai and a few flathead from the surf club beach.
There have been some good trevally and whiting as well as several pinkies caught from some of the rocks further onto the island around Smith and Sunderland Bay mainly on the low tide.
Several of the reports of the trevally were from anglers using plastics or lures and many of the whiting were caught on blue bait from those fishing for salmon.
Calamari reports were good from everywhere this week and plenty of people reported bagging or almost bagging out both from land and boats.
The reports from boats and kayaks were better this week from Cleeland Bight with the reduced traffic the calamari seemed to come back.
Most were caught on artificial jigs as you would expect with the water clearing up and for those not following us on Facebook we now have stock again of the white Shimano sephia squid jigs.
I had more reports of squid following up hooked whiting than squid actually caught in Dickies Bay this week but those who told me they were using a squid jig were only using artificial ones so it might pay to use a baited jig in this area at the moment.
San Remo Jetty produced several calamari but almost all from morning or evening once the swimmers were gone and have been caught on a mixture of jig colours and types.
The calamari have been a bit on the smaller side lately but still big enough for a feed from the hood and some good baits from the head and when they come through seem to be in schools all about the same size.
There were a few whiting and flathead reported from San Remo as well this week with most of the flathead too small and thrown back but the whiting were worth keeping.
Boats had mixed results but there weren’t too many that didn’t at least get a feed of fish and some that headed off shore did very well bagging out on flathead.
There still seems to be plenty of whiting around but decent size ones are still difficult to find and it seems only luck that is the difference.
Reports came from everywhere again and even the reports of bigger ones came from all over the place with no pattern at all.
Pinkies are growing in number and even the size was better this week with several bags of 34cm to 36cm ones reported which is better than the 26 and 27cm ones of the previous few weeks.
Cleeland Bight, Leola Shoal and the Corals were the best spots with the last of the high tide the best time.