Around the Bay
A mixed bag is the best way to describe the reports again this week and it applied to the land and the boats.
Boating reports have been a bit slower with the windy conditions making it difficult for the smaller boats to get out.
Plenty of reports have come from the kids that are down on holidays and there have been plenty of photos posted on the shop Facebook page with flathead taking up many of them.
Calamari reports from the San Remo jetty were very good before the wind stirred up the weed which has made it difficult to keep the jigs clean.
There has still been several reported but opportunities limited when the weed cleaned up in certain parts of the tide.
I had quite a few people come and tell me they could see the calamari swimming around and would start to chase their jig but as soon as it got even the smallest amount of weed on it the calamari would turn away.
The reports from the beach at Woolamai and Ventnor were steady while nothing special and plenty of time was needed to get a few for tea.
They were caught from all times of the day but the evening or early morning was by far the best.
The boats had more success with the calamari as they were able to find clean patches especially in Cleeland Bight.
Other reports of calamari came from Ventnor and Cowes mostly from kayaks and a mixture of both boats and kayaks from Cleeland Bight.
We also had reports from Dickies Bay, Tortoise Head and Reef Island.
Whiting are good in number but small in size at the moment and although we have seen some very good size ones, for ever good decent fish a dozen small ones were reported.
The pleasing whiting reports this week were the ones that came from the land and while they are never big in number they still taste the same and you generally get enough for a meal or two.
The landbased whiting reports came from many different areas and some a bit surprising as well. The boating reports were from all the usual areas and the only difference between those who caught good size and those who caught small ones was luck.
There are too many areas landbased to go into a lot of detail but reports came from Newhaven Jetty, Ventnor Beach, the rocks at Kilcunda Beach, the beach in Cleeland Bight, the back beach at San Remo the edge of the channel on the low tide near the bridge on the San Remo side, Cowes jetty and Sunderland Bay and surf beach.
We had several reports of salmon during the week from the land and the boats and several times we looked out the window to see birds working in the main channel.
Mixed sizes and typically with salmon you would get several then none for a while as the schools came through.
Most of the reports were from those using bait but once there was one caught others used lures and managed several that way before the school moved on.
Snapper reports were almost non-existent this week as they have been for some time and we only had one snapper over 4kg reported.
There has been no shortage of pinkies but like the whiting many are very small and finding the bigger ones difficult.
I have had a few people telling me they are having trouble hooking the pinkies and the best suggestion is I can give is to use your whiting gear, use a paternoster rig, drop down hook size to a 3/0 or 4/0 and change to a circle hook.
Another couple of makos were caught offshore and came from the 40m of water area off Kilcunda both after only a very short drift.
We also had two thresher sharks reported from just east of the entrance this week and someone who lost a bronze whaler fishing out from pyramid rock.
Plenty of flathead have been reported and again this week quite patchy but perseverance will pay off.
Port Of Hastings: Most will know where Hastings is and most will know there is a port there but it seems, from talking to my customers not very many people know about the planned expansion to the port of Hastings.
While an expansion to the port doesn’t sound all that bad it’s when you look at the proposal in detail and read between the lines that a few alarm bells will start to ring.
Currently the port services about 150 to 200 vessels each year, under the new proposed port would see up to 3000 ships a year entering the port, around five to 10 per day with the size of the ships increasing considerably as well.
It will also mean a considerable increase of trucks transporting goods from the Hastings Port and is estimated up to 3000 per day will be needed working 24 hours per day and no doubt that will please the locals with the extra noise.
With all these projects it’s the information not being released that is the major concern it’s also the confusion that is caused accidently or deliberately by those running the project.
We hear the usual ‘full impact studies will be done before work commences’ and I think we all know the study accepted is the one written that best suits the project.
‘Concerns from all interested parties will be considered’ considered then filed never to be seen again and so on.
I don’t think you need to be Einstein to realise there will need to be major dredging done to cater for these ships or minor dredging if you believe the press releases.
It’s reasonably simple maths, the draft of the ship and the depth it safely needs under its keel which will have to be maintained in all tides to move that many ships a day just doesn’t add up to what is there now.
There are plenty of questions that can’t be answered as to the effect of deepening the channel but with the problems the natural tide flow causes now, one would hope a deeper channel and the wake from a 100,000 ton ship doesn’t make it worse.
As for the dredging its self and the immediate damage it could cause to the surrounding grass beds with the stirred up silt suffocating them, it might even stir up some of that toxic silt from the rumoured major oil spill that occurred in the early 70’s, something to consider anyway.
You would have to think because of the huge increase in shipping traffic fishing in the Western Channel especially in the entrance will be a thing of the past.
The other problem will be of course where do you stack so many ships as the port and the channel won’t be big enough to hold them all.
There will need to be parking areas, maybe they are going to dredge parking bays beside the channel or create a restricted area offshore for them to park, either way it still adds up to less area for recreational boaters to use.
Everybody that has travelled to Melbourne around the port area will agree we desperately need a new shipping port.
But surely there are more appropriate areas along the coast that are naturally deep, less populated and could be developed to create a new shipping port and yes probably more expensive but think about Hastings in 10 years’ time, by the time the expansion is fully operational it will be as congested as Port Melbourne is now.
Does Hastings really make sense long term or is it another quick fix?
THERE have been many reports of whiting turning up virtually everywhere which is great news.
They vary from smallish undersize fish up to the 45cm mark and better.
Wonthaggi legend Stephen Poole took his young bloke, Bradley out through the week to try his luck at a couple of reliable spots.
The conditions were a bit on the choppy but the fish didn’t seem to mind at all and they fished through the night.
They ended up bagging out on the whiting that were up to then 40cm mark and needless to say they were happy.
The good fishing continues with salmon to the 3kg mark being taken on local beaches.
They are taking a variety of presentations as Dennis Cordling found out to his delight.
He said that he and a mate, Tom Anderson decided to try their luck at Harmers Haven one night at low water on the run in tide.
They had only been trying for a few minutes just as darkness descended when something came along and grabbed the bait and took off.
The rod was in a holder but that didn’t stop whatever it was as it took off at great speed and took the gear with it not to be seen again.
They decided to continue on, which was a good move and finished with a mixed bag of fish made up of good size pinkies, flathead and a very good size gummy shark.
Williamsons Beach has also been going along very well as have the five beaches at Venus Bay. Salmon have been the main catch as to be expected but at this time of year just about anything might come along and have a look.
As has been the case for some time, mullet seem to be everywhere and they are very good quality.
Just inside the entrance through the week King George received a call from a local angler who has a couple of favourite spots where he says he seldom fails.
He said that on this occasion he bagged a dozen very good size mullet on the run in tide that were all taken on small pieces of pipi.
Actually he was after whiting but was not complaining.
As has been the case for some time Pensioners Corner has been going well with mullet, flathead, a few gummies being caught on both sides of low water.
Further up towards the double islands the results have been positive and a trip to the area should prove productive.
Salmon have been taken in good numbers as have been mullet, silvers pinkies and gummies.
Perch are also in good numbers for those who know where to look.
Stevies Gutter is one of those places where they can be found with good results being on the run in tide.
They really like a Bass yabby presented along with a sand worm teaser, which seldom fails.
Soft plastic lures are also very effective when used in a slow retrieve.
King George received a call from a visiting angler from Dandenong, Gordon Wisner who is down on holidays.
He decided to try his luck from the bank just above the highway bridge with Bass yabbies.
In around three hours he bagged seven fish in a bag that was made up of perch and mullet that were all taken on the run out tide.
There have been a few other similar reports in this area which is good news but just be careful in the long grass as there are plenty of Joe Blakes around on the warmer days.
They will usually get out of your way so make plenty of noise just to make sure.
Andrew Starrett who has the local caravan park says that there are plenty of whiting in his part of the world, which is more good news.
They are to the 40cm mark and taking just about anything they can get in their mouths.
Good size flathead are also about as are gummy sharks big silvers and mullet.
Andrew says that he has seen huge numbers of tiny flathead in the shallow water.
This is encouraging and as well as the flathead are also similar numbers of mini gummy sharks which looks good for the future.
There have been some good patches of weather and as a result the reports of big snapper are coming in which is great news.
The fish have been to the 8kg mark as well as gummy sharks where the Franklin Channel has been probably the best place to try your luck.
The jetties have been well worth a try where the run in tide on the eastern end of the structure seem to be the best place to wet a line.
According to Rob Killury who runs the local general store, the fishing is really firing.
Rob says that a visitor came in looking for some advice as to where he should wet a line.
He had a reasonable size tinny and was directed to a spot about 300 metres from the jetty.
After buying some bait and a few hours later he returned with a very nice bag of flathead, silvers, mullet and whiting and said that he didn’t have to move once.
He was very happy and said that he will be back at the next opportunity.
Whiting are in very good numbers as well as flathead, mullet and silvers and a visit to the area seems inviting.
Try the footbridge for good sized trevally taking whiting jigs.
Flathead are plentiful and some prawns are being taken.
Bronze whalers are being caught off shore. Large snapper and plenty of other fish are being taken as well.
Find a quiet spot out of the wind for best results.
Try Devils Hole and Cameron’s Arm for good size bream 40cm and upwards.
The power lines are producing plenty of flatties on soft plastics
The backwater at the bluff is producing good bream on prawn and soft plastics.
Perch can be found around both bridges with best bait being hard bodied lures and soft plastics.
The best spot for bream is from Sandy’s Bluff down to the Snags, taking peeled prawn and worm.
Between the Highway and Railway bridge is the best spot for bream on prawn.
Local prawns are the best bait for bream. Some flathead are also cruising about, best spots being the boardwalk and the jetty.
Duck Arm and McMillan Straits are producing flathead and bream.
Try the surf for gurnard, flathead, salmon and gummies.
A turtle 1 metre in size has been found and returned to the water but seems to like beaching itself.
Medusa Point, Bull Bay, Jones Bay and up into Tom’s Creek are producing bream which are taking a liking to prawn and sandworm.
Try off shore for king fish, gummies and flathead which are plentiful.
All the rivers have plenty of bream, luderick, mullet, salmon and tailor.
Best bait is metal lures, poppies, squid legs, and eel.
Plenty of bream and flatties are in the lake taking prawn and worm.
The surf is good for salmon on poppers and pilchards.
Trevally taking plastics are cruising up and down the channel.
Bream, flathead, luderick, tailor and salmon are taking peeled prawn.
The surf beach is fishing well.
Yellow fin bream are to be found from the sand dunes down toward the rocks.
Offshore kingfish are smacking lures around the airfield area.
Flathead are in the bottom lake taking lures and blue bait.
Gypsy point and the top lake have bream taking yabbies.
Sand whiting is in both lakes, with luderick around the main wharf.
Keep the fishing info coming to King George on email@example.com or 56 7623 474. Good Luck and Tightlines.