by King George
WONTHAGGI fishing tragics and all round nice blokes, Wayne Mattock and Daryl Leighton decided to try their luck in Westernport Bay last Friday.
Daryl had just purchased a brand new boat and wanted to take out someone who knew where to go to christen the new boat with a few fish.
This wasn’t the best choice as it turned out; the first few stops yielded nothing but Daryl had faith in his mate and reasoned that a christening fish was not far off.
As the day wore on there was nothing to get too excited about and after many stops with Daryl on the anchor rope there was not a fish to grace the new craft.
Wayne assured his mate that they weren’t far off success but as the winter sun slowly sunk closer to the western horizon there was still not a fish in the boat (not counting the toadfish).
By this time Daryl realized that he was not going to be able to fulfil his promise of fish to his many would be mates.
They returned home failing to trouble the weigh-master but Daryl is determined to go out again, this time he’ll take someone luckier!
Surf: The conditions have been cold but there has not been a lot of wind, which has made fishing not all that bad.
There has been reasonable numbers of salmon bagged on the run in tide to the 2kg mark that have been taking a variety of baits such as whitebait, squid and salted pipis.
The fish have been caught in fairly close to the shoreline and Joe Thompson was very happy with his efforts at Williamsons Beach when he caught seven good size salmon and a 600gm flathead which made the trip from Dandenong worthwhile.
There have been positive reports from Baxters Beach with the water being deep and a 20-minute trek to where fishing can begin.
Salmon have been to the 2kg mark, with best results being on the run in tide.
Inverloch: There has been not a great deal of activity as far as boaters or land-based anglers have been concerned.
The lucky few who have braved the elements have had to be content with a few salmon, mullet and just reasonable size flathead barely making the effort worthwhile.
The cold snap has kept would be land-based anglers away from places such as areas around the entrance, Pensioners Corner and the jetty.
There were some brave souls trying the luck at Mahers Landing when King George visited, but they had nothing to show for their efforts.
The Tarwin River has been reasonable and for those who braved the elements there have been perch, mullet and a few silvers.
Bass yabbies seem to have been the best of the baits and the water temperature has been reported as being around 11 degrees.
Shallow Inlet: Ken Pearson, his wife and his two girls from Meeniyan decided to try their luck reasoning that they would not be crowded.
As it turned out they had plenty of room, in fact they were the only boat on the water and had the whole inlet to themselves.
This was not hard to understand, as the conditions were freezing but not a great deal of wind.
At the end of the day they managed four good size whiting and a dozen of flathead which made the effort worthwhile.
This was the only report to King George as far as this area is concerned.
There has not been any news as far as salmon or silvers are concerned but they should not be too far off and when they do arrive, it will be in big numbers.
Corio Bay/Bellarine peninsula: With a break in the weather last week and snapper about, Damir Lukesic headed out from St Helens with his five-year old son Damian to catch the afternoon high tide change.
A well-timed trip as it turned out for, in calm conditions, one of Damir’s rods buckled to the howl of the reel resulting in the capture of a 7kg snapper.
Scarcely was it aboard when the other rod took off as well with young Damian hanging on for dear life.
Naturally there were some nervous moments, but with expert coaching, Damian eventually got the better of a snapper that weighed 7.3kg.
Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that he had some boats out despite the persistent northerlies last week and flathead remained the main catch.
Squid were also present but patchy with the more consistent catches coming in from Grassy Point and further out on the Prince George Bank.
Australian salmon have also been about with small but legal size fish being taken from the Portarlington Pier where fishing in the afternoon seems to be the most productive.
Thanks to Geoff Wilson for this report.
Did you know: Snapper can grow to 20kg.
They frequent southern Australian coastal waters from Queensland around to northern West Australia.
They are found around offshore and inshore reefs, estuaries, harbors, bays, off rocks, breakwalls and beaches.
Snapper are bottom dwellers and tend to hold and feed over very rough reefs and in deep holes.
The fish tend to run hard and deep when hooked heading for the cover of the reef.
In deep water the fish can provide a tough fight.
There is a characteristic double shake of head before each run. The Australian record is 18.4kg.
The best bait includes crab, fish flesh, garfish, mussel, octopus, pilchard, pipi, prawn, slimy mackerel (blue), squid and tuna.
To hook in to them drift over reef and gravel areas. Best times are from first light to sun up early morning with a change in tide and run up to full tide.
For strip baits make the bait size equal to about 3-5cm hooked at one end.
Snapper feed better when a berley is used.
Keep the fishing info coming to King George on email@example.com or 5672 3474. Good Luck and Tightlines.
Around the Bay
By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
AT this time of the year, opportunities to fish can be hard to find in between the unsettled weather but that doesn’t mean there aren’t quality fish around as this week proved.
The two standout fish caught this week came from Wednesday and Thursday, one in the bay and one offshore.
With the school holidays over the last couple of weeks there were a few more reports as well and some good catches in them.
When it comes to quality this week it’s hard to decide the better one between a 20kg gummy and a 9kg snapper but I don’t know too many fishermen that wouldn’t be happy catching either during the season.
The gummy was one of several caught during the week but certainly the best and was caught offshore at Kilcunda from a customer who has been searching for some time for quality like this in that area.
There isn’t a lot of difference between catching gummies offshore and in the bay the only problem is finding the right conditions offshore to be able to anchor, something I wouldn’t recommend to someone inexperienced in offshore fishing.
Baits are the same, fresh is best; rigs same thing as in the bay – running sinker with a couple of snelled hooks sinkers big enough to get down and time spent on bait presentation.
Other gummies were caught off the surf beach at Woolamai with the biggest I was told about going 4kg.
I did hear of a rumour of a couple off the Rhyll Jetty and down the Rhyll channel.
The others caught in the boats came from the area along French Island, Elizabeth to Gardiners, again the best around 4kg.
Several undersize ones came from The Corals area and a customer told me about a few that were seen at the Corinella boat ramp.
The other quality fish caught during the week was a 9kg snapper by a customer who was fishing on The Corals Thursday afternoon.
While you don’t expect to catch fish of this quality this time of the year it is possible.
This winter has shown how much the bay has improved over the last few years especially with the amount and variety of bait that helps keep these fish here.
More and more of these bigger snapper are becoming resident fish in the bay and all we need is for a few schools of smaller fish to stay and it will create an all year round snapper fishery.
We have to keep our fingers crossed that a stupid decision like the Hastings port doesn’t undo everything.
There were another couple of good snapper around 4kg caught north of Corinella and a handful of pinkies also caught on the top end of The Corals.
Calamari are still all over the place as far as consistency goes but a couple of quality size ones easily over 1.5kg were reported this week.
Boats and kayaks provided most of the reports and the best way of catching them was by drifting in Cleeland Bight.
A few were caught from San Remo Jetty, a couple from Reef Island/Dickies Bay as well as from the beaches in Cleeland Bight and Ventnor and I had a couple of reports from Corinella also.
I wouldn’t get too excited just yet because although reports came from all over the place there weren’t that many and we are probably still a few weeks away from them being caught in any real numbers but on the other hand I guess like most fishing, there aren’t any definite rules.
Salmon started off this season the best we have seen for many years but sadly over the last month they are back to what they have been over the last few years.
There is a slight difference this year in that there are huge schools of baitfish sitting offshore and large schools of good size salmon have been seen chasing them, the problem is they aren’t coming to shore all that often.
Every now and again somebody manages a good bag of salmon from the beach and the report usually comes from those fishing lures only and covering a few kilometres up and down the beach.
If you are wanting to try lure fishing for your salmon smaller lures 25gram to 40gram is the best size and something with a bit of white on it.