THE settled conditions through the last week have seen more boaters and land based anglers out and about with some good returns for efforts.

Surf: The beach at Baxters has been productive with good numbers of salmon making an appearance to the 2kg mark and better.
As those familiar with the area there is a 20 minute trek through the sand dunes but at the time of this report the results have been worthwhile where baits such as whitebait, squid and blue bait have been producing best results.
Surf poppers are also worth a try and one advantage with them is that those annoying crabs will not be interested.
As well as the salmon there is also a sprinkling of flathead where the best results have been on the run in tide.
Venus Bay has also been worth a visit where all the beaches have been producing encouraging numbers of salmon up to the 2kg mark.
King George received a call from a visiting surf fisher, Andy Clements who says that he always likes to try the beaches at Venus Bay, Number 3 in particular where he seems to have best results.
On his last visit through the week he managed seven ripper fish that were to the 2.5kg mark but only kept three smaller fish as he reckons salmon around the 600gm mark are best on the table.
King George recommends that if salmon are going to be kept they should always be bled immediately to enhance the flavour and not be left unattended, as there are always plenty of those annoying feathered fish thieves that will quickly pounce on an unattended easy meal.
There is nothing more annoying than to see a hard earned catch slowly disappear into the sky in the mouth of these pests and not being able to do anything about the thief.

Inverloch: The ideal conditions have been great in this part of the world and as a result there were boaters and shore fishermen everywhere.
The jetty had anglers trying their luck and for a change there have been very good numbers of fish being caught.
Experienced operators know that long rods are a must off jetties.
The reason being that if a good size fish is hooked up it will immediately head straight for the underwater furniture.
If they make it they will swim around the structure and on the vast majority of occasions be lost as will be leads, leaving the hapless angler to start all over again.
King George visited Pensioners Corner where there were scores of land-based fishers trying their luck.
He came across quite a few who had some very nice size salmon that were to the 1kg mark that were caught mainly on whitebait and the occasional fish was landed on lures.
Although the conditions were cold, many of the anglers were hot, very hot under the collar.
The reason being that shortly before King George arrived there had been a very large school of salmon nearby close to the shore and near the surface, close enough to be seen to be breaking the surface.
This was looking to be a promising period of fishing.
This was dashed however with the arrival of a well-known local in his familiar blue boat with trawl lines, who proceed straight through the school and in the process entangled and broke off four lines of land-based anglers.
Anglers were by this stage very annoyed and left the trawler in no doubt of how they thought.
Outside the entrance there have been reports of good size gummies and flathead being taken when conditions have allowed.
Leongatha angler Jason Kitchener and a crew decided to try their luck and headed out and had a bit of a battle to land a fish.
They did however hook into and land a very nice size gummy shark that made the outing worthwhile.
Boaters have been doing fairly well further up the entrance as far as Mahers Landing where there have been reasonably good numbers of salmon to the 600gm mark.
They have been caught on a variety of surface lures as well as whitebait and blue bait strips as well as Bass yabbies.
Stevies Gutter has also been worth a visit where perch are in fairly good numbers where best results have been on the run off tide.
Land-based fishers have been having a bit of a battle but there have been a few tommy roughs, salmon and silvers being caught mainly on the run in tide.
Whitebait, silver fish and Bass yabbies have been very productive.

Wonthaggi Angling Club: The club held its monthly competition last Sunday where fish of the month was mullet.
Sponsor of the month was Wonthaggi Home Appliances.
New president Steven Howell was welcomed by weigh-master Alan Bentick.
The winner of the senior male section was Robert Thompson with a 1kg perch for 2000 points.
The junior male section winner was Jack Howell with a 415gm perch for 830 points.
The veteran’s section was won by Alan Bentick with a 500gm bream for 1250 points.
The secret weight was won by Anne Franke.
There was no junior female or senior female to weigh in a fish.
The next competition will be on Sunday, August 16 where fish of the month will be silver trevally.
President Steve thanked everyone who entered the competition, even if they didn’t weigh in a fish.
He also thanked the bar staff and the Sharples family for their usual contribution as well as Ian Kent and Luke Bowler who did a great job on the barbecue, even though they forgot to cook the hamburgers.
Ian explained that this was the first time this season and they are a bit rusty but will improve! Much appreciated anyway, the sausages were great.

Shallow Inlet: Over the weekend there have been reports of very good numbers of salmon being bagged and numerous boats bagging out.
The salmon have been to the 3kg mark, caught on both sides of the tide, with a variety of surface lures doing the job.
There were also reports of a blue boat running through schools of fish and scattering them; the description fits the boat doing similar things at Inverloch the same day.
Although there have not been any reports of silvers, no doubt they will not be too far off making an appearance if they are not already there.

Port Welshpool: There was a bit of a wind that made things a bit on the uncomfortable side at times.
Information from the boat storage is that there had been good numbers of flathead bagged on both sides of the tides.
A few gummies were also caught but the large schools of salmon and silvers apparently are yet to make an appearance.

Port Albert: Even given the cold conditions there have been some encouraging news as far as the fishing is concerned.
Information from the general store is that there have been very good numbers of whiting caught inside the entrance.
It appears that they are being bagged on both sides of the tides and although not all that big they are well over the 27cm limit.
This is good news for the future no doubt.
There have also been salmon in good numbers as well as flathead.
The jetties have also been going along very well and as well as the already mentioned fish there are plenty of eels being taken off the structures.

A tip from King George to beginners: A boat opens up many options as far as fishing is concerned.
With a boat on the water comes responsibilities.
There are rules required by law as well as unwritten rules that are mostly common sense.
As stated, there are too many to mention in this column but one is that when there is a school of fish such as salmon on the surface, most boaters know what to do so that the fish won’t be scattered.
The idea is to respect other boaters as well as any land-based anglers who might be nearby.
One of the things not to do is to just motor through the school and scatter them everywhere so that everyone will miss out.
There were reports of an inconsiderate Inverloch boater doing just this over the weekend, which is disappointing.
The message here is to just use a bit of common sense and consider others on the water.

Keep the fishing info coming to King George on snafu1@dcsi.net.au or 5672 3474. Good Luck and Tightlines.

Around the Bay

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

WITH the cold winter days and nights, now is the time to do all your maintenance on your tackle.
Everybody services their boats, trailers, rods and reels but when was the last time you checked how sharp your hooks are?
I would think even fewer people have a stone in their box to actually sharpen them.
The hook is one of the most important items all of your gear because your $1,000 reel or $500 rod won’t help you if the hook is too blunt to penetrate the fish’s mouth.
When you go to purchase your next pack of hooks look closer at the price of the expensive hooks, work it out per hook and you will find they are not that expensive after all. It doesn’t matter whether you use circle, octopus or long shank the better the quality generally the sharper the hook the more chance you have of hooking your fish.
It’s also the time to sit in front of the heater watching the football and tie your rigs for the season coming up.
The knots aren’t that difficult to tie while sitting back on the lounge but when rolling from side to side in a boat while you are on a hot bite it can be difficult to get it right.
All you need is a variety of good quality leader, swivels and hooks a packet of small zip lock bags and time and within a few hours you will have everything ready for your season.
Tie yourself a variety of rigs, single and two hook running sinker, paternoster with different length droppers.
Also tie rigs with different size and type of hooks both for your snapper/gummies and whiting.
More importantly be prepared to change your rigs while fishing depending on how they are biting for the day or the baits you are using.
When you do make your rigs make them so they are easy to attach to your gear and buy yourself a bag with pockets similar to the soft plastic folders to store your rig bags in.
If you are having trouble tying your rigs or want some suggestions on what type to tie drop in and we will help where we can.
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It was very patchy this week and not a lot happened till the near perfect weekend turned up where some good fish were reported.
Offshore wasn’t dead flat with a reasonable roll over the weekend but it was more than fishable and worth the trip out.
The biggest decision most had to make while heading offshore was to head strait to their fishing spot or do a bit of whale watching first.
There were several whales swimming up the coast over the last week with one or two putting on a good show for those who were watching.
For those heading out to catch a fish there were some good numbers of flathead around the 30m mark but not a lot of bigger ones and 30cm was the average.
Silver whiting were also plentiful in that 25m to 30m area around punch bowl.
Surprisingly plenty of customers tell me that when they start catching them they move to get away from them because they are not worth catching.
If you are one of these people do yourself a favour and next time you catch them keep a few of the bigger ones and eat them and I think you will be surprised.
You don’t get a huge fillet from them and they are a bit fiddley to clean but they are worth it.
Like all fish you are going to keep they need to be either put on ice when you catch them or kept cool because if they do get warm they can get a strong fishy smell to them.
You can grill, fry and even pickle them.
Plenty of couta and pike still in the channel towards the eastern entrance and are being caught simply by trawling silver lures up and down the channel.
If you aren’t having much success try using a paravane to get your lures down a bit deeper.
It may be the couta in Cleeland Bight that is causing the squid and the whiting to be a bit patchy and very timid.
The whiting have been worse than the calamari and I have only had a handful of reports from this area of whiting being caught in the last month or so.
Calamari have been better with most of the reports coming from my kayak customers drifting across the weed and the boat customers telling me they are very flighty and lately have only been catching one at a time with plenty of drifting in between.
The other reports during the week consisted mostly of salmon from boats and beach.
On boats, most have come from offshore or in the main channel between Cleeland Bight and the bridge with a couple from above the bridge.
The beaches have just been a toss of the coin this week with nothing standing out as better than the other.
Cemetery and Anzacs have been the best as usual but it has been anybody’s guess as to the best time to be at either.
Most of the reports we have had come from people that were just fishing because they had the time or the weather was fine.
They weren’t fishing because of a certain tide or wind etc, so to get any sort of pattern was difficult.
The only thing that was consistent with catches from both areas was that blue bait accounted for most catches.