THE warm weather has arrived with a vengeance and there have been numerous tales of success but even so, the water temperature still has a fair way to go reach the summer levels.
As we know fishing can be a great leveler and this was shown out when granddaughter of Brian “Bongo” Donohue, Tahlia Morris a 12 year old from Cape Paterson, accepted an offer to go out with grandpa who thought it was be time to show the young lady a thing or two about fishing.
They headed out from Rhyll and “Bongo” was hoping that Tahlia might catch just one fish, as he didn’t want her to go home empty handed and disappointed.
As it turned out he need not have worried as when it was time to go home the young master showed grandpa how it was done with a very impressive bag of 15 ripper whiting.
Grandpa failed to trouble the weigh master.
Inverloch: Over the weekend there was standing room only on the jetty as far as landbased anglers were concerned. All the activity meant that the fish were a bit hook sky and there were very few good reports.
Pensioners Corner was again very busy with fishers having a bit of a battle but every so often there would be a reasonable size salmon bagged which was enough to keep everyone interested.
Having said that, the conditions were great and just being there was good enough.
Outside the entrance there were boaters that made the trek as far as Venus Bay where there were good bags of flathead caught just beyond the breakers.
The occasional gummy shark was also bagged as well as pinkies. The water temperature is still fairly low despite the warmer weather but hopefully this will continue to rise as well as the numbers of bags. Mahers Landing has been going along fairly well with boaters and landbased anglers pleased with their returns.
Salmon have been in good numbers as well as silvers, flathead and mullet.
The run in tide has been the best time to wet a line and the fish have been taking a variety of natural baits as well as hard and soft-bodied lures.
Tarwin River: Perch are still being bagged by boaters and landbased anglers where they have been to the 35cm mark with best results being on the run out tide.
There has also been a variety of other fish such as silvers and mullet where Bass yabbies, sand worm and cockles have been effective baits.
The fishing platforms have been very popular, especially in the warm calm conditions but for the benefit of visitors there is a fair chance that those Joe Blakes could be making an appearance, so be careful.
Shallow Inlet: The conditions in this part of the world have been great. Andrew Starrett who runs the caravan park with wife Karen says that there have been plenty of visitors trying their luck.
Salmon have been making up most bags but there are also plenty of silvers and increasing numbers of whiting making the effort well worthwhile.
There is one visitor however who is not welcome Andrew says. A big seal has already worn out his welcome and prefers to get his meals the easy way, that is that he will wait until a fish is hooked up and will strike, making him very unpopular.
Not much that can be done apart from moving to another spot and hope that he doesn’t follow but it seems that some boaters will throw him scraps and they will have a friend for the day whether they want him or not.
Port Welshpool: Information from the boat storage is that there was plenty of activity in this part of the world but the fish were just a bit on the timid side.
There are however plenty of squid and flathead but gummies and snapper have been a bit on the scarce side. Like other nearby areas the water is still cold but no doubt that will change as conditions start to improve.
Out wide when the conditions allow there have been good numbers of salmon being caught on surface lures.
Port Albert: Still the good reports come from this part of the world with good numbers of whiting. Salmon and squid seem to be everywhere according to Rob Killury who runs the local general store.
It seems that the good news has spread as there have been visitors coming from everywhere. The jetties have also been very productive and the early reports indicate that there should be a great fishing season ahead.
Lakes Entrance: Local jetties still have mullet taking worm. Late in the day for trevally on white and blue bait. The surf beaches are working well with salmon taking blue bait and silver lures.
Offshore at Six mile Reef for snapper up to 5.5kg, also Morwong and nanigi taking pilchard and squid.
Lake Tyers: Incoming tide is producing trevally, bream and tailor, best baits are plastics and lures. Around the islands and up to Trident Arm and Long Point for bream on prawn and worm. Some flathead are also about.
Mitchell River: From the Butter Factory down to Shadoff Lodge and heading to The Cut for bream taking prawn and worm. Perch in the Backwater and the Highway Bridge area. Best bait is lures and plastics. Some mullet can also be caught.
Tambo River: The river mouth area in the late afternoon for bream, best bait being fresh shrimp. The Cliffs are also worth a try for bream.
A tip from King George to beginners: When using bait instead of lures always remember that generally speaking, the fresher the bait, the better the results. There are times when frozen baits such as pipis, pilchards and whitebait are quite all right but make sure that bait is looked after for best results.
Keep the fishing info coming to King George on email@example.com or 0401 199 223. Good Luck and Tightlines.
Around the Bay
By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
IT was a public holiday for some on Friday and the weather gods were on their side with near perfect conditions for all types of fishing.
There was also plenty of people taking advantage of the long-weekend and some quality fish were caught and overall the holidays were kind to those staying on the island.
Most of the fishing turns to boating and the jetties now and the beaches are somewhat empty so if you don’t mind walking the beach throwing a lure or two chasing salmon now is the time to go for a walk.
A few people headed to the open beaches over the last week or so with average success on the salmon and most that I spoke to were using bait.
Woolamai was the most popular but a lot of people headed to some of the not so popular beaches and rocks.
Most of the salmon caught were small but keepers and came from the top of the tide.
We had a few reports of other fish like flathead and wrasse especially from those fishing the rocks but we didn’t have a lot of bigger fish reported. A couple of reports of salmon came from Kilcunda as well.
On the jetties and the back beaches calamari was the most targeted species and there was plenty of ink left on the jetty in San Remo especially.
With so many people chasing them space was a premium at times and no one reported a bag full but plenty went home with one or two.
All of the usual landbased spots produced, the jetties at San Remo and Cowes, beaches at Woolamai and Ventnor.
It was a mixture of baited and artificial jigs from the landbased areas but colours of the artificial jigs had no pattern to them at all.
The boats and kayaks produced some good numbers as well but we did find that most of the boats chasing them were happy with a couple as they were on their way to chase the snapper.
Artificial jigs were the go in the boats and hard to say if it was a pattern but quite a few of the people we spoke to caught those using pink or orange ones.
A couple of good days of weather offshore this week but a bit slim on the reports with only a handful of flathead and a couple of pinkies reported in.
There were a few sightings of whales again but they were reasonably wide and traveling down the coast.
A couple of boats said they came across some big schools of baitfish but found nothing else with them.
And those who trolled a lure or two in close only found the odd couta, maybe all the offshore fish went on a long weekend as well and will be back next week.
Whiting were better this week but a bit of perseverance was still needed to deal the hordes of leatherjackets and every whiting fisherman’s favourite, a seal has decided to start harassing people again.
The leather jackets aren’t too hard to get away from with a move of 100m or so but the seal can be a bit more difficult and sometimes a move to a whole new fishing spot is needed.
The whiting that we saw weren’t big in numbers but were very reasonable in size and Dickies Bay was slightly better than Cleeland Bight.
There are a lot of grass whiting around at the moment as well in the same areas and someone reported having a school of garfish around the back of the boat but didn’t have any gear on board to catch them.
The best time for the whiting was the top of the tide in the morning and evening.
Where do I go to catch a snapper is the one question asked by almost every customer at the moment and the answer for this time of the year hasn’t really changed for the last 10 years we have been here.
If you want to battle the other couple of hundred boats head to the Corinella, Lang Lang area and if you don’t close your eyes and pick a spot on your GPS.
This time of the year there are very few spots in the bay that will produce fish two days in a row as they are just coming in and tend to move around a lot before settling down where you will start to find them on the more structured areas.
It is a bit of a lottery as to the best spot and the reports showed this during the week with them being spread out all over the place.
As they are coming in they will be travelling up the channels, east or west and if you strike a snapper that is hungry you will have a chance.
Two of the better ones, over 6kg each, we weighed over the weekend both came from the channels. One from off Cowes and the other from just inside the eastern entrance.
We saw several around the 4kg that came from the channel near Elizabeth Island and the ones we saw from The Corals were mixed in size.
Those fishing The Corals area were fishing in the slightly deeper sections and even the edge of the channel.
One thing common to almost every catch reported was although they saw plenty on the sounders they could only manage to get one or two to take a bait. the choice of baits were mixed with the usual pilchards and squid, fresh and frozen constant but other baits like tuna and saurys were also good; I think it pays to have a variety.
Catch a fishing grant
ANGLING clubs and community organisations hoping to improve fishing opportunities can now apply for funding from the 2015/2016 round of the Recreational Fishing Grants Program.
The annual program re-invests revenue from the sale of recreational fishing licences into projects that benefit the popular pastime and ensure sustainable fisheries now and into the future.
The Program is open to fishing clubs, community groups, incorporated bodies, registered companies and government and statutory bodies.
Project proposals between $5,000 and $100,000 qualify for the ‘Large Grants’ category of the 2015/16 Recreational Fishing Grants Program, which closes on February 29.
Large grants are available in four categories:
• Fisheries sustainability and habitat improvement;
• Fishing access and facilities;
• Fisheries related education, information and training; and
• Recreational fisheries research.
Small grants of up to $5,000 are available year round.
Successful projects in the past have included the construction of fishing platforms and jetties, stiles over fences to improve access along riverbanks, solar lights at boat ramps and re-snagging to improve fish habitat.
For more information, or to apply online, visit www.vic.gov.au/fishinggrants.