By King George
WITH the end of daylight savings came a change in the conditions, which saw temperatures drop but there have been reasonable conditions that have seen quite good bags of fish being caught.
SURF: There have been scattered reports of salmon being bagged on beaches such as Williamsons, Kilcunda and Venus Bay.
As is usually the case, the best time seems to have been on the run in tide and the salmon have been around the 1kg mark.
There has also been a sprinkling of flathead and tommy rough being caught as well as gummy sharks. The best of the baits have been whitebait, pilchards, and squid as well as surf poppers.
INVERLOCH: Even though the numbers have been a bit down, there have positive reports of boaters making the effort worthwhile.
In good conditions outside the entrance, there have been whiting caught in the shallow water for those who know where to look.
Bass yabbies, pilchard strips and pipis seem to be the best of the baits. There have also been quite a few flathead making an appearance as well as gummies out wide.
As is usually the case, just beyond the breakers for those who don’t mind a bit of a hike, quality flathead and the occasional pinkie and gummy sharks have been landed.
There haven’t been any reports as far as Stevies Gutter has been concerned. Further up towards Maher’s Landing there have been fish such as mullet, silvers, flathead and a few whiting making up reasonable bags but at times there has been plenty of water mixed in with the fish.
SHALLOW INLET: Good fishing continues in this part of the world, which is just a continuation of what has been a very good season. Karen Starrett who runs the local caravan park with husband Rob says that the royals have been to the 45cm mark which is impressive in anyone’s language and being caught on baits such as Bass yabbies, pipis, squid and small strips of pilchards.
Mixed in with the whiting has been impressive numbers of flathead and big silvers. It will not be long before the whopper salmon that will be up to the 4kg mark will make an appearance and will be a true test of skill and gear.
These fish are however not all that great on the table but can make great bait for the larger fish such as makos, otherwise many anglers will just throw them back to swim and fight another day.
Outside the inlet in Waratah Bay has also been productive.
Brett Forsyth has been doing well on the huge whiting for which the area is renowned.
Recently he went out with mates Dino Tiziani and Wayne McCall and had a very good day on the whiting that were around the 50cm mark.
Paul Bird and ‘Bones’ have also been doing very well on the whiting where among other places they decided to try their luck in close around Bird Rock.
Their luck was in and they bagged some very nice whiting and will no doubt be out and about again to try and repeat the effort.
Another well-known visitor to the area is Ian Harvey. Ian and a crew decided to try and catch some whiting or whatever might come along. They tried in close but the water was fairly dirty and didn’t really break any records. Suddenly there was a strike and the battle was on in earnest. After a long fight Ian was the proud owner of a very nice kingfish that stretched the tape out to the 90cm mark and of course wanted to show anyone who wanted to have a peek. This was his first ever kingfish! Well done, Ian.
PORT WELSHPOOL: The fishing has been up and down during the week according to information from the boat storage.
On Thursday and Friday there were reports of whiting to the 40cm mark being bagged by boaters with the best results being in the Lewis Channel on the run-in tide.
Bass yabbies, pipis and squid were the best of the baits but the following day there was nothing. This could have been due to the change in the weather but for whatever reason Saturday was not the time or place to wet a line.
Through the week there was action as far as land-based anglers who were trying their luck off the jetty. The run in tide as usual was the most productive time to wet a line where fish such as silvers, salmon, squid, flathead and whiting made up most of the bags. The best baits were pipis, squid, Bass yabbies and cockles.
PORT ALBERT: Never seen a season like it. These are the words from Rob Killury who runs the local general store. He says that the fish seem to be everywhere with whiting, flathead, silvers and pinkies making up very pleasing bags.
The fish seem to be taking just about anything that is thrown into the water and are being caught on both sides of the tides. Land-based anglers are also happy with their efforts where fish such as mullet, silvers, flathead and whiting continue to be caught.
Outside the entrance when conditions have allowed there have been plenty of gummies and flathead making an appearance.
LAKES ENTRANCE: Fraser Island has good size King George whiting and flathead biting on pipi, sandworm and soft plastics.
North Arm and East Cunningham Arm have gars partial to sandworm. Lake Bunga has salmon taking blue bait and poppers. Offshore, large snapper have been landed on squid.
LAKE TYERS: Mill Point is producing flathead and tailor using metal lures and soft plastics. Flathead are also around Trident Arm. Bream to 32cm are being caught in the main lake using peeled prawn. Fisherman’s Landing is good for gars.
Eagle Point Bay has some large bream, which are also cruising upstream to Shadoof Lodge.
Best bait is spider crab and local prawn.
MITCHELL RIVER: Estuary perch are still under the highway bridge.
TAMBO RIVER: Bream and the odd flathead have been taken around Rough Road, on fresh prawn and shrimp.
NICHOLSON: Plenty of small bream are around, but larger ones are downstream towards the swimming hole. Try peeled prawn and sandworm.
METUNG: The boardwalk has bream biting on prawn, pipi and sandworm. Shaving Point has some king George whiting, active and waiting for a feed of pippi.
PAYNESVILLE: Lake King has tailor striking trolled silver lures. Plenty of prawns are about with bait ones catching flathead in Newlands Arm. Fisherman’s Wharf has Bream taking peeled prawn.
HOLLANDS LANDING: Griffin Point has bream and a few flathead, being hooked using prawn, whitebait and soft plastics.
MARLO: Both rivers have bream and estuary perch chasing live prawn and hard bodied lures. Large flathead are in the shallows, around the mouth of the Snowy. Luderick are still around the rock groynes, and the surf has salmon and tailor.
BEMM RIVER: Tailor are being taken off the jetties on silver lures. Bream are in the lake, with local prawn resulting in good catches. The surf has salmon seeking pilchard and poppers.
TAMBOON: Mud Point has bream and tailor on the go, using fresh prawn and sandworm.
MALLACOOTA: Estuary perch are being caught around Genoa on live prawn and diving lures. The Narrows has flathead taking poddies and soft plastics. Both lakes have plenty of pinkies, bream and tailor.
OMEO High country: Hoppers and blade lures are picking up trout in the Gibbo and Mitta Mitta Rivers.
KEEP the fishing info coming to King George on firstname.lastname@example.org or 5672 3474. Good luck and Tightlines.
Around the Bay
By Craig Edmonds of Jim’s Bait and Tackle, San Remo
DON’T give up fishing just yet. There are still plenty of fish to be caught this season.
For many people, Easter brings an end to their fishing season and when Easter is early, people seem to not look at the calendar.
The truth is there are plenty of quality table fish to be caught locally during April, May and into early June when table fish will make way for fresh bait gathering for the upcoming snapper season.
Yes, the weather turns colder and wetter making fishing every weekend not always possible but to just throw the rods in the corner of the shed for three months in favour of the couch doesn’t make a lot of sense. Generally, fish quantities be can down a bit during the late autumn and winter but the boat ramps are empty and it’s not difficult to find a spot on the jetty or beach.
I often get asked if you need to change your fishing techniques during winter and probably the most important thing you need to do is make sure you have a jumper to keep warm.
The main effect that the change of temperature will have to your fishing is the fish won’t be as active so may not feed as often but will eventually be hungry. Being there at that time is the difficult bit.
What I try to tell my customers is to not get stuck in habits and while fishing is slow, try anything.
Throw a few lures and plastics around, change you rig styles, change leader lengths – there are plenty of things you can change and try.
Because this season has been a bit on the frustrating side, more than any other season, I have had customers trying different ideas.
We have seen whiting regularly caught in 12m of water, gummies in 1m over the weed beds, mulloway from the middle of the corals, calamari from just about every corner of the bay and more rock flathead than any other year.
Because of the large number of toadies and leatherjackets on the whiting grounds this year, several people have tried using soft plastics to catch their whiting.
While it hasn’t worked for everyone, I have a couple of customers that have worked it out and are now catching almost as many with the soft plastics as baits. They are catching them in the shallower areas working small minnow type plastics over the weed beds.
Whiting reports this week were reasonably good and we saw another couple of quality ones over 50cm, one from a boat and one from the land.
We didn’t hear from anyone that bagged out but the numbers from those who found them were better.
There was nothing too different in where they were caught in the boats with many sticking to the regular spots.
There were a couple of good reports in the very shallow areas around Bass River and from the area around the Corinella boat ramp.
From the land, Ventnor beach, Cowes jetty and the rocks at Sunderland Bay on the low tide.
In the boats, most will just use the normal pipi for baits but off the land, because you need to cast out and often, cast off soft baits to help with that. Customers are using squid strips with half a pipi.
Gummies are in areas like Temby Point and Stockyard Point. More people are fishing there and naturally more reports start to come in.
It’s also this time of the year I see gummies targeted more on the moon phases rather just trying for them anytime.
It’s the same for those who target gummies from the beach at Woolamai as well but customers will fish after dark just before or after the tide change.
From the reports over the years as a general rule the gummies are better four days before or four days after the moon.
As far as which moon phase, half of my customers will say full moon and the other half will say new moon and the reports will back up both sides of the argument.
Several reports came in over the last week but many were undersize, however we did see some good ones at around 5kg.
The boat reports of size ones came mostly from the evening fishing towards Gardners Channel and towards Spit Point with not a lot in between.
The best of the land reports was just under 4kg and came from the beach at Temby Point but was the only gummy they caught for three nights of fishing.
They did manage a few elephants and several pinkies as well as no end of rays and banjos.
The bigger pinkies we were getting a couple of weeks ago have shrunk and now are undersize again with most that were reported this week much too small to keep.
There was the odd few reported that was size and as usual someone found a snapper that went better than 5kg.
Elephant fish reports are slow and nothing like they were a few years ago but those in boats who really want one will find one with a bit of searching.
Salmon have been in reasonable numbers on the beaches now but there are still a lot of small school fish showing up and not much of any size. Kilcunda has been the best with most of the beaches from the bridge to the Powlett producing something.
Not much from Woolamai in the way of any size salmon, just a handful reported over the last week.
Bag limit reduction for golden perch
THE daily bag limit for recreational anglers taking golden perch from Victoria’s lakes will reduce from 10 to five later this month.
Fisheries Victoria Executive Director, Travis Dowling, said the change was in response to calls from anglers and feedback from Fisheries Officers across northern Victoria last spring.
“Anglers who attended our regional forums in 2015 expressed concern that bag limit catches of large golden perch were being taken regularly by groups of anglers from several stocked lakes.
“We were approached by many anglers concerned that those catches, which included numerous fish of more than 3kg each, were excessive and well beyond a reasonable day’s take for the table.”
Mr Dowling said the reduced bag limit of five would protect stocked populations from over-harvest and better share the resource amongst anglers.
“Golden perch populations in lakes are nearly all stocked and take more than a decade to establish as viable fisheries so are worthy of protection,” Mr Dowling said.
“Most of these fisheries have been created using recreational fishing licence fees and are a valuable asset for anglers, the local community and tourism associated businesses.
“The change, which will apply from April 20, 2016, simplifies the rules for freshwater anglers and brings the golden perch bag limit in line with that already in place for Victorian rivers.
“The change also aligns Victoria’s daily bag limit for golden perch with that of New South Wales, further simplifying fishing trips for anglers near the border.”