Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
On Thursday afternoon, Ivan Bereza and I arrived at Limeburners boat ramp to meet Ivan’s friend Dave from Lara for an evening’s fishing, but there was no sign of him.
A quick exchange on the mobile phone revealed that Dave had taken a run down to Curlewis to catch some squid for bait, and by then, was knocking on the door of his bag limit, which he achieved before eventually picking us up to try for a snapper or two.
Seeing red: Ivan Bereza with a 6 kg snapper from Corio Bay
We caught three as it happened, the biggest at 6 kg and left them biting at 7.30 pm, all being caught on Dave’s freshly caught squid within short run from the boat ramp.
Ivan’s mate Dave from Lara with his snapper.
Andrew Phillips and Keith Fry tried their luck off Point Wilson on Saturday night where they dropped a couple of snapper over the snaggy bottom. Their bad luck continued when a school shark bit them off beside the boat. However, they did catch a 3.5 kg elephant fish and several nice flathead.
And me with mine.
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that snapper have been taken off The Springs and among those to catch them were Noel and Kart Behan with fish to 6.9 kg. They caught those out toward the channel, while Aaron Habgood, Rob Hargreaves and Anthony Sari picked up another six snapper to 6 kg nearby on Friday evening.
With at least nine good size snapper being caught from the St Leonards Pier on Wednesday, following the northerly blow early last week, Jeff Richards and Ken Shea anchored up nearby on Thursday, hoping to pick of one or two more while the water remained discoloured.
First up they caught two nice flathead to 40 cm, but for most of the time, their snapper baits were stripped by pickers: So, out came the light tackle baited with pipi, and by dark they’d caught nine large whiting, the biggest measuring 44 cm.
During the northerly blow last week, Aaron Habgood fished in the shelter of the Queenscliff bight where they hit a patch of the very large squid that are often about at this time of year and took a respectable catch on baited jigs while fishing on the drift.
On Friday, Kevin McLoughlin, brother Jeremy and Ben Malouf, picked a break in the weather and took a run out to 30 metres of water off Barwon Heads. As it turned out they didn’t have long to wait before rods were bending to the tune of several large gummy sharks – of which they caught five, releasing all but one – and two good size snapper.
Anglers fishing for large tuna off Portland had more than rough and windy weather to contend with last week, with a pod of killer whales taking advantage of hooked fish for an easy meal in 35 metres of water off Cape Bridgewater.
Among those to lose at least some of their catch, was Geelong angler Jason Bliss who took several photos of the marauding Orcas as they zeroed in on his fish. However, Jason did manage to boat one tuna weighing 125 kg.
What’s happened to the beach at the Geelong Grammar School? It used to be a great place to fish, now you just sink into the mud.
Ollie, as someone who has fished this formerly excellent beach at various times since 1958, first as a teenager on a pushbike, and as recently as a few weeks ago, I have never seen the beach – or what remains of it – in such a parlous state. In fact I suffered an injury while walking from my vehicle to the jetty one occasion recently when I sank in the mud, fell over, and damaged my knee.
I don’t know if there is anything to be done about it: Those with whom I’ve discussed the situation are of the opinion that recent flooding in Hovells Creek has caused both the beach, and what had remained of the sand spit, to be virtually washed away. I can only say that there is a good deal of anecdotal and photographic evidence that this beach and the sand spit had survived intact from early settlement until comparatively recent times.
Blair Webb with his 62 cm brown trout from Lake Toolondo (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).
Jeremy McLoughlin with the big southern calamari he caught offshore on Sunday (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).
Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
On Friday morning, Andrew Johnson caught a squid or two for bait off Clifton Springs before heading toward the channel junction off Curlewis, but it was a silver whiting that took his first fish, a snapper of 7.5 kg.
Hi missed another good one immediately after that, but the snapper were on and he kept another of about half the size of his first, releasing the rest.
Andrew’s son Tim turned up later that afternoon to be part of the action, so he and his friend Michael Thompson headed out to much the same area, and – just on dark – Michael caught his best snapper to date, a nice fish of 7.2 kg.
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that despite rough and windy weather last week, the boat ramp was busy, and on Saturday, the car park was just about full. Mike also mentions that work on the proposed Clifton Springs fishing jetty is about to begin with the pile-driving barge scheduled to begin work on this structure next Monday.
Among those out from The Springs on Saturday afternoon was Brad Mitchell of the Geelong Anglers Club who fished on the drift for catch of flathead that included eight good ones to 45 cm. Brad followed that up with a bag limit catch of whiting close in off Curlewis using squid for bait.
Initially, his intenton was to head back out on evening for a snapper, but reflecting on how many fish he already had to clean, he left that mission for another day.
Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head, reports that Friday and Saturday provided good fishing for both clients and other members of the public. Squid and flathead were the main chance said Rod, but there were also some good catches of whiting taken off St Leonards.
Aaron Habgood was among those onto the whiting off St Leonards and Queenscliff; on one occasion with Rob Hargreaves, and on another with his brother James. Using softened squid for bait on the incoming tide, they each took their respective bag limit catches of whiting from 4 to 6 metres of water.
Jeremy McLoughlin with the gummy shark he caught offshore on Sunday (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).
Jeremy McLoughlin and Josh Lalic with a sample of their offshore catch on Sunday.
There weren’t too many fishing offshore on Sunday, in fact Kevin McLoughlin, his brother Jeremy, and Josh Lalic, might been the only contenders.
Making an early start off Torquay in a stiff northerly breeze, they were rewarded for their efforts with two good size gummy sharks, a snapper of about 4 kg and one very large southern calamari.
Aaron Habgood with a sample of the whiting that he and his crew have been catching off St Leonards and Queenscliff lately.
At the weekend, after hearing the drumbeats that golden perch were to be caught in the irrigation channels off the Campaspe River south of Elmore, Justin Burns and Simon Williamson took a run up that way for a look.
Putting in a late afternoon and evening session they took several golden perch to 56 cm casting Jackall lures.
Gone Fishing Day
Recognizing the huge economic and social benefits of fishing, the Victorian State Government has stated that it wants more people to go fishing more often, and next Sunday (16/10/16), is officially “Gone Fishing Day.”
In Geelong, this event is to be held at the Waterfront near the Carousel from 9.00 am till 3.00 pm and you won’t need a fishing licence. The event is supported by local fishing clubs, Fish Care Victoria, and the Volunteer Coast Guard. For more information ring Phil Belfage on 0417 327 652.
Geoff, what are the levels of Lake Tooliorook near Lismore, and Deep Lake near Derrinallum after the recent rain, and are these lakes stocked with trout?
Bob, after phoning various authorities without result, the good lady I spoke to at the Corangamite Shire Council provided contact details for Geoff Chapman, the caretaker at the Lake Tooliorook camping ground who was a goldmine of information.
Geoff told me that Lake Tooliorook is 85% full following recent rain and that an initial fish-stocking program involving 5000 rainbow and 5000 brown trout is presently underway. Geoff said, Deep Lake is 75% full and a similar program is underway there also. However, it may take some time for these waters to become fruitful for anglers.
Andrew Phillips and Keith Fry with their snapper catch on Friday,
Aaron Habgood with one of the gummy shark he caught offshore last week.
Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
After launching from Clifton Springs at around 3.00 pm on Friday afternoon, Keith Fry and Andrew Phillips anchored up in 8.5 metres of water off Point Wilson where they had their first snapper aboard within the hour.
Come nightfall, the rain started along with a stiffening breeze, but their persistence was rewarded with two more snapper, the biggest weighing 6.3 kg.
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that despite the inclement weather, Clifton Springs is still attracting anglers from afar: They included Suzi and Cathy Bentley from Western Australia who braved the elements for a respectable catch of flathead.
Snapper and squid are about as well, said Mike and among those to catch both was Andrew Johnson who picked up two snapper around the 3 kg mark off Point Richards on Friday, and then caught seven squid in short order before returning to the ramp.
After the Saturday’s Grand Final, Andrew’s sons Daniel and Tim, along with Brodie Bell, fished just north of the channel junction off Curlewis where they caught three snapper from 4 to 6.3 kg.
Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that intermittent fronts of rough weather and rain were the only obstacles to good fishing last week with squid, flathead and whiting all on offer.
As usual, Aaron Habgood was successful on the whiting in 5 metres of water off St Leonards last week taking yet another bag limit catch on the incoming tide: And – in an addition to that – Aaron also fished offshore in 45 metres of water outside Port Phillip Heads where he and a companion caught their respective bag limits of gummy shark from 10 to 13 kg using Australian Salmon and squid for bait.
Michael Evans with his 62 cm brown trout from Newlyn Reservoir.
Adam Simms with the 5.1 kg brown trout that he caught on the fly (Picture: Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park).
Michael Evans took a run out to Newlyn Reservoir, off the Midland Highway toward Daylesford last week, only to be disappointed by the discoloured water and the rate it was flowing over the spillway.
Never the less, it took only a few casts with a Nories Wasaby spoon to come up tight on a male brown trout that measured just over 62 cm.
Melbourne angler Blair Webb, along with fiancée Dani Renolds, fished Lake Toolondo with Trevor Holmes of Inland Fishing Charters last week. Redfin to 42 cm were a good start, but casting into the shallows toward dark, produced a 62 cm brown trout on Blair’s OSP bent minnow.
The following morning they visited Rocklands Reservoir where Blair’s fiancée Dani Reynolds caught a 40 cm (fork length) Australian Bass on a No 3 Stumpjumper.
Dani Reynolds with an Australian Bass from Rocklands Reservoir (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).
Seven year old Cooper Hotchin with a nice redfin from Lake Toolondo taken on a Rapala bibbed minnow (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters)..
Fishing Wurdiboluc Reservoir over the weekend, Justin Burns and Simon Williams used live minnow for bait, catching a dozen or so redfin to 800 grams. Simon also cast a lure or two, on one occasion being followed to the bank by a large brown trout that gracefully declined the offering.
Justin also fished Barwon River near the Moorabool Street Bridge on Sunday, only to find the water still fairly high, discoloured and flowing, but – using corn kernels and worms for bait – he took a mixed bag of carp, goldfish, redfin and eels.
John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park reports that the lake continues to produce both large brown trout and chinook salmon to anglers prepared to put in the effort; among them, fly fisherman Adam Simms who took a 5.1 kg brown trout while casting a “woolly bugger” near the quarry on the east side of the lake.
Chinook salmon have also been taken, said John, with the biggest of these weighing in at more than 4 kg: The most effective approach being to suspend a whitebait, sprat, or pilchard just above the bottom in the deeper water.
Jarrod Potter fished Rocklands Reservoir over the weekend and caught this Australian bass on a No 3 Stumpjumper (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).
Blair Webb with his 62 cm brown trout from Lake Toolondo (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).
Geoff, I can’t catch any fish because my bait keeps coming off: What can I do?
Ahmed, for securing small baits like mussels and pipis I suggest binding the bait to your hook with fine bait elastic like Ghost Cocoon, which will stay in place once broken off. Larger baits, like those used for snapper may be attached the same way, or for attaching really big baits, you can use small cable ties as I do.
Chris Stamalos with his snapper from Corio Bay.
George with a 7.3 kg snapper from Altona (Picture: Daniel Curmi).
Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
Strong north easterly winds did not stop Tony Hargreaves from launching at Clifton Springs early last week, first to catch some squid – which he managed without any difficulty – before heading down toward Point Henry for the evening high tide change: A good move as it turned out for at 5.50 pm his reel howled off heralding the capture of a 7.5 kg snapper, and of which Tony sent in a photo.
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that several snapper have been caught off The Springs and among those bag them was Paul Agterhuis who picked up a nice one of 6.1 kg using a pilchard for bait on Saturday.
Squid have been the main catch though, said Mike with Bruce Symonds coaching his granddaughter Hayley on in the art of dodging the ink expelled as these tasty cephalopods are brought aboard.
On Friday evening Kirt Brehan and Brodie Bell took snapper of 3 and 5 kg fishing the edge of the Steampacket Channel in calm conditions off Point Richards. The following day, Andrew Johnson encountered Kirt and his father Noel who suggested the three of them go out to the same area.
A good move as it turned out, for Kirt and Noel anyway, who caught fish of 6.2 and 5.3 kg, Andrew had every opportunity with three good runs, but with no return in the snapper department.
Paul Agterhuis with his 6.1 kg snapper (Picture: Mike Windsor).
Zane McCurdy with his and Aaron Habgood’s catch of whiting
On Sunday evening, Chris Stamalos and Kelvin Maclean fished near the channel junction off Curlewis, initially for a good catch of flathead and a couple of gummy shark, and at 10.30 pm, Chris added a 6.3 kg snapper to their bag.
Snapper seem to be widely distributed: On Wednesday evening, Daniel Curmi and his friend George took three snapper of 7.3, 6.5, and 4 kg. 4.0 kg. It was their first trip for the year and the fish were caught in only three metres of water off Altona.
Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that during the occasional good spells of weather we’ve had lately, clients have had no trouble catching squid with flathead a good second string to their bow.
Whiting have been good for some, with Steve O’Keefe and his son Finley picking up some nice ones off St Leonards on Saturday evening despite the fairly rough conditions. They also soaked a couple stem jigs baited with Australian salmon and mullet that accounted for several good size squid and a cuttlefish.
The following evening, Steve took his 13 year old daughter Tarni out to the same area where they had no trouble taking bag limit catches of good size whiting using the squid and cuttlefish Steve and Finley caught the previous evening, for bait.
Further south, off the Swan Island grass beds, Daniel Stranger had no trouble finding good size whiting for his clients aboard Gone Fishing Charters, and others caught them here as well: On Sunday evening, Aaron Habgood and Zane McCurdy also took bag limit catches of whiting in more or less the same area.
Aaron has covered a bit of ground lately, recently heading offshore from Portland where he, along with Terry Fulford, Anthony Saric and Nathan Lewis, caught two big tuna, the largest weighing in at 147 kg which would be the biggest fish recently weighed at Portland.
Mark Scholte, Luke Baldasso and Clinton Lesko were also successful last week with a 100 kg bluefin tuna, this time in 64 metres of water south of Lawrence Rock while trolling a green and black Bonze lure.
Ben Mumberson with a sample of the snapper he and two friends caught off West Beach Adelaide while on charter.
Aaron Pazsa and Andrew Farrugia with their tuna taken off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Ben Mumberson’s recent fishing charter trip out from West Beach Adelaide in calm conditions with two friends, began with the drama of a great white shark taking their first three snapper. After that, the shark, its hunger obviously satisfied, moved on, allowing them to each boat their bag limit catches, a total of 6 snapper, all over the 10 kg mark.
Luke Baldasso and Clinton Lesko with their tuna taken off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Aaron Habgood with his two tuna; 147 and 105 kg, taken off Portland early last week.
In a recent discussion, the point was raised that when using threadline reels (egg-beaters), right handed anglers should have the handle on the left side of the reel: Is that correct?
Kevin, threadline reels were initially developed for casting small metal lures, like Devons and spoons, on shallow streams for trout. Changing hands after the cast often allowed the lure to sink to the bottom and become snagged. For this reason, right-handed anglers – those at the top of their game anyway – cast with their right hand and wound with their left hand to retrieve the lure, and left-handed anglers, vice versa.
However, while this principle remains sound in the application of light tackle – whether that be lure fishing in streams for trout or in other forms of finesse fishing – there is probably no disadvantage in changing hands when using the larger threadline reels, particularly when bait-fishing.
Gummy chums: (Anticlockwise from left) Eli McCrae, Clint McCrae and Finn Shortman with a sample of their of their gummy shark catch.
Aaron Degroot with his tuna from Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson)
Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
Hugh Lofting’s fictional children’s book and movie character, Dr Dolittle, who talked to the animals, was by no means unique as Paul Raduka demonstrated before last week’s rain shut most fishing activity down,
A pelican dived on a bait Paul had cast out from the Grammar School Beach and became hooked by the bill. A tug of war could have been disastrous, but after several minutes of gently coaxing the pelican ashore, Paul was able to remove the hook and send the compliant bird on its way, an event witnessed by several bystanders.
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that after catching his share of squid, Corey Towers put out a sample for bait and hooked a gummy shark that he estimated at 15 kg. Unfortunately, it escaped beside the boat.
Doug O’Brien and Daniel Benson also took a good catch of squid off The Springs, but the shark they hooked was of the seven-gilled variety that has caused so much fuss lately. It was too big for the boat, said Doug, so they were more than happy to part ways.
Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that clients Ahmed and Andrew took a bag limit catch of whiting last week, and that squid are there for the taking: Keith Fry and Andrew Phillips took 17 of the tasty cephalopods off here on Sunday evening.
Mark Scholte with yet another big tuna from Portland (Picture: George Hemmings).
Amy Jobson and Robert Adamo with their bluefin tuna off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).
On Saturday, Clint and Eli McCrae and Finn Shortman, headed out through Port Phillip Heads aboard Gone Fishing Charters with Daniel Stranger. Their initial drop in 27 metres of water produced the first of five good size gummy shark along with several pinkie snapper and squid; all being caught on the heads and leftovers of a salmon catch by fellow column contributor Aaron Habgood.
Fishing down past Anglesea at the weekend, Kevin McLoughlin and Brian Nolan also put out some generous baits of squid and mackerel, and they too were well rewarded with gummy shark from 12 to 16 kg, and a school shark of 20 kg.
Simon Werner and Rod Butcher fished Wurdiboluc Reservoir again on Sunday afternoon where newly released rainbow trout are still a nuisance, taking any bait presented; but they did catch a nice rainbow trout of 1.3 kg on a mudeye.
Mark Stewart with his 100.4 kg tuna.
George Lirantzis with his 130.8 kg tuna from Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Fishing off Portland in the rain on Saturday were Geelong anglers Mark Scholte and George Hemmings who were hoping for yet another big tuna. However, the curtain of rain was an impediment to sighting surface activity; a sure give away to feeding fish.
Never the less, with encouragement from a heads-up on the sounder they persisted, and – at 3.00 pm, and more or less on the tide change – Mark hooked up to a purler from 77 metres of water that Portland contributor Bob McPherson weighed ashore at 125 kg.
Another Geelong angler, Mark Stewart, picked up a lively fish of 100.4 kg on Monday morning which kept him busy for three hours. Unable to get aboard by himself he was assisted by a nearby crew with that final step.
Richard Abela and his crew took another run offshore from Portland early last week, and – as they seem to do regularly – found the tuna off Cape Bridgewater where it was George Lirantzis’ turn in the hot seat with a tuna of 130.8 kg. A second, similar size fish was released. Naturally, others caught them as well, too many to mention in fact as this run of fabulous fish continues.
Geoff, we went for tuna off Portland recently and lost the only strike we had when the whole wind-on leader and lure disappeared off the line, even though we were only on strike drag: So what could have happened?
Marco, while the standard connecting splice on a wind-on leader has good tensile strength, it is vulnerable to compression, and compression can occur in spades should a hooked fish that is taking line, cause the lure to slide back up to the connecting splice and be struck by another fish. And, as you can imagine, the impact of two big fish going in opposite directions, can easily generate enough compression to disconnect the leader.
The safest approach is to have your lures rigged on shorter traces, say two metres, with a swivel attachment to the wind-on leader. This limits the distance that the lure can travel, keeping it well clear of the leader splice.
Double barrel: Nick Lazarevski and his 10 year old son Daniel who caught a potential sub junior, world record bluefin tuna of 116.4 kg and for which a claim has been submitted.
Big Red: Edly Rose with his 9.5 kg snapper.
With several photos of snapper being provided lately, it’s clear that rising water temperatures have livened things up on the Bay. The largest fish portrayed weighed 9.5 kg and was caught by Edly Rose who wouldn’t divulge the location of his catch, but as we all know, there are, or shortly will be, enough to go around.
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that among those to catch snapper off Clifton Springs last week was Kirt Behan whose biggest fish weighed 5.5 kg. However, flathead and squid still remain the main chance.
Andrew Johnson fished with Brodie Bell, formerly of Ararat, off The Springs on Saturday where they had no trouble taking bag limit catches of squid on the drift: And on Sunday, Brodie fished with his brother Aiden off St Leonards where they caught 30 whiting, their biggest fish measuring 44 cm.
A good result certainly, but with snapper on the radar, Brodie, along with his father Dennis this time, headed out to one of Andrew’s “never fail” spots near the Wilson Spit where Dennis did indeed catch his first snapper, and which – by all estimates – would have been about 4 kg. They would have stayed out longer, but the wind came up after dark so they did the sensible thing and came back in.
Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that squid are plentiful and there are some good ones among them.
Among those to take bag limit catches off Indented Head were Jason Treloar and Tony Ingram, who took advantage of Wednesday’s calm weather to drift along with the tide taking squid, large and small on any, and all of the jigs they tried.
Making an early start on Corio Bay on Wednesday, Tom Robinson and Keith Berry were hoping to catch a snapper or two, but even after finding some promising signals on their sounder they had no takers. However, with surface activity nearby, they settled for Australian salmon to a kilogram which were willing to take any lure presented.
Simon Werner, who – along with son Jayden and friend Rod Butcher – fished Wurdiboluc Reservoir at the weekend, reports that the water level has risen dramatically over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, despite the improved conditions, they were plagued with newly released rainbow trout that devastated their supply of mudeyes, but they did catch a couple of larger specimens that would have weighed a kilogram or so.
Matthew and Phil Britten with a 95.1 kg tuna that took a Rapala X-Rap.
Joe De Bono and Simon Micallef with their 117 kg bluefin tuna that was taken offshore from Cape Bridgewater.
Down Portland way, Bob McPherson reports that the recent capture of a 116.4 kg bluefin tuna by 10 year old Daniel Lazarevski, which has been submitted for a sub-junior (small fry) world record claim, was found to be carrying two CSIRO tags.
The information from those tags has now revealed that this tuna was tagged in the Great Australian Bight in early 1991 as a 73 cm juvenile. So, not only was this fish an absolutely remarkable capture for a 10 year old, it now represents a CSIRO record for the length of time that a re-captured bluefin tuna has remained at liberty after being tagged. This indicates that bluefin tuna in the 100 kg range, like those presently being taken off Portland, could be approaching 30 years of age.
Geoff, is there anywhere that you would have a reasonable chance of catching a decent snapper land-based near Geelong at this time of year?
Conrad, snapper have been taken from the Geelong Waterfront recently: even from Cunningham Pier. One or two have been taken during the day, but fishing during the late evening or the early morning is usually best.
The rocks below The Esplanade at North Shore are also worth a try, particularly from the structure alongside Lascelles Wharf, an initiative of the North Shore Residents Association, and which – unlike most of that section of shoreline only being accessible at low tide – provides access throughout the tide cycle.
One aspect of land based snapper fishing of which you should be aware, is that snapper move in very close to shore during an onshore blow, and remain in such locations while the water remains discoloured. In these conditions, large snapper may be caught during daylight hours.
Aaron Habgood with yet another great catch of whiting off Queenscliff.
Tim Johnson with his 7.5 kg snapper from Corio Bay (Picture: Daniel Johnson).
Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
Setting out from Clifton Springs on Sunday, Tim and Daniel Johnson, and Callum Olsen, anchored just north of the channel junction off Curlewis where they baited up with pilchards hoping for a snapper.
Callum hooked a seven gilled shark which was cut free near the boat, but then – just as the tide began coming in at around 11.30 am – Tim’s reel sounded the alarm, heralding the capture of a 7.5 kg snapper.
Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that flathead and squid are still the main catch, but whiting are about as well with clients picking up some nice ones from 8 to 10 metres of water along the edge of the Prince George Bank.
Speaking of whiting, Aaron Habgood and a companion took no prisoners in 6.5 metres of water off the Swan Island grass beds late last week, both returning to Queenscliff with bag limit catches using squid strips for bait.
On Sunday morning, Andrew Phillips and Keith Fry, who were fishing off St Leonards, were both on the verge of their respective bag limits of squid, when Keith realized he was running late for the meal being provided by his progeny on Father’s day, so – with 17 good ones in the fish box – they headed back to the ramp.
Eric Box with his 2.3 kg brown trout from Konongwootong Reservoir (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).
Brian Nolan and Kevin McLoughlin with their 114.5 kg tuna taken offshore from Portland.
John Lennon of the Lake Purrumbete caravan park, reports that the lake has produced some nice fish lately:
At around 6.00 pm one night early last week, Travis Beal headed out onto the north side of Lake Purrumbete in his Kayak armed with a supply of bullhead gudgeon for bait that he fished beneath a float. A good move as it turned out for he caught two brown trout; one of 3.8 kg and another of 4.4 kg before returning at around 10.00 pm.
Lake Purrumbete has also produced some respectable chinook salmon as well: Last week, Ivan Radin picked up a beauty of 4.6 kg on a glassie (sandy sprat) suspended just above the bottom in 9 metres of water. Les Broughton was also successful, catching another good size chinook salmon with the same approach.
Trevor Holmes of Victorian Fishing Charters, and Eric Box, headed off to Konongwootong Reservoir near Coleraine last week where the pair fished land based from the lake wall.
Eric, who is no slouch at catching trout despite being 85 years of age, caught a lovely 2.3 kg male brown trout on a mudeye fished on a bubble float rig.
Wurdiboluc reservoir has been a tough nut to crack for most of those fishing here lately, but over the weekend, Michael Evans caught yet another good size redfin from here that measured 47cm and weighed 1.65kg. The lure used was an Ecogear 3” powershad soft plastic.
Alex Guida, John Haddad and Pat Riggerpastore with their double barrel from Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Alex Guida and John Haddad with another 120 kg tuna from Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Bob McPherson reports that barrel size tuna are still being caught off Portland with 70 metres of water off Cape Bridgewater being the hottest area.
While the list of successful anglers is far too long for inclusion, Geelong anglers Kevin McLoughlin and Brian Nolan bagged a beauty of 114.5 kg on 15 kg tackle over the weekend. Kevin had the fish to the boat in two hours, and with Brian’s firm grip on the leader, it was game over: And that is saying something considering some heavy tackle encounters have lasted a good deal longer than that.
Steve Raskatos and Dean Oakley with their 98.6 kg tuna (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Zane Ferrugie with his 99 kg tuna (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Geoff, are the tides getting higher in the bay or is it just my imagination?
Ollie, you are not alone in making that observation: I retrieved my 2007 tide chart to discover that the highest tide predicted for Port Phillip Heads in September of that year was 1.58 metres at 2.10 am on 30/09/07, and there were 12 tides predicted to fall below 0.20 metres, the lowest being 0.00 metres at 7.58 pm, again on 30/09/07.
Tidal predictions for 2016 list September 21, 22, and 23 as three dates when high tides will reach 1.7 metres, and there are no predictions for any tides to fall below 0.20 metres. So yes, on the basis of that, and the other monthly comparisons I made using my charts, the tidal heights at Port Phillip Heads would seem to have risen appreciably since 2007.
Should all of these tidal predictions originate from the same data, thus validating my comparison – something that a serious examination would verify – then the 2008/09 channel deepening project, during which the Nepean Bank was decimated by the “Queen of the Netherlands” and the ongoing erosion this monstrous ecological vandalism has set in progress, poses a grim warning against any such projects in the future.
Brian Nolan with the big gummy shark that he tagged and released off Black Rock last week (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).
Aaron Habgood with Sunday’s catch of whiting off Queenscliff.
Launching off Torquay last Tuesday night, Kevin McLoughlin, Brian Nolan and Paul Carson headed over to Black Rock where they anchored up in 30 meters of water and put four baits out.
By sundown, they had their first gummy shark aboard which was photographed and released, but their next fish escaped in a tangle of lines. Baiting up with a whiting head heralded an engagement with their final fish; a monster gummy shark of at least 25 kg that was photographed before being tagged and released following a dogged fight.
Robert Adamo and Amy Jobson with their 82 kg tuna (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Damian Spokes, Matthew Hillman and Craig Boam with their 124.6 kg tuna. (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
With water temperatures beginning to rise, flathead and snapper are both on the move in Corio Bay’s inner and outer harbours:
On Friday morning, Andrew Johnson and Tony Mollenhauer launched at Clifton Springs hoping to catch a snapper. They first tried the west side of the Wilson Spit where Andrew’s son Tim had recently dropped a good fish, but they had no luck there and moved south to the channel junction off Curlewis where they also drew a blank.
However, it was their next move, which took them closer to Point Henry, where at 12.10 pm; they eventually put a 7.5 kg snapper, which took a pilchard, into the fish box.
Flathead are about and Dean Campbell reports catching couple of nice ones from St Helens. He also sent in a picture of his friend Matt McCarthy with yet another good size specimen from here.
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that Mark Ness picked up some nice flathead on Friday, as did Charlie and Justin Schembri from Ballarat who finished up just shy of their respective bag limits.
Squid too have been going well said Mike, with Simon Werner and Jake Callahan taking bag limit catches in four metres of water off The Springs on Sunday; their biggest was over a kilogram with a several others half that size.
Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head also reports that squid and flathead – some of the latter up to 45 cm – have been the main catch of late with a few whiting coming in from the deeper marks along the edge of the Prince George Bank.
Speaking of whiting, Aaron Habgood was out off Queenscliff again on Sunday, and as usual, picked up a respectable bag of fish from 38 to 48 cm using pipis and squid for bait. These were taken in six metres of water off the Swan Island grass beds during the evening flood tide.
Jim Robinson with one of the chinook salmon he caught from Lake Purrumbete; it weighed 4.2 kg.
John Lennon of the Lake Purrumbete caravan park, reports that the lake has produced some nice fish lately:
On Sunday evening at around 6.00 pm, Travis Beal headed out onto the north side of Lake Purrumbete in his Kayak armed with a supply of bullhead gudgeon for bait which he fished beneath a float. A good move as it turned out for he caught two brown trout, one of 3.8 kg and another of 4.4 kg before returning at around 10.00 pm.
Lake Purrumbete has also produced some respectable chinook salmon as well. Jim Robinson of the Bellarine Light Game and Sportfishing Club has caught some beauties, including one of 4.2 kg and of which he sent me a photo.
Eildon ANSA Convention
Geelong’s Bellarine Light Game and Sportfishing Club prevailed in both the senior teams event (282.2 points), and junior teams event (161.3 points) at the ANSA convention at Eildon at the weekend. Winning senior male was Clinton Aydon of Otway Sportfishing Club with 154.54 points and senior female winner was Libby Gibson of Bellarine. Junior male winner was George King of Drysdale Sportfishing Club with 75.55 points and Junior female winner was Ellie Gibson of Bellarine with 107.85 points. Both sub junior male winner Anthony DiSanto, with 80 points, and sub junior female, Teresa DiSanto with 91.65 points were from Southern Boat Fishing Club.
Heaviest carp, 1.87 kg, was taken by Emily Whitford, heaviest golden perch, 1.4 kg, was taken by Clintom Aydon, heaviest brown trout, 2.0 kg was taken by Paul Magnay, and the heaviest rainbow trout, 2.1 kg, was taken by Evan Koka.
Fishing Bancoora Beach on Saturday evening’s high tide, Tony Ingram caught several salmon better than a kilogram using both lures and cut pilchards for bait toward dark.
Staying on into the night, he sacrificed one of his salmon for bait, hoping to catch a gummy shark or perhaps a mulloway. He had no luck there unfortunately, catching only a skate and a draughtboard shark for his trouble.
Team effort: (clockwise) Richard Abela, Kevin Debono, Jason Tedesco, Nick and Daniel Lazarevski with one of the large tuna they caught west of Cape Bridgewater last week (Picture: Chris Hall).
Darren Brosnan caught this butterfly mackerel off Portland: It weighed 37.8 kg last week.
Down Portland way, Bob McPherson reports that barrel size tuna are still present offshore. Among those to catch them last week were Richard Abela, Kevin Debono, Jason Tedesco and Nick Lazarevski, who – aboard “Dreamcatcher 11” – caught two of 132 and 117 kg: These were taken on Thursday in 50 metres of water to the west of Cape Bridgewater.
Fishing offshore from Portland regularly produces a surprise or two, in this case for Darren Brosnan who caught a butterfly mackerel that weighed 37.8 kg last week.
Michael Purcell with his 90.2 kg tuna taken off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Peter Kiploks with his 104.5 kg tuna (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Geoff, the current Victorian Government’s Recreation Fishing Guide gives the following bag/possession limits for: Mullet 40, King George whiting 20, Australian salmon 20. So if l were to go fishing by myself and caught 40 mullet, 20 king George whiting and 20 salmon, which is a total of 80 fish, would it be legal to take this catch home?
Steve, I have no accreditation to answer questions on fishing regulations, and Googling “Victorian Fisheries Bag Limits” for an answer was confusing. However, the site provided a recommendation to call 136 186 for clarification on this issue.” I did that, and was put through to Melanie Curtis “Regional Media and Communications Manager,” who – in due course – obtained the following answer to your question from an un-named spokesperson for Fisheries Victoria and who forwarded it to both you and me:
“Thanks for your question regarding bag and possession limits for fish species in Victoria. Each of the limits set apply to individual species of fish. Therefore yes, you may retain the bag limit for more than one species.”
Lucky Strike: The columnist with his snapper.
Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
Since last week’s report of James McCall’s snapper from Cunningham Pier, others have been taken from the Geelong Waterfront and elsewhere.
The largest I know of weighed 8.75 kg and was taken by Stuart Scott while fishing from his boat near Cunningham Pier at around nine o’clock on Saturday night. The bait used was a strip of mantle taken from a squid he’d caught that afternoon.
I caught a nice snapper myself, but just prior to that happy event which occurred just after dark, I was on the receiving end of numerous bites from an angry, and noisily protesting seagull that had managed to entangle itself in the ultra fine – and almost invisible – gelspun line that I had just bought. Fortunately, with no harm done to me, the bird, or my line, the separation was made.
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that squid are in good numbers off The Springs. Among those to catch them on Monday was Brad Stephenson while Jake Musson caught his on Friday.
Daniel Johnson and Kieran Anderson also tried for squid off Curlewis on Monday afternoon, keeping a dozen or so for bait and the table. With fresh bait, they headed out off Swan Bay the following evening, hoping for a gummy shark or two, but only caught one before worsening weather saw them beat a hasty retreat.
Jeremy McLoughlin with his two whiting from 40 metres of water off Torquay (Photo: Kevin McLoughlin).
Anchored up in 40 metres of water off Torquay at the weekend, were Kevin and Jeremy McLoughlin. They were also hoping for a gummy shark or two, but things were a bit slow in that department, but Jeremy – who was fishing with small strips of squid on the bottom – bagged two beautiful whiting, each well over the 40 cm mark.
Lake Bullen Merri is still producing good size chinook salmon, as Tom Robinson and
Keith Berry could attest after catching several to 3.5 kg while suspending pilchard fillets and whitebait just above the bottom:
“Once your sinker touches the bottom” said Tom, “you need to raise it a metre or so before putting your rod in a holder and waiting for a bite – which may be barely noticeable – before striking”.
I’ve had enquiries about land based fishing for chinook salmon at Bullen Merri, but the only place I’ve known them to be caught land based was from Hoses Rocks at nearby Lake Purrumbete. Any further information on this subject would be appreciated.
Chris Woolley with the 114 kg tuna that he caught offshore from Cape Bridgewater (Photo: Bob McPherson).
Jason Cormio with his 81 kg tuna.
Down Portland way, Bob McPherson reports that large tuna are still on the prowl around Cape Bridgewater: Successful anglers include Jason Cormio who, on Wednesday, picked one up of 81 kg from 70 metres of water off Bridgewater Bay; Chris Woolley caught another of 114.8 kg in 100 metres of water off Cape Bridgewater on Sunday.
Bob also reminds land based anglers that rough onshore weather at this time of year has consistently heralded the capture of big snapper from the Lee breakwater, and – with strong winds currently from the northerly quarter – prospects are good.
Geoff, with snapper being caught from Cunningham Pier, as described in your column of last week, I recall that in my younger days we caught snapper from the rock wall between Cunningham Pier and Lewmarine: Would it still be worth fishing there?
John, things do change: Where you could once park along the Foreshore Reserve above the rock wall of which you speak, for free, you are now required to pay $2.70 an hour for that privilege: That’s except on weekends and public holidays of course, when you are likely to be mowed down by power-walkers with eyes affixed to the horizon and not where your rods and other fishing tackle might be.
In addition to that, the area where you, and I, were able to drive our sand spikes into the ground is now paved over, as I discovered on Saturday week when down that way taking the picture for last week’s column. However, you could drive your sand spikes into the manicured turf behind the paved pathway so folk could pass under your lines, but I fear our city fathers (or their female equivalents), may frown on that.
James McCall and Eddie Szmidel with the 7.7 kg snapper they caught from Cunningham Pier on Saturday morning.
James McCall with the 7.7 kg snapper that he caught from Cunningham Pier.
Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
On Saturday morning, James McCall and Eddie Szmidel fished from Cunningham pier as many do, hoping for at least, a flathead or two.
Their lines were out by 8.30, but it was almost an hour before they got a bite: This was clearly no flathead though; it was in fact a good size snapper that James led down the to the rock wall where Eddie was waiting with the landing net. From there it greeted the scales for a verdict of 7.7 kg.
With a break in the weather last week, Harley Griffiths and Stanley Owen launched at St Helens, searching for the Australian salmon that have provided such great fishing lately.
The school of fish they eventually found, between Eastern Beach and Limeburners Point, were smaller than some they’d caught previously, but around the 500 to 700 gram mark, they provided great sport on light tackle and 10 gram Lazers.
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that squid are still about in good numbers and that Matt Bull and Michael Evans took a respectable bag of fourteen about half way out to the channel from the boat ramp: Others caught them as well.
Daniel Stranger reports that his clients aboard “Gone Fishing Charters” were rewarded over the weekend with great catches of good size whiting from 6 metres of water out off the Swan Island grass beds. Most of the action was on the ebb tide, with pipis and small strips of squid the stand-out baits.
Gummy shark have also been very much on the menu said Daniel, with fish being taken both inside and outside of Port Phillip Heads. However, the biggest of all have come from the deeper channels that cut through the Great Southern Sand, and caught by those prepared to weather the large number of unwanted species that soon zero in on any good size bait.
Snapper are offshore as well, but sometimes it can be hard to find the bigger ones. Not for Jason Fairbridge though who picked up a beauty measuring 90 cm in 38 metres of water off Black Rock, but at only 7.7 kg it might have been a bit on the lean side.
Surf fishing enthusiast Tony Ingram took advantage of last week’s evening high tides to catch a number of good size Australian salmon to just on 1.5 kg from Bancoora Beach. Using cut pilchards for bait, then 40 gram Lazers, proved to be an exercise that revealed no difference in their eagerness to take either.
Early last week, Tom Robinson and Keith Berry spent Wednesday afternoon fishing West Barwon Dam near the Township of Forrest.
Although the water levels have risen, they still remain quite low and drifting weed – probably uprooted by recent high winds – created difficulties, especially when retrieving lures. Never the less, using mudeyes for bait, and casting various soft plastics, they caught a brown trout of almost 2 kg, several smaller rainbows, and two redfin.
Joel Buso with his big tuna taken off Cape Bridgewater (Photo Mark Scholte).
A pigmy sperm whale grounded at Portland. Inset: Dorsal fin – resembling a pointed finger – being one diagnostic feature in separating the pigmy sperm whale from the dwarf sperm whale. Photo Bob McPherson).
With rough weather early last week there weren’t too many fishing out off Portland, but Mark Scholte and Joel Buso made an early start, and at 8.30 am – in 45 metres of water off Cape Bridgewater – they hooked up on one of the lures they were trolling, and it soon became obvious that this was a barrel.
Eventually subduing their tuna in the rough sea conditions, they headed back to Portland where it greeted the scales for a verdict of 101 kg.
Geoff, you have recently mentioned large tuna being caught close in off Cape Bridgewater. Would you consider this area to be a possible land based game fishing spot?
James, theoretically yes, it could be. Unfortunately though, there are few – if any – easily fishable rock ledges comparable to; say Green Cape in southern NSW. Although Cape Bridgewater provides deep water access, landing any big fish from Cape Bridgewater’s rough terrain would be very difficult.
However, there are several lower ledges where landing a good size fish may be possible in calm weather, but calm weather here is not the rule: So, in the interests of personal safety, I suggest being very cautious about attempting to fish from here.
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