Geoff’s Fishing Report

Jai Nolan with the 17 kg gummy shark off Torquay (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Jai Nolan with the 17 kg gummy shark off Torquay (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Offshore

Taking a run offshore from Torquay over the weekend, Kevin McLoughlin, along with Brian and Chris Nolan, and Jai Nolan 8, were not sure about Jai’s eagerness to grab a rod that had just sprung to life with a good fish on.

Amway, with a bit of coaching, and willingness to help the lad through the heavy lifting, a large gummy shark, that eventually weighed 17 kg, was brought alongside.

Trevor Muller with his brown trout from Lake Toolondo (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Trevor Muller with his brown trout from Lake Toolondo (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Freshwater

Trevor Holmes of Victorian Inland Charters reports that although fishing has been a bit slow on Lake Toolondo, clients have returned with several good size redfin and brown trout.

Among them, Trevor Muller of Horsham’s Webbcon Marine, whose catch included a 60 cm brown trout on an OSP Bent Minnow, and four redfin to 37 cm that fell to the Daiwa Double Clutch and Ima Flit lures.

Trevor also took out his nephew Shaun McDonald who caught a 57 cm brown trout from the shallows just on evening: They’d previously caught nine redfin to 42 cm trolling lures.

Currently, water levels at Toolondo are 30% and rising, which augurs well for the recent release of 7000 brown and 1700 rainbow trout that should, in due course, sustain good fishing.

John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Holiday Camp, reports that Stan Rae of Norlane picked up a nice brown trout of 1.4 kg on a mudeye fished beneath a float, but redfin are still the main catch; James Reed of the Altona Red Shed taking the biggest of many at 1.3 kg using scrubworms for bait.

John also reports fishing Lake Bullen Merri, catching both chinook salmon and rainbow trout to 1.5 kg trolling Tassie Devils, while Ken Carmen continues to take his share from the bank casting Fish Arrow soft plastics.

Shaun McDonald with his brown trout from Lake Toolondo (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Shaun McDonald with his brown trout from Lake Toolondo (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

On Friday, Andrew Johnson and Dennis O’Brien headed down to Curlewis on a mark that had previously produced good catches of whiting, but at first there wasn’t much doing; their only reward being small but legal size fish that they released.

That all changed around 3.00pm when they caught the first of a dozen much bigger fish to 43 cm while using a cocktail of pipis and squid for bait. The bite continued for another two hours or so until low slack water before shutting down at around 5.00 pm.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire reports that while wintry weather has had an effect on the number of folk fishing, for those who are getting out there are still squid to be caught, along with any amount of flathead ranging in size from the usual 30-35 cm run of fish out in the deeper water to an occasional bigger fish closer in.

And, with time on his hands, Rod has spent some time strolling on the Portarlington Breakwater, which continues to produce a variety of fish for land based anglers; among them Bruce Carr who has taken snapper to 40 cm from here over the past week.


Portland

Bob McPherson reports that small bluefin tuna are still the offshore attraction at Portland with charter boats taking most fish in the choppy seas.

Bob also mentions that the Lee Breakwater, a favourite haunt for land based fishers heading down that way, is being closed from July 24 until August 04 while various improvements, including a larger turning circle at the end, are to be implemented.


Laurie asks

Geoff, I was interested to hear of luderick being caught in the Barwon estuary last week, is that a rare occurrence or are they worth fishing for?

Laurie, I fished for luderick in the Sheepwash from the late 1970s through the 80s: That being after keen angler and foreshore caravan park caretaker at the time, the late Don Everett, gave me the drumbeats on that fishery; and – when using fresh, but never frozen, abalone gut or live sandworm ­– I rarely missed out, occasionally catching fish to 2 kg.

All of mine were caught from a dinghy in around 3 metres of water while bottom fishing, and mainly during winter. Others have caught them land based – notably after accessing the bank opposite, and just downstream from, the bottom of Sheepwash Road – while using fine green weed for bait, suspended under a weighted “blackfish” float.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Red alert: Eleven year old Jordan with his 6.5 kg snapper from Corio Bay.

Red alert: Eleven year old Jordan with his 6.5 kg snapper from Corio Bay.

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Danny Morgan, whom we see little of these days with work commitments at King Island, was a renowned Corio Bay snapper fisherman, and his son Jordan, who’d just turned eleven, wanted to catch one himself; so they gave it a try off Western Beach.

All was quiet for a start, but approaching 5.00 pm, the lad’s rod buckled over to the growl of the reel and he was on; and – with a little coaching from Dad – it wasn’t long before he had a 6.5 kg snapper aboard.

Anthony D’Agostino with the brown trout he caught from Lake Bullen Merri and then released (Picture: Tony D’Agostino).

Anthony D’Agostino with the brown trout he caught from Lake Bullen Merri and then released (Picture: Tony D’Agostino).


Freshwater

Members of the Geelong and District Angler’s Club recently fished the Victorian Piscatorial Council Competition at Lake Bolac for a total of 26 rainbow trout, the biggest, a fish of 1.52 kg, was taken by junior member Thomas Coleman. Andrew Coleman took out the men’s section with a 5 kg bag of fish.

Lauren Chapman took the heaviest ladies bag of fish at 2.6 kg, and said that most were caught from the rocks adjacent to the South Beach boat ramp using running sinker rigs baited with Berkley Powerbait.

John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that there are still trophy size brown trout to be caught from the lake, something Anthony D’Agostino demonstrated over the weekend with a 4.5 kg beauty that he caught on a Tassie Devil.

The Lake Purrumbete Angling Club held a redfin competition on the lake at the weekend, the biggest, a fish of 1.2, was taken by Brian Nygaard.

John also mentions thatLake Bullen Merri is still producing chinook salmon and rainbow trout to 1.5 kg, both for land based anglers like Ken Carmen of Camperdown, who has been catching them from the bank with soft plastics, and for those fishing from boats.

And as those who fish Lake Bullen Merri know, the closure of the road around the Lake has been a bone of contention for some time now. Russell Pickett of the Lake Bullen Merri Angling Club advises that the club is holding a public meeting at 10.00am on Sunday 30/07/17, seeking a resolution to this issue, hopefully, with the media present.

A rainbow trout from Lake Bolac (Picture: Lauren Chapman).

A rainbow trout from Lake Bolac (Picture: Lauren Chapman).

Surf

Fishing the late afternoon high tides at Jan Juc over the weekend, surf fishing enthusiast Tony Ingram caught several Australian salmon to a kilogram or so, both on cut pilchards and surf poppers.

He also sacrificed one of his salmon for bait, hoping to catch a mulloway – several of which have been caught from local beaches recently – but his only reward was a skate, and couple of draughtboard sharks before the cold weather persuaded his retreat.

Barwon estuary

After acquiring a good supply of sandworm last week, Derrick Hargreaves and Ben Dallimore launched from the Sheepwash to fish the incoming tide, hopeful of catching a bream or two.

They had no luck there, and with toadies and other small fish threatening their bait supply, it looked like a wasted trip. However, just as the tide slackened off on dark, one of their rods wrapped over heralding a tussle, not with a bream as they expected, but with a luderick of about 1.5 kg. And not a loner as it turned out, for they caught another of about the same size a few minutes later.

Comparing their catch at the boat ramp that evening, another angler had a mulloway of about 6 kg that was caught on a mullet.

Cal asks:

We are trying to find a good spot to take the kids fishing; would Cunningham Pier be the best place?

Cal, Cunningham Pier has no safety barriers and it’s fairly high off the water, so you might be better off fishing from Griffin’s Gully jetty off the Esplanade at Western Beach, which you can park alongside.

The Sheepwash at Barwon Heads is also worth a try, particularly during the first three hours of the incoming tide when mullet and a variety of other fish may be caught. Any of the three jetties between the bottom of Sheepwash Road and the Sheepwash boat ramp should be worth a try during the late afternoons and evenings of this week.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Marcus Pearson with a gummy shark he caught off Torquay.

Marcus Pearson with a gummy shark he caught off Torquay.

Offshore

With reasonable weather, anglers fishing offshore have taken some good size gummy shark of late with 20 to 30 metres of water a good place to begin looking. Among those to do well were Kevin McLoughlin and Marcus Pearson who caught and released one approaching 18 kg off Torquay on Friday evening.

Freshwater

John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that some big fish have been hooked by anglers fishing the lake, but – as is often the case – few were landed.

Among those weighed in was a rainbow trout of 4.5 kg that was caught by a Camperdown angler on a lure, while Andrew Robinson caught several brown trout to 1.5 kg, also on lures.

Also, redfin continue to be caught from the lake in good numbers, said John, with Stan Rea and Josh Fraser from Norlane, taking another good catch over the weekend

Lake Bullen Merri continues to produce both chinook salmon and rainbow trout to a kilogram, both to anglers fishing from boats, and anglers fishing from the bank; the latter including Steven Hill from Camperdown who’s done well using soft plastics.

A 2.3 kg Australian Bass taken from Lake Bullen Merri by Michael Craig was something of a surprise, but there are a good many in the lake, especially in the area of Potters Point, but few anglers seem to fish for them.

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

With cold weather and patchy fishing, comparatively few folk have been on the water. However on Thursday, Tom Robinson and Keith Berry, who were trying for squid off Curlewis, with limited success, spied a patch of surface activity, almost certainly betraying a school of salmon feeding on baitfish at the surface.

Initially trolling lures, strikes weren’t long in coming, with salmon to a kilogram or so fish to kilogram or so soon flapping on the boats floor. From then on, cast and retrieve proved just as effective for the duration f their encounter.

A migration of spider crabs into Port Phillip Bay this year, an event associated with them moulting their shells, have now turned up in Corio Bay. Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that no bait on the bottom is safe from the crabs in the outer harbour, and this has had an impact on fishing.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire reports that while whiting are scarce, flathead and squid are still on offer, with few anglers missing out.

On Saturday morning Jason Treloar and Harley Griffiths fished the grass beds off Swan Island hoping for a whiting or two on the rising tide. They had no luck there, but they did catch several squid including one over the kilogram mark.

With the wind picking up against the tide, they decided to head back to the Queenscliff boat harbour, hopeful of catching a silver trevally or two. They had no luck there either, but they did catch a number of small but legal size salmon and several large mullet.

Small bluefin tuna are putting smiles on the faces of charter boat clients (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Small bluefin tuna are putting smiles on the faces of charter boat clients (Picture: Bob McPherson).


Portland

Down Portland way, Bob McPherson reports that small southern bluefin tuna have been the main catch with fish being taken from 30-40 metres of water south west of Lawrence Rock. Although these have only been around the 10 kg mark, they’ve attracted a good many anglers from far and wide.

Ahmed Asks:

Geoff, how do you know at what tension to set the drag on your reel?

I’ve heard it should be one third the breaking strain of your line, is that right?

Ahmed, drag settings based on a proportion of the line’s breaking apply to designated I.G.F.A. line class tackle, details of which – along with used and unused samples – need to be submitted when claiming a record for any specific line class. However, you first need to belong to a club affiliated with I.G.F.A. to make such a claim.

On the other hand, should you be using non-designated tackle as most of us do, you can easily determine your appropriate drag setting by putting your rod in a holder, with the line from your reel threaded through the guides, and attached to a spring balance.

You will need an assistant to monitor the scales, while loading the rod up to the point where it becomes obvious that the drag should be yielding line. The reading from the scales at that point indicates your primary drag setting.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Big gumbo: Aaron Habgood of Reds Fishing Adventures with a 30 kg gummy shark that he caught offshore from Port Phillip Heads (Picture: Reds Fishing Adventures).

Big gumbo: Aaron Habgood of Reds Fishing Adventures with a 30 kg gummy shark that he caught offshore from Port Phillip Heads (Picture: Reds Fishing Adventures).


Offshore

With the previous weeks’ heavy swells gone, Aaron Habgood of Reds Fishing Adventures was quick to take advantage. And as usual, soon found a good patch of gummy shark off Port Phillip Heads in 24 metres of water, from which he caught three at an estimated 16, 22, and 30 kg; two of which he released.


Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that flathead are still being caught in good numbers with Darren, Lachie and Brody Kelly, along with Kayden Dower, taking around 30 of these, and a gummy shark, while fishing out near the mussel farm.

Squid are still about as well, said Mike, with a good sample being taken by Craig Goodison just out from The Dell. However, whiting have been scarce, as Andrew Johnson can attest after only catching one good fish of 42 cm on Saturday.

Interestingly, Andrew was soon surrounded by uncountable numbers of bottlenose dolphins, something that persuaded him to move some distance, where he sat at anchor for about half an hour before being surrounded by the dolphins once more; an event that persuaded him to leave fishing for another day.

A point of interest was that Andrew met a couple of young anglers who’d caught eight really good size mullet while fishing from the shore near the new boat ramp in the Clifton Springs harbour.

Kevin McLoughlin with a gummy shark of possibly 20 kg that he tagged and released off Torquay (Picture: Jeremy McLoughin).

Kevin McLoughlin with a gummy shark of possibly 20 kg that he tagged and released off Torquay (Picture: Jeremy McLoughin).

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports visiting the breakwater at Portarlington and St Leonards pier during the week where legal size pinkies are still being caught, along with a few other varieties, something that could be of benefit to kids on school holidays, along with their parents of course.

On the water though, flathead and squid have been the main catch, said Rod with the bigger flathead coming from the shallower water while the more numerous smaller fish have been taken on the drift out in 12 metres or so.

Squid have been a bit patchy though, but on Saturday afternoon, Andrew Phillips and Mark Sesar picked up 14 good ones on the drift in the deeper water toward the edge of the Prince George Bank; their biggest weighed 1.2 kg. These were all caught on the incoming tide from around 3.00 pm.

Test of strength: Jack Oliver with a Samson fish he caught recently in 120 metres of water off Cape Nelson.

Test of strength: Jack Oliver with a Samson fish he caught recently in 120 metres of water off Cape Nelson.

Freshwater

John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park fished the Lake with George Gillies from Winchelsea last week for a catch of 60 redfin to 700 grams in a one and a half hour session using minnow and scrubworms for bait. Others caught them as well said John with paddle tail soft plastics a favourite among lure fishing enthusiasts.

John also mentions that Tim Beusmans had a good deal of action on Purrumbete while casting lures on Saturday, catching 4 brown trout to around 1.8 kg; and that’s not to mention a brown trout of probably 5 kg that leaped from the water near his boat.

Lake Bullen Merri is also productive said John, with Steven Hill of Camperdown catching both chinook salmon and rainbow trout from the bank using soft plastics. Others have done well using pilchard fillets and glassies for bait, particularly those fishing from boats out on the lake.

Other freshwater reports have come from Lake Bolac, which is just off the Glenelg Highway and the intersecting Mortlake-Ararat Road. Here, rainbow trout to 1.5 kg have been a regular catch, both on lures and on bait with Berkley Powerbait a favourite for anglers fishing from the shore.

Jamie Behrens with one of several mulloway he has caught from the Maroochy River in Queensland over the past week or so (Picture: Jenni Behrens).

Jamie Behrens with one of several mulloway he has caught from the Maroochy River in Queensland over the past week or so (Picture: Jenni Behrens).

Col asks:

Geoff, I sometimes fish at the Wurdee Boluc Reservoir, which you refer to as Wurdiboluc Reservoir. Has Barwon Water got it wrong, or have you?

Col, I answered this question on 20/09/07 and again on 10/04/14, but there is more to be said.

My fairly ancient topographical maps, and the Melway Directory (ref. X927 C7), both refer to this water as Wurdiboluc Reservoir. However, a Wikipedia reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wurdiboluc,_Victoria states ‘Newspaper advertisements from the 1860s refer to a “Wurdee Boluc Hotel” or “Reeves’ Telegraph Hotel” at Wurdiboluc.’ Links provided, reveal those advertisements, both in the in the Geelong Advertiser, were in the 1960s, not the 1860s and occurred on 08/05/1961 and 08/08/1966: They referred to that caricatured spelling of Wurdiboluc specific only to the hotel and nothing else.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Over the rainbow: Michael Evans with a large rainbow trout that he caught at Wurdiboluc Reservoir last week (Picture: Michael Evans).

Over the rainbow: Michael Evans with a large rainbow trout that he caught at Wurdiboluc Reservoir last week (Picture: Michael Evans).

ng>Freshwater

Wurdiboluc Reservoir is well known for producing magnificent fish, but catching them requires a good deal of persistence. However, Michael Evans usually gets the job done and sent in photos of yet another large brown trout and a similar size rainbow, both of which he caught from here on a metal spoon last week.

Also fishing Wurdiboluc on two occasions last week were Simon and Jayden Werner who caught a number of redfin and several brown trout to a kilogram or so, both on metal spoons and Rapala bibbed minnows.

John Clements of Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that fishing has slowed up somewhat at both of the Camperdown crater lakes. However, Lake Bullen Merri is still producing chinook salmon and rainbow trout to a kilogram or so for anglers fishing from boats – mainly by suspending glassies or pilchard fillets just above the bottom – and for those fishing from the bank with Berkley Powerbait.

At Lake Purrumbete, there’ve been no more large brown trout taken, but redfin remain a consistent catch with Stan Rae of Norlane among those to take good catches of them from here to 1.2 kg using minnow and scrubworms for bait.

John also mentions that the Bannockburn Angling Club, whose favourite destination of late has been Lake Purrumbete, had a competition on the Hopkins River at Warrnambool over the weekend where Todd Broughton caught the heaviest bream at 900 grams, while junior competitor Sam Giles took another of 660 grams. Estuary perch were also caught on that occasion.

With school holidays during the first two weeks of July, several waters have been stocked with rainbow trout including St Augustine’s water hole off South Valley Road via Augustine Drive, Highton, the old railway engine water supply at Lethbridge, and the Bannockburn Lagoon. Cowies Creek in Seagull Paddock is no longer stocked as it is deemed by the Geelong City Council to be a polluted water.

Spoon fed: Michael Evans with a 62 cm brown trout that he caught on a spoon at Wurdiboluc Reservoir last week (Picture: Michael Evans).

Spoon fed: Michael Evans with a 62 cm brown trout that he caught on a spoon at Wurdiboluc Reservoir last week (Picture: Michael Evans).

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Anglers seeking the big snapper that we usually see in Corio Bay at this time of year have been largely disappointed, even though shoals of fish have been located from time to time. However, Australian salmon to a kilogram or so continue to be a reliable catch in both the inner and outer harbours with quite a few fish to a kilogram or so being caught by trolling or casting various lures.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that flathead have been the main species on offer and Barry Ure of Ocean Grove was among those to do well, taking a bag limit catch off Point Wilson. Squid have also been taken, but not in the numbers seen during the autumn, but last week, some respectable catches were made out toward the mussel farm.

Whiting however, have been scarce said Mike, as Andrew Johnson and his companions Kirt Brehan and Brodie Bell could attest having spent the best part of Saturday off St Leonards for mostly small fish. However, they did redeem the day to some extent by catching eight whiting from 40 to 43 cm toward nightfall.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire reports that garfish, barracouta, squid and Australian salmon have all been caught from the Portarlington breakwater lately; a bonus for land-based anglers, but squid have been the main species caught by those fishing from boats.

Among those to do well on the squid were John Fotias, his mother Nikki and father Peter, after locating a good patch quite close to the Point Richards boat ramp from which they caught 15, the biggest going on the scales for a verdict of 2.5 kg.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Justin Burns with his 95 cm Murray cod from the Murray River near Echuca. (Picture: Simon Williams).

Justin Burns with his 95 cm Murray cod from the Murray River near Echuca. (Picture: Simon Williams).

Freshwater

Justin Burns and Simon Williams, fished the Murray River near Echuca over the weekend, patiently casting lures into likely looking areas as they drifted downstream, a productive exercise as it turned out, for their catch included a 95 cm Murray cod that took Justin’s Custom Crafted lure, that was photographed and then released.

John Clements of Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park, reports that Chris Farrugia’s weekend catch included a 1.8 kg brown trout and a number of smaller rainbows, all being caught on a Tassie Devil down-rigged to 12 metres. Also successful was James Clark of Benalla with brown trout to 2 kg, also on Tassie Devils.

On Lake Bullen Merri, Purrumbete Angling Club was successful in competition with their Bullen Merri counterparts, the Broughton brigade; Les, Jeff and Kane, leading the Purrumbete club’s charge with their catch of chinook salmon to 1.7 kg, along with John Clements’ bag of rainbow trout that were taken both on lures and various baits.

Jeremy McLoughlin with a gummy shark of about 19 kg that he caught offshore from Torquay over the weekend (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Jeremy McLoughlin with a gummy shark of about 19 kg that he caught offshore from Torquay over the weekend (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Offshore

With good weather on Saturday, Andrew Phillips, Keith Fry and Ken Spokes made an early start of Barwon Heads, and were anchored up in 33 metres of water by 7.30 am.

Initially they caught a number of pinkie snapper better than 30 cm, but that bite slowed and was followed by a variety of unwanted species. Never the less, they continued berleying in the hope of attracting something more desirable, but that didn’t occur until 3.00 in the afternoon.

Unsure of what they’d hooked, they retrieved all of their other lines to avoid tangling with the hooked fish, which eventually turned out to be a seven-gilled shark of 60 kg that should keep the trio in fresh flake for some time.

Kevin McLoughlin and his brother Jeremy fished off Torquay on Saturday where they too had a good day, catching three gummy sharks, of which they kept one of about 10 kg. Of the other two, one was about half that size, but the other was a real beauty that would have been 18 or 19 kg.

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that Australian salmon are still about in good numbers, and – with the calm weather we’ve experienced lately – they’ve been relatively easy to find. While they vary in size from shoal to shoal, some fish have been better than a kilogram and eager to take a variety of lures.

Flathead too, have been plentiful said Mike, and there’ve been some good ones among them with Alan Wilson, Fred Jones and Jeff Hardy taking fish to 44 cm out toward the No 2 Wilson Spit channel marker.

Fishing off Hermsley Road Curlewis, Mick and Mip Pugh took a mixed bag of fish that included 20 flathead, two elephant fish and the occasional banjo shark, all on bluebait.

Whiting remain scarce, sometimes requiring many moves to find a patch of good fish as Andrew Johnson readily admitted after fishing with Dennis O’Brien on Friday. However, they eventually found a good patch fish off The Springs at around 3.00 pm that yielded six fish to 42 cm before it shut down.

Fishing for squid on Sunday, this time with Kirt Brehan, was more successful with a catch of twelve really good size specimens, but again, only after making a good many moves to find them.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that flathead and squid have been the main catch, with some really big ones among the latter.

Among those to catch them in around 5 metres of water off Indented Head on Thursday were Jeff Richards and Ken Shae whose respective bag limit catches included five or six that would have weighed better than a kilogram. Their biggest squid weighed just over 2.5 kg.

Portland

Bob McPherson reports that tuna remain the focus for most offshore anglers, but among those to do well fishing the bottom include Jack Oliver whose mixed bag of fish included a 20 kg Samson fish, which came from 120 metres of water off Cape Nelson.

Ali asks:

Geoff I heard that bream are being caught at Laker’s Cutting, can you please tell me where it is?

Ali, Lakers cutting may be reached by taking the Bellarine Hwy as far as Fellows Road, which is just after the Queenscliff-Portarlington Road turn-off. Turning left here you will take you to the head of Laker’s shellgrit cutting just past the railway line. You can fish either side of the big drain, which runs under Fellows Road, or you can walk further down the beach toward Swan Bay to fish. However, I suggest you keep seaward of the fence line to avoid encroaching on private property, particularly since some of the holders of which have been confrontational with anglers in the past.

To access the lower half of Laker’s Cutting, you will have to continue down Fellows Road around to the right where it becomes McDonald Road. Parking your car at the end, you can walk down through the swamp to the water’s edge, but be aware that the north east side promontory adjoins a marine park, in which you are not permitted to fish.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Steve Evans and Jason Powell of "Bag out Charters" with the 108 kg tuna (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Steve Evans and Jason Powell of “Bag out Charters” with the 108 kg tuna (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Australian salmon are probably the easiest catch from Corio Bay at present with shoals of fish to a kilogram or so in both the inner and outer harbours, their presence being betrayed by birds working overhead.

Land based anglers have also caught them from the wall adjacent Cunningham Pier; a good spot to cast a lure.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that squid are still about in good numbers, but whiting are scarce with only a handful of anglers picking them up.

Those to do so include Dennis O’Brien, who took a bag limit catch early last week, and Andrew Johnson and Tony Mollenhauer, who on Saturday evening, took a catch that included half a dozen from 40 to 42 cm.

Those fishing for whiting between St Leonards and Queenscliff have had to contend with increased numbers of leatherjackets lately, but they are good to eat, as Martin Neilson and William Spitiri could attest after catching 40 of them off Swan Bay on Saturday.

Whiting have been scarce off Indented Head as well as Jeff Richards and Chris Hateley can relate after putting in a fruitless late afternoon session, but – as they’d already caught their respective bag limits of squid – they didn’t return empty handed.

Michael Goldby with one of the pink ling that he and Bob McPherson caught off Portland over the weekend (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Michael Goldby with one of the pink ling that he and Bob McPherson caught off Portland over the weekend (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Offshore

Early on Sunday morning, Murray Scott, his son Darcy, and Scott Teesdale took a run out from Barwon Heads, along with a good many others, but – as we discussed on May 30, with tides falling much lower than predicted – some of the larger game fishing rigs had obvious difficulty. Because of this, there is an urgent need for another boat ramp to be built where the old slipway used to be, just downstream from the bridge.

Returning to Ocean Grove boat ramp on Sunday afternoon, the heads and frames of four large tuna, that weren’t there in the morning, were hard to miss; so at least some were able to benefit from our growing offshore tuna fishery.

As for Murray and his crew, they caught a dozen or so snook in the vicinity of Claremont Reef before being rewarded with two gummy shark to 7 kg in a bottom bouncing session off Torquay.

Freshwater

John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park, reports that large brown trout, including one of 5.2 kg taken by Darren Busfield of Colac, came from the lake last week. Another of 4.5 kg was weighed in by a fly fisherman from Ballarat who prefers to remain anonymous.

Redfin still remain the main catch at Purrumbete said John, and over the weekend, Tom Stanford of Bannockburn took his 7 year old son Harry out on the lake, along with eleven year olds Lachie Groves, Sammy Giles and Ryan Perkins, all of whom caught respectable catches of redfin using live minnow for bait.


Portland

Down Portland way, Bob McPherson reports that small tuna are still the main focus for offshore anglers, but not all of them are small. Steve Evans and Jason Powell on “Bag out Charters”, soon realized a client had hooked something out of the ordinary, which after a lengthy battle, turned out to be a 108 kg tuna.

Bob, along with George Gereige and Michael Goldby, took advantage of good weather at the weekend to go bottom bouncing in 500 metres of water where they caught a variety of fish including several large pink ling.

Ollie asks:

Geoff, I see land based snapper from Corio Bay being posted on facebook but no location given in relation to their capture. Can you give me any insight as to where I might try?

Ollie, at this time of year there are several possibilities. However, snapper have been caught along the Geelong Waterfront from Cunningham Pier to the Yarra Street helipad, and also from the jetty adjacent to the Geelong Yacht Club.

During the years when I was more predisposed to fishing land based, I caught quite a few from the small jetty, and beach, in front of the Geelong Grammar School during the winter, including one of 7.5 kg last August. The first half of the incoming tide is a good time to fish here, the change being an hour or so later than at Geelong wharves.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Team effort: Chris Farrugia, with his sons Charlie and Cooper and the 4.6 kg brown trout he caught from Lake Purrumbete on Friday morning (Picture: Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park).

Team effort: Chris Farrugia, with his sons Charlie and Cooper and the 4.6 kg brown trout he caught from Lake Purrumbete on Friday morning (Picture: Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park).

Freshwater

John Clements of Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that on Friday morning, Chris Farrugia, along with his sons Charlie and Cooper, fished Lake Purrumbete where – down-rigging at 12 metres with a Reidy’s bibbed minnow– Chris caught a 4.6 kg brown trout using 2 kg tackle; a possible ANSA line class record.

John fished nearby Lake Bullen Merri with his brother Robert last week, down-rigging with Nories Laydown minnows and Tassie Devils, for a mixed catch of chinook salmon and rainbow trout to 1.5 kg. They also fished with glassies and pilchards for bait, suspending them just above the bottom for much the same result, while anglers fishing from the bank nearby, were catching them as well.

Ballarat and Geelong Angling Clubs fished on Lake Purrumbete at the weekend for redfin. Geelong proved victorious with 44 kg of fish with Norm Armstrong of Geelong catching the largest redfin of 884 grams.

Ashley Caldwell from Geelong actually caught the biggest redfin at 1.3 kg, but he wasn’t in the competition.

While Wurdiboluc Reservoir is well known for the magnificent fish it produces, it poses difficulties for most, especially when water levels are low. However, Michael Evans regularly catches big fish from here, the latest being a 62 cm brown trout that he tempted with a bibbed minnow, and of which he sent in a photo.

Clint Hotchin with a brown trout he caught from Lake Toolondo recently (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Clint Hotchin with a brown trout he caught from Lake Toolondo recently (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Michael Evans with his 62 cm brown trout from Wurdiboluc Reservoir (Picture Michael Evans).

Michael Evans with his 62 cm brown trout from Wurdiboluc Reservoir (Picture Michael Evans).


Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that the Indented Head Boat Ramp is now open for business with flathead and squid and the main species being caught.

Among the successful anglers was Jeff Richards, who on one occasion, fished with Ken Shae for a bag limit catch of squid, and on another, with Chris Hateley for the same.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that flathead remain the main catch from the outer harbour with Graeme Gittens among those to catch them, picking up sixteen respectable fish toward Point Wilson using pilchards and whitebait.

However, although whiting have been scarce for most anglers, said Mike, Andrew Johnson and Brodie Bell managed bag limit catches off Curlewis late on Saturday afternoon, with their biggest fish measuring 43 cm.


Offshore

With the arrival of large tuna offshore from Port Phillip Heads no secret, anglers Brodie Bell and Kirt Brehan of Clifton Springs, launched from Barwon Heads on Sunday morning to find a school of really good size tuna leaping from the surface in around 40 metres of water offshore from The Bluff.

After repeatedly trying to get a strike there, it appeared that the tuna were heading west, and that is the direction they took to be rewarded with a massive surface strike, which saw the fish partially clear the water as it took the lure. Unfortunately though, as is sometimes the case, the hook pulled free after a few minutes and the big fish escaped.

The mako shark that Tony Jones’ caught off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).

The mako shark that Tony Jones’ caught off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Southern Right Whale photographed from the Rocks in front of Pivot at Portland by Bob McPherson.

Southern Right Whale photographed from the Rocks in front of Pivot at Portland by Bob McPherson.


Portland

Down Portland way, Bob McPherson reports that tuna from 8 to 12 kg are plentiful offshore, but Tony Jones of Hamilton was looking for more variety, and – after catching two tuna – he fished on the drift, catching a variety of fish from flathead to knifejaw in 70 to 100 metres of water. Tony also had a game fishing outfit at the ready, with which he caught a mako shark of about 55 kg, releasing another.

Kevin asks:

Geoff, I’ve read that you can catch more fish by putting aniseed oil on your bait. Is this true, and where would I get it?

Kevin, there is nothing to prevent you from using food flavourings on your bait, including aniseed oil. In fact you can buy it from some tackle stores and certainly on the internet.

I confess that having tried aniseed on two occasions when fishing, once was as a youngster on Wood’s Jetty, which used to be below Glenleith Avenue, Drumcondra, but has long since been demolished, and the second time was at Wonboyn Lake in southern NSW.

On the first occasion, after smothering my bait with aniseed oil, I was probably the only one on the jetty that didn’t get a bite. While on the second occasion, I used aniseed flavoured berley which attracted so many mullet you could barely see the bottom. However, despite their abundance, they proved hard to catch.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Learning the trade: Michael Redpath with his 18 month old grandson Jaxon, fishing for carp in Seagull Paddock, North Geelong (Picture: Liffy Jennings).

Learning the trade: Michael Redpath with his 18 month old grandson Jaxon, fishing for carp in Seagull Paddock, North Geelong (Picture: Liffy Jennings).

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Jeff Richards, whose usual fishing partners have been indisposed of late, has taken to early morning walks out onto the new Portarlington breakwater where a variety of fish have been caught including snapper, whiting and silver trevally. Some the snapper, mostly those around the 2.5 kg mark, have been taken on the inside of the breakwater in the vicinity of the green starboard piles at the harbour entrance.

Rod Ludlow of the Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Heads also recommends Portarlington pier as a great place to fish, adding several mores species, including barracouta to the list of fish being caught here, but – as is often the case – it is the early birds who are getting the metaphorical worm.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that while squid and flathead have been the main catch, whiting have been hard to find for the average angler. However, those dedicated to putting in the time and effort have been catching them.

On Friday, Andrew Johnson and Dennis O’Brien made another early start off Clifton Springs, covering a lot of ground between The Springs and Curlewis to find only small fish on offer.

However, their luck changed around 4.00 pm when fellow anglers, Brodie Bell and Damien Aquilina, called them over to a really good bite off The Springs: Their biggest fish measured 45 cm and they were only too happy to share their good fortune. Also, fishing in much the same area was Stuart O’Brien whose biggest fish also measured 45 cm.

Freshwater

John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that the Lake continues to produce some great fish for those prepared to put in the time and effort. Among them was Dan Mackerel of Colac who caught a 4.1 kg brown trout on Wednesday evening casting a Daiwa Double Clutch into a likely area, and – on Friday evening – Lee Ryan caught another brown of 3.8 kg trolling a Tassie Devil.

Anthony Webb with the chinook salmon he caught from Lake Purrumbete

Anthony Webb with the chinook salmon he caught from Lake Purrumbete

Chinook are still to be caught from the lake as demonstrated by Anthony Webb’s who caught a 3.7 kg specimen on a pink Tassie Devil.

Small to medium size rainbow trout, along with redfin, are still the main catch said John, as he and eleven year old Josh Fraser from Norlane demonstrated. They caught several rainbows from 1.2 to 1.7 kg downrigging at nine metres with a Tillen King Cobra, as did Mick Giles of Bannockburn using the same approach with a 450 pattern Tassie Devil.

Catches in Lake Bullen Merri have dropped off though, with many of the chinook salmon now in their darker spawning colours as witnessed by Simon Werner, who – along with his son Jayden, and his friend Jemma Thorpe – spied quite a few of them from the South Beach jetty. They tried various methods to tempt them, but as is usually the case when they’re in this condition, showed no interest. However, their luck changed after taking a run out onto the lake with the capture of two rainbow trout and three chinook salmon using both bait and lures.

Justin Burns with a 76 cm Murray Cod from Lake Mulwala (Picture: Katryna Burns)

Justin Burns with a 76 cm Murray Cod from Lake Mulwala (Picture: Katryna Burns)

Justin Burns with one of his golden perch from Lake Mulwala (Picture: Katryna Burns).

Justin Burns with one of his golden perch from Lake Mulwala (Picture: Katryna Burns).

Justin Burns, along with wife Katryna, daughter Aisha 13 and son Jai 10, took a run up to Lake Mulwala near Yarrawonga over the weekend, catching, and then releasing, several Murray Cod to 76 cm and seven golden perch to 2 kg or so trolling Jackall lures.

There are still plenty of school tuna to 12 kg or so to be caught off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).

There are still plenty of school tuna to 12 kg or so to be caught off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Kelvin asks:

Geoff, I’ve noticed that the autumn tides fell much lower than normal this year; can you provide any explanation?

Kelvin, they have been lower than usual and you are not the only one to notice that. The low tide on April 6 was the lowest I’d ever seen in Corio Bay, well below the predicted level of 0.3 metres at Port Phillip Heads would suggest.

My enquiry to the Tide Centre in South Australia was answered by assistant manager, James Chittleborough, who said that while he had no definitive explanation, he did look into this issue and discussed it with a colleague who, in turn, alluded to a similar enquiry from Stony Port on Western Port. It was further suggested that the negative residuals for both April 6 and May 11 this year were probably due to increased barometric pressure.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

On Saturday morning, Andrew Johnson, along with Dennis and Brodie Bell, headed out off Clifton Springs, hopeful of catching whiting, but after making several moves, those they caught were very small, ranging from undersize to not worth keeping.

Never the less they persisted, but with much the same result. However, approaching day’s end, they tried one last time off The Dell at Clifton Springs where they hit pay dirt, and – with night closing in – caught 43 whiting that ranged in size from 38 to 43 cm.

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that whiting have been a bit scarce but David Hoey found a good patch off The Dell where he picked up fish to 38 cm, along with six good size squid.

Flathead have also been about in good numbers and among those to catch them was Alf Cardelli who also caught a 75 cm elephant fish out toward the No 5 Wilson Spit Channel marker using salted pilchards for bait.

Offshore

Taking advantage of calm weather on Sunday morning, Andrew Phillips, Keith Fry and Colin Starick headed out off Barwon Heads, and commenced a drift in 32 metres of water.

They were hoping to catch a good size gummy or school shark, but getting past the pinkie snapper and barracouta was a challenge. Never the less, they did catch two snapper, each weighing 3.7 kg, along with their respective bags of pinkies to 38 cm and a 5.5 kg cuttlefish.

Freshwater

On Friday, Daniel Johnson put in a productive session at Wurdiboluc Reservoir, fishing along the rock wall between the viewing platform and the pumping station. He caught three rainbow trout from 45 to 50 cm on a 3” Berkley soft plastic, and lost one that was noticeably larger.

Daniel mentioned that casting range was an issue, with all of his strikes happening during the first metre or two of his retrieve.

John Clements reports that Lake Bullen Merri is still producing chinook salmon, both on bait fished just above the bottom, and on lures with Chris Farrugia among those who caught a number of rainbow trout and chinook salmon in a catch and release exercise.

At Lake Purrumbete, John reports that large brown trout are still on offer for those with the skills to catch them; among them was Geelong angler Chris Bates who caught one of 3.92 kg casting a Daiwa Double Clutch minnow, and Maki Sarik from Melbourne who caught another of 4.1 kg trolling a Nories laydown minnow.

Redfin are still on the go at Lake Purrumbete said John, and among those to catch them was Justin Adair of Bacchus Marsh who caught a number of fish to 1.2 kg on soft plastics.

Trevor Holmes with one of the very large redfin he caught from Lake Toolondo recently (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Trevor Holmes with one of the very large redfin he caught from Lake Toolondo recently (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Trevor Holmes of Victorian Inland Charters reports that large redfin, some better than 2 kg, have been caught at Lake Toolondo, a situation which has attracted boat traffic from far and wide: This hasn’t threatened the fish, said Trevor, but they have been laying low.

Never the less, a trip on the lake with Clint Hotchin and his son Cooper last week produced a couple of respectable brown trout.

Paul asks:

Geoff, I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind, my first is: Do you think that rigging a running sinker on gelspun braid would cause excessive wear?

Paul, it is possible – theoretically at least – that could be a problem. With the same concerns, I have used Sled sinkers for this purpose with gelspun lines. Sleds are available from WAM in New Zealand who may contacted by email on sleds@bigfoot.com

Geoff, my second question is in regard to using a fluorocarbon shock leaders for casting with gelspun line: I find the knot just snaps as it goes through the guides. Can you recommend a solution?

First Paul, your shock leader may be too short to allow your rod to straighten sufficiently before your join goes through the guides. The standard length of commercially available shock leaders is 13 metres, but one measuring three rod lengths should be sufficient.

Shock leader connections are best made with the Plaited Splice, of which an animated version is displayed on YouTube, along with its incorrect description as a knot.

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