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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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Freshwater

John Clements of Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports fishing Lake Bullen Merri with Bill Classon for a respectable catch of rainbow trout to 1.5 kg and chinook salmon to 2 kg, while anglers fishing from the bank were also successful.

Young blood: Three year old Billy Andrews with a 1.4 kg rainbow trout that he caught from Lake Bullen Merri (Picture: Brad Andrews).

Young blood: Three year old Billy Andrews with a 1.4 kg rainbow trout that he caught from Lake Bullen Merri (Picture: Brad Andrews).

Among them were Brad Andrews and his three year old son Billy who fished here on Friday and Saturday mornings, where – with a bit of coaching – Billy caught both chinook salmon and rainbow trout, the biggest weighing 1.4 kg, using glassies for bait.

While Lake Purrumbete is still producing the occasional large brown trout, said John, rainbow trout to 1.5 kg or so have more common. However, redfin are still the main catch with scrubworms and minnow the best baits.

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

On Saturday, Justin Burns and wife Katryna went lure fishing on Corio Bay; initially an exercise that didn’t seem promising.

But they persisted, and eventually – between the old Alcoa Pier and Leopold – they caught a variety of fish including several really good size whiting to 40 cm or so and rock flathead, using 2” Berkley Crabbys to bring home the goods.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that last week’s good weather attracted anglers from far and wide including New Zealander Kenny Carson who fished with Les Gillespie. Between them, they caught ten squid and ten flathead out near the mussel farm.

Also fishing out here were Simon Werner and Jake Callahan who struggled to find the squid at first, but eventually located a good patch around midday from which they caught some absolute purlers from one to 2 kg.

David Batty and Peter Walker took bag limit catches of whiting off The Springs; good ones too, with the biggest measuring 41 cm. Then, fishing out deeper and using pilchards for bait, they caught several flathead to 40 cm and a gummy shark.

On Wednesday, Andrew Phillips and George Uranus fished offshore from Point Richards from late afternoon until evening where they too hit a good patch of whiting, taking their respective bag limits of fish from 28 to 41 cm using pipi and squid for bait.

Also seeking the whiting were Andrew Johnson and Brodie Bell who were out off The Springs by 8.30 am on Friday, but – try as they might – they didn’t get a sniff of a whiting until around mid day. However, with the tide coming in during the early afternoon, their fortunes changed for the better with a catch of 30 fish from 35 to 40 cm.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that squid have rarely been better around the Peninsula than they are at the moment, with both quantity and quality at a premium.

Among those to do well on these tasty cephalopods on Friday were Jeff Richards and Ken Shae who each took their respective bag limit catches of squid that averaged over a kilogram apiece; the biggest weighing 2 kg.

Jamie Peel, Jayden Peel, Chris Zammit and Darren Zammit with their 100 kg tuna from Portland on Saturday (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Jamie Peel, Jayden Peel, Chris Zammit and Darren Zammit with their 100 kg tuna from Portland on Saturday (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Portland

Down Portland way, Bob McPherson reports that several barrel size bluefin tuna were caught last week, the biggest weighed 120 kg and was caught by Emro Abazovic and his crew off Cape Bridgewater.

Emro Abazovic with the 120 kg tuna he and his crew caught close in off Cape Bridgewater (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Emro Abazovic with the 120 kg tuna he and his crew caught close in off Cape Bridgewater (Picture: Bob McPherson).

David asks:

Geoff, can you tell me if sardines, like those we buy in tins, are the same as the pilchards we use for bait?

David; Wikipedia describes the terms pilchard and sardine as imprecise because they are used to describe various fish in different localities

On one of my trips to South Australia, I noticed that a packet of pilchards I brought also bore the Latin name for the species; Sardinops neopilchardus; a categorization by Viennese ichthyologist, Dr Franz Steindachner in 1879, as I was to discover.

Following your question, I Googled Australian sardine, which revealed that title for a NSW, DPI article classifying the Australian sardine as Sardinops sagax, but it also mentioned its former classification was Sardinops neopilchardus. Interestingly, the article was accompanied by an excellent illustration of a pilchard by Bernard Yau.

Further reading on this subject may be found by Googling “When is a pilchard not a pilchard? When it’s a sardine!” It reveals an excellent article on this very subject by Jamie Merrill in the UK Independent, November 2, 2014.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Danny Skene with a sample from last week’s snapper catch off Point Richards.

Danny Skene with a sample from last week’s snapper catch off Point Richards.

First order of business for Danny Skene last week was to catch some squid, which he did in spades off Clifton Springs with some big ones among them. Then, with the weather holding toward evening, he headed out toward the channel off Point Richards where he took a bag limit catch of three good size snapper in short order.

On Thursday morning, Andrew Phillips and George Uranus also fished off Point Richards from around 9.00 am for whiting, but getting past the small ones was a challenge. They made a couple moves in the hope of finding some bigger fish, a strategy that paid off with 25 keepers; mostly between 28 and 33 cm, but they also caught several larger fish to 42 cm.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that squid are about and among those to catch them last week were Adam Niko and Alex Surdich who caught 15 using red and white jigs just out from the boat harbour. Simon Werner and Jake Callahan did likewise here on Thursday with their biggest specimen weighing just over 2 kg.

Andrew Johnson and Dennis O’Brien were out off Curlewis by 8.30 am on Thursday, but – despite their best efforts – neither squid nor whiting came to the party, not initially anyway. Eventually though, they made contact with some large squid and concentrated their efforts on those.

But then, a call from Andrew’s friend Peter Dawson, who’d found a good patch of whiting off The Springs, had them change tactics once more, resulting in their respective bag limit catches of whiting to 38 cm during the early afternoon ebb tide.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that whiting have become scarce, but squid remain plentiful, along with flathead which are the main catch.

Freshwater

John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that fishing has slowed up at both crater lakes, Bullen Merri in particular, where very few fish have been taken. John blames the weather, but also suggests it might have something to do with some 20,000 juvenile chinook salmon being released into these waters last week.

Doug Lucas of Colac took the only recent large fish; a 5.2 kg brown trout that took a Lofty’s No 60 on Lake Purrumbete at around 4.00 pm on Thursday. However, while rainbow and brown trout to a kilogram or so have also been taken on bait and lures, redfin still remain the main catch from this water.

Chris Rigg with a 2 kg redfin from Lake Toolondo (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Chris Rigg with a 2 kg redfin from Lake Toolondo (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Trevor Holmes of Victorian Inland Charters reports that last Wednesday, Tim Chamberlain, Wayne Rigg, and Wayne’s dad Chris, had a great day out on Lake Toolondo catching 24 good size redfin, the biggest of which measured 46.5cm and weighed a touch over 2 kg. They also caught several brown and rainbow trout to 1.3 kg.

11 year old Dana Worthy with her first brown trout (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

11 year old Dana Worthy with her first brown trout (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Among Trevor’s Sunday clients was 11 year old Dana Worthy who hooked and landed her first brown trout at Toolondo on Sunday while casting and retrieving a Pegron tiger minnow.

Portland

Steve Garner, John Grey and Matt Garner of Keppel Prince Engineering at Portland, along with Bob McPherson and some of the firm’s clients who were visiting from Western Australia, boarded Red Hot Charters.

Matt Garner hooked up to a “barrel” in 70 metres of water off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Matt Garner hooked up to a “barrel” in 70 metres of water off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).

While trolling lures in 70 metres of water, their first five tuna were soon brought alongside. However, number six didn’t come in quite so easily; in fact it took two and a half hours before Matt Garner managed to bring a real “barrel” alongside, but – with the double on the reel – the hook on the lure pulled free.

Rowan asks:

Geoff, if you remember we recently discussed Stony Creek Reservoir, No 1 being opened to fishing by Barwon Water. Well, during a web search I found the following: “Management arrangements in relation to this water have changed. Now managed by Parks Victoria and the future of recreational fishing activity is under review.”

Rowan; my reading that awkwardly worded document suggests that Stony Creek Reservoirs 2 and 3 – which are on the opposite side of the road to Reservoir 1 – are also being considered as recreational fishing venues: Fairly logical, I would have thought, considering the State government’s $46 million commitment to have one million anglers fishing in Victoria by 2020.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Copy Copy: Kallie Engels, and sister Sjoukje 17, in action on the whiting off Clifton Springs at the weekend (Pictures: Tib and Rita Polgar).

Copy Copy: Kallie Engels, and sister Sjoukje 17, in action on the whiting off Clifton Springs at the weekend (Pictures: Tib and Rita Polgar).

Bob McPherson took this photo of a killer whale that was stealing fish from their lines in 500 metres of water off Portland.

Bob McPherson took this photo of a killer whale that was stealing fish from their lines in 500 metres of water off Portland.

Corio Bay Bellarine Peninsula

On Friday afternoon, Andrew Johnson and Dennis O’Brien were out in seas that were rough enough to deter all but the very keen. But whiting were about, and in 4.5 metres off Clifton Springs; they caught 22 good ones before cleaning up the boat; a process interupted by Dennis’ rod buckling over with the catch of the day; a whiting that measured 45 cm.

While cleaning their fish, Andrew’s friend Peter Dawson happened by, and was booked in for the next day’s whiting foray, which from the outset was none too productive. Never the less, they persisted, and just prior to the evening tide change, they came on the bite, and – with a tally of 30 – they called it quits.

Australian salmon have been about, and on Sunday, Justin Burns and Simon Williams had no trouble catching fish to a kilogram on a cast and retrieve mission with lures, just offshore from the Limeburners Point boat ramp. Eventually, they broke off the engagement to catch some flathead for the table on the drift.

Early last week Andrew Phillips and George Uranus returned with bag limit catches of squid from Point Richards, making it back to the ramp just before the rain poured down.

Inspired by that success, Andrew returned on Sunday, this time with James Robinson: Again, they took bag limit catches of squid; mixed bags this time as it turned out with quite few aero or flying squid, which seemed to be out in the deeper water.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that on Sunday, whiting aficionados Tib and Rita Polgar, took Kallie Engels, along with sister Sjoukje 17, out off Clifton Springs as an eighteenth birthday celebration for Kallie, and although it was their first boat trip – and in a choppy sea – they caught several whiting and can’t wait to do it again.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that while squid have been the main catch, a variety of fish have been taken, including slimy mackerel and barracouta.

Also of interest said Rod, are the numbers of snapper to 2.5 kg or so being taken from the breakwater extension to the Portarlington pier, probably because of the discoloured water.

Natalie Holmes with the 2.58 kg redfin she caught from ... Well husband Trevor won’t let her say, so your guess is as good as mine (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Natalie Holmes with the 2.58 kg redfin she caught from … Well husband Trevor won’t let her say, so your guess is as good as mine (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Cole Sheppard with a 15 kg albacore he caught offshore from Lakes Entrance (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Cole Sheppard with a 15 kg albacore he caught offshore from Lakes Entrance (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Freshwater

John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that some good size fish have been caught from Lake Purrumbete: These include a 4.1 kg chinook salmon taken on Thursday by Cobden angler Gerard Loving on a mudeye suspended beneath a float.

On Saturday, the Sunbury Angling Club had an outing on the lake, and – although no names are available – their biggest fish was a 4.3 kg brown trout that was taken while trolling a Tassie Devil.

Gary Drew and Jason Eastman from Ballarat demonstrated that the lake’s population of redfin are still healthy by catching 100 weighing up to a kilogram using minnow for bait.

Brian Nolan with a school shark that he caught off Portland last week (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Brian Nolan with a school shark that he caught off Portland last week (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Lachie Wombell with yet another pink ling taken offshore from Portland (Picture Bob McPherson).

Lachie Wombell with yet another pink ling taken offshore from Portland (Picture Bob McPherson).

Portland

On April 18, I reported that fifteen year old Hugh Johnstone of Portland took the lead in the four week Portland tuna competition with a fish of 60 kg; a catch that enriched him by $500.00. With the competition now over and no bigger tuna taken since, he’s taken the grand prize of $5000.00, which you can bet on being invested in more fishing tackle.

Jake Donaldson with a school shark that he caught last week (Picture:  Sam Donaldson).

Jake Donaldson with a school shark that he caught last week (Picture: Sam Donaldson).

Sam Donaldson with a whiskered gummy shark that he caught at Kangaroo Island last week (Picture: Jake Donaldson).

Sam Donaldson with a whiskered gummy shark that he caught at Kangaroo Island last week (Picture: Jake Donaldson).

Kangaroo Island

Jake and Sam Donaldson headed off to Kangaroo Island last week, an area they’d fished a time or two; hopeful of a good result. And, judging by the photos they sent of some of their bigger fish, it’s certain that they will be going back again at the first opportunity.

Sam Donaldson with a Gummy shark that they caught at Kangaroo Island last week (Picture: Jake Donaldson).

Sam Donaldson with a Gummy shark that they caught at Kangaroo Island last week (Picture: Jake Donaldson).

Sam Donaldson with a Blue Morwong that he caught at Kangaroo Island last week (Picture: Jake Donaldson).

Sam Donaldson with a Blue Morwong that he caught at Kangaroo Island last week (Picture: Jake Donaldson).

Ollie asks

Geoff, I’ve just discovered I’ve been breaking the law throughout my fishing career by using some my catch of squid for whiting bait and flathead for snapper bait. Is it really true that I can’t use any of my catch as freshly-caught bait before returning to shore?

Ollie, you wouldn’t be Robinson Crusoe: Anglers fishing from boats target squid for whiting bait and other fish, including flathead, for snapper bait, and on the same outing: It’s one of those anomalies in the Fisheries Act that have engendered the old saying: “Fishing rules are made by people who don’t fish for people who can’t fish.”

Naturally, I can’t recommend that you break the law, even should it not reflect reality. Bear in mind though, that since this restriction could not be applied to land based-anglers, since they are already ashore, it clearly discriminates against those fishing from boats.

Levi Berry and Sam Donaldson with yet another catch from Kangaroo Island last week. (Picture: Jake Donaldson).

Levi Berry and Sam Donaldson with yet another catch from Kangaroo Island last week. (Picture: Jake Donaldson).

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Gladiator: Brian Nolan with the broadbill swordfish he and his companions caught from Bass Strait last week (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Gladiator: Brian Nolan with the broadbill swordfish he and his companions caught from Bass Strait last week (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Offshore

With a break in the weather last week, Geelong anglers Kevin McLoughlin, Brian Nolan and Andrew Moffat launched from Cape Conran in East Gippsland hoping to coax a broadbill swordfish from Bass Strait.

At the edge of the Continental shelf, they rigged a squid appropriately for a deep water drift, and wasn’t long before they hooked a good one that played up a treat. Unfortunately though, the hook pulled at the surface and the mighty fish swam free.

However, around mid day, their second bait was taken. This time there was no mistake, and – after three gruelling hours on the rod – Brian had a swordfish alongside that eventually weighed 140 kg.

Cod almighty: Brett Harding with the 112 cm Murray Cod that he caught from the Murray River at Cobram on a Bardi grub (Picture: Brett Harding).

Cod almighty: Brett Harding with the 112 cm Murray Cod that he caught from the Murray River at Cobram on a Bardi grub (Picture: Brett Harding).

Freshwater

Bannockurn angler Brett Harding has caught any amount of Murray cod, and there’ve been some big ones among them, but last week he caught his biggest so far; a beauty measuring 112 cm from the Murray River in the Cobram Regional Park.

Brett, who knows the area well, made an early start in his small boat, casting a bardi grub or two into likely areas, and at 7.30 am he was rewarded with the monster cod, which – after he took a photo or two – was released.

John Clements of Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports two outstanding catches from the lake: One was an 8.22 kg Chinook salmon that Jason Castles of Sunbury caught on a rainbow coloured Pegron trolled behind a downrigger, while the other was a 5.44 kg brown trout caught by Andrew Smith of Warrnambool while trolling a pink Tassie Devil.

John also mentions that he and Mick (one more) Giles from Bannockburn harvested another mind boggling catch of redfin from Purrumbete, and mentions that scrubworms are the best bait for the big ones.

John also mentions that Lake Purrumbete has been producing chinook salmon, both on bait and on lure, the Daiwa Double Clutch being a favourite, with Tom Hogan of Drysdale picking them up to 2 kg and better.

Also fishing Lake Purrumbete, Trevor Holmes of Victorian Inland Charters had no trouble finding chinook salmon to 2.3 kg for his clients using both bait (fillets of pilchard), fished just above the bottom, and by trolling various lures including the Daiwa Double Clutch.

Trevor also reports that Shane Stevens took an outstanding brown trout from Ballarat’s Lake Wendouree while casting an OSP Bent Minnow: It measuring 71 cm, weighed 3.7 kg, and is now in the hands of the local taxidermist.

Chris Mifsud, Darren McMahon and Andrew Scilluna with the 68 kg tuna that they caught offshore from Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Chris Mifsud, Darren McMahon and Andrew Scilluna with the 68 kg tuna that they caught offshore from Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Gone Fishing Charters client, David Li, with a sample of their day’s tuna catch off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson.

Gone Fishing Charters client, David Li, with a sample of their day’s tuna catch off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson.


Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Andrew Phillips and George Uranus were out off Point Wilson in their usual snapper spot on Thursday evening when, right on sunset, George – who was using a strip of squid for bait – caught a snapper of 4 kg.

Meanwhile, Andrew who was bitten off by something, re-rigged with a wire trace: A good move as it turned out, for he caught a 14 kg seven-gilled shark that should enhance his supply of flake.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that flathead remain the main chance and among those to catch them offshore from the boat ramp were Anthony Matheson and his family; their biggest measuring 42 cm.

After catching several squid, whiting aficionados Andrew Johnson and Dennis O’Brien had a slow start off The Springs, but their luck changed at Curlewis where they caught ten whiting, including two that measured 43 cm apiece. The action stopped on the tide change, but they soon found them again and finished with their respective bag limits.

Other species to be caught said Mike, included an elephant fish measuring 85 cm that was caught by Matt Reid of Ballarat, along with a number of garfish and good size squid taken offshore from The Dell.

Aaron Habgood with one of the Gummy Shark he caught from Bass Strait at the weekend (Picture: Aaron Habgood)

Aaron Habgood with one of the Gummy Shark he caught from Bass Strait at the weekend (Picture: Aaron Habgood)

Michael Goldby with a sample of his and Bob McPherson’s blue eye trevalla catch (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Michael Goldby with a sample of his and Bob McPherson’s blue eye trevalla catch (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Offshore

Aaron Habgood and his companion took a run offshore from Barwon heads over the weekend, and – in around 40 metres of water – caught four gummy sharks, the largest around 20 kg – as well as a 7 kg snapper; an excellent result considering they caught them in a two hour period.

Bob McPherson reports that tuna are still the main attraction offshore from Portland, and lately, some bigger fish have been showing up. To date, the biggest caught so far weighed 68 kg and was caught by Chris Mifsud who was fishing out of Portland in 100 metres of water with Darren McMahon and Andrew Scilluna.

It’s a dog eat dog world out there as revealed by the bite taken from this gemfish by one of its own kind (Picture: Bob McPherson).

It’s a dog eat dog world out there as revealed by the bite taken from this gemfish by one of its own kind (Picture: Bob McPherson).

George Gereige with a 14.1 kg pink ling that he caught out wide from Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).

George Gereige with a 14.1 kg pink ling that he caught out wide from Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).


Andrew Asks:

Geoff, I use an 80lb monofilament leader for gummy sharks, but keep getting bitten off by what I believe are school sharks. I would use a wire trace except that I’ve been told gummy sharks won’t take the bait on wire. What are your thoughts?

Andrew, I too have heard the same, but it contradicts the facts; I suggest you use a wire trace and reap the benefits.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Legendary lure maker, Peter Pakula, congratulates fifteen year old Hugh Johnstone on the capture of a 60 kg bluefin on a Pakula lure at Portland (Picture Bob McPherson).

Legendary lure maker, Peter Pakula, congratulates fifteen year old Hugh Johnstone on the capture of a 60 kg bluefin on a Pakula lure at Portland (Picture Bob McPherson).

Portland

Fifteen year old gun angler Hugh Johnstone now leads the Portland tuna competition with the capture of a 60 kg bluefin on 15 kg tackle during Easter, an event that has enriched his bank account by $500.00.

Hugh, who was fishing with his brother Sam and Adam and Manuel Vella, also intends to claim a junior, line-class IGFA record for the catch, which was taken on a Pakula lure.

As it turned out, legendary lure maker Peter Pakula was a guest of the tournament and, at the dinner, Hugh was also a guest of honour sitting alongside Peter who had done a tackle talk the previous evening.

Bob McPherson and colleague Michael Goldby also had an interesting day off Portland with a mixed bag of mainly blue-eye trevalla. However, Michael also caught a southern frostfish nearly two metres long and a 40 cm fish that was eventually identified by Roger Swainston, co-author of Fishes of Southern Australia, as a banded cucumberfish (Paraulopus balteatus).

Michael Goldby with a banded cucumberfish (Paraulopus balteatus) that he caught offshore from Portland and was subsequently identified by Roger Swainston, co-author of Sea Fishes of Southern Australia (Picture Bob McPherson).

Michael Goldby with a banded cucumberfish (Paraulopus balteatus) that he caught offshore from Portland and was subsequently identified by Roger Swainston, co-author of Sea Fishes of Southern Australia (Picture Bob McPherson).

How big? Michael Goldby with a southern frostfish that he caught offshore from Portland over Easter (Picture Bob McPherson).

How big? Michael Goldby with a southern frostfish that he caught offshore from Portland over Easter (Picture Bob McPherson).


Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Early on Thursday morning, Andrew Phillips and George Uranus headed close in off the Mountain View Quarries, near the wreck site of the Aneiura, where they had no trouble taking bag limit catches of whiting, including some over the 40 cm mark.

Pinkie snapper moved in as well, and they caught several of those before it became clear that there were bigger fish among them, cutting their lines off over the rough ground.

Changing to heavier tackle, and larger hooks baited with cut pilchards, it wasn’t long before they also caught their respective bag limits of snapper over the 40 cm mark.

Fishing off Point Richards last week, Tim Johnson caught a snapper of 4 kg and several pinkies; but a moment of excitement occurred when he hooked what was obviously a shark of some kind that almost spooled him of line before breaking free.

Andrew Johnson, along with Brodie and Dennis Bell fished off Clifton Springs over Easter, and on one occasion, in 4.5 metres of water, they picked up their respective bag limit catches of whiting, many of them around the 40 cm mark, using strips of squid for bait.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that flathead to 45 cm are about and among those to catch them was Nick Wren who also picked up some respectable whiting and squid.

Others to do well on the squid included Harry Walker and James Teague who found a good patch off The Dell.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that squid are abundant and among those to catch them were Jeff Richards and Ken Shae who had no trouble taking bag limit catches as did a good many others.

However, the whiting have a become rather scarce said Jeff, after taking a catch of only six last time he tried his usually productive spot on the Prince George Bank.

Offshore

On Sunday, Simon Werner and daughter Kassidy took advantage of good weather and fished offshore from Barwon Heads near the wreck of the Orungal. They had a good result, taking several pinkie snapper to just on 40 cm, and several whiting, the biggest of which measured 45 cm.

Mark asks:

Now that the Hazelwood Power station has been closed, are there any plans for maintaining the barramundi fishery in the pondage?

Mark: One would not expect the Hazelwood barramundi fishery to survive the winter in the absence of the power station’s warm water discharge. However, it has been suggested that up to 40 megalitres of water a day, at 45 degrees Celsius, could be pumped from the adjacent open cut coalmine into the pondage.

In the long term, this may depend on the coalmine’s future, given that developers want to divert the Morwell River into the mine to form a high-end lake resort for fun, frolic and hi-jinx. Of course, a fishery could also be established there, but not for barramundi.

It was also suggested that geothermal water could sustain the Hazelwood fishery, which government sources estimate to have already attracted 5000 or so anglers who’ve already contributed some $700,000 to the local economy; a great return on the approximate $150.000 investment made to set up the fishery. And, in consideration of that significant return, future southern barramundi fisheries must already be a topic of discussion.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Marcus Pearson and Josh Lalic with the 94 kg mako shark (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Marcus Pearson and Josh Lalic with the 94 kg mako shark (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Offshore

On Wednesday night, Kevin McLoughlin, Marcus Pearson and Josh Lalic fished offshore from Port Fairy hoping for a shark. The moon had set by around 1.00 am, so it was totally dark when at 3.00 am, their 15 kg outfit screamed off, heralding a three hour battle with a 94 kg mako shark that did not end until daybreak.

Matt Wright and Aaron Habgood with their whiting catch off St Leonards (Picture: Aaron McLoughlin).

Matt Wright and Aaron Habgood with their whiting catch off St Leonards (Picture: Aaron McLoughlin).

Well taken: Cricket legend Merv Hughes with a nice chinook salmon from Lake Bullen Merri (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Well taken: Cricket legend Merv Hughes with a nice chinook salmon from Lake Bullen Merri (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

It had been a couple of weeks since Andrew Phillips and his companion George Uranus had caught snapper in their favourite possie off Point Wilson, despite putting in several trips with gummy shark the only catch, but that all changed on Wednesday evening.

They were anchored up by 4.00 pm but there wasn’t much doing until 6.30 when George caught a 6.5 kg snapper; Andrew followed that with another that weighed 4.2 kg. They fished until 9.30 or so, but the only additional catch was a gummy shark of 5.5 kg.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that fishing has been slow of late with a lot of floating seagrass, but good size flathead are still on offer with Dave Rasmussen and Ralph Allen catching them to 40 cm just offshore from the boat ramp.

Tib Polgar has been on the job as well, catching squid in much the same area with some good ones mong them. However, whiting have been scarce lately said Mike with only a handful of anglers catching them.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that whiting catches have increased, and among those to catch them were Jeff Richards and Ken Shae, who fished the afternoon flood in 4 metres of water off Indented Heads early last week.

Aaron Habgood and Matt Wight also took bag limit catches of St Leonards during the week using pipis and squid for bait.

Ryan Booth caught these flathead, measuring from 35 to 51 cm from the Barwon Estuary just downstream from the Barwon Heads Bridge over the weekend.

Ryan Booth caught these flathead, measuring from 35 to 51 cm from the Barwon Estuary just downstream from the Barwon Heads Bridge over the weekend.


Three year old Murray Booth with the redfin he caught on a Celta lure while fishing with his father Ryan at Queens Park on the Barwon River on Saturday.

Three year old Murray Booth with the redfin he caught on a Celta lure while fishing with his father Ryan at Queens Park on the Barwon River on Saturday.

Freshwater

“Fishing against the odds”, a competitive event held at Ballarat’s Lake Wendouree on Saturday, was a fundraiser for a rare medical condition known as amyloidosis. Alan Grieg, who has suffered this affliction for two years, and – despite a grave diagnosis eighteen months ago – is still with us and fished in the event, taking a 51 cm brown trout.

Heaviest fish, a brown trout measuring 57 cm was taken by Ben Young; runner up was Craig Matthews with a brown of 54 cm followed by Tim Beusman with another brown of 52 cm. Other meritorious captures included a 2.2 kg redfin taken by Andrew Lee Christoforou.

While filming an episode of cricket legend Merv Hughes’ fishing show at Lake Bullen Merri last week – episodes of which may be viewed on TV Channel One HD – Trevor Holmes of Victorian Inland Charters saw Merv take another good catch – of chinook salmon on this occasion – that was seduced by a rainbow-coloured Rapala shad dancer.

On Friday afternoon, Ryan Booth and his three year old son Murray, fished the Barwon River near the Queens Park, Bridge, and using corn for bait, they were hoping for a carp. There wasn’t much doing there though, so they broke out the lures and, with a combined effort, caught eight redfin to 38 cm with a Celta doing the damage.

On Saturday, the pair launched their tinny from the Sheepwash boat ramp on high slack water, and fishing just downstream from the Barwon Heads Bridge, they caught five flathead from 31 to 51 cm and several small, but legal size, Australian salmon using cut pilchards for bait.

Portland angler, Bob McPherson, of gets some hands-on instruction from Master Chief star Justine Schofield on preparing the catch.

Portland angler, Bob McPherson, of gets some hands-on instruction from Master Chief star Justine Schofield on preparing the catch.

Tony Thurgood with his tuna (Bob McPherson)

Tony Thurgood with his tuna (Bob McPherson)

Portland

The Portland tuna competition, which is held over four weekends, commenced on Saturday with Tony Jones of Hamilton catching the biggest tuna of 18.1 kg which enriched him to the tune of $500.00 in prize money. Runner up was Tony Thurgood whose largest fish was only slightly smaller.

Bill asks:

Geoff, last Wednesday evening (05/04/17), my friend and I were fishing for whiting about one kilometre offshore from the St Leonards Yacht Club, along with about 20 other trailer boats, when a large green, commercially registered boat, with netting clearly visible from its boom, anchored among us and remained there until we left just after 8.00 pm.

I have no doubt they would have netted all of the whiting that area after we had all left. So, exactly when will commercial netting cease on the Bay?

Bill, commercial netting in Port Phillip Bay is to cease by April 1st, 2022 and in Corio Bay by April 1st, 2018. It is one of the measures undertaken in our State Government’s $46 million plan for recreational fishing, which aims to grow participation to one million anglers by 2020.” http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/target-one-million

Most commercial PPB operators have already cashed in their netting entitlements, taking advantage of our State’s compensation packages that are to diminish in value on a sliding scale over the intervening period.

However, it is my understanding that those retaining their netting licenses in the interim now have to inform Fisheries Victoria of their catch on a daily basis and are subject to strict catch quotas.

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Geoff’s Fishing report

Sam Donaldson with his 102 cm Murray Cod (Picture: Sam Donaldson).

Sam Donaldson with his 102 cm Murray Cod (Picture: Sam Donaldson).

With the Loddon River at Bridgewater, high and discoloured following recent rain, Loddon Lures proprietor, Sam Donaldson of St Arnaud – a fanatical Murray cod fishing enthusiast – was by no means confident of success, even after remodelling his tried and true spinnerbait with a high visibility, fluoro chartreuse, blade and skirt.

Never the less, he persistently cast his lure toward promising hideouts until he, not only caught a cod, but from a quick measurement of 102 cm, it was the biggest he’d ever caught from there, and – after taking a selfie of himself and the cod – he released it.

Redfin are still the main catch at Lake Purrumbete, said John Clements who fished for an hour or so with Mick Giles of Bannockburn at the weekend for 81 reddies, while others also did well.

Lake Bullen Merri is still producing chinook salmon to 2 kg or so, both for anglers using lures and fishing with bait; among the most successful were Bruce and Riley Morrison from Geelong.

Matt Kincaid with two of the four snapper that he and Danny Skene caught off Point Richards in Port Phillip Bay on Thursday night (Picture: Danny Skene).

Matt Kincaid with two of the four snapper that he and Danny Skene caught off Point Richards in Port Phillip Bay on Thursday night (Picture: Danny Skene).

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

With a break in the weather, fishing legend Danny Skene, took workmate Matt Kincaid out for a run off Point Richards on Thursday night, hoping for a snapper. They caught four as it turned out, the biggest just on 7 kg; all caught on pilchards.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire, reports that a variety of fish have been caught off The Springs including gummy shark and whiting.

Andrew Phillips and Ivan Mitrov were amongst those to catch the gummies, boating one of 4.5 and another of 5.2 kg, while fishing with squid strips on circle hooks off Point Wilson on Sunday morning.

On Friday Andrew Johnson and Dennis O’Brien launched at Clifton Springs, and eventually found a good patch of whiting in 4 metres of water, almost directly north of the boat ramp, the biggest just shy of 43 cm,.

Early last week, they tried for whiting off St Leonards on the last of the ebb tide, which is usually a good time, but – apart from catching a couple of good size fish first up – there wasn’t much doing. However, that all changed on the incoming tide when they took a total of 31 fish to 41 cm on cocktails of pipi and squid.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire reports that squid, whiting and pinkies were caught last week with Indented Head regulars Angela and Con bagging out on whiting in 4 metres of water last Wednesday during the last hour of daylight. Also successful were Tony Parcoll and partner Sue, who caught 26 good ones on Thursday evening.

Rod also mentions that both the pier and breakwater at Portarlington, and the St Leonard Pier, have also been producing whiting, pinkies and squid, which is encouraging for those on school holidays.

George Gereige with a sample of the gemfish that he and Bob McPherson caught offshore from Portland at the weekend (Picture: Bob McPherson).

George Gereige with a sample of the gemfish that he and Bob McPherson caught offshore from Portland at the weekend (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Adam Nikolovski with a gummy shark that he caught off St Leonards (Picture: Renae Ciuffetelli).

Adam Nikolovski with a gummy shark that he caught off St Leonards (Picture: Renae Ciuffetelli).


Offshore

Fishing offshore from Lorne at the weekend, Simon Werner reports that slimy mackerel were in dense shoals, but apart from those, there wasn’t much excitement, except for seeing a large thresher shark become airborne as it tore through the mackerel shoals nearby.

Bob McPherson reports that tuna are still about off Portland, but have thinned out somewhat from previous weeks. However, despite a fairly heavy ground swell, he and George Gereige fished out wide from Portland, and as usual, their catch included gemfish and blue eye trevalla.

Kiong Wong with his prize winning whiting (Picture: Peninsula Whiting Classic).

Kiong Wong with his prize winning whiting (Picture: Peninsula Whiting Classic).

Classic catches

The 2017 Bellarine Whiting Classic – hosted by the St Leonards and Bellarine Pirates Angling Clubs, Western Beach Fishing, and Leopold Angling and Aquatic Clubs – was won by Kiong Wong, who not only caught the heaviest whiting of 560 grams, but his Tag took out the $500 cash prize: Kiong cleaned up in the raffle as well.

The heaviest bag of 5 whiting weighed 2.185 kg and was taken by John Kompa of Werribee. Shane Gordon followed with 2.08 kg and Noel Behan came third with 1.99 kg. Heaviest junior’s bag weighed 1.48 kg and was taken by Brandon Scaffidi.

Ken asks:

Geoff, I fish land based, and while I have had some success at Western Port, my repeated trips to St Helens have produced nothing. Where could I catch some fish around Geelong?

Ken, the Sheepwash area of the Barwon Estuary is fishing well at the moment, particularly following either tide change, both of which occur at similar times to those predicted for Geelong wharves.

You should be able to catch silver trevally, small but legal size Australian salmon, and mullet, on your light tackle using whitebait, pipis or pilchard fillets for bait.

Catching a mulloway is always possible on your heavier tackle, and elephant fish are about as well. Baits for these larger species include live mullet, or the fillets thereof, along with garfish and squid, both of which are also good baits, provided they are fresh.

There are jetties along Riverside Drive between Sheepwash Road and the Sheepwash boat ramp, as well as several areas along the bank, in either direction from Sheepwash Road, where you can fish as well.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Henry and Sophia Jankowski with the gummy shark they caught near the West Channel (Picture: Warren Jankowski).

Henry and Sophia Jankowski with the gummy shark they caught near the West Channel (Picture: Warren Jankowski).

Nick Tsavaris with one of the two gummy sharks that he caught of St Leonards (Picture: Renae Ciuffetelli).

Nick Tsavaris with one of the two gummy sharks that he caught of St Leonards (Picture: Renae Ciuffetelli).

With good weather on Saturday afternoon, Warren Jankowski, wife Pip, daughter Sophia 4, and son Henry 7, headed across to the West Channel from Queenscliff where, fishing on the drift, they caught four flathead and six squid.

Anchoring up nearby, and sacrificing one of their squid for bait in the hope of a bigger catch, it soon became clear that young Henry needed assistance to bring in the fish he’d hooked, which eventually turned out to be a hefty gummy shark; an exciting event for all.

Dean and Keryn Millard with a sample of their offshore catch (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Dean and Keryn Millard with a sample of their offshore catch (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Michael Golby with yet another blue eye trevalla (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Michael Golby with yet another blue eye trevalla (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Never shy about revealing the location of their late night snapper vigils on Corio Bay’s outer harbour, Andrew Phillips and George Uranus had seen very few boats out at night.

However, their arrival at the Clifton Springs boat ramp at around 1.00 am on Sunday, revealed several trailers in the parking lot, and – judging by the clearly visible anchor lights on their approach to “ground zero” – they had company.

The pair caught a snapper each – one of 4.2 kg and the other weighing 5 kg – using silver whiting for bait, before heading back to the ramp at about 5.00 am. If any others were successful, they certainly weren’t telling.

Fishing the Dell off Clifton Springs, after many a move early last week without finding a decent fish, Andrew Johnson finally took a bag limit catch on strips of squid, and – with a squid jig suspended just above the bottom – picked up a half dozen of those as well.

However, fortunes do change, for on Friday, he tried again with son Daniel, but – probably due to the discoloured water from the rain – they struggled to pick up a fish.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that anglers’ bags have included some respectable pinkie snapper of late. They’ve been a welcome sign said Mike, along with the flounder being speared in significant number by folk wading the shallows at night.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that squid remain the main catch, but some good catches of pinkie snapper and whiting have also been taken. Among the successful anglers on the whiting was David Mossop with bag of fish to 44 cm.

Adam Nikolovski and Renae Ciuffetelli made an early start off St Leonards over the weekend, and were on the drift for squid by first light: Successfully as it turned out for they soon had enough squid for the table, and for bait.

Taking a run into deeper water, and baiting up with some of their freshly caught squid, they added a 5 kg gummy shark to their bag. Fishing nearby was friend Nick Tsavaris, who caught two gummy sharks, each about the same size as Adam’s.

There are salmon a plenty just outside the Portland harbour, and on the cleaning tables (Picture: Bob McPherson).

There are salmon a plenty just outside the Portland harbour, and on the cleaning tables (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Peter Paterakis with his catch off Portland, which included a 10 kg blue eye trevalla (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Peter Paterakis with his catch off Portland, which included a 10 kg blue eye trevalla (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Offshore

Fishing offshore from Port Phillip Heads in 40 metres of water, the salmon fillet that Andrew Habgood had out for bait under a balloon produced a mako shark of about 20 kg.

Also in 40 metres of water, but off Torquay, Kevin and Jeremy McLoughlin were catching any amount of slimy mackerel, and put one out on a 10 kg outfit.

Whatever took the bait had Jeremy in action for more than an hour and a half, but when they sighted the protagonist, a bronze whaler over 250 kg, they ceased the engagement.

Luis Elgueta junior with his brown trout from Lake Fyans (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Luis Elgueta junior with his brown trout from Lake Fyans (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Freshwater

Trevor Holmes of Victorian Inland Charters, reports fishing Lake Fyans with Luis Elgueta and his son Luis Junior on Saturday, with small redfin the main catch.

However, the sight of a good size brown trout taking a moth from the surface nearby prompted the presentation of a mudeye under a bubble float with young Luis on strike. And the strike saw Luis catch his first brown trout; a 54 cm beauty of about 2 kg.

John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that members of the Lake Purrumbete Angling Club fished Lake Bullen Merri where the largest fish, a chinook salmon of 1.7 kg, was taken by Rob Helms. Steven Hille and Russell Pickett took up the slack with a mixed bag of both brown and rainbow trout, and a chinook salmon of 1.5 kg. These were taken on various lures trolled behind downriggers.

John fished Lake Purrumbete with his brother in law, Neville Mangan from Swan Hill at the weekend, for a total catch of 30 redfin to 1 kg using minnow for bait.

Dean and Keryn Millard with a sample of their offshore catch (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Dean and Keryn Millard with a sample of their offshore catch (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Peter asks:
Geoff, how do you work out the tides for Barwon Heads? On Sunday it was supposed to be low at 3.20 but it just kept running out for ages after that: Can you clear this up for me?

Peter; I suggest that the predicted times of high and low water at the Barwon Heads Bridge, would not have been adjusted to daylight saving, nor would they have related to either high or low slack water; events that most folk regard as high or low tide.

Adjusted for daylight saving, the predicted time of low water at the Barwon Heads Bridge would have been 4.20 pm. However, the time of low slack water is – depending on the amount of fresh water coming downstream – usually two hours later than that, and later still if the amount of downstream fresh is greater than usual. Typically, you would add yet another hour to the Bridge time for the Sheepwash, and at least another hour for the mouth of Lake Connewarre upstream.

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Geoff’s Fishing Report

Fergus Preston with his 118 cm Murray cod from the Ovens River (Picture: Ben Stephenson).

Fergus Preston with his 118 cm Murray cod from the Ovens River (Picture: Ben Stephenson).

Freshwater

Fishing the Ovens River near Wangaratta last week, Fergus Preston, along with friends Ben and John Stephenson, had already caught and released several Murray cod when Fergus’ “Topwater” lure was smashed at the surface by a much larger fish.

After a dogged fight, the protagonist turned out to be a 118 cm Murray cod that was weighed in the net at 30 kg, and released after Ben took a photo or two.

With Lake Bullen Merri producing chinook salmon to 3 kg, John Clements of Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park, fished there with Bill Zahra last week, and with pilchards and whitebait suspended just above the bottom, took bag limit catches of these beauties.

John also fished Lake Purrumbete with his brother in law, Neville Mangan from Swan Hill at the weekend, for a total catch of more than 200 redfin to 1.1 kg; releasing the small ones.

Linda Stewart with the kingfish she caught offshore from Black Rock on Sunday (Picture: Murray Stewart).

Linda Stewart with the kingfish she caught offshore from Black Rock on Sunday (Picture: Murray Stewart).

Jeremy McLoughlin with a nice gummy shark that he caught offshore from Barwon Heads on Sunday (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Jeremy McLoughlin with a nice gummy shark that he caught offshore from Barwon Heads on Sunday (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Offshore

Hopeful of catching a shark in 30 metres of water off Black Rock on Sunday, Murray Stewart and wife Linda missed a couple of chances. Never the less, they caught plenty of slimy mackerel that had schooled up under the boat while being harassed by kingfish, one of which Linda caught, and which measured 75 cm.

Fishing in 30 metres of water, but off Barwon Heads on Sunday, Scott Smith was also hopeful of catching a shark; not in vain either, for his catch included a 60 kg thresher that gave him quite a tussle.

Michael Goldby with one of the blue eye trevalla that he, Bob McPherson, and Lockie Wombell, caught off Portland over the weekend (Picture Bob McPherson).

Michael Goldby with one of the blue eye trevalla that he, Bob McPherson, and Lockie Wombell, caught off Portland over the weekend (Picture Bob McPherson).

Trevor Muller of Webbcon Marine in Horsham with one of the tuna that he and Trevor Holmes caught on charter with Matthew Hunt off Portland last Tuesday (Victorian Inland Charters).

Trevor Muller of Webbcon Marine in Horsham with one of the tuna that he and Trevor Holmes caught on charter with Matthew Hunt off Portland last Tuesday (Victorian Inland Charters).

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Launching at Clifton Springs late on Tuesday evening, Andrew Phillips and George Uranus were keen to fish the low tide change due around midnight, and that’s when they caught their first fish; a snapper of 5.8 kg.

Still in their favourite spot, which is about halfway between the channel junction off Curlewis and the end of the Point Wilson Pier, they caught a second, slightly smaller snapper. After that though – and probably due to the amount of berley they’d distributed – they were pestered by small gummy sharks until they left at around 2.00 am.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that pinkie snapper to a kilogram or so have been well represented in angler’s bags along with good size squid and some nice whiting.

Among those to be successful here were Jeff Richards and Ken Shae, who on Sunday afternoon, caught nineteen squid and one cuttlefish before settling in at anchor for an evening’s catch of 22 whiting, the biggest measuring 44 cm.

Mackey Street platform closure

The breakwater and jetty infrastructure below the end of Mackey Street, North Geelong (between St Helens and the wheat silos), and which is a favoured fishing area, will be closed from March 23 until April 7.

This area is to temporarily serve as depot for the storage of limestone, acquired for building an artificial reef on the Wilson Spit as a nursery for the once plentiful, but now endangered, native oyster: Hopefully, to restore that species’ former abundance.

Upper Stony Creek Reservoir

Number one Stony Creek Reservoir – which is on the eastern side of the Geelong Ballan Road at Durdidwarrah, some 40 kilometres from Geelong – has been stocked with trout, both browns and rainbows, and was opened to fishing along its eastern bank some months ago: As a result, patronage by anglers is increasing.

Unfortunately, illegal activities in the vicinity, which include vandalism, the lighting of fires and the dumping of litter, has resulted in a request that legitimate users of this water inform the EPA of any such offences on http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/get-involved/report-litter or by calling 1300 372 842.

Brittany Bourke, a prize winner in the previous Whiting Classic.

Brittany Bourke, a prize winner in the previous Whiting Classic.

Whiting Classic

The Bellarine Whiting Classic – hosted by the St Leonards and Bellarine Pirates Angling Clubs, Western Beach Fishing, and Leopold Angling and Aquatic Clubs – is to run from Saturday March 25th till Sunday April 2nd (eight days), with valuable prizes to be won.

Competitors weighing fish in during the first week of the competition – from Saturday 25th till Friday March 31st – must call one of the following officials beforehand; preferably between 6.30 and 8.30 pm:

· Jim for St Helens 0409 864 172.

· Ivan for Limeburners Point 0414 599 363.

· Bruce for Clifton Springs 0428 988 898.

· Phil for St Leonards 0411 215 146.

Weigh-ins on Saturday April 1st will be at the Clifton Springs boat ramp from 9.00am to 11.30am, and at the St Leonards boat ramp from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. The final weigh-in, on Sunday, April 2nd will be at the Clifton Springs boat ramp from 10.00 am until 1.00 pm. Presentations will then follow from 2.00 pm. For more information, call Phil on 0411 215 146 or email secretary.fish@bigpond.com


Harley asks:

I’ve been trying to catch mulloway from the Barwon estuary for a long time but the tides are normally too strong and weed always catches on my line: Any tips?

Harley, recent mulloway catches have been between the Sheepwash boat ramp and the series of S-bends upstream locally known as the Thunderbolt.

I suggest that fishing either tide change during the slower tidal sequences preceding both the new and full moons – and which will occur over this coming weekend – are not only easier to fish, but are the most productive as well.

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