Geoff’s Fishing Report

Aaron Habgood with one of the squid he caught off Queenscliff at the weekend (Picture: Aaron Habgood).
Aaron Habgood with one of the squid he caught off Queenscliff at the weekend (Picture: Aaron Habgood).
Greg Taylor with his 3 kg whiting from Fowlers Bay, South Australia.
Greg Taylor with his 3 kg whiting from Fowlers Bay, South Australia.

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Anchored up in 8 metres of water off the refinery at Corio on Friday afternoon were Andrew Phillips and George Uranus. Others were anchored nearby, but with no sign of action, things didn’t look too promising.

But after berleying heavily and using squid for bait, they were rewarded with a snapper of 4 kg at 5.30. Banjo sharks became a nuisance after that, but they stuck it out and at 7.30, they caught another snapper of 4.5 kg.

Making a mid morning start off the Dell at Clifton Springs on Friday, Andrew Johnson and Dennis O’Brien caught 18 good size whiting in 3.8 metres of water in just over half an hour, but after that, things went quiet. Eventually, after moving into deeper water, they caught another 6 whiting and four beautiful flathead, the biggest measuring 45 cm.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire also reports the whiting have been patchy, but among those to catch them were Travis Roach, Craig Lawler and Shayne Bridges who found a good patch out in front of the boat ramp and took fish to 41 cm.

Damien Aquilina, who fished near the mussel farm off The Springs had the good fortune to catch four good size rock flathead and a 44 cm whiting.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that Portarlington Pier has been crowded following captures of whiting and good size pinkie snapper lately with most of the action happening toward evening.

And it’s been busy on the water as well said Rod, with gummy shark coming in from 12 to 14 metres of water and flathead being taken in good numbers on the drift, along with an occasional catch of whiting.

Most of the whiting have been taken toward evening though with old hands Jeff Richards and Ken Shae picking up 18 especially good fish, the biggest measuring 44 cm, from 4 metres of water off Indented Head just on dark.

Sam Donaldson with one of the tuna he caught east of Portland last week (Picture: Jake Donaldson).
Sam Donaldson with one of the tuna he caught east of Portland last week (Picture: Jake Donaldson).
Jake Donaldson with one of the tuna that he and his brother Sam caught off Portland last week (Picture: Sam Donaldson).
Jake Donaldson with one of the tuna that he and his brother Sam caught off Portland last week (Picture: Sam Donaldson).

Freshwater

John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park reports that redfin have been the main chance on Purrumbete with Ryan Perkins and Sammy Giles, both 10, and Harry Stanford 6, from Bannockburn along with Josh Frazer 11, from Norlane, racking up a decent tally. Rob Giles of Bannockburn caught the biggest weighing 1.14 kg.

Nearby Lake Bullen Merri has suffered an algal bloom but continues to produce fish. Among those to do well here was Maz Stolowski of Werribee who counted two chinook salmon of 3 kg apiece among the seven that he caught trolling Tassie Devil lures behind a downrigger at 9 metres.

Bill Zahra of Altona also did well on the chinook said John, using the same process but with saltwater pilchards instead of lures.

Max McKenzie with a 7.8 kg snapper that he caught at 4.30 pm on Sunday from the Lee Breakwater using tuna for bait (Picture: Portland Bait and Tackle).
Max McKenzie with a 7.8 kg snapper that he caught at 4.30 pm on Sunday from the Lee Breakwater using tuna for bait (Picture: Portland Bait and Tackle).
Lockie Wombell with a blue eye trevalla taken off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Lockie Wombell with a blue eye trevalla taken off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Portland

Tuna have been a big attraction at Portland lately with good size fish being caught as close as 14 kilometres east of the harbour. Among those to get amongst the action last week were Sam and Jacob Donaldson who bagged out on more than one occasion.

The tuna seem to be widespread with Steve O’Keefe and Riley Norris picking up one off Warrnambool that weighed 20.3 kg after being gilled and gutted.

Bob McPherson also reports that land based anglers have caught good size snapper from the Lee Breakwater lately. Among them was Max McKenzie who caught a snapper of 7.8 kg from here at 4.30 on Sunday afternoon using locally caught tuna for bait.

Hugh Johnstone with one of the good size salmon to be caught at Portland at the moment (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Hugh Johnstone with one of the good size salmon to be caught at Portland at the moment (Picture: Bob McPherson).


Fishing Trip at McLeod’s Waterholes, Drysdale

Ninety one children and adults contested the event at McLeods Waterholes in Drysdale on 22/02/17. Twelve European carp were caught with a total weight of 8.86 kg. The biggest, at 1.69 kg was caught by 7yr old Xavier Dean. Runner up was10 yr old Jack Inderberg with one of 1.662 Kg.

Flathead Challenge

Thirty eight contestants fished the flathead competition hosted by the Bellarine Pirates and St Leonards Angling Clubs at Clifton Springs on 28/01/17. The heaviest fish weighed 1.12 kg and was taken by Mark Stalio who was awarded the $200 cash prize for the biggest flathead taken. The $100 door prize was won by Grace Scaffidi.

Jeremy asks:

Geoff, how big do King George whiting grow? I’ve seen reports that they are being caught to more than 50 cm at Portland.

Yes Jeremy, they are: The biggest whiting to be featured in my column was on 06/02/2003. It was caught during an ANSA competition at Portland by Graeme Bate of Lara and weighed 1.76 kg on digital scales and would have been well over 50 cm.

However, last Tuesday. whiting enthusiast, Jack Blyth, sent me a photo of a 3 kg whiting that was caught at Fowlers Bay, South Australia by Greg Taylor. It was probably well over 70 cm, but they grow even bigger than that. The photo of that fish can be viewed by Googling “Al’s Bait & Tackle Fowlers Bay Whiting”.

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