Geoff’s Fishing Report

Jeremy McLoughlin with the tuna he caught offshore from the Black Rock outfall (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).
Jeremy McLoughlin with the tuna he caught offshore from the Black Rock outfall (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Offshore

Kevin McLoughlin, and his brother Jeremy, were fishing offshore from the Black Rock outfall site last week with not much doing when a shoal of tuna that were rippling on the surface nearby caught their attention.

With no lures aboard, or any other suitable tackle, Kevin rigged a strip of squid as a troll-bait on a snapper outfit and headed toward the tuna with Jeremy on strike … And that strike heralded a 45 minute battle ending with the capture of a bluefin tuna they estimated to be at least 22 kg.

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Making an early start from Clifton Springs on Friday morning in a fairly stiff southerly breeze, snapper specialists Andrew Phillips and George Uranus anchored up about halfway between the channel junction off Curlewis and the Point Wilson pier.

Their first fish, a snapper of about 5 kg, was aboard by first light closely followed by another slightly smaller. Things went quiet after that though, but an hour or so after sunrise, they hooked another good size fish that came thrashing to the surface followed by a very large bronze whaler that left no change from that transaction.

Also out early on Friday morning were Andrew Johnson and son Tim who tried off Point Richards, and – apart from losing a good fish on a whole silver whiting – all they caught were several snapper around the kilogram mark, all of which they released. However, moving closer in, they found a good patch of squid and caught a dozen or so of those.

The following day, Andrew, this time with Tony Mollenhaur, found a good patch of whiting more or less straight out from the Clifton Springs boat ramp and caught 26, their bigger fish measuring up to 42 cm, before calling it a day.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire reports that anglers drifting for flathead along the edge of the Prince George Bank have been picking legal size pinkie snapper, and quite a few of them.

Squid are still the main chance off Indented Head though said Rod, with some good ones among them: And, among those to take these succulent cephalopods were Ken Shae and Jeff Richards who bagged out on two occasions last week, keeping their landing net on stand-by the whole time because of their size.

Whiting have been scarce around the Bellarine Peninsula over the past few weeks, but Daniel Stranger and Troy Gundry managed respectable catch – with a good many over the 40 cm mark – in around 6 metres of water off the Swan Island grass beds at Queenscliff.

Ben Young with a chinook salmon of 1.7 kg from Lake Bullen Merri (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).
Ben Young with a chinook salmon of 1.7 kg from Lake Bullen Merri (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).


Freshwater

John Clements of Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that fishing was slow on the lake last week, but some good fish were caught.

Redfin are still the main chance at Lake Purrumbete said John, and among those to catch them was Brett Harding from Bannockburn who picked up a respectable bag of fish to 39 cm.

Michael Jones of Benalla caught a 3.12 kg rainbow trout from the lake, trolling a Tassie Devil behind a downrigger at a depth of 13 metres, and Stephen Cockburn of Mount Gambier caught a 6.3 kg chinook salmon from the lake, also on a Tassie Devil.

Trevor Holmes of Victorian Inland Charters and Ben Young fished Lake Bullen Merri for 30 chinook salmon to 1.7 kg over the weekend, all of which they released, both on bait and on various lures.

The travel Oz crew filming the seals at Lady Julia Percy Island.
The travel Oz crew filming the seals at Lady Julia Percy Island.
Travel Oz presenter Greg Grainger looks pleased with the bluefin tuna he caught while out with Bob McPherson off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Travel Oz presenter Greg Grainger looks pleased with the bluefin tuna he caught while out with Bob McPherson off Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Portland

Down Portland way Bob McPherson’s entourage included Travel Oz presenter Greg Grainger along with TV camera crew Harley Rossetto and Daniel Gregson in an offshore exposé of Portland’s potential offshore tourism attractions.

Bob reckons it was pretty rough, but they did find the tuna, and in the lee of Lady Percy Island where the water was much calmer, they found seals aplenty, burning plenty of footage there.

Bob McPherson fished calmer waters over the weekend for a mixed bag of whiting and scad (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Bob McPherson fished calmer waters over the weekend for a mixed bag of whiting and scad (Picture: Bob McPherson).

Ronald asks:

Geoff, I recently caught an 86.5 cm, 8.2 kg snapper from Corio Bay: How old would that fish be?

Ronald, the aging of snapper may be determined by sectioning the otoliths (ear bones) and counting the growth rings, or by counting the growth rings on the scales. Having used a slide projector to do the latter, I can tell you that one fish that I caught, and of the weight you mention, had twenty two growth rings indicating it was twenty two years old.

However, growth rates of snapper are variable and this variability is most significant with the largest specimens among which the ages of comparable size fish have varied by close to a decade: Some of the larger fish aged in Victoria have been close to 40 years old.

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