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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