Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
Although pinkie snapper to 50 cm or so have been the main catch in the outer harbour, Aaron Habgood of Red’s Fishing Adventures, caught one of 7.5 kg from 9 metres of water off Clifton Springs last week.
After making an early start on Monday morning, Andrew Johnson anchored up after finding a promising signal some 30 metres south of the Point Richards Channel, hoping for a decent snapper.
As it turned out, there were snapper a plenty, all good size pinkies, most of which he returned unharmed, keeping three fish from 2.5 to 4.5 kg.
While the ratio of big snapper to pinkies is much better after dark, something to which night-stalkers, Andrew Phillips and George Uranus could attest, but they’ve put in the occasional unrewarded vigil over the past week or two. However, that wasn’t the case on Wednesday night.
After moving from their usual spot, north of the channel junction off Curlewis – mainly because of the number of banjo sharks and other unwanted fish taking their baits – they had their first snapper by 9.00 pm.
It was all hands on deck after that though with a total of five snapper from 3.5 to 5.8 kg – one short of their respective bag limits – coming aboard. Although they stayed until midnight hopeful of catching another fish to make up their legal total, that was their lot.
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that pinkies have been plentiful in daylight hours, and among those to catch them were Jason Hockey and Stephen Budzienny who found a school east of the mussel farm.
Whiting have been a bit scarce said Mike, but on Friday afternoon Andrew Johnson and Dennis O’Brien caught a dozen beautiful fish to 43 cm, while David Jeynes picked up several while fishing from his Kayak just out from the harbour.
Also seeking the whiting on Wednesday were and Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire of Indented Head and Jeff Richards who picked up half a dozen to 40 cm offshore from Indented Head.
Jeff also had another go at the whiting on Friday afternoon, this time with Chris Hateley of the Keysborough Angling Club. They took eight to 44 cm near Dead Man’s Stick, which is a kilometre or so inside the Prince George light pile.
With the bite slowing down, they moved out to the gutter inside the pile from where they picked up six pinkie snapper, all over the 50 cm mark, and – with the inappropriate length restriction of 40 cm on pinkies – were back at the ramp by 6.30 pm.
Making an early morning start in 22 metres of water off Bream Lea on Saturday, Rici Hedditch and Colin Crook were disappointed to lose what they thought was a good size gummy shark. Later on though, they did catch a female gummy shark of about 10 kg that they released; both took yakka (yellowtail scad) fillets.
John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that trophy size brown trout are still on offer with Milan Radocaj of Geelong catching one of 4.42 kg on a Tassie Devil, with yet another fish of 4 kg being taken by a gent from Murtoa.
Rainbow trout to 1.5 kg or so are also on offer said John, taking both on bait and lures, along with some large redfin; the biggest to date being taken by Jackson Toff from Pakenham whose fish measured 50 cm, weighed 1.9 kg and was taken on a scrubworm.
Trevor Holmes of Victorian Inland Charters, along with former test cricketer Merv Hughes and Jason (Stop the Bus) Kennedy, filmed forthcoming segments of Channel One HD “Fishing with Merv Hughes” at Lakes Wartook, Rocklands Reservoir and Lake Toolondo where good size redfin took centre stage.
Trevor also spent a couple of days at Lake Eildon with Michael Evans and Matthew Grinham, whose persistence in deteriorating weather was rewarded with several redfin, a golden perch and three Murray Cod to 70 cm; the biggest of which took a spinnerbait that Michael had cast to a snag.
Bob McPherson reports that there is not much doing close in at the moment with most inshore species only being taken in deeper water by trawlers. Even the bottom fishing in the deeper water is slow said Bob, with his most recent offshore trip with George Gereige producing only three blue eye trevalla and a pink ling.
Geoff, while fishing for snapper off Point Wilson last week, I hooked what seemed to be a good size fish, but was bitten off by what could have only been a shark. The same thing happened to a friend of mine who was fishing nearby. Are there usually sharks about at this time of year?
Ben, from late November through to late January, large female sharks, predominantly bronze whalers, and sometimes other species as well, are present in Port Phillip, Corio Bay and Western Port, to bear their young. Having experienced such an encounter it’s best to move elsewhere.