Geoff’s Fishing Report

Murray Scott and Ben King with a sample of their snapper catches.
Murray Scott and Ben King with a sample of their snapper catches.
Murray Scott with a sample of his snapper catch.
Murray Scott with a sample of his snapper catch.

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

An early start from Avalon paid off for Murray Scott over the weekend, when – anchored up on the west side of the Wilson Spit in around eight metres of water – he had his bag-limit of snapper to 7 kg before sunrise.

He was by no means the only successful angler to arrive back at the Avalon boat ramp where Scott Smart, and his nine year old son Billy, also returned with snapper, as did Ben King with another bag-limit catch; each of their fish being caught on squid.

On Wednesday evening, Andrew Phillips and George Uranus had also anchored up in 8 metres of water on the west side of Wilson Spit hopeful of catching a snapper or two: They caught three as it turned out; the first, a fish of 3.5 kg was taken on dusk and followed by two more of 4.2 and 5.2 kg at 10.00 and 10.45 respectively.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that some species that are usually long gone by now are still present: Kim Gorell and Peter Beard picked up a couple of nice snook over the grass beds at The Springs, while Dick from Ballarat’s catch of silver whiting and flathead also included a dozen rock cod.

Following last week’s gale force winds, Andrew Johnson and Dennis O’Brien tried their luck on the whiting off Point Wilson, but – although the ten that they caught were in the 38 to 40 cm range – they were a bit slow.

Then, they got a call from Noel and Kirt Behan who were into the whiting off Curlews; so, by early afternoon, they topped off their bag-limit over there; but these fish weren’t as big as those they’d caught earlier off Point Wilson.

At Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head, Rod Ludlow reports that whiting and squid were well and truly on the bite until Thursday’s gale force winds and rough seas. Among those to catch both on Wednesday were Jeff Richards and Ken Shae who caught eleven good size squid before the mid afternoon low tide change, after which they headed out into 4 metres of water after the whiting. A good move as it turned out, for – with the tide running in – they caught their bag-limit of thumpers, their biggest fish measuring 44 cm.

Mini mako: Sean Mayall with the mako shark he caught offshore from Port Phillip Heads (Photo Brad Andrews).
Mini mako: Sean Mayall with the mako shark he caught offshore from Port Phillip Heads (Photo Brad Andrews).
Good Start: Nine year old Billy Smart with the snapper he caught from Corio Bay over the weekend.
Good Start: Nine year old Billy Smart with the snapper he caught from Corio Bay over the weekend.


Offshore

Offshore from Port Phillip Heads in 28 metres of water, clients aboard Gone Fishing Charters were picking up mixed bags of fish, when Brad Andrews hooked a small mako shark of about 20 kg. Having already caught quite a few of those, Brad passed the rod to his friend Sean Mayall who finished up with mako on the menu.

Ben King at the Avalon boat ramp with a sample of his bag-limit catch.
Ben King at the Avalon boat ramp with a sample of his bag-limit catch.
Bailey Vermolen with the 7.8 kg snapper he caught from the Lee Breakwater at Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Bailey Vermolen with the 7.8 kg snapper he caught from the Lee Breakwater at Portland (Picture: Bob McPherson).


Portland

Bob McPherson reports that good size snapper continue to be caught from the Lee Breakwater at Portland by those with the right approach: Among the successful anglers last week was Bailey Vermolen who caught one of 7.8 kg using squid for bait.

Gemfish

Further to Ashleigh’s question regarding gemfish regulations last week, I have since been informed that there is to be a daily catch limit of 5 (with no minimum length) introduced next year: Details are to be published in Victoria’s 2017 recreational fishing guide.

Brendan asks:

Geoff, I’ll be fishing off Portarlington during over Christmas with my friend who has a boat, and would really like to catch either a large snapper or gummy shark. I am not really sure where to fish or how to rig my line. Can you help please?

Brendan, assuming you’re shipshape with all of your safety gear, I suggest that fishing anywhere off the Prince George Bank, or even directly out from the Portarlington Pier – preferably in at least 12 metres of water – your chance of catching either species is good.

As for rigging your line, I suggest using a 50 cm trace of about twice the breaking strain of your main line with a hook (size 4/0 to 6/0) at one end and a swivel at the other. Your sinker – either a medium size ball or bean – is threaded onto the line to which your trace is tied; the hook baited then cast well out from the boat. After that, it’s a waiting game.

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