With the forecast looking good for Gippsland on Friday, Geelong anglers, Kevin McLoughlin and Brian Nolan made the trip to Lakes Entrance, and – after arriving at about 8.30 in the evening – wasted no time in heading seaward for 85 kilometres or so where they’d previously experienced exciting encounters mako sharks, and on one occasion a broadbill swordfish that weighed 140 kg.
Laying a berley trail in the light of a waxing moon, it wasn’t long before they had their first mako shark alongside and eager to dine, and they obliged it with a slimy mackerel on a wire trace.
It was in fact the first of three makos they caught during their overnight sojourn on Bass Strait, the biggest of which they kept and later weighed at 96 kg.
Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
On Sunday evening, Chris Stamalos took a run out off the entrance of Swan Bay looking for whiting: A good move as it turned out, for – fishing into the night – he caught 13 beauties, the biggest measuring 45 cm and weighing 700 grams.
However, that was before the southerly breeze freshened from the west, pushing him off his mark: This, in conjunction with the slackening tide, persuaded his return to the ramp.
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that a variety of fish were caught recently, particularly off the Curlewis Bank where Dennis O’Brien and Andrew Johnson picked up 30 good size whiting in 6 metres of water: They also caught a couple of nice flathead, the biggest weighing a kilogram.
Fishing in much the same area were Matthew and Kyle Cammaroto who took a mixed bag of fish on lures that included squid, flathead and pinkie snapper to 45 cm.
Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head, reports that the fishing has been patchy, but some folk have continued to catch large flathead in the shallows, the biggest measuring 52 cm, but squid have been scarce.
However, clients Shaun Martin and Ben Hussey soon caught a squid for bait, and then – fishing out near the Prince George Light – they caught two gummy shark of 5 and 5.5 kg on portions of it.
Surf fishing enthusiast Tony Ingram fished the late afternoon high tide at Jan Juc with cut pilchards on Friday, and although he did better than most with several halfway decent salmon, the fishing was pretty slow.
Come the falling tide on dusk though, when others had given the game away, he caught a couple of good size pinkie snapper, and hooked what seemed like a bigger fish that unfortunately, escaped.
John Clements of Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that trophy size brown trout are still on offer: Todd Broughton of Bannockburn caught one measuring 93 cm that he released, and then another of much the same size that he kept, and later weighed at 4.4 kg.
Some respectable rainbow trout have been taken from Purrumbete as well, as Michael Evans of Victorian Inland Charters and Ken Carmen of Camperdown demonstrated over the weekend. They also caught any number of redfin of varying sizes.
“Hooked on Portland,” a fishing competition hosted by Regional Development Victoria, Fisheries Victoria, and the Glenelg Shire over the weekend, was not blessed with the greatest weather, but fish were taken in all eligible categories except for gummy shark.
The most meritorious captures included a yellowtail kingfish of 10.7 kg that was taken by Mark Nolte, and a 25 kg tuna that was taken by Mason Shultze. Junior anglers were also well represented by Jamieson Goldby with a snapper of 1.55 kg, Hamish Storrie with a 645 gram whiting, and Evan Diaz with salmon of 1.66 kg.
Bob McPherson and Lachie Wombell were not involved in the competition but, as has been their approach of late, found a good patch of whiting for the table.
Geoff, can you tell me if yank flathead are present in Corio Bay, and if so, what are the current regulations on taking them?
Steve, yank – or southern blue-spotted flathead Platycephalus speculator – are indeed present in Corio Bay.
My 2018 Recreational Fishing Guide states that all flathead – except for dusky flathead Platycephalus fuscus, which have a minimum legal size of 30 cm, an upper slot size of 55 cm, and a bag limit of 5 – have a minimum size of 27 cm and a bag limit of 20.