Taking advantage of a recent break in the weather, Joash Belousoff, his father Paul and friend Nathan Bekker, headed out into 25 metres of water off Barwon Heads, trolling their deep-running, gold-coloured Rapala X-raps, and not in vain as it turned out, for a good strike resulted in the capture of an 80 cm kingfish.
They persisted in the same manner until early afternoon when they hooked up once more, this time to an obviously bigger fish. However, as the battle went on, and glimpses of their quarry eventually began to show, they realised that this was no kingfish but a bluefin tuna that once aboard, bottomed out their 30 kg scales.
Port Phillip Heads
Kingfish are still on offer at Port Phillip Heads, particularly for those prepared to catch fresh squid for bait beforehand, as did Ben King and his friend Alex Thompson on Sunday morning. Following a couple of tentative takes on the drift that just damaged their baits, a solid hook-up produced a 110 cm, 10.5 kg kingfish.
Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula
Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that regular anglers; Peter Clark and Des Mc Kiernan, again did well on the whiting, catching 21 to 40cm within 300 metres of the Dell on the out-going tide. They also fished over the Curlewis Bank where they caught six squid.
Andrew Johnson and Dennis O’Brien also did well on the whiting, bagging out off The Springs on Friday, with most of their fish being taken after the incoming tide kicked in shortly after mid day.
Making an earlier start the following day, they were confronted with a strong easterly that created some doubt as to whether or not they should stay. But, stay they did until the flood tide began at around 1.00 pm, at which time they were also favoured by a change of wind from the south and yet another bag limit catch of whiting.
Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire reports that rough weather was the stumbling block last week with strong onshore winds and discoloured water. Never the less pinkie snapper from legal size to 40 cm turned up amongst angler’s catches whenever a break in the weather occurred.
John Clements of Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that trophy size brown trout are still on offer, and among those to catch them from Purrumbete last week was Craig Cooper of Colac with a fish of 3.6 kg on a Zman soft plastic.
Others included Tim Beusman of Geelong who caught two of 4.3 kg and 3.4 kg, Michael and Robert Evans of Geelong, who caught two fish of 4.1 and 4.67 kg, while Phillip Pirotta from Warrnambool caught another of 3.8 kg. Most were caught on lures being deep-trolled behind downriggers.
Chinook salmon were still on offer at Lake Bullen Merri over the weekend, and among those to catch them were Michael Evans of Victorian Inland Charters (South West), and client Bill Thomas who picked up four chinook salmon to 1.7 kg: Others to catch chinook salmon from Lake Bullen Merri, included Maz Solowski and Dane Jewell.
The recent capture of a metre-long chinook salmon from Lake Bullen Merri recently would indicate a considerable a size gap between that one fish, and the others being caught. Do you have a view on this?
Jaimie, my understanding is that Snobs Creek Hatchery’s preferred regime is to provide one year old (yearling fish) for release.
Historically speaking though, informed opinion has it that chinook salmon that are released into the wild as fry, and at the beginning of their most critical growth period – rather than within the hatchery where their early growth is restricted under current feeding regimes – allows them to reach sizes comparable to the trophy size fish of the 70s or early 80s, and earlier still when this species was known as quinnat salmon.
Again, it is my understanding that a recent trial – where a selection of hatchlings were virtually force-fed for three months or so prior to their release as fingerlings – by fisheries management, was responsible for the large chinook captured from Lake Purrumbete last year, and the recent capture from Bullen Merri, of which you speak.