Geoff’s Fishing Report

Red alert: Harvey Kilpatrick with the 63 cm snapper that he caught offshore from Portarlington last week (Picture: Greg Kilpatrick).
Red alert: Harvey Kilpatrick with the 63 cm snapper that he caught offshore from Portarlington last week (Picture: Greg Kilpatrick).
Brian Nolan and Andrew Moffat with their 80 kg mako shark taken near Lady Julia Percy Island (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).
Brian Nolan and Andrew Moffat with their 80 kg mako shark taken near Lady Julia Percy Island (Picture: Kevin McLoughlin).

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

Launching at Point Richards last week, Greg Kilpatrick and his 12 year old son Harvey, went looking for fish on the sounder, but with no luck there, they anchored up in 8 metres of water and began berleying.

After about 40 minutes, pinkie snapper came on the bite and kept them busy throughout the afternoon, but then Harvey hooked a better fish that, at 63 cm, was the biggest of the five they kept, and his biggest snapper to date.

Launching off Point Richards at daybreak on Friday, Andrew Johnson and Will Davis, headed out to a usually reliable snapper spot for this time of year, and – in eleven metres of water – the sounder lit up, heralding the capture of six snapper to 4.5 kg.

Simon Werner, son Jayden and his friend Jemma caught a 6 kg fish among the pinkies they caught off Clifton Springs on Sunday.

However, they got a shock when a large shoal of snapper burst to the surface beside their boat, symptomatic of the fact that large sharks, mainly bronze whalers, give birth to their young – one of which Jayden caught that day – in Corio Bay at this time of year.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire reports that good size pinkie snapper have been widespread with Steve Finning and Josh Lansbury-Lowe bringing in a dozen or so from Point Wilson using salted pilchards for bait. The pair also spotted a nearby shoal of Australian salmon, adding quite a few of those to their catch as well.

Whiting are still on the bite said Mike, with old hands Garry Ridgeway and Laurie (Doc) Alexander wasting no time bagging out near the mussel farm before executing a repeat performance on the squid.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that patchy weather has been the only stumbling block to good catches of squid and whiting.

Saturday in particular was tough going, but Andrew Phillips and Keith Fry were out off Indented Head by daybreak, and – fishing on the drift – they soon began picking up a squid or two. Eventually they had to put sinkers on their lines, so quick was the drift, but they caught 14 squid before virtually being blown off the water.

Whiting have been a bit slow said Rod, but on Friday, while fishing with squid for bait in 4 metres of water off Indented Head, Ken Shae and George Hill picked up 14 thumpers between them, their biggest measuring 44 cm.

Hugh Johnstone with a sample of the whiting that he, Tony Busher, and Bob McPherson caught off Blacknose Point over the weekend. (Picture: Bob McPherson).
Hugh Johnstone with a sample of the whiting that he, Tony Busher, and Bob McPherson caught off Blacknose Point over the weekend. (Picture: Bob McPherson).
 Dorz West with her Murray Cod, also on a spinnerbait (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).
Dorz West with her Murray Cod, also on a spinnerbait (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Offshore

Taking a run offshore from Portland, Kevin McLoughlin, Brian Nolan, and Andrew Moffat finished up near Lady Julia Percy Island where Brian hooked a mako shark that threw the hook. Not to be deterred, and despite its narrow escape, the mako returned to the bait and eventually greeted the scales for a verdict of 80 kg.

Good size whiting are on the bite at Portland and over the weekend, Hugh Johnstone (son of Johnno Johnstone, the new proprietor Portland Bait and Tackle), Tony Busher, and Bob McPherson picked up some really nice ones off Blacknose Point. Others reportedly did well along Portland’s north shore.

Cod almighty: Tony Blackford caught this 90 cm Murray Cod from Coller Bay, Lake Eildon, casting a four-bladed, black and orange, spinnerbait into the snags over the weekend (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).
Cod almighty: Tony Blackford caught this 90 cm Murray Cod from Coller Bay, Lake Eildon, casting a four-bladed, black and orange, spinnerbait into the snags over the weekend (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).
Trevor’s 80 cm cod on the spinnerbait (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).
Trevor’s 80 cm cod on the spinnerbait (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

Freshwater

John Clements of Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park reports that the lake has gone a bit quiet of late, but nearby Lake Bullen Merri continues to produce chinook salmon to a kilogram or so.

These have been taken both by anglers fishing from boats, and by those fishing land-based, either from the bank or from the jetty near the angler’s clubhouse. Pilchard fillets and whitebait have been producing the goods, but some have been caught from the bank on lures as well with Nories Laydown Minnow a standout.

Arriving at Coller Bay, Lake Eildon in preparation for the weekend’s clients, Trevor Holmes of Victorian Inland Charters headed out for a cast or two, but it was his third cast that came up tight on a Murray cod that gave no ground. Eventually becoming snagged, the cod escaped, but at least Trevor got his spinnerbait back.

Seemingly undamaged, the spinnerbait was cast out again for yet another heart-stopping strike. This time the fish was caught, measured at 80 cm, photographed, and then released.

Taking clients Tony Blackford and Chris Eddy into the strike zone next day, it wasn’t long before Tony caught a pearler that measured at 90 cm. That was followed by Chris bringing a similar size fish to the boat where it straightened out the spinnerbait’s hook in its final lunge for freedom.

It would seem the cod were becoming educated because – although their spinnerbaits were followed back to the boat a couple of times by mega size cod – they reneged on the gulp, and it soon became apparent they were having no more of the game.

An evening run with clients Charlie Koelman and Dorz West produced no more attention from the bigguns, but their captures included cod to 58 cm that were also caught on spinnerbaits, making a great end to an amazing day.

Also at Lake Eildon, Trevor took out Ben Humphrey and his mate Danny who were flicking out Ecogear ZX35 vibes on light tackle: After doing it tough for a while Ben landed this nice golden perch of 48 cm on the vibe (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).
Also at Lake Eildon, Trevor took out Ben Humphrey and his mate Danny who were flicking out Ecogear ZX35 vibes on light tackle: After doing it tough for a while Ben landed this nice golden perch of 48 cm on the vibe (Picture: Victorian Inland Charters).

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