It is the season to be jolly… Awesome fishing to be had both offshore and in and around Queenscliff.
Water temperatures have been steadily rising; it is great to see Mother Nature doing her thing. As the water temperatures rise as does the food chain from as low down as the humble krill right up to the mighty shark and everything in between.
We fit into to that somewhere (I like to think I’m at the top!) as we increase in numbers we need to remember our responsibilities to Mother Nature, and to one another.
Our charter boat caught its first mako shark of the season in early November. It came up a berley trail and was promptly fed a fillet of ‘couta.
Interesting story behind this fish, at first glance all on board thought it was a blue shark and its lack of fight while being caught also made us think this was the case but once the fish was alongside it was obvious that it was a mako and was promptly dealt with and bought on board.
Once on board the confusion started again, you see the problem was that the fish had very long pectoral fins as does a blue, the fish was 9ft long and weighed 120kg, the numbers weren’t adding up.
A mako shark of that length should be pushing 200kg. Many phone calls and pictures were sent and then a call was put into the Marine Discovery Centre at Queenscliff, back at the ramp it was a bit of a circus with marine biologists and their books arguing over if it was a cross between a blue and a mako or if it was the long fin northern cousin of the short fin mako we catch down here.
In the end it was an old Jedi Master by the name of Robert Gage (ex charter boat skipper) that made the most sense. “I think you will find it was a fish of 200kg that is dying and now only weighs 120kg. I bet you will find a rusty old long line hook in him somewhere”. The Jedi Master was right on the money as a long line hook was found in its gills and the experts were left red faced!
Snapper are there for those that are willing to put in the time and miles searching for them. The fish seem to be on the move; in 35m of water off Barwon Heads one day and then in 50m down to east the next. The search pays dividends when you do find them as the snapper have been ranging in size from 1-5kg. Fresh bait is essential and a mix of squid and flesh baits is the way to go.
Calamari have been plentiful in Lonsdale Bay, we have found that baited jigs are the way to go and that the last half of the flood tide has been producing the best results with calamari up to 4kg not uncommon.
When the tide turns and starts to ebb you should be going on the troll for Australian salmon…cause they are back with a vengeance. Please, please, please troll around the outside of the bust-ups guys, there is nothing more frustrating than watching guys troll straight through the centre of a school of fish and putting them down and remember I will be there watching a taking photos of you guys and will give them to the editor.
While searching high and low for snapper we have come across the odd school of blue morwong holding up on reefs. These guys do everything snapper do but only better. They pull harder, eat better and are harder to hook but when you do hook one you know about it, a blue morwong will pull a snapper backwards!
Tiger flathead have also been in big numbers down to the east in 35m of water. A single strip of squid pricked through once with the hook is irresistible to the humble flathead. Remember that these guys have teeth, a customer of ours found that out the hard way when he stuck his thumb in its mouth….ouch!
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