The silly season might be over but the fish are still silly around Queenscliff, which is just the way we like it.
Striped tuna have been known to turn up in our neck of the woods on a semi-regular basis over the years. Some years they turn up and leave on the same day. This season they have turned up, liked what they have seen and have stayed around.
The most common of all the tuna, stripies can be found around the world in all water temps and often go into bays and estuaries. As a kid I witnessed them being caught off Cunningham Pier in Corio Bay – carnage to say the least!
We first came across a school of striped tuna while off Point Lonsdale. A large flock of birds were doing their thing so we went to see what the fuss was about and our white occy style lures were quickly engulfed.
Striped tuna are pelagic fish and feed on the surface, and they are easy to spot when in a large school. You can either hang off them and cast lures into the school or troll your occy lures around the outside of the school. With fish ranging from 1-6kg it really is pot luck what you hook up on, but is not uncommon to hook them around10kg so make sure your reel’s drag is well serviced!
If you are going to keep some for a feed, make sure you bleed them immediately when you bring them onboard and keep them cool or they will cook themselves from the inside out. They are best for fish patties or baked whole.
Snapper have started hanging on the deep reefs out off Torquay – look for them on the reefs in 50-60m of water. Fresh squid and flesh baits have been working the best.
Speaking of bait and its importance (I often talk about freshness of bait and specific types of bait for different species of fish), recently I was fishing for whiting within casting distance of a mate. He was using calamari and I had arrow squid. After some choice words he gave me a piece of calamari and world order was returned!
If you are looking for whiting then try the end of the pilot jetty at the start of the ebb tide.
Flathead are still plentiful in 35m of water down to the east, and remember just a single strip of squid pricked through the hook once is all that it takes to entice these great eating fish.
Australian salmon are also still plentiful in and around the rip and we have been finding that the middle of the tides are working the best and salmon are still responding well to the occy lures.
It’s also a good idea to have some soft plastics on hand for when they get fussy.
Stay safe and I will see you on the water. If you have any reports or cool pics you can contact me at --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 2203