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Winning Winter Whiting
  |  First Published: June 2010



For those of you that haven’t been living down at Portland and Port Fairy, the fishing back home in Port Phillip has been pretty good.

Winter hasn’t really hit and the wind has been kind to us.

School Sharks

School sharks are out having a play offshore. The schoolies have been hanging out in 50m of water off Barwon Heads and have ranged from 10-20kg. There are two schools of thought when it comes to catching these guys.

Firstly, some have been anchoring and running berley trails. Secondly, others have been drifting for them – I’m a fan of the latter. A lovely fresh strip of squid is best for bait and make sure you use a leader that is sturdy and stiff.

Stay clear of the soft leader material when fishing for schoolies and I’m not a fan of wire trace as I believe it cuts down your by-catch.

Keep in mind that you are in with a good shot at catching a big snapper or gummy shark while you are fishing for them.

You never know who is hanging out with the schoolies!

Whiting

Whiting are the mainstay around Queenscliff this time of year. Hit the grass beds on the ebb tide, you will find the grass beds between the entrance to Swan Bay and the cut at Queenscliff Boat Harbour.

If the grass beds are not firing then try around the pilot jetty and as a last resort give the Cottage by the Sea a go.

Fresh tenderised squid is a must and a 1.5m long leader with only enough lead to hold the bottom. As the tide gets stronger you will need to increase the weight of your sinker. If those three spots fail, then go home, put the heater on, make yourself a drink and put your feet up!

Calamari

Calamari are also hanging around the same places as the whiting. Before you go home for the drink, pull the squid jigs out and go for a drift – look for patches of grass and sand (broken ground) and clear water. Work the squid jigs out in front of your drift or if you are feeling lazy then whack a sinker on and just jig along as you are drifting.

A quick tip on how to clean calamari: rip the head, guts and ink sack out in one go then cut the last 1-2cm off the part of the tube that tapers down and then just drag them around in a scaling net. As the water passes through the tube it cleans the inside of the tubes and skins them.

Maintain your boat

I am in the market for a new boat and have looked at quite a few. I am shocked at the state of some of them, so this is a timely reminder to tidy up your boats.

Make sure your navigation lights are working, engines are serviced, bearings greased and if you have packed your boat away for winter get yourself a trickle charger for your battery.

If you have any reports or cool pics you can contact me at --e-mail address hidden--

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