Fishing madness
  |  First Published: February 2011

Christmas and New Years has been and gone but the madness has continued right through January with what seems like record numbers of people visiting the peninsula for holidays and, of course, a spot of fishing!


It’s summer and it’s fair to say that the King George are one of the favourite target species at this time of year. Both the locals and the tourists relish getting stuck into the tasty and very feisty little fish.

Unfortunately, the season has not started with same oomph as last year, where even the novice line dangler seemed to be able to find a feed. Having said that, there have still been plenty of fish caught, especially by those who make it their summer mission to find the schools and keep on them.

The Pinnacle Channel grounds have seen plenty of smaller fish, but sticking to the run-out tide will see you in with a good chance of getting fish up to 40cm. The inner Rosebud Reef has also fished well for good size whiting, but in fewer numbers. Sorrento and the sisters have been a bit hit and miss, the netters sometimes making it difficult for recreational anglers.


We’re that stage in the season where the squid are abundant but mostly sized between 20-30cm in hood length. Squid have literally been taken all along the Mornington Peninsula coast but a new hot spot has emerged which is the weed bank which runs north east from the top of the shallow bank just west of White Cliffs in Rye, almost in parallel with the small Rye Channel.

This area is only 2-3.5m deep and has been catching many, many good calamari. Some new jigs that have been doing the damage include Daiwa’s revamped colour range, which still includes that enticing rattle.


While the water early in the month was a bit green, possibly due to the late December rains we encountered, the temperature on the whole has been good. A few makos have come in but the flathead have been particularly special with some great hauls coming from off the back of the Blairgowrie and Sorrento back beaches.

Southern Rock Lobster

It has been another busy year on the crays with all the normal haunts providing plenty of actions for guys on tanks and hookahs. The inshore bommies from Rye and Cape Schanck have been busy while some of the more intrepid free divers have been taking some smaller crays from Koonya Back Beach. Just remember the cray fishery is policed more than any other at this time of year, so remember your catch limits and remember to take the crays legally.


The scallops are in good numbers this year with many happy punters taking their bag from the Rye Bank, which sits just out to the north east of the Rye Ramp. Whether you dive the bottom of the bank in 10-11m or up on top in 4-5m, they seem to be everywhere and easy pickings for those so inclined. Keep an eye out though, we encountered a cute, but very poisonous, little blue ring octopus on the scallop beds while diving recently!

Finally, a quick mention of an experience Tim Bradler won’t soon forget. He was squid fishing in 3m of water off Sorrento where he caught sight of a considerable bronze whaler shark, around 2.5m, cruising the shallows in broad daylight and in close proximity to guys on jet skis and ski biscuits. He followed the fish for about 15 minutes in the boat before letting it swim away.

Now that’ll have the sharkies diving for their game gear!

For more information contact Peninsula Total Tackle at 11 Boneo Rd Rosebud or phone the shop on 5981 1994.

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