King George whiting are spread throughout the Port and while many anglers begin the chase, others wait in earnest for a reel to scream under the pressure from a big gummy shark.
Recent fishing reports have been impressive as this is the best whiting season we have probably ever seen.
In the past, whiting from around the Port have usually been in depths ranging 2-3m. This season more anglers have been fishing deeper in 5-7m and subsequently catching a better class of fish.
With the introduction of the Black Magic Whiting Snatcher Rig, anglers have reported more success than previously with their original rigs. These rigs use circle hooks that prevent anglers from dropping or missing fish, thus putting more fish in the boat. In saying that, anglers have been baiting the rig with small pieces of pipis.
The introduction of the new Whiting Worm has been a new revolution in whiting fishing. The Whiting Worm is a metre long beach worm. A small 2” piece is about all that is required and it has been out fishing pipis in many cases. For a modest $5 a metre of worm, the cost is far less expensive that a $15 bag of pipis and you probably get more bait from it.
The Middle Spit has been the place to go and is continuing to produce some great fish. While you will get a fair feed from a 40cm whiting, and this is on the larger end of the scale, Matt Cini from Reel Time Charters managed to boat a cracker 49.5cm model. Among his bag there were plenty of fish in the high 40cm but even they looked small compared to this beast.
With so many fish being caught on the Middle Spit why head anywhere else? Paul, Christy and Jet Worsteling had a family day out working the edges of the Spit and did very well. They stuck to using the Whiting Worm and caught a lovely bag of whiting to 42cm. Paul did mention that berley was essential in keeping the fish in the area but when they turned up, they couldn’t bait and re-cast quick enough and had to leave them biting.
There were still plenty of other locations that were fishing well for whiting. The top end of the Port produced well.
Bushranger cricketer John Hastings, Australian T20 captain Cameron White and friends had a great day out fishing the Tooradin Channel. Fishing in 5-6m of water during the last of the flood and first of the ebb tides, they managed 30 whiting ranging 35-40cm on pipis and the Whiting Worm.
The Quail and Tyabb banks were also in top form with plenty of whiting available. Cam Edwards emailed a report after having success off the Quail Bank. Cam used the new Black Magic Whiting Snatches to catch a 45cm flathead and two 40cm whiting on pipi baits.
Although it seems everything is all about whiting, as the full moon approached the big gummies made their presence felt.
There was plenty of table fare being caught in the top end channels. Boultins and Boucher produced many fish of 5-8kg while few fish were also caught in the Hastings area.
Those wanting to chase a big girl did so anchoring in the Western Entrance. At one stage, Buoy 14 resembled more of a highway rather than a shipping channel with all the boats spread throughout.
Gawaine Blake from Think Big Charters put his clients onto some corker fish. I jumped aboard one trip to photograph their catch and that evening they managed to catch and release five snapper of 13, 14, 14, 20 and 21kg with all fish falling to fresh yakka baits. A few nights later, I had a social fish with Gawaine managing to catch and release a 20kg and 21kg fish and the next night, Gawaine, Brendan and Rich headed out catching and releasing a monster fish over 30kg.
Fishing for these big gummies in the deep water has lead to plenty of bite offs. To prevent this from happening I have been running a 20cm piece of Kevlar cord to the hook. Schoolies and seven-gill sharks can’t bite through the Kevlar, meaning you’re more likely going to catch them than to be bitten off. The Kevlar doesn’t seem to bother the gummies or snapper either.
Tackle World Cranbourne staff member Aaron Sammut headed out with some mates to buoy 14 and in a matter of minutes of being at anchor, caught a nice 14kg model. The flood tide seemed to be the best time to fish with most of the fish being hooked near its end when the tide was slowing.
All these fish came in the same week on the lead up to the full moon; fresh bait was also the key and during the evening produced most of the catches. Putting all this together, the lead up to the next full moon also looks promising.
Exploring the offshore waters is now the perfect time to catch myriad species. Bottom bashing will lead to plenty of tiger flathead along the Finders Bank. For most numbers, the 20m line along the back of Cape Woolamai is a prime spot. These grounds are also littered with silver whiting and trolling around Pyramid Rock may lead to a nice catch of yellowtail kingfish.
Mako sharks are still a common catch but will begin to quieten down over the next few weeks. Success begins with a good berley trail and, providing you keep it up, it will be only a matter of time before one takes the bait.
Inside Western Port the winter species will soon begin to arrive. Seven-gill sharks and draughtboard sharks will turn up for those fishing the deep, whiting will continue on the banks and large numbers of Australian salmon will swarm into the Port, mainly in the Western Entrance.
Australian salmon can be easily caught with soft plastics on the surface when busting. Trolling is also an effective method but I suggest replacing the treble hooks with singles. This will ensure the fish is landed rather than flicking the lure when they jump.
It is an exciting time to be fishing in Western Port; it is just up to you what you want to target.Reads: 4055