Despite floods and tempest, the fishing around Geelong continues to provide quality action and plenty of different species.
There is plenty of action for those keen on tossing a few soft plastics about. The stretch from Point Henry to Clifton Springs has been pumping out plenty of small pinkies, a few pike and some fair-sized rock flathead.
The mini-pinkies have been murdering just about anything and some mornings whiting anglers have found it hard to keep a bait in the water.
March generally starts to really fire as far as King George whiting go inside Corio Bay. Try along the weed bed near Alcoa, the Point Henry sand spit north of the channel and inside Stingaree Bay.
Ross Winstanley has been getting stuck into plenty of pinkie snapper, whiting and flathead inside Stingaree Bay. March can see a few yellowtail kingfish kicking around the channel markers and piers inside Corio Bay. Grab yourself a few live baits like garfish or small, but legal length salmon and troll them near these structures. Remember to crank the drag up.
Matt Bruce tossed the kids into a ‘Rent-a-Tinnie’ down near the Geelong waterfront and headed straight out to channel marker number 12 on advice from the boat tender. Matt had only just managed to get every ones lines in when the fish started.
He ended up spending two hours pulling fish off lines and baiting up hooks straight away – the kids had a ball. Matt says there was barely enough time for the coloured popcorn and lollies and the kids were very proud to catch a feed of whiting and flathead for the family.
March is nowhere near the end of snapper season with some good weather sill available. Mark Sesar, Andrew Phillips and Chris Stamalos caught a pair of rippers at 6.5kg fishing with fresh garfish over near the old ‘chair’ marker off Clifton Springs.
Point Wilson has been producing some ripper whiting either side of 40cm of late. Mark Sesar fished in 4m of water targeting whiting over near Point Henry. Using crushed mussels for berley and bait, he caught his bag limit within three hours. Marks says his catch-rate increased when he started to slowly retrieve his bait along the bottom. Mark swears by his ‘easy rig’ set up with a 30cm trace and a red bead down onto a size 10 Daiichi hook.
I flicked a few soft plastics with Bret Larkins out off Clifton Springs not so long ago. Drifting and bouncing our lures across the bottom we had regular hook-ups on small pinkies and pike with nuclear chicken colour the standout.
March is whiting peak around this end of the Bellarine Peninsula. Expect top class fish in both numbers and size. Larger fish are caught dawn and dusk but good numbers of fish from 30-35cm are often available during the day. Target the 4-5m mark early in the morning then head out to around 10m if things slow up. Above all, keep moving until you find them and fresh bait is always the go if you can get it.
Ken Stevens from Barwon Heads Angling Club says the Barwon River estuary had a major fish kill with the deluge flooding down and out to sea. News is better offshore with one member of BHAC who works on a charter boats boating a mahi mahi (dolphin fish) recently! Some mako sharks have been weighed in including one of 47kg on fly by Ben Plumridge.
Lots of good-sized snapper to 3kg are still about, in addition to some gummies and decent nice tiger flathead as well. Work along the edge of the big brown freshwater stain for best results.
Kingfish have been about for those anglers in the know. Knife jigs sent down to structure in deep water have accounted for the largest fish with a few undersized fish taken over the reef areas off Thirteenth Beach.
Mick Allardyce from Anglesea headed offshore in search of yellowtail kingfish only to find a school of striped tuna busting up! Mick says that some of these hit 5kg and there were some true ‘pick-handled’ barracouta that weighed in at 4.4kg amongst the schools.
Mick’s mates Rowan and Phil also managed to capture a ripping mako of 180kg after a tug of war that lasted well over an hour.
Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to --e-mail address hidden-- with “VFM” in the subject field or give me a call on 0408 997348. Please include where (without giving away your secret spot!), when, what on and who caught the fish. Pictures are always great, but please make sure they are at least 1mb (file size).Reads: 2352