Surf Beaches promise most
  |  First Published: June 2011

Brisk early mornings face anglers as we head closer towards the winter period but the fishing on Western Port is continuing to provide anglers with quality fare.

The annual run of elephants may be still a hot target species, but in the coming weeks they will pack their bags and begin the long journey back home to the Tasman Sea. That doesn’t mean the fishing is all over though, with whiting, gummy sharks, salmon, calamari and trevally still available.

Inside Western Port things are a little different with many anglers continuing to hone their skills at catching elephants. The usual haunts provided anglers with good numbers of elephants but with a bag limit of only one fish per person per day, they were quick to move onto other species.

Rhyll, a well-known location to catch elephants was one of the most successful locations to be fishing. Matt Stewart and his mate had a ripper session landing seven elephants in 13m of water on the run-out tide. After the mayhem of catching and releasing elephants they headed towards Cerberus to catch a terrific bag of whiting to 42cm amongst the weed beds. They found pipi and squid baits to work well.

Other anglers also found similar success around Rhyll with some elephants to 6kg being caught. The standout baits have been calamari strips and half pilchards fished on a running sinker rig.

The Corinella area has also been producing. I have received numerous reports of gummies, elephants, and whiting from the Corinella area in recent weeks. Most of the captures have been in the Mosquito Channel and around Pelican Island with fish to 5kg caught fishing in depths of 4m-8m of water. Again the favoured baits have been squid and half pilchards.

Tackle World Cranbourne customers, Jim and his son, had a ripper day on the water catching a variety of species. Fishing out from Corinella, the boys landed a number of gummies ranging from 4-7kg, loads of elephants to 5kg along with a nice bag of pinkie snapper.

Whiting continue to please

Although the elephants have been providing anglers with light tackle entertainment, it is the continuing catches of whiting that has many pleased. Coronet Bay is the location to be if you still want to catch them before the cooler water temperature really set in.

Mick Hill fished his favourite spot off Coronet Bay and had a good day out landing 16 whiting ranging from 32-41cm. Best baits were squid and pipi fished on Black Magic Whiting Snatcher Rigs.

Reef Island is also producing fish to 40cm on whiting worm and pipi fished on a Black Magic Whiting Snatchers. Along with the whiting there have been good numbers of leather jackets and a few small salmon mixed in.

The most successful technique has been to fish a sand hole for 10 minutes or so then move off to find another patch of fish. While you may not catch your bag, you will get a good dozen for your fishing session.


It’s not all about catching fish from a boat at this time of year, especially with the elephants and sizeable gummies in plague proportions. Land-based locations like Stockyard Point has been producing the goods and although the elephants have been a hot topic, gummies are a regular catch. Elephants to 5kg are biting well with pilchards, eel and squid being the standout baits.

Dylan Anderson popped into Tackle World Cranbourne before venturing down to Stockyard Point. Dylan Reported having a hot bite landing some thumper elephants and a few decent mullet. Another angler also dropped into the shop to report on the capture of a magnificent mulloway he caught while fishing from Stockyard.

He told staff member Pete Garbs that he caught a massive mulloway that was estimated at 22kg. The fish was caught during the middle of the day on half a pilchard while targeting elephants. That's the third mulloway that has been caught off Stockyard this month.


Further up Western Port the Tooradin Channel has been producing some good whiting. Matt Hardy from Pakenham fished the mouth of the Tooradin channel over the Easter period to land 23 beautiful whiting to 39cm. Browns reserve is also producing fish with a pipi/calamari cocktail the best bait option.

If it’s whiting you’re after, the middle spit will continue to provide anglers with a good catch right up until late July. At present, the fish are still in good numbers and are favouring pipi and whiting worm baits.

Dave fished the middle spit and although he found the fishing a little tough, he did manage whiting to 40cm. Later on during the change of tide he headed over towards the Tyabb bank for a quick drift for squid to finish of the day’s fishing. In 5-6m of water he landed some beautiful squid using the Size 3.0 Harimitsu jig in the AG colour.

Pete Collins and Sam also fished the middle spit in search of whiting and absolutely smashed them catching 16 big fish. They ranged from 40-45cm and were caught on a pipi and squid cocktail. Along with the whiting the boys managed a good bag of salmon and five leather jackets. All fish were caught in 4m of water.


With water temperatures cooling, the surf scene is beginning to hot up. Large Australian salmon are the main target. Kilcunda has been the best beach to fish with most catches coming on the top of the high tide. Both bluebait and pipi baits are working well. I have not heard much from Williamsons, so it seems this spot is yet to fire. The largest fish for the season are usually caught here and reports over next few weeks will give us an insight into how it is going.

Cape Woolamai has seen few fish caught lately. Anzac Beach is the most popular to be fished as it has some quite deep gutters. The gutter to the right of the stairs is quite reefy and amongst the salmon, silver trevally and pinkie snapper are also a possibility. In the past week, salmon to 1kg have been caught during the high tide.


If you are looking for something to do over the coming weeks, then pack the surf gear and hit the beaches. Cape Woolamai always produces quality fish at this time of year, especially at Anzac Beach, the first car park on Cape Woolamai Road. Paternoster rigs with size 1/0 long shank hooks is the more effective setup with pipi and bluebait the chosen bait.

Don’t forget the berley though.

If you want quality fish don’t rely on your bait bringing them to your offering. Toss in some berley and bring the entire school into your chosen gutter.

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