Whiting Continue to please
  |  First Published: June 2011

The King George whiting have been going bananas inside Corio Bay with many anglers enjoying bag limit captures of fish up to 40cm.

First light has been the best time and mussels amongst the best bait. Ross Winstanley has enjoyed mixed bags of yank flathead, pinkie snapper and King George whiting fishing the spoil grounds inside Corio Bay. They have been caught from the weed bank near Alcoa inside Stingaree Bay, the Stingaree Bay spoil grounds, Point Henry, Bird Rock, Point Wilson – the list is exhaustive!

Keen kayaker, Matt Bruce has been flicking soft plastics around Corio Bay and picking up the odd flathead up to 40cm. Matt has had good success using the Berkley lime tiger colour.

The cooler months should see the snotty and silver trevally school up along the larger piers such as Cunningham inside Corio Bay. Most are either side of 400g with the odd fish reaching 1kg. Best bet is to hit the piers around dawn and dusk and fish with pilchard fillets, chicken, pipis or small soft plastics.

Clifton Springs and Portarlington

Five year old Midian Stephenson fished with her dad, Danny off the newly constructed break walls at Clifton Springs recently. As the tide comes in and fills the gutters the Australian salmon come in very close to shore, frequently smashing the surface as they chase baitfish.

This allows an easy cast of no more than 10m to the school. Danny said that they usually do large circles, going deep then returning to the shore about 200m west of the break. They follow the shore then come up the length of the break and back out to the deep with each rotation being about 5-10 minutes depending on how much bait fish are out there.

Danny has found that right before dusk on a slightly overcast day produces more fish. The lure used was a pearl white 65mm soft plastic minnow called ‘Gympie Bills’.

The whiting have also been biting very well around Clifton Springs and Ross Winstanley has been right amongst it. Ross has also caught good numbers of calamari drifting the shallows before using them for bait and catching a few whiting to round out a nice seafood platter.

Anglers fishing the cooler months from Portarlington Pier should remember that smaller salmon can congregate en masse around this pier. Sometimes they can be very fussy and other times they can climb all over anything, which can entertain young and old alike.

After dark can see some exciting sight casting for squid as they congregate under the lights along the Portarlington pier. Think it sounds easy because you can see them? Pack plenty of different jigs, as they are fussier than a 3-year-old.

St Leonards to Queenscliff

Matt Bruce also had a top session on the flatties fishing out off St Leonards with Peter Mohr. Matt says that they had no trouble catching a great feed of flatties on the drift in 16-18m of water.

Anglers know St Leonards to be the home of Peninsula whiting and with good reason. Karl Di Giglio, Chris Stamalos and Mark Sesar headed out off St. Leonards just before sunrise in search of King George whiting. They headed for the Prince George Bank and found a patch of eager whiting in about 5m of water.

Mark says that most fish were between 36-40cm and their bag limit was accomplished by noon. They then headed south and fished the mouth of Swan Bay where they continued their good fortune with catches of garfish, mullet and leather jacket.

Barwon Heads

This time of year can see some exciting light tackle sport fishing inside the Barwon River estuary with the influx of small to medium Australian salmon. These fish range from 400g-1.2kg and are more than happy to throw themselves at a popper, fly, soft plastic or metal lure, so keep an eye out for these exciting fish.

It is easy enough to wade the bank in places or fish from the many platforms constructed in the Barwon estuary.

Keith Fry, Adrian Cole, Chris Stamalos and Mark Sesar headed out early one morning off Barwon Heads chasing shark and snapper. The morning was very quiet but after three hours of constant cubing, Chris's reel started screaming. The 20 minute fight produced a 40kg seven-gill shark which took a bait of fresh eel.


Justin Ware fished Jan Juc beach at night with a high tide occurring right on dusk.

Justin’s first cast of the session saw the rod load up. After fighting the fish for a while, it flashed up near the surface to reveal a lovely salmon around 2kg. Justin almost had it beached, when the other rod buckled over with even more force and then a solid lock up.

Justin said that it felt like a huge snag, when suddenly, the line starts bolting towards Anglesea! Justin says that this fish peeled off at least 150m of line before stopping and he was barely able to hold onto the rod.

After getting back about 10m of line, the fish screamed off on another 40-50m run before running out of puff. Justin was soon able to heave it back to the beach but it was tough, tough work.

Justin had been fighting the fish for around 20 minutes, when it came up near the surface. Justin’s dad said he saw a large flash of ‘pure silver' before it disappeared back down into the depths. Justin managed to get the beast close to the beach and in the meantime, he had almost every other angler on the beach keen to see what he had.

Then, after half an hour of tug of war, the line gave way! Justin was not dead sure of what happened, but he plans on a few more trips to Jan Juc!

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).

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