It has certainly been a cold start to winter with the almost arctic temperatures covering the state in the past few weeks. Even so, it hasn’t prevented the keen and dedicated from wetting a line at every chance.
While the cold snap hasn’t deterred the highly prized species from eating, it is the surf fishing scene that has sparked an interest.
Kilcunda has hotted up in the past few weeks with good sized salmon coming on the chew. Most of these fish are being caught during the incoming tide with the peak times being first and last light. Both pipi and bluebait have been heavily used and are catching a wide range of fish. One angler reported catching a solid salmon weighing 1.5kg. I have had a few reports of surf poppers also working with the most consistent colour being the blue/white.
Although Gunnamatta is a little further from Western Port, it is also producing some solid salmon. Regular surf fisho, Brian Rinaldi headed down that way to see what was about and came up trumps with salmon to 1.2kg and silver trevally to 40cm. All fish took pipi baits fished on a paternoster rig.
Inside Western Port the reports have continued on strong for those braving the cold and wind to catch a fish or two. Many of the reports have been filtering in from the Corinella/Coronet Bay region mainly due to it being the location to shield from the winds.
King George whiting are still going strong in the shallow areas especially in Coronet Bay. Anglers fishing with pipi and whiting worm have been catching good numbers of whiting to 40cm. Don’t just think that boat anglers are catching all the fish though, this location provides great access for kayak anglers and they have also been catching some great fish. The paddle is about 500m before you hit a depth of 5m, which is where most of the whiting have been caught.
Around Corinella, large schools of salmon have once again shown up. These fish have been busting the surface during a tide change and provide anglers with some great light tackle entertainment. The most effective technique has been to throw ARMA metal Twist lures in the 25g size to the bubbling masses. Trolling 100mm hardbodied lures has also been effective but you really need to troll on the outskirts of the schools keeping them on the surface.
John Pillford sent me an email after having success on salmon to 2kg. John highlighted the fact that amongst three lures he trolled, the Strada Mayan Maple colour, Bolt Omega and Sebile Koolie Minnow LL 90, it was the Strada Mayan that caught the most numbers.
Still keen on search for mulloway, Todd Davies pulled an all-nighter in the Corinella region. Although the jewies failed to show up, Todd did manage to catch four gummies with the largest going 8kg. All the fish took calamari baits. He also caught three elephants around 5kg each. All fish were released except for the larger gummy shark.
Just when you think there are no snapper left, a rogue fish decides to get hungry and take a bait. Fishing in 8m of water around The Corals, regular Tackle World customer Steve West landed a nice 7.5kg specimen, which took a squid bait.
The Rhyll area has still been producing a few elephants but they will all disappear in the next month. Still, Matty Stewart has been out on the water snagging a few good-sized elephants in the past week or so.
The north arm section of Western Port is continuing to produce some great whiting for those willing to work hard for a great result. The middle spit has been the number one location to be working with fish to 45cm being caught. The whiting have been taken on pipi and squid cocktails fished in the shallows from 2-5m of water on the edge of the channel. Although the largest fish I have heard of has been 45cm the average size has been 33-37cm.
Tristan Cincotta and his mate Mario fished out of Stony Point one cold dark night near Buoy 18. Together they landed two nice gummies going 10kg and 11kg respectively. The fish were landed during the last of the run out tide and both fish took fresh whole squid tubes.
Some good reports from the Warneet Pier have been filtering though with plenty of species on offer. Salmon, mullet, trevally, flathead and calamari have been the most common catches during the high tide. Fishing the last of the run in or the start of the run out has been the best time, with blue bait, pipi and squid being prime baits.
Anglers fishing the channel out the front and along the Quail Bank have picked up good numbers of whiting and some thumper squid in the shallows on the weed beds. Calamari to 1.5kg are available and are well worth the effort in this area.
The big calamari have turned up in the Flinders area with reports of squid to 2.5kg filtering through. Both baited jigs and lures are working well strictly on the top of the high tide. Silver whiting fished under a float is deadly on bigger models and don't be surprised if you hook a monster.
Artificial jigs in the Harimitsu and Black Magic ranges in the 3.0 sizes have been working well, especially the natural browns and clear colours.
With the surf season already producing quality fish from the beaches, now is the time to brave the conditions, rug up and hit the sand in search of a land-based gummy shark. Night time fishing is the prime time in conjunction with a high tide. Gummy sharks do favour soft baits so calamari, trevally and salmon fillet baits are ideal.
With the larger calamari coming on in the Flinders area, fishing for these inky torpedos from the pier, rocks and boat can be a lot of fun. Size 3.0 jigs in natural colours are working better than brighter colours at present. Fish the high tide for best results.
If you are hitting the sand in search of a salmon, don’t forget the berley. Berleying is an extremely effective method to attract fish to your fishing area. Without having to spend a fortune on stuff you’re only going to throw into the water, grab an onion bag, a 500g bag of salmon berley base and small bottle of tuna oil.
For around 10 bucks, mixing all this together and placing in the onion bag will work a treat. To berley effectively, the onion bag needs to be attached to a long rope that is staked off to your rod holder. The bag can then be left to lie on the sand and as each wave rolls up the beach, the bag is covered and the berley washes back into the strike zone.Reads: 2200