Find them on the beaches
  |  First Published: July 2011

With the surf scene really starting to fire and some fantastic cool weather squid on offer, there is no shortage of winter fishing pursuits to keep you entertained at the moment!

The last few weeks has seen a change of focus for many peninsula anglers with plenty of interest in the beach fishing scene and our great winter Australian salmon fishery.

Australian Salmon

After the first real cold snap of the year, many of our local anglers dug out the thermals and headed for the surf. As always Gunnamatta back beach has featured as the most popular local haunt with plenty of fish between 500g-1kg being caught by guys mainly fishing bluebait and strips of breast chicken.

Throughout the last few weeks however, we have had occasional reports of fish up around 2kg, but for the most part these were inconsistent and certainly not the norm.

Again this year we have seen guys spinning for salmon – which seems to be a growing feature of the winter surf fishing scene. Lazer lures in red head and gold colour have been reported as catching plenty of fish. If you’re thinking of hitting the surf over the next few weeks, the Mornington Peninsula has good options close to Melbourne.

I would recommend either starting at Portsea back beach or Gunnamatta, simply because these two beaches are reasonably reef free, meaning you’ll spend more time fishing and less time tying new rigs!

Basic two hook paternoster rigs and 4oz star sinkers are your starting point rig wise, but be sure to pack some surf poppers. Gillies produce a 40mm surf popper that has proved popular among anglers this season, and has been catching plenty of salmon.

Winter Squid

As seems to happen with squid we have ‘waves’ in their sizing. For a few weeks they will be small and then a new wave will come through and they will seem to jump up in size. Luckily we have been on the end of a wave of really good-sized winter squid with hood lengths up to 35cm reasonably common.

Good calamari have been caught right along the peninsula but a couple of hot spots have included the broken ground in front of the Portsea boat sheds and in the boat moorings in front of the Sorrento Yacht Club,

King George Whiting

Whiting have still been in good numbers and are probably the main target for guys still fishing in boats at the moment. Tootgarook has been providing for some plentiful bags while we have had a few good runs of fish at the Sorrento Sisters. This is great when it turns on, as it is close to the ramp and gets plenty of protection from south westerly winds, if fishing the shallower ground.

While they have been on the market for some time now, if you haven’t tried a Black Magic Whiting Whacker or Snatcher, I suggest you do. These are a great little whiting rig, featuring a flasher circle hook.

I have been using them with great success over the last few months. Couple them with some fresh mussel, which has been the bait of choice recently, and you’re on to a winning combination!

For more information feel free to drop in and see the boys at Peninsula Total Tackle at 11 Boneo Rd in Rosebud, ph: 05 5981 1994.

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