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Surf segues to snapper and squid
  |  First Published: September 2011



Despite the cold, the fish haven’t known any different and catches have been outstanding.

For those that just had to wet a line have been switching from land-based to boat based depending on the weather conditions.

There has been some fantastic land-based fishing around Western Port by those dedicated anglers hitting the sand on first light.

Aside from going on about the cold, on the upside the fishing has been sensational both inside the port and around it.

Surf fishing is one of the most popular styles of fishing conducted throughout winter and as the salmon infiltrate the beaches, anglers can access these schools within a short cast.

Kilcunda and Cemetery beaches have been the most popular beaches to fish mainly due to their location along the Bass Highway. With good easy access, these two beaches have produced salmon ranging 200g-2kg with the odd larger fish mixed in.

Tackle World Cranbourne customer Shane Reece fished on the top of the tide at Kilcunda and managed to land 12 fish in 40 minutes all around 1.5kg. Shane found bluebait was the most popular bait favoured and by using berley in an onion bag definitely made a difference.

Other reports from the area have filtered through from anglers also having similar success at Kilcunda. Fish to over 2kg have been caught in recent weeks with the majority topping 1kg. The most effective baits have been bluebait and pipi, as well as blue and white surf poppers being taken.

Another option to fishing the surf has been spinning with lures. This technique has grown in popularity over the past few years with more and more anglers walking the shoreline rather than standing still and waiting for a fish to take a bait.

Spinning is actually very easy plus you get the added bonus of a little fitness thrown in. Metal slugs, Arma Twist and Anchovy have been popular lures used this season and the results on them have been outstanding.

Still on the land-based scene and those fishing inside the Port have caught some great fish. Stock Yard Point has been producing gummy sharks on squid, trevally and eel fillet.

Gary Norton fished at Lang Lang from the rock wall to land a nice little gummy of measuring 1.2m and 6kg. Gary reported that the gummy was full of crabs, many still alive and a decomposed lobster.

Boat anglers have also been getting the rewards when the opportunity arises.

Staff member of Tackle World Cranbourne Scott Harper fished the Corinella area for squid testing the soon to be released IKA squid jigs. Fishing in 3m of water, Scotty got a nice bag of squid and reckons these jigs are excellent.

Cameron Bice also fished the Corinella region on the lead up to the moon with the target species being a gummy. Over a 4-hour period Cam landed 9 gummies in total. Five fish were undersize or just on legal, the other 4 ranged from 4-8kg. He kept the 8kg fish releasing the rest for next time. Best baits were cured eel and salmon fillet.

Nearby at Spit Point, Dougie and Boof fished the run out tide in 5m of water. The boys had a great session managing a thumper 6.9kg snapper; a cracker fish for any snapper angler let alone at this time of the year. The fish was caught on half a squid head.

THE NORTH ARM

Surprisingly, the middle spit has been producing some good whiting recently. Although the fish aren’t in any numbers they are of fair size as Michael Thompson found out. Michael fished the spit with pipi and mussel baits to land 14 whiting ranging 30-39cm.

Other anglers also report success along with spit with fish averaging 32-38cm and the odd fish of 40cm caught. Again, pipi and mussel baits have been a standout.

Further North on the Tyabb and Quail Banks the calamari fishing has been exceptional. Gawaine Blake from Big Time Charters reports the calamari he has been catching have been in both good numbers and sizes. Using both bait and jig methods on one charter his combined clients managed to catch 50 calamari as well as releasing quite a number.

I headed out with Gawaine to host an on the water Calamari Clinic in demonstrating new techniques and gear to improve success rates. The day definitely proved to be a challenge as the calamari has shut down. We began the morning fishing in 2-5m of water along the Tyabb and Quail banks before moving south around Tankerton. Though we did work hard, the results were 18 nice calamari. Using a variety of jigs, the standouts were the IKA Ultra Blast orange, Black Magic Squid Snatchers and the MegaBass Dart Crew 2.9 in Hondawara Valencia tribal.

Micky Mac reported that he fished the Tyabb bank and caught 5 calamari around the 2kg mark.

It’s not just boat anglers getting into the calamari though. Land-based anglers fishing form the Flinders Pier have been doing well of late. The high tide is bringing the calamari in closer to the pier with an easy casting distance. Both baited jigs and artificial are working well.

September

It is fair to say that we can now look to the brighter side of life with the warmer temperatures coming. Snapper are on their way and it is only a few weeks until anglers begin getting up before the birds to go in search of that first red of the season.

Usually by mid-September a hand full of reports filter though and it spirals from there. If you one of those keen anglers wanting to get out early remember that September snapper are finicky.

Make sure you your gear is up to the challenge as you’ll only get one chance at hooking one and you don’t want your gear to let you down.

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