With all the fantastic fishing on offer during summer, anglers found themselves spoilt for choice. Nearly every species from mullet to makos were caught all over Western Port.
The Victorian Gamefish Classic was held at Rhyll during early February. I headed down to the weigh-in at Rhyll on the last day, Sunday, February 10. There were around a dozen sharks weighed that afternoon, with most ranging between 15-50kg. The standout of the day, however, was much bigger – a huge mako that pulled the scales down to a staggering 168kg. This was an awesome shark. It was so huge it had to be taken out of the boat with a forklift!
Other anglers have also had great success fishing offshore. Regular customer Adam sneaks out in his 4m tinny when the weather allows. He has had some fantastic trips recently, boating a 40kg thresher and a 36kg mako. Tuna and squid have been the best baits.
Rhyll has also been one of the few areas anglers have been able to consistently capture snapper this month. Ahme and George certainly agree: they managed to catch a bag limit of snapper that ranged between 5-6kg on baits of sauries.
Cranbourne Tackleworld customer, Jason Simon, dropped into the shop and spoke with me and my colleague Neil recently. Jason was targeting sharks and asked us to custom make a trace to suit a small mack tuna bait. He headed down to Cowes Pier and hooked a lovely seven-gilled shark. The local police heard the commotion as the beast was threshing around near the pylons, and they helped him pull it up onto the pier.
Salted tuna has been working extremely well on the big gummy sharks in the Port. Chris, Darren and Paul boated a huge gummy of 19.7kg on one of our famous salted tuna strips. The guys also caught a 2.1m seven-gilled shark and over 40 pinky snapper in a hot session at Buoy 17.
Gwayne Blake and his mate Will had a great trip when they pulled an ‘all nighter’ in the Western entrance. The guys managed three thumping gummies of 14, 18 and 26kg. These gummies all took squid baits. To top things off, they also bagged some whiting to 47cm.
The whiting fishery in Western Port has continued to improve, and anglers have really noticed the increased size and quantity of these hard fighting fish. Tooradin, Corinella, Middle Spit, Tortoise Head, Coronet Bay – you name it, the whiting are there for the taking.
Jeff Clarke fished in 10m of water off Tankerton to boat an amazing bag of whiting. These whiting were some of the fattest I’ve ever seen, with one weighing in at 991g. Jeff had several other whiting that weighed over 800g. They were caught during the flood tide.
March is a great time to fish in Western Port. This month we should see the snapper start to fire back up as they prepare to leave after spawning over summer.
The elephant fish should turn up soon, just in time for holiday anglers to enjoy them during the Easter period. The Elephant Triangle near Corinella will be the place to try. Squid, half pilchards and salted tuna cubes are usually the better baits to use.
March is also the month that our mighty mulloway start to feed aggressively around Corinella. There have already been some caught on live mullet, fresh squid and pilchards. Try fishing water shallower than 6m, and look for small channels that may concentrate baitfish like small mullet and garfish.
For all the latest information about fishing Western Port, drop in and see Dan and the staff at Cranbourne Tackle World, 270 South Gippsland Highway, Cranbourne (5996 6500).Reads: 1989