Great reports are coming in from the surf beaches around Phillip Island, and with the salmon season just around the corner tings can only get even better!
There have been some good reports on gummies taken along the surf beaches, so I decided to give Williamsons Beach a try. We made it a family outing, and I also had a friend, Stephan, visiting from overseas who had never really fished before. We managed two gummy sharks about 1m each in size, and Stephan was rapt to catch his first ever gummy. Both sharks were caught on fresh strips from mullet that I had caught soon after we arrived, just before dark.
Williamsons Beach is also offering up salmon to 2kg. Baxters Beach and Kilcunda are fishing reasonably well, too, with some good flathead coming out of the deeper holes at Baxters.
There has been an unconfirmed report that two visiting anglers from Brazil were fishing at Gunnamatta and landed two bluefin tuna of 8kg and 10kg. I think that this is very possible, as I have caught bluefin tuna off the surf at Kilcunda. Even if it was 40 years ago, I can still remember stripping the gears on my Seascape reel on an 18kg bluefin. Hopefully it could be that they are on the comeback trail!
Below the bridge there’s a mix of fish on the menu: pinky snapper, whiting, trevally salmon and flathead. Outside the entrance there are some good flathead just off the Glasshouse, and further offshore the makos are still about in good numbers. There have been some good schools of salmon off Cape Woolamai. with some makos and threshers giving them a hard time.
Above the bridge in the Dickies Bay area there have been good catches of big garfish, while whiting are being caught behind the police station. It shouldn’t be too long before the elephants show up off Rhyll.
The deep water of the Western Entrance has been fishing very well, with gummies and school sharks over 20kg, as well as some big seven-gilled sharks. The Tortoise Head Bank has been a constant stand out for whiting, and there have been a few thumpers of 60cm caught in the Tankerton area. This year most of Western Port has seen the best whiting season for quite a while.
Although the whiting in the Flinders and Somers areas tend to be a better quality of fish, are not about in big numbers and you have to work hard to catch your 10-12 fish. This year there are a lot of 30-34cm fish mixed in with the bigger ones, whereas in previous years you would only catch fish over the 40cm mark. Why there are small fish mixed in with the bigger ones is a bit of a mystery.
Stephan Skov, visiting from Denmark, with a gummy he caught off Williamsons Beach.Reads: 797