Who says you can’t catch whiting around here in winter? Finally we have had some decent weather and the fish have been biting strong.
The water has been very cold, but we have had at least two weeks of good weather through the end of August and the start of September and this has made the whiting go crazy.
While there have been whiting around all winter in the Port Albert and Port Welshpool area, they have been finicky. Now, the whiting are going crazy and are easier to catch, but the water is still cold so the whiting are hugging the channel edges.
The Port Albert area has been far more consistent compared with McLoughlins and Manns beaches and I think this is due to the water depth. McLoughlins doesn’t have enough deep water to hold winter whiting, whereas Port Albert and Port Welshpool do.
Most of the whiting are between 28-32cm with a couple measuring up to 36cm. It hasn’t been too difficult to get your bag limit, so even at 30cm, you can get a feed and a half.
There are a couple of good rigs to use when chasing the whiting: a running sinker rig and an extended paternoster rig. In this area you need around a size 2 ball sinker or 1/2oz to 1oz bomb sinker as there is lots of current. However, be careful not to anchor your bait at the bottom, but rather let it drift with the current.
Both pipis and squid have been working very well as bait. If the whiting are finicky, try pounding the squid flat and soft, otherwise cut it into very thin strips.
The garfish were so slow this year, and it turned out to be one of the worst winters I have had for garfish, but most of that had to do with the weather!
However over the past couple of weeks we have at last been getting our bag of garfish quite easily, and the fish are averaging 40cm in length. Berley is definitely the key and a bit of tuna oil in the berley trail helps to create a slick and makes it easier to spot the garfish. A float rig or slack line rig is best; use the float rig if the garfish are shy and won’t come close to the boat.
The garfish have been spread out from McLoughlins Beach through to Port Albert.
The salmon have been all over the place. One minute they around Robertsons Beach then they are back at McLoughlins entrance. I would suggest starting at McLoughlins and working your way towards Manns entrance. The salmon have been pretty big and are averaging 1.5-2.5kg and I would imagine they will only get bigger and more prevalent up until November.
Outside Port Albert has been fishing well with gummy sharks and flathead. The gummy sharks are becoming more abundant and are even getting caught inside now. There are still plenty of draughtboard sharks but at least there’s a chance of getting a gummy shark inside. There are a couple of big seven-gill sharks being caught as well.
The flathead have gone strong all winter and are gradually working their way closer to the entrances. They will be inside in good numbers any week now, so get those soft plastics ready!Reads: 3427