Stealth brings results
  |  First Published: December 2011

The past month has seen many good catches of squid by spearfishers in the southern reaches of Port Phillip.

Destinations like Portsea, Queenscliff and St Leonards have all produced good catches with the presence of eggs being the biggest tell tale sign that squid are nearby.

Diving down and hugging the bottom adjacent to eggs, has seen the most successful method to get the squid to approach. A camouflage wetsuit will help as will a bit of bottom time.

Some spearfishers have had success in Western Port also with the western side proving the most successful when the water has been clear enough. Locations such as Flinders and Balnarring have proven themselves with good by catches of squid, salmon and trevally also being common.

Several divers have also had some success with spearing the elusive snapper in recent months as well.

Line fishers have been always able to land quality snapper in Victoria but rather surprisingly catches of snapper over 1kg are not common by spearfishers. You will increase your chances with the use of berley.

Divers have been taking pilchards out with them as well as recycling their fish scraps from prior days fishing. Fresh squid heads work a treat and patience is important.

Be sure to place your berley in a location that may offer some protection upon approach such as a gutter or some boulders. Other quality fish likely to be attracted to the berley include trevally, whiting and the occasional shark. These are usually seven-gills or bronze whalers which are not generally on our take list but several divers have landed both school and gummy sharks.

Port Phillip has been productive and if you can get Western Port with enough visibility it’s worth a shot. Dusk and dawn have also been more productive than the middle of the day.

As the water warms in Bass Strait, the ocean beaches will hold good snapper in close with favourite areas being the West coast beaches like Torquay, Anglesea and even Killarney near Warrnambool.

December also sees the arrival of the first sightings of the mighty yellowtail kingfish. This is one target species that has made a great comeback in recent years and is on the target for most seasoned spearfishers. Typical locations include Cape Schanck, Pyramid Rock and the islands of Wilsons Promontory. The use of flashers and larger spear guns and floats will help ensure your likelihood of success. I hope to open the account in December as we did last season but who knows, every season is a bit different.

Mid November saw the opening of the crayfish season here in Victoria. Everyone loves a crayfish, (especially around the festive season) and you will increase your chances of finding them by investing in a torch and a good set of gloves.

Search in dark caves and ledges but be sure to do so with an experienced dive buddy looking on. Remember, you may only take the crayfish with your hand, (no guns, pointed objects, nooses, etc) and strict bag and size limits apply. Fisheries have been red hot lately and are doing a good job and you can be sure they will be ‘out and about’ again this summer.

You may find crayfish on most ocean reef locations with our west coast reefs being the most productive especially around Apollo Bay, Warrnambool and Port Fairy.

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