Elephant season begins
  |  First Published: April 2012

The fishing continues to impress into April with King George whiting are still dominating proceedings in the northern part of the port.

With the annual migration of the elephant shark in full swing the variety of fish is still there for keen anglers.


The top end of Western Port has once again fished really well over the last month, with whiting, pinkies, gummy sharks and the odd elephant showing up.

Bouchier and Boulton channels are generally an elephant shark hot spot at the beginning of the season so I would be heading here for a shot at an early elephant. Remember that the bag limit for elephants is now only one per person so get those circle hooks ready for an easy and stress free release!

The whiting have been in all the usual haunts but I would have to say that Tooradin has been the pick of the bunch of late. Ron Smith of Catch and Cook fame packed up a few rods and his sharpie and had a nice little session out of Tooradin. He got a great mixed bag of whiting, flathead and pinkies on squid strips and mussels.

There have also been some bigger whiting to 43cm schooled up in the deeper water off Joes Island so soaking a few pipis and mussels around this area can be quite rewarding.

Joes Island is also an area that is well worth sending a bigger bait out while poling in a few whiting as it’s not un common to catch gummies well over 10kg here.

Warneet has still been a great option as Bill Connelly and his mate Jamie found out. In amongst bagging a few nice whiting they also managed a nice elephant to round off a great little session.

The Quail and Tyabb banks have also been firing for whiting and you couldn’t fish these areas without throwing around a squid jig as this one of those areas where acquiring a seafood basket is very achievable. I have heard of a few locals getting a bag of squid quite easily of late, any #3 jig with a red foil has been working extremely well.


The north arm would have to be one of the most consistent fishing areas in the state over the last month and it’s still continues to produce the goods. Whiting have still dominated captures but gummies still continue to show up and a lot of keen kingfish anglers are gathering here to catch live baits for a day offshore.

There has been a lot of yakkas being caught around the sub and it’s as simple as throwing over a bit of berley and dropping a Sabiki jig over the side. Jarrod Day stopped here on a recent trip offshore and had yakkas schooled up behind the boat in no time. He also managed to get a few whiting on the Sabiki jigs!

Hastings has also continued to blow us all away with its whiting fishing. The Worsteling family spent a day on the port and had a ball getting young Jet stuck into a few kidney slappers. They found whiting worm and pipi the go-to baits, and the secret to that nights dinner was the Fog Dog beer batter that the whiting was cooked in.

The middle spit has been very kind to us anglers and good customer of Tackleworld Cranbourne, Kevin and his old man Malcolm, have been two of those lucky anglers. Within 10 minutes of anchoring up they boated a 6kg gummy on fresh yakka and went on to collect 10 whiting and 4 pinkies in the remainder of the session.

Kieran Noble is another who witnessed how well the spit is fishing. He smacked a nice bag of whiting to 40cm on Black Magic whiting snatchers baited with whiting worm. The key to Kieran’s success was making sure that the berley pot was on the bottom at all times to help hold the fish in the area.


A lot of anglers complain about the annual run of elephant sharks and do not see them as a worthy sport fish. The fact of the matter is that they will turn up in their thousands and at times there is nothing you can do to get away from them.

The big problem is the way we target them, put the snapper gear away and use the whiting gear on them instead. They are a sizable fish by nature and will perform quite well on light gear.

They are also a reliable option for land-based anglers as they will frequent shallow water, especially at night. The Grantville pier on a high tide is a perfect spot to target them and will put up a great fight in the shallow water. So, rather than curse these unique specimens, try tackling them on lighter gear and making the most of their presence because weather we like it or not, they will arrive and they will arrive in massive numbers!

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