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Whiting still the mainstay
  |  First Published: May 2012



Recent weather hasn’t been kind as we’d hoped, but the offshore fishing continued on well for those able to get out.

Yellowtail kingfish were still about in good numbers and many anglers continued to target them with very mixed reports. While finding a local kingfish hangout is the hardest part, once found, catching them proved to be a hot action affair for Victorian anglers.

Beau Lewis and his brother were two anglers that were hot on the tails of the kings and had a cracking session. The boys trolled small skirted lures to catch and release 12 kingfish. They did hook into some larger fish but were unable to stop them.

Another angler, Brendan, managed a magnificent 11kg yellowtail kingfish that was around 103cm in length and smashed a live yakka. Brendan fished in 14m of water off Phillip Island.

Many anglers headed out wide in search of mako sharks but this season was a little disappointing compared to past seasons. Still, some cracking makos were caught but the reports were still quite thin. Darren Kozina and mates headed offshore and began their berley trail in 70m of water off Seal Rocks. The guys landed a big mako shark after setting up a berley drift and sending out a tuna for bait

IT’S ALL ABOUT WHITING

It is fair to say that this season has been the best whiting season ever with plenty of fish caught from right around the Port.

Clint Hockley and his kayak buddy Gary fished the run-out tide out from Coronet Bay in about 4m of water. The boys landed five snapper to 57cm. The best bait for the day was squid. They also managed King George whiting up to 40cm. 

Tortoise Head Bank has also been one of the most consistent whiting locations in the past few weeks. Most of the fish have been ranging 34-45cm and have taken a liking to pipi and whiting worm baits. The prime time has been the last two hours of the run-in tide.

I had a fish around Tankerton with good friend James Parish. We had fished previously at Mchaffie reef were we caught some nice whiting before moving to 5m of water at Tankerton.

After berleying for a while, we finished off catching a nice bag of whiting on the last two hours of the run-out tide using pipis for bait. On the beginning of the run-in tide, a school of blue warehou (snotty trevally) showed up providing us with some very entertaining light tackle fishing. We ended up with 15 snotties ranging 1-2kg.

May is GUMMY TIME

With the snapper gone and the elephant fish just showing up, this time of year is perfect for those wanting to target big gummy sharks. While the top of the port producing some nice table fair, it is the Western Entrance that produces the big girls at this time of year.

While this area isn’t the easiest to fish purely due to the raging current, those that do venture this way and are happy to sit out a tide are well rewarded.

Gawaine Blake fished around the Western Entrance for good numbers of solid gummy sharks in 12-18m. Fishing the second drop and using fresh yakka and Australian salmon baits has been the most productive.

Tim Milnes reported catching a monster eel he landed while fishing for gummy sharks along the Western Entrance early on Saturday morning. It took a whole squid of the bottom and Tim says it put up an awesome fight.

James Markulis also has success in the Western Entrance in 12m of water. Using fresh yakka head, he landed a very nice gummy shark on the run-in tide.

ELEPHANT TIME

The elephants have finally arrived. If you’re keen to target elephants, Blakes and Gardeners channels at Tortoise Head produce the goods early each season. Well known GPS mark The Corals is also very popular with anglers as the tide is relatively slower and easier to fish.

In saying that, Corinella and its upper reaches is another top location along with the Mosquito Channel. Those fishing land-based can do so from the Settlement Point rocks at Corinella but for some easy fishing try the Grantville jetty on a high tide.

The elephants make their way right onto the mud flats and for land-based anglers this can be a lot of fun.

Fishing from the land is not always that easy but providing you have the gear to target elephants you will do well. The ideal setup is a running sinker rig with 3/0 circle hook. This can be cast out with a surf rod enabling a further cast to reach deeper water. Where ever you fish take a variety of baits. Elephants do like pipi and pilchard but squid will last longer on the hook as the smaller picker fish won’t get it off as easy.

SURF FISHING OPPORTUNITIES

While the cooler temperatures are creeping over the state, now is also the time to begin hitting the surf beaches for salmon. The salmon that were in Western Port a few months ago are now established in the surf zones. Some of the most productive beaches have been Anzacs at Cape Woolamai, and Kilcunda with fish to 2kg being caught. The high tide on first light has seen most of the action with blue bait, whitebait and pipi working well.

This month will really see many anglers hitting the surf and thus, more and more reports will filter in.

If you are looking for something to do on any given day, surf fishing can be a lot of fun. If you want consistent success, take some berley to attract the fish; you’ll be surprised at how productive this fishing method can be.

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