Whiting the feature
  |  First Published: May 2012

Even though the warmer months behind us and the days’ closing in, there are still plenty of fish to be caught and every so often something happens out of right field regardless of then time of year.

I was doing the rounds of fishing spots in South Gippsland when I was told of a big school of snapper to 2kg being herded under the San Remo jetty by at least one seal. I was also told that some youngsters had been having a ball, catching them with gaffs.

Listening to the story I had reservations but not ruling anything out completely as some strange things happen when least expected. I made some enquiries and one of my contacts verified the story and said that he has video footage of the event and offered me a copy that I accepted.

Sure enough there was a seal visible in the water and some kids in the picture hooking out snapper that were to the 2kg mark. They were using ordinary gaffs to my surprise. I have spoken to quite a few people and they all have said that they have never heard of this before which would not come as a surprise.

Outside the entrance at Inverloch the whiting are in very good numbers as they have been all over the summer months. Land-based fishers have been having good success with Bass yabbies and strips of pilchards at low water on both sides of the tide.

Many locals feel that the one-arm bandits are just about the best bait as just about every fish in this part of the world will jump at them first chance.

The area known as the Bathing Boxes has been producing good numbers of whiting up as far as Pensioners Corner. The royals have been to the 38cm mark and will take Bass yabbies as well as strips of pilchards and squid. There are also good numbers of mullet, silver trevally and flathead being bagged and the recent good weather has seen big numbers of boaters and land-based fishers keen to get out and try their luck.

The jetty is one of those places that are always worth a try. On a recent evening visit on the run-in tide there were about half a dozen hopefuls on the structure. I watched them for a while but nothing happened but then the water started to boil a short distance from the jetty. I called out to a youngster who was one of the anglers on the jetty and alerted him to the situation.

As the Australian salmon made their way up the inlet they passed by the fishers and suddenly the action was hot and in a short time there was fish for everyone. The action only lasted for a short time until the school moved further up the inlet towards Maher’s Landing.

The area known as the snags has been going along fairly well where the best fishing has been at low tide. If you are there at the right time you will return home happy as this is where the whiting are to the 50cm mark as well as silvers and luderick.

There are some holes around Stevies Gutter where the locals know well and there are quite good numbers of whiting that have been to the 25cm mark.

Mahers Landing has also been very productive and just before this publication I came across a couple of visitors from Anglesea who were cleaning a bag of whiting that were all around the 34cm mark. I watched them for a little while and saw that they were having difficulty in cleaning the catch and politely suggested an alternative method. They were eager to see whiting filleted and after I showed them how to remove the rib cage with an ordinary fork. They seem to be happy knowing that with a bit of practice they will not again have that dreaded time after a fishing trip, that is cleaning them!

The Tarwin River has been going along all right but a bit slower than Anderson Inlet as is normally the case. The main fish has been estuary perch as usual and they have been to the 33cm mark and will take Bass yabbies and soft plastic yabbies. The best time to try your luck is on the last half of the run-in tide.

The five surf beaches at Venus Bay have been going very well where Australian salmon have been caught in good numbers. There are also plenty of gummy sharks being bagged as well as flathead where the run-in tide will as usual produce the best results.

Colin James from Dandenong says that he has been surf fishing Venus Bay for many years and he has been doing very well with one of his favourite baits being fresh chicken pieces soaked in tuna oil. Colin says that as well as salmon the gummies also have a liking for these tasty portions, which are cheap as well as very effective.

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