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A land-based angler’s dream
  |  First Published: May 2012



As winter approaches the fishing will gradually slow down and one of two things will happen to most boats, they either head to Portland or they sit in the garage until next snapper season.

Having said that, Western Port continues to show us that it really isn’t worth putting the boat away just yet!

LAND-BASED

I’m going to open this months report with a little bit of land-based madness, as the fishing from some of the beaches and piers around the port has been nothing short of exceptional.

A huge part of the quality of the land-based fishing has been due to the influx of elephant fish; they are a great option for shore based anglers as they don’t mind getting up into some shallow water, especially of a night time, and aren’t too fussy with what baits they prefer.

The Grantville Pier has been one of those land-based favourites with elephant fish being a reliable option when sending out half a pilchard or a squid strip. Stockyard point is also another favourite amongst land-based enthusiasts and for those who don’t mind a good walk on the low tide it is reliable as any for some great fishing.

Staff member of Tackleworld Cranbourne, Mark Keaveny and his soon to be brother in-law, Rangi put in a quick couple of hours on a packed beach and managed one good sized elephant which was unfortunately dropped not far from the beach but noticed most other anglers around had either a couple of elephants and/or a small gummy.

My good mate Stewie caught the ferry across to Tankerton and had a rather productive session off the Tankerton pier. He and his mate Sean threw around a couple of squid jigs for the afternoon and managed a dozen nice squid on IKA squid jigs with pink being the go to colour on that particular day.

THE TOP END

The whiting are still well spread and are still the most consistent catch through the top end of the port, but the calamari have again started a few anglers diving for the jig box and have indicated that again we are in for a productive winter on these tasty morsels.

Peter Ferguson informed me that a few members of the Yarringa fishing club have been getting some above average bags of whiting off the Tyabb bank with a lot of fish around 40cm and above. Pipis have been doing most of the damage with a small piece of squid hanging over the top.

Pete also put in a couple of hours out of Yarringa for a late season red, and though he didn’t get a solid hook up he said that there were plenty of fish on the sounder and by looks of one of the squid rings he got back after a solid bite, the sounder wasn’t lying!

James Parish dominated the squid off the Quail bank. He put in a few drifts in shallow water and size 3.0 jigs; he managed a nice bag of some of the fairer sized models. Jigs with a red foil did the trick.

Good numbers of elephant fish are still being taken in the Bouchier channel with quite a few anglers getting stuck into them on the run-out tide.

They are making it quite tough to get a gummy up there at the moment but reports of the odd smaller fish are still coming through, so for those with a bit of patience the rewards are still there.

THE NORTH ARM

Whiting are still without a doubt swarming over the middle spit and a few snapper have made a welcome return to a few anglers catches.

Peter Collins has found some great success up on the middle spit for both snapper and whiting. In one cracking session he was pulling quality flathead to 45cm and whiting to 38cm and then as the boat swung with the tide he ended up getting stuck into a beautiful bag of snapper to 2kg. Pipis and pilchard took care of the flathead and whiting while meatier baits like trevally and flathead fillet did the trick on the snapper.

Some big gummies are still being taken for those up for a night session. The deeper parts of the channel out from Hastings and Stoney Point have been consistent for fish of 10-14kg. Make the most of the fresh bait available for best results. There is still heaps of yakkas, Australian salmon and squid around so try to get a few of them before the sun goes down to maximize your chances.

This time of year is easy to start losing motivation to head out into Western Port but as you can see there are still plenty of options about and some really nice fish to be had, so good luck and keep the reports coming!

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