Gummies and whiting
  |  First Published: May 2012

Autumn has kicked in around Geelong and the fishing opportunities have changed alog with it.

Geelong Freshwater

It’s been pretty tough for freshwater fishos in Geelong with lots of brown water in the Barwon River. You’re better off heading west to Wurdi Buloc as the trout have been biting well here.

Corio Bay

Mid-autumn saw the odd kingfish still kicking around Bird Rock, which is great news for future seasons. The big news is that the whiting have been in fine form when the weather allows us to get out there. Inside Stingaree Bay has been good at first light as has the Point Henry Sand Spit, Curlewis Bank and Point Wilson.

As the sun comes up the mini-pinkies can be murderous and you’re often forced to move on. Ross Winstanley has taken quite a few classy whiting up to 44cm with most around the 38cm range so far. Thankfully, some good-sized pinkies have also been kicking around with some up to 3kg taken on soft plastics. Brent Hodges has spent plenty of time on Corio Bay flicking soft plastics. Brent has taken snapper consistently from 30-50cm with at least one either side of 3kg each trip.

Brent says that the ever-reliable Gulp Turtleback Worm has been working well along with Berkley Gulp Crazy Leg Jerk Shads - what a mouthful! I hope you’re not having me on with that name Brent! Brent rigs these on 1/8th oz jigs heads and works them over broken ground in 4-7m of water.

Clifton Springs and Portarlington

Brent Hodges reports that Australian salmon have been patrolling the outer harbour and tearing into the abundant baitfish most are around 40-45cm with a few over 50cm and built like torpedos! Plenty of other critters have been chomping plastics around here including snook to 75cm and some great flathead up to 54cm.

Sunday May 13 sees the St Leonards Angling Club and Bellarine Pirates Angling Club host a flathead competition from the Clifton Springs boat ramp. Entry is only $5 for adults and kids under 16 are free. For more info, slip over to http://www.stleonardsanglingclub.org.au/ or contact Phil on 0411 215 146, Adam on 0422 001 159, A.J. on 0424 532 308 or Mark on 0404 070 191.

St Leonards to Queenscliff

St Leonards has been firing with plenty of King George whiting caught as per usual for this time of year. The best fishing occurs dawn and dusk and some fish will bite well after dark.

They can also be found during the day by moving around but these fish tend to be a bit smaller, averaging 35cm or so. The low-light whiting have every chance at being over 40cm so it is worth a few extra hours. As always, fresh bait is best. You can buy fresh mussels from Portarlington Pier or catch your own squid by drifting over the shallow reef areas off St Leonards and Indented Head.

Some big King George whiting have been biting well in 10m of water straight out off the entrance to Queenscliff Harbour. These have been biting best on the outgoing tide and will bite throughout the day on fresh squid or cuttlefish. Pack long leaders and decent sinkers as the tide does run strongly through here.

We’ve had a great Australian salmon season at Queenscliff with these hard-fighting fish smashing baitfish from Swan Bay to the Rip. Brent Hodges has been into them using surface walkers and having a ball. This is a very visual way of catching any fish let alone something that attacks it like a 5-year-old kid mauling a pie at a party. Nick Scerri from Ocean Grove Charters has had a great season on the yellowtail kingfish getting clients onto fish up to 12kg inside the Rip.

Barwon Heads and Surf Coast

The Barwon River has been fairly full of brown water due to the heavy rains but fish are there for those who persist. Simon Murray caught his first fish, a very fair trevally, fishing with bait from the banks up near Sheepwash Road. Peter Karamoustos from Ocean Grove Angling Club fished out off Barwon Heads recently.

Leaving Ocean Grove boat ramp at 6am to line up a run-out tide with low light, he headed towards Torquay to one of his favourite possies. Peter baited his 4/0 circle hook with a squid tentacle on a paternoster rig and boated a quality gummy shark that later weighed in at 10.46kg cleaned.

Torquay whiting have also been pumping and this is a top place to go to try and bag a 45cm plus fish. John Albrecht from Torquay Angling Club has caught some great whiting and silver trevally amongst the small pinkies fishing the shallow reef areas off Torquay.

The lads have also caught a few yakkas and lots of wrasse as per usual. John notes that other club members had caught yellowtail kingfish up to 7kg deep trolling and believes their return to the area has been assisted by the many schools of small salmon around this year.

Mick Allardyce says the Anglesea River has made a bit of a comeback with some bream up to 40cm taking lures. Mick says they seem to be holding higher in the water which makes for some exciting lure fishing. The estuary is full of juvenile Australian salmon below the road bridge which is great fun for the kids.

Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to --e-mail address hidden-- with “VFM” in the subject field or give me a call on 0408 997348. Please include where (without giving away your secret spot!), when, what on and who caught the fish. Pictures are always great, but please make sure they are at least 1mb (file size).

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