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Don’t let winter stop the fun
  |  First Published: July 2012



It was always going to happen, and now it finally has... IT’S COLD!

The water temperature in the top end of Western Port has dropped out and as a result the fishing has slowed. It is not all doom and gloom though, there has still been some very good reports and is still very much worth getting the boat wet between the breaks in weather.

THE TOP END

Some very interesting reports have come out of Tooradin over the last month. The whiting have been patchy but still there. Most of the better reports are coming in the later parts of the day as the whiting are moving up onto the banks to get that little bit of extra warmth from the afternoon sun. Berley is essential and try switching baits from the typical frozen pipis and mussels to live Bass yabbies, which are easily pumped from any shallow flat around the port.

Bill Jeffery encountered one of those captures that keeps our boats on the water when things start looking too hard. After coming across a few salmon early he sliced a fillet off one and turned it into a lovely winter snapper that weighed in at 6kg.

Warneet has been another area of the Port that has continued to produce fish as the temperature has cooled. Vlaz, VJ and Shaun had a pearler of a session in the Warneet channel where they found themselves in amongst a school of lovely whiting. The key to their success was berley. The boys said they had to berley quite heavily to keep the fish in the area.

One of the more interesting Warneet reports came from Dave, a regular customer to Cranbourne Tackleworld. He reported that during a night spent on the pier fishing for mullet he managed to shine his torch on a squid clearly on the hunt. He saw the calamari aggressively hunting and attacking a school of small mullet that were schooling up in the area. This is a great sign for land-based anglers as it confirms that the calamari have moved in and are begging us to throw a jig at them!

The Quail Bank has been the first area to really fire and start producing calamari consistently. Most anglers are managing to get a fair bag and this is something that will only continue to improve as the season progresses. I even heard of a calamari with a hood length measuring 56cm being taken very recently, now that’s a big calamari ring!

THE NORTH ARM

Although the Quail Bank is seeing a few calamari and was on fire, the Tyabb Bank has been giving it a fair run for its money. Drifting and casting squid jigs in a 3.0-3.5 size has seen most bags filled, and again, the calamari fishing will only improve as the season gets going.

Matt Cini called this place home before his annual trip to Portland and had no problems at all locating a few whiting. On one of the more recent charters, one of the customers on board found himself connected to a true thumper of a whiting. This particular fish measured 49cm and pulled the scales down at 820g – yet another reason not to pack the boat up just yet.

Robin Gray is another who has been consistently patrolling the middle spit with great success. Robin reports that there are still plenty of fish around but berley is essential at this time of the year and can be the difference between an average day and good day.

Hastings has been the place to be if it’s something a bit bigger that you crave. Steve Johnson reports that while he has been picking up a heap of whiting just outside the Hastings Channel, there are some really nice gummy sharks being taken through the night for those willing to bear the cold nights. Fresh baits are always best and will consistently out fish frozen bait.

Tankerton has been bit of a mixed bag hot spot of late with Peter Thompson witnessing this first hand. Peter decided to throw a few lures out the back and go for a troll and found himself with a nice bag consisting of a few pinkies, snook and salmon to 1kg.

As the cold weather really starts to roll in I hope this report shows that we don’t have to forget about fishing until next snapper season. We all know that the fishing will slow down but this time of year really give us the opportunities to hone our skills as anglers and stay ready and prepared for the warmer months.

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