Still plenty to do, but keep warm
  |  First Published: July 2012

July is a quieter time for spearfishers in south eastern Australia with cooler waters and less fish life around so l will keep this report brief and include one of my favourite spearfishing locations as well.

For the keen spearos a good catch of scallops is still assured in the sand beds of southern Port Phillip in winter. This time of the year, the scallops flesh is generally larger and you will often also find rock flathead as an added bonus. Keep your eyes out for the squid eggs also, especially in August and September. Once you have found them the squid will never be far away. Good areas include the weed beds off Queenscliff, St Leonards and Portsea.

One of my favourite spearfishing locations in Victoria is without doubt Pyramid Rock at Phillip Island. This destination can be accessed by either boat or shore based and has a great variety of spearfishing in many weather patterns. The eastern side is without doubt more protected area weather wise and less fishy but still offers great spearfishing in a moderate south west swell.

This is particularly true around the back of the Phillip Island racetrack area. Here good schools of trevally, King George whiting, snapper and snook can be found. The use of berley is handy and with patience and hard work you will also find some nice crayfish and abalone, even greenlip if you look hard. This area has its fair share of seven-gill sharks so be mindful of this.

The western side of the main Pyramid Rock area is a fantastic spearfishing spot in a low swell with all of the above species prevalent along with other quality reef species including large sweep, leatherjackets, banded and magpie morwong, pike, and so on. A real bonus in the summer months are the yellowtail kingfish schools that frequent the area.

These can be found anywhere but the bommie that breaks several 100m offshore and the area due south of the main Pyramid Rock seem to be consistent, especially if there is a bit of baitfish around. Best months would be Jan- March for kingfish.

For reef fishing, this destination fishes well year round and l always come home with a good feed of a mixed bag of crayfish, abalone and tasty scaled fish such as whiting and snapper. Berleying on the sand lines on the western side of this area never seems to fail to produce some quality species.

A warning for land-based spearos; care needs to be taken walking up and down these cliffs. They can be dangerous, especially after rainfall and a solid pair of boots are advisable rather than dive booties. Extra care should be taken entering the water on the western side of the rock platforms.

Many a diver has come undone here and a much safer option is to enter on the eastern side and swim through the channel to fish the western side.

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