Winter species linger
  |  First Published: September 2008

Despite the cold and windy conditions, anglers braving the weather and picking the right conditions have been rewarded with catches of gummy and school sharks while boating between Lawrence Rock and Bridgewater in 40-80m of water.

In addition to sharks, other species returning to the cleaning tables from the same area have included coral perch, morwong, snapper and flathead.

Local angler Tim Clark has been bagging out on sweep while fishing closer inshore towards Cape Nelson Lighthouse. Other boaties fishing over towards the North Shore have also been having good results on gummy and school sharks, while being annoyed by seven-gilled sharks. There have also been catches of snapper up to 40cm.

Land-based anglers along the North Shore have also been doing well on the sharks in the area, mainly between the Surrey and Fitzroy rivers.

Salmon have been slow this season, but a few anglers have had success, including one who landed a 2.5kg salmon from the Lee Breakwater. Other anglers fishing from the Lee Breakwater have also been catching smaller salmon, the odd gummy shark, pinkies and flathead.

The biggest attraction of the Lee this past month has been the arrival of the southern right whales that have been spending time basking in the sun and making the most of the sheltered bay. In particular a mother and calf put on a good show only 20m off the Lee. These southern right whales come to Portland every year, eventually stopping at Warrnambool to give the crowds there a display.

Fishing in and around the harbour, younger anglers have caught quite a few mullet. The silver trevally have been slow for this time of year but we should soon see an influx of them into the marina. They are quite hard to stop as they always seem to know where the jetty pylons are. It is not unusual to catch trevally up to 2kg, so make sure you keep an eye on your rods at all times as in previous years there have been quite a few stolen by these fish.

Bream fishing has continued very well for those fishing the Fitzroy River using prawns and glassies. For the lure flickers Ecogear SX-40 and Strike Pro lures are doing well, and for those using plastics the Berkley Sandworm in camo colour has been producing good results.

Sea mullet and salmon have also been caught while fishing the Fitzroy. The Surrey River has been a bit quiet but there have still been reports of bream, mullet and salmon of various sizes.

Earlier in the year, many anglers made a habit of having a break from trolling for tuna to use their 24kg outfits to bottom bounce out at the 400m line – and had great success on some of the best table fish available, including blue eye trevalla, blue grenadier, hapuka and gem fish etc. Plenty of lead and well-baited circle hooks produced some fantastic catches.

Now that the tuna season is over, anglers are still heading out to the deeper water for a feed. Finding the ground is easy as generally these fish can be found in the vicinity of the Horse Shoe. As you can imagine though, when you drop 2kg of lead into 430m it takes about five minutes to reach the bottom. Then the results can be instantaneous which signals the start of a long retrieve: maybe it’s time for that electric reel!

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