Sliding into spring magic
  |  First Published: September 2012

The Barwon River in Geelong has been pretty quiet but a few kilometres west, Wurdi Buloc Reservoir near Moriac has been going great guns with anglers catching trout and redfin.

Some of these have been stonkers too with reddies either side of 1.5kg and trout over 3kg on occasions. From all reports, the fish here seem to love the ancient Pegron minnow in ‘tiger’ colour. This is a basic bent spoon style lure that has orange belly with black stripes.

I have caught decent fish from here using other branded minnow styled lures and soft plastics but it is often good to go with a heavy spoon to get distance here, as the reservoir is bank fishing only and there is a heck of a lot of water to cover. Live bait such as minnow is absolutely deadly on the reddies here but you do get a lot of tiddlers and they can bite very lightly for some reason.

Trout love mudeye so the staple bubble float rig works a treat here with easterly winds best from the main wall.

A little bit further west near Forrest, West Barwon Dam has reached capacity and actually overflowed for the first time in 15 years according to folk in the know. Good news for trout fishing here!

Corio Bay

We’ve had some great cool-season snapper fishing. I’m not sure whether more people are fishing, hence more reports, or there are more snapper but there has been some quality red fish caught up to and over 6kg from inside Corio Bay. Land-based anglers should try St Helens Rock wall and North Shore Rocks while boaties can seek out arches on the sounder off Western Beach, Geelong Waterfront and Corio Quay.

Clifton Springs and Portarlington

I reckon the Bellarine Peninsula lads will be queuing up at Clifton Springs and Portarlington right now for the early season snapper! September leading into October can be very busy indeed so sharpen the hooks and get on the water.

Make the news rather than reading about it here!

St Leonards to Queenscliff

St Leonards has had a great ‘off season’ for King George whiting lovers. Anglers have enjoyed excellent whiting fishing off St Leonards and Indented Head with some taken home bag limit captures. Larger fish have been located closer to Queenscliff with some up over 45cm. Nick Scerri from Ocean Grove Charters got onto a few patches of them up near St Leonards as well and Rod Ludlow from Beaclea Boat Hire at Indented Head says they were biting from the St Leonards Boat ramp to Governor Reef.

Rod says best fish were taken in the arvo on fresh squid, pipis, peeled prawns and mussels. Rod notes that the calamari really turned it on there for a while with good numbers of them biting over the reef areas between the Indented Head ramp and Grassy Point. Moving around a bit to locate them morning and evening has been the most successful method.

Rod says that if you love a feed of flatties then head out to the deeper water from Portarlington to St Leonards and have a drift. Anglers drifting for flathead over the last month have also tangled with some snapper up to 4kg so bring it on I say! Squidtember can be awesome cephalopoding off Queenscliff. I can remember a few Septembers ago, word got out that the big calamari were in the Lonsdale Bight and some of these gave 3kg a real shake.

Barwon Heads and Surf Coast

September sees the Surf Coast anglers blowing the cobwebs off the snapper gear. This time of year it is not unheard of for 6kg plus fish to be taken in the cool clear waters of Bass Strait. School sharks also make themselves known on cool September mornings as do those pesky draft board sharks.

Ken Stevens from Barwon Heads Angling Club had a hot session on the bream fishing up past the Sheepwash recently. They got stuck into plenty of fish using crabs and Bass yabbies for bait and most fish were 35-43cm!

Nick Scerri says that a few big snapper including one of 6.8kg plus some ripping gummy sharks were taken over the colder months so it should be a good season off Barwon Heads.

But story of the year goes to my next-door neighbour Jason and his six-year-old lad Lochie (and hardcore mulloway fishos should look away now). Jason decided to take his boys Tyler and Lochie fishing down the Barwon estuary to try for a few mullet or bream. They started out fishing off the old Ocean Grove boat ramp with some recently purchased squid from the nearby servo.

With nothing much happening, Jason decided to pack up when Lochie yelled out “Dad, I have a bite!” Jason turned to see Lochie’s rod being dragged into the water! He ran in up to his knees, grabbed the rod (great effort mate – it has been freezing!) and proceed to fight what was clearly bigger than a mullet. After a fair fight, there was a long silver fish emerging from the depths which could only mean one thing – mulloway!

Tension peaked when the fish broke free about 4m from the bank so once again, Jason shot out into the cold Barwon River and hoiked the fish ashore! There were some excited neighbours knocking on the door that morning ready for a weigh in. The mulloway pulled the scales down to 8.45kg – not bad for a small ‘kid’s rod’!

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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