It’s hard to believe, but winter has flown by and another glorious season is upon us. The water temperature is finally warming up and some of our favourite fish have begun to enter Western Port.
There have been reports of snapper from the Corinella and Corals area, though they are not in great numbers yet. This area has been producing fish all winter. Many regular readers will be aware that reds of 4-6kg have been taken from Corinella during the cooler months. These resident winter fish are usually quite a dark crimson colour, whereas new season snapper tend to be a shiny pale pink.
Hastings has also seen a few early season snapper. Paul Serdzeff fished with a whole pilchard to nail a 3.5kg red recently. Other anglers have caught similar fish on squid strips and tuna fillet in 16-18m around Buoy 13.
Calamari squid have been keeping anglers entertained across the port. The Quail Bank between Warneet and Yaringa has been loaded with squid. Surprisingly, most of the action has been in less than 2m of water. Western Port guru Jack Crowley has found that on some occasions the squid have been very fussy about the colour jig they take. ‘One day they take orange squid jigs, the next day they only go for the green ones”, he said recently.
Land-based locations such as the piers at Stony Point, Flinders and even Warneet have also produced some great squid. Flinders has been the most reliable for bigger squid, especially if the offering is a juicy silver whiting or garfish suspended under a float.
Cat Bay has been the place to be if you are chasing King George whiting. Most fish have been caught straight in front of the old jetty pylons in 5m of water. Several anglers caught whiting between 32-46cm on squid and mussels.
The northern half of Western Port has been very slow for whiting. This is not surprising as the water temperature has been more than 6 degrees cooler than the productive southern weed beds. As the shallows warm up the whiting will make their way along Middle Spit and spread out in the Tooradin area.
The Keysborough Angling Club held a surf competition on Sunday, August 3. Trevor Cann bagged the biggest salmon of 1.27kg cleaned. Overall the fishing was fairly slow, with only 16 salmon landed. Last year 62 salmon were caught during this annual competition.
There have been several captures of good gummy sharks during the last few weeks. Somers Beach to Balnarring has been worth a look for land-based anglers. Most gummies have been between 4-6kg. Try using salted tuna fillet or cured eel strips as bait. Hooks like Owner SSW 6/0 are perfect.
Twelve year old angler Brett Hilsmere has been doing well from Newhaven Pier. Fishing with cut pilchard pieces he has landed several mullet of around 20cm.
Tackle World staff member Mark Keaveny has also been enjoying his bait collecting trips. In a recent outing to Warneet, Mark pumped some Bass yabbies and caught a few mullet of 25cm. Mark finds the run-in tide the best.
For all the latest info on fishing in Western Port, drop in and see Dan at the staff at Cranbourne Tackle World, 270 South Gippsland Highway, Cranbourne (5996 6500).
The Quail Bank between Warneet and Yaringa has been loaded with squid (photo: Jarrod Day).Reads: 1956