Salmon and estuary perch as well as the usual whiting
  |  First Published: February 2013

As we all expect, the fishing in summer is settling down to its best behaviour.

Corio Bay

Keen kayaker Matt Bruce has been giving the salmon curry near the Alcoa Pier on Point Henry. Matt has caught fish up to 40cm trolling white and white with red head Octopus lures and stick baits which has made for an exciting paddle. Matt also fought what he thought to be a very large salmon only to find out he was hooked to the pier (bet you regret telling me this now Matt?).

Brent Hodges from Werribee says he has had a few reports of snapper to 45cm caught by anglers drifting and casting soft plastics such as Turtleback worms in 4-6m of water near Hermsley. Big pike have been snapping up the soft plastics as well with some approaching a meter in length. They do not fight all that well but are great fun to catch none the less. North Shore rocks, St Helens and Clifton Springs have all produced big pike.

Anglers fishing from the rock wall at St Helens after dark have taken the odd pinkie snapper to 40cm on the warmer nights.

Geelong Freshwater

The Barwon River has warmed up bringing the European carp and redfin on the bite. Big carp to 6kg have been taken by anglers fishing the Barwon River near Balliang Sanctuary and near Landy Field. Best baits have been bread squashed into dough around the hook and corn kernels. Redfin have been biting up near Queens Park and Buckleys Falls on soft plastic minnows, single tailed grubs and minnow pattern lures. Live bait also works very well here and is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

Clifton Springs and Portarlington

Snapper are still biting off Clifton Springs and Portarlington with the run-out tide being best. Top bait has been silver whiting followed by pilchards then fresh squid and the better fish have been over 6kg with a few undersized fish kicking about stealing baits.

Anglers drifting with squid have caught flathead to 45cm in 8-10m of water off Grassy Point. Australian salmon and calamari have been kicking around the Portarlington pier. The salmon have been either side of 30cm with some approaching 40cm while the squid have been small and available after dark.

St Leonards to Queenscliff

Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says there has been some fantastic squid fishing in between Indented Head and Portarlington on most of the reef areas. King George whiting are also in the same area with some whoppers over 500g amongst them. At 500g, you can expect fish around the 45cm mark. Best baits for whiting are mussels, fresh squid and pipis. The flathead are always here, you just need to hit them when they are hungry. Fish around the 45cm mark make for a good feed and they can be caught by drifting in 15-20m of water using whitebait, pilchard fillets or squid. Drifting with larger baits around the 20m mark has resulted in some quality snapper to 5.5kg and gummy shark to 6kg.

Barwon Heads and Surf Coast

February is yellowtail kingfish time and they can be caught from the Rip and right along the Surf Coast wherever there is reef. They absolutely love fresh squid, live baits such as yakkas, small (but legal length) salmon and live garfish. Over the deeper reef areas closer to the Rip, you can try jigging with heavy metal lures or dropping big squid baits down to them. Trolling in 10m of water off Collendina has proved productive in the past and this is also a good way of picking up live salmon for bait. You can also troll from the Barwon Heads Bluff to Point Impossible as there are good reef areas along here.

The rubble beds out in 40m of water have been producing gummy sharks, sand flathead and snapper to 4kg. The reef areas in close have been producing small snapper first and last light plus the odd big king George whiting. The Barwon estuary has been teeming with small salmon to 35cm. These have been caught by anglers using metal slice lures, soft plastics, flies and almost any bait.

The bream have been biting well in the Barwon estuary with some fish exceeding 40cm. The larger fish have been caught after dark using Bass yabbies for bait.

Tyler Hunt fished the Erskine River near Lorne recently where he grassed a beautiful 35cm estuary perch using a Squidgy Fish in the red colour on a ¼oz jig head. Tyler says that the estuary perch love these lures. When fishing in small streams like the Erskine, you should consider catch and release as the populations of fish in these is often small.

Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to --e-mail address hidden-- (note the new email) 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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