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Surf beaches yield a variety of species
  |  First Published: March 2013



Most surf beaches are producing a good variety of fish but salmon are still the main fare with most fish in the 500g range with the odd 2kg specimen mixed in.

I fished Wiliamsons Beach one evening for gummy sharks and managed a couple of nice flathead to 50cm and a few 500g salmon. Just on dark the action started but not the action that I wanted. The first hook up I couldn’t hold and eventually ended up in a bust off. The second one I landed after a 10-minute tussle which turned out to be a skate of about 20kg which I released.

The third hook up had me going for half an hour and ended with a bust off with 300m of line off the reel which I put down to a very large skate. These fish grow to an enormous size. I have caught them up to 200kg in Western Port on heavy game fishing gear fishing for bronze whalers.

Whiting

From all reports I’ve recieved the whiting catches in many of areas in Western Port have been very slim indeed. Last year I noticed a similar trend where the fish became scarce in January and then returned in good numbers towards the end of February.

But this year the fish seem to be in fewer numbers than before. Maybe it’s got something to do with our hot dry weather or more likely it’s got to do with their breeding patterns. I spoke with Greg Jenkins who is in Fisheries Research and is the guru on whiting. He has been studying their breeding patterns for about 20 years and according to his research the past few years have not been good in the amount of fry entering our bays so it could be a couple of years before we see much improvement in our whiting population.

San Remo Area

Below the bridge and outside the entrance there have been good reports of makos to 130kg being caught. Also arrow squid, barracouta and flathead are being taken while drifting for sharks. Inside in Cleelands Bight area pinkies, salmon and a few whiting have been the main catch.

Above the bridge as I mentioned earlier whiting are a bit hard to find. Areas that I have fished that are not producing fish are Tortoise Head, Tankerton, Middle Spit and Tyabb Bank. I have had reports of fish at Coronet Bay and the Bass River Mouth but I think that it’s just a matter of being persistent and looking for new areas to fish.

The Corals have been producing some good pinkies and a few good snapper are coming in out of the deep water of Elisabeth Island. There are also a few good gummies about up the top end of the bay.

I fished near Joes Island and we managed three gummies about 4kg each, 10 good whiting and a 2kg snapper plus an assortment of rays and banjos so it pays to sometimes look for new areas when your normal spots don’t fire up.

Fiona Cornford with a nice flathead taken off Williamsons Beach.

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