Mid January saw the opening of Peninsula Link, or the Frankston bypass, which has made fishing on the Mornington Peninsula even more accessible to day trippers and holiday makers.
We saw almost an immediate increase in the weekend traffic with plenty of punters coming down the freeway to enjoy the fantastic fishing we have been experiencing this year.
King George whiting have continued to be one of the most popular targets as the summer has progressed. The anecdotal evidence suggests it has been a reasonable if not excellent season. Some areas that locals are used to catching have been quiet such as off the Sisters and at Safety beach. While others have been rewarded for fishing lesser hit areas such as out from the Tootgarook Beach ramp or at the Rosebud Reef.
What seems apparent is that both boat traffic and heavy netting has had an impact on some of the better known areas making the fishing a bit patchy. It can be one of the downsides of a busy summer! So best thing is to go early and find your own ground or fish areas that might be that little bit further away to increase your chances of coming home with a bag on those busy days.
Everyone was curious as to how this newly opened dam was going to fish through the summer months as the margins are fairly shallow with the exception being the quarry area. Increased water temperatures had many fearing it would only be a winter fishery but we are pleased to say that we have had very consistent fishing with some big browns to 2kg and smaller rainbows taken. Those who have been most successful have found spots to avoid the weed and used a running sinker rig with a floating bait, just to keep it above the muck on the bottom.
As I write this report the first serious reports of yellowtail kingfish are starting to filter through. We have had some good schools of rats on a number of the reefs between Point Lonsdale and Charlemont reef down near the Barwon bluff. These guys can often be enticed by small skirts trolled behind the boat, such as the Pakula Uzi or even the old white Occy skirt.
While many anglers are playing the cards pretty close to their chest we also know of some pretty good kings coming from the Rip and even at a secret location inside the bay.
In other offshore news, the tiger flathead continue to be a reliable target off Portsea and Sorrento back beach, while makos have also been sporadically caught from those fishing deep off Cape Schanck or to the west, off Torquay.
Tommy ruff have been fishing exceptionally well these last few weeks. Rosebud Pier has been firing for a short but productive window every night around dusk while some anglers are reporting much bigger tommy ruff being caught in the early hours of the morning when fishing at Portsea Pier.
There is no doubt that the best bait for these tasty little fellas are gents or maggots. They outfish baits such as silverfish by a country mile. My one piece of advice is to get down to the pier early otherwise you might find yourself jostling for a position amongst the masses trying to get to the best positions!
For more information feel free to drop in and see the boys at Peninsula Total Tackle, 11 Boneo Road in Rosebud or phone: 03 5981 1994.Reads: 1201