March should still provide some kings and King George
  |  First Published: March 2013

March can be a great time to fish the freshwater section of the Barwon that flows through Geelong.

The sting is going out of summer and the redfin are often keen. Keep your eyes peeled for blue-green algae as it is not uncommon after hot summers. I took my four year old son Max out on the Barwon with a fist full of bread hoping for a carp or three. I tried at the end of Fyans Street first up and I have to say that kayaks are very popular here at the moment. There was one double ‘yak armed to the teeth with fishing gear but we did not hang around to see how they got on.

We moved to quieter pastures near Balliang Sanctuary where there is a fishing/kayak launching platform and good access to weed free deep-ish water. We did get some very tentative bites here but failed to trouble the scorers unfortunately. Other anglers have been doing ok on carp to 4kg in the Barwon using corn kernels, bread and garden worms. The redfin have been a little hard to find but anglers using soft plastics and fishing the deep water near weed beds have done ok.

Corio Bay

Nothing completely set the world on fire in Corio Bay as summer moved into autumn. Yellow tail kingfish should show up lurking around the artificial structures in Corio Bay in March. Try piers and pylons with deep water access and plenty of bait fish. The love fresh squid, salmon and garfish.

They are rarely over 4kg in Corio Bay but still command heavy tackle when fishing close to structure. I fished with work colleague Andrew Hill in Corio Bay recently. We had a calm night forecast so we launched from Limeburners and headed around to Hermsely. We were almost there when a nasty southerly kicked in so we had a quick drift for squid and headed more sheltered waters.

We trolled lures at Point Henry and flicked soft plastics all along Geelong waterfront and ended up with a big fat doughnut. We ended up anchoring not far off the swimming ring and caught a couple of pinkies to 35cm using squid right on sunset. It’s odd that they were only interested in out bait and not the soft plastics on this occasion.

March can see some excellent fishing for King George whiting inside Corio Bay. First and last light are by far the best but they can bite all day when they are really ‘on’. Land-based anglers should try the rock walls at Limeburners boat ramp and boaties should try Point Henry and around at Hermsley.

Keen kayaker Matt Bruce has done ok trolling lures over at Point Henry. Matt has caught salmon to 42cm fishing first light but says they have tapered off somewhat lately.

Clifton Springs and Portarlington

Point Wilson has been fishing well for King George whiting. Not so many bag limit captures but some fair fish have been taken either side of 40cm using pipis, mussels and fresh squid. Quality flathead have been taken by anglers drifting in ten meters of water off Portarlington. They will take almost anything but pilchards have been the choice of those with most fish.

St Leonards to Queenscliff

Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says The fishing over the summer has been a bit slow with the best fishing to be had in the mornings. There has been some great catches of flathead drifting in the deeper water from St Leonards all the way to Portarlington. Plenty of fish in the 40-45cm range with pilchards the most productive. Rod says there are still gummy sharks up to 8kg available around the same area the flathead have been taken.

Whiting have been a bit patchy but are starting to pick up on the Prince George Bank.

Snapper are being taken off St Leonards around the Prince George light with high tide best.

There are plenty of garfish right throughout the area as well as some big pike taken whilst trolling.

I fished a glass calm day off Queenscliff recently and found it tough going. I fished for whiting north of the Queenscliff harbour entrance and managed one at 35cm right on the high tide slack water. I then moved to the deeper water near the pilot jetty, then to the Lonsdale Bight and then over to Point Nepean trolling for salmon and never had a nibble. I also drifted for squid at Point Nepean and in the Lonsdale Bight for zip.

Point Nepean was notably clear compared to the stirred up water of the Bellarine Peninsula. I was spewing as there had been some good reports of salmon in the Rip and I was pretty keen to whip the fly rod around at them. There has been a mixture of small and larger fish to 1.5kg taking trolled lures and soft plastics cast into the school when they are visibly breaking the surface.

Barwon Heads and Surf Coast

Nick Scerri from Ocean Grove Charters says it has been a little quiet but there has been plenty of salmon and flathead around.

The Barwon estuary continues to produce quality bream for those with quality bait such as Bass yabbies with some fish exceeding 40cm it is well worth the trip. Best action has occurred after dark when the fish lose their inhibitions and move into the shallows.

March is kingfish time off Barwon Heads. Anglers should gear up with some quality tackle and look to target them over the shallow reef areas such as Collendina and Thirteenth Beach. Deeper jigging areas closer to the Rip are also well worth the effort with kingfish exceeding six kilograms taken here last year.

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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