Up, up and away – snapper ride into town
  |  First Published: November 2012

The Barwon River in Geelong was still running fairly brown late September but it is definitely worth a flick of a lure or three.

There was a good 60cm visibility at Breakwater Bridge and further up near Queens Park and this is all a hungry redfin needs. Try minnow-styled divers or soft plastics up near Queens Park and Buckleys Falls. Revolving blade lures also work well but can be snag magnets. Jensen Insect in green, red Ondex and Celtas in green and red all work well in the Barwon River. Both revolving blade lures and metal vibe lures work particularly well when the water has a bit of colour due to the vibrations they give off.

If eels are your thing, set yourself up with a bunch of worms on dusk and some mozzie repellent and you should get a couple of bites while the water remains cloudy.

Corio Bay

November is considered the peak period as far as snapper anglers are concerned. Larger fish over 5kg are now starting to really make their presence known deep inside Corio Bay. Land-based anglers should try St Helens Rock wall and North Shore Rocks around dawn and dusk where fish from 2-3kg have been caught. Boat anglers should head to the channel edge, in particular near Point Henry and just out from the boat moorings at Western Beach.

Pike have been caught by anglers casting soft plastics for snapper near North Shore Rocks and the Hermsley side of Point Henry pier.

Clifton Springs and Portarlington

Anglers fishing the edges of the shipping channel have taken snapper from 1-4.5kg using silver whiting, fresh squid and pilchards for bait. The shallow weed beds near Curlewis have coughed up a couple of calamari which makes for a handy ‘bait depot’ on the way to popular snapper fishing possies. Soft plastic anglers have enjoyed good sport catching snapper from legal length to 45cm casting soft plastics while drifting in 3-5m of water off Curlewis.

Similarly, anglers targeting snapper off Portarlington have enjoyed fish around the 5kg mark fishing the outgoing tide near the shipping channel. Portarlington has one of the better land-based snapper possies on the Bellarine Peninsula with their local pier. It can be tough going, but if you put enough hours in here after dark, you can lock onto snapper either side of 5kg.

Angler shave nabbed a couple from 1-3kg here so it is well worth a visit. Calamari can be caught by walking the pier at night and looking under the lights and in between the moored boats. They are not very big, but dynamite bait so pack the jigs. Garfish can also be coaxed close to the pier with the liberal use of berley such as chook pellets and tuna oil.

St Leonards to Queenscliff

King George whiting have been biting off St Leonards but probably not as well and the crowds may suggest. Plenty of boats have been trying their luck, but not too many have been catching them in bag limit numbers. Nick Scerri from Ocean Grove Charters had a crack up there recently and had no trouble achieving his bag limit of fish to 35cm in around two hours.

Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says the flathead have been biting well between the Prince George Light and Portarlington while drifting in the deeper water around 15m. Rod has also had a few customers return with whiting either side of the 35cm mark but not in great numbers. Rod says they best possie has been down near the entrance of Swan Bay with the run-out tide the best.

Work colleague, Peter Mohr took his wife Maree out off St Leonards recently. They tried for a few squid but lucked out so shot out further to try for a few flathead. Maree ended up towelling Pete up with a 52cm flathead amongst a few they managed drifting in 18m of water.

Silver trevally have been a little hard to find in the Queenscliff harbour but November is traditionally the time for larger than normal fish. This time last year, we saw a couple of 60cm monsters come in on soft plastics and pilchard fillets so lock the drags up if you’re heading down there.

Barwon Heads and Surf Coast

Nick from Ocean Grove Charters had a mate call him up to say they got into a few gummy sharks fishing from the beach at Collendina on the last full moon. They were also bitten off a few times so there could have been the odd toothy critter lurking nearby. Snapper to 5kg have been caught by anglers drifting over the rubble in 40m of water from Barwon Heads to Torquay. Reef areas in water from 10-20m have also been the place to dangle a bait with fish either side of 4kg being caught on the run-out tide.

Cuttlefish has been the gun bait but they are also taking pilchards and fresh squid.

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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