Warmer water makes for better spearfishing sport
  |  First Published: November 2012

November has finally seen the water start to warm up and a few more challenging and tasty fish turning up both in the ocean and Port Phillip.

After a long and cold and windy winter and start of spring we have been blessed with some reasonable diving days and good fishing.

Squid turned up much later than normal in our regular spearfishing haunts with October producing some great results. Hot spots have been Nepean Bay (outside of the Marine Park), Portsea, Queenscliff and Swan Bay. When the water has been clear enough St Leonards area has also produced some nice calamari. Size has been consistently good with hand-picked specimens weighing between 1.5-3 kg.

These same areas have been producing good trevally, King George whiting and pan-sized snapper. The use of some of the squid heads have been great berley and certainly help land these wary fish. The shallow water makes these species hard to approach so try and place the berley in an area that you can sneak up on like a gutter or even an overhanging ledge.

Early morning and late afternoon have been prime time for both the squid and prized scale fish.

The Mornington Peninsular back beaches have also been producing good trevally and XL King George whiting. Local spearfishing ‘guru’ Brett Illingworth has landed some good whiting over 700g from places such as Koonya, Diamond Bay, and Sorrento back beach and nearby sandy bays. Again a little berley and some stealth hunting and you will be in the mix.

Some days when the visibility has been low, (3-5m) divers have had better success than the crystal clear days.

The crayfish season opens mid-November and is a great time to start catching a few bugs for the tradition festive season.

I have seen a lot of crayfish during the closed months whilst abalone diving so I am sure the season will start well.

Usual west coast haunts such as Cape Otway, Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland will be a good place to start.

Closer to Melbourne, crayfish can be found at Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsular back beaches along with Cape Schanck.

If the water continues to warm I am sure we will find the mighty yellowtail kingfish not too far away. Last year we encountered them in mid-December so be ready for these game fish some time soon.

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