In Western Port the fishing has been very good if you know where to look.
The hotter than normal days have made the fishing challenging but despite that, those that took the initiative to fish a little deeper than normal were rewarded.
The whiting have been hot and cold so to speak with most of the action occurring early in the morning and late in the evening on the shallow banks.
Reef Island has been one of the most regular locations to find whiting in the shallows throughout the season and is still producing. During the slower tides surrounding the full moon cause the fish to be more timid in their feeding patterns but with a little hard work and determination anglers can still catch plenty. Anglers continuing to fish this are have been anchoring in 5m of water amongst the reef. Berley has been essential, as it has brought the fish in to the fishing location. Squid strips and pipi have been dynamite baits.
This time of year in the Corinella region is all about mulloway for many anglers. Hot nights with next to no wind makes the evening very pleasant but they are not easy fish to catch. Hours and hours spent on the water are the requirements with fresh bait a must. Tackle World staff member Scott Harper knows the scenario all too well and ventured out with his mate Brad once again. Although they weren’t successful on mulloway they did have a very busy night catching and releasing plenty of pinkie snapper to 50cm.
Squid and pilchards were the two popular baits used.
There has been an infestation of pinkie snapper into this area over the past few weeks with some really good sized fish amongst the schools. Although you have to sift though the smaller models to catch the larger ones, it is well worth it if you’re after a feed.
John Peterson also fished the same area recently concentrating along the edge of the bank between Corinella and Tenby Point. Anchored in 5m of water, John managed to catch and release five gummy sharks to 8kg. He also managed one snapper at around 3kg. All fish were caught using sauries for bait.
Land-based anglers get quite excited about this time of year and the past few weeks have been very productive when fishing from the sand. Despite the long walk to the spit, some very nice fish have been caught. Dean Phillips managed two gummy sharks around 1.2m while other anglers were content with catching tailor. There has been quite a number of tailor caught from this location recently so it will pay to use wire leaders to prevent any unwanted bite offs.
Michael Babbas also fished the area late one evening to catch a gummy shark of 4kg on a squid bait before catching and releasing an 8kg bronze whaler shark. Both fish were caught on the start of the run-in tide.
This location will become very popular with anglers from now on as the elephant fish will be arriving in huge numbers over the next month or so. If you’re looking for a location to catch land-based sharks regularly, this is the place for you.
The Western Entrance is one of my favourite locations to fish year round but during the summer months it really turns on. Matt Cini from Reel Time fishing charters has had a great few weeks catching some very impressive gummy sharks from the Western Entrance. During a social session, Matt fished with his mate Jason and set anchor near Buoy 13. Fishing the run-in tide, the boys managed to catch and release three gummy sharks to an estimated 20kg. Salmon fillet was the top bait.
I also fished this area with Matt after an insane whiting session along the Middle Spit. We anchored near Buoy 14 and managed to catch two lovely gummies around 8kg. Both fish took fresh yakka chunks.
The offshore scene out of Western Port has been sensational this season.
Mako sharks have been caught far and wide from Kilcunda right through to Cape Shank and while they may be traditionally smaller in Bass Strait compared to other locations, some big models have been landed.
February saw the 2013 Victorian Game Fish Classic held at Rhyll and a huge success it was. The largest mako caught was a 185.70kg beast caught by Ron Kemna which took out the Heaviest Capture – Senior. Second Heaviest Capture Senior was Rob Denton with a 49.10kg Mako on 15kg line.
Along with these fish, plenty more anglers had success with most of the captures occurring between West Head and Cape Schank in the 40-50m depth line. In saying that, one angler managed a 26kg mako from the Glass House area.
Out from Flinders, Croft, Juzzy and Jimmy Chow managed a cracking fish which went 164kg. The boys landed the beast at 1.30am in the morning after an epic 4 hour battle.
We are into April now and it is fair to say that the elephants have arrived. Although not in huge numbers the Rhyll area, Gardners and Blakes channels are renowned for delivering some very productive fishing. These areas can be standing room only so it pays to get in early if you want success.
The best setup is a running sinker rig tied from 20lb leader with size 3/0 Black Magic KL circle hook. Berley is essential with squid and pilchards the best bait.
The whiting fishing will continue on and has the hotter days become fewer; it will pay to get back on the banks. The fish will be there you may just have to work a little harder to get the results.
Don’t forget to berley and stick with squid and pipi baits, these have proven to be the number one this season.Reads: 986