It’s an elephant stampede in Western Port
  |  First Published: May 2013

And so we say goodbye to those hot balmy evenings and while we embrace autumn, it is the dead cold of winter that is quickly approaching.


The offshore scene pushed on strong with plenty of mako sharks being caught and released. Most of the offshore action was still coming from the Cape Schank area with some very large models encountered.

Anglers, James, Brodie and Rowan had been dying to get out on the sharks this season and after waiting for the right conditions they were finally dealt a day to head out. The boys headed out behind Cape Woolamai and begun their drift in 50m of water. Within 30 minutes of starting their trail, they hooked up and the mako went crazy doing around eight jumps in the air. It took them around 2 hours to bring the fish to the boat where they released it. They had to chase him for around 7km so they didn’t get spooled. When the fish was up to the boat they estimated it to be around 3m long.


If you can’t get outside, this options inside the Port are endless. Cleeland Bight, which is between the San Remo Bridge and the exit into Bass Strait is fishing considerably well for calamari. Anglers drifting in 5m of water over the weed beds have been catching some very impressive models and these will continue right throughout this month. Martin Wennagel, his brother and dad fished the Cleeland Bight area with good success. Fishing early one morning, they managed six calamari on artificial jigs.


The Rhyll area, in particular The Corals is going to be a real hot spot in the coming weeks. This is due to the annual arrival of the elephant fish that will infiltrate the port by their thousands. Some anglers have already begun to catch them but it is during this month that they will be prolific. By the end of May they will head back offshore but will still be a viable catch into June.

One of the most productive areas of late has been at GPS MARK S 38 26.793 E 145 19.824 according to Adam Milson who managed some cracking pinkies and elephants.

If you have your heart set on an elephant then the prime location to catch them is at The Corals but early reports tend to filter from Blakes and Gardeners channels inside the Tortoise Head Bank, followed by the Elephant Triangle at Rhyll. Phillip Dawson has already been on the elephant hunt and managed six elephants up to 4kg at The Corals. Phillip said that small squid strips were the top bait.


This location gets a fair flogging and why not so as it is the most consistent location to catch XOS gummy sharks. Though it fishes well for them you still need to concentrate on the moon cycles in order to be successful. Trevally and yakka fillet has been the most productive bait, with gummies to 20kg being taken. The lead up to the full moon has been the most productive time.


The whiting have been a little hot and cold but if you work a little harder for them; you’ll quite easily manage your bag. The Cowes area has been quite a popular location with the recent wind and rain. Anglers that haven’t been able to get out wide have been doing very well in close from Cowes Pier to McHaffies Point. This area has been producing some very impressive whiting and while most of the fish are around 32-38cm, a few fish to 46cm have been caught. There is also plenty of salmon and silver trevally about. Pipi and mussel have been popular baits.


Options this month would most certainly be for anglers to target elephants fish as they are arriving daily. As mentioned earlier that there will be a few hot locations to fish, these are the most common places to seek out these weird looking fish and no doubt that plenty of anglers will be hunting them.

Alternatively, if you’re still hungry for whiting then your best to concentrate on the Middle Spit and Stony Point areas. From Hanns Inlet to the SP marker Buoy, the whiting fishing will continue to be quite productive throughout the next few months.

Ideally you’d want to be fishing in 5m of water and due to the fast running tide the whiting will still congregate in these areas. Use a little berley and you’ll have success.



Minimum legal size:

no minimum

Bag/possession limit:

1 fish, landed whole or as a carcass

Reads: 1923

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