It would be very hard to pen this report without mentioning the awesome run of Yellowtail Kingfish that we experienced.
I can genuinely say that this run of significant fish had the attention of a good portion of Melbourne’s fishing community!
The most exciting thing about this run of fish was the consistency to the size. Fish between 8-12kg were common, while fish to 18kg were reported. Throughout most of summer we had on and off reports of ‘rat’ kingfish but this showing was serious. Serious fish needing serious tackle and finesse to land.
One of the other notable features of this run of fish were the numbers produced. Only a few years ago it was impressive if someone caught one or two kings, this year however, a number of lucky anglers such as Jason Unsworth and Jay Furniss had hot sessions nailing six or eight and losing just as many.
There was action in the rip, there was action down off the Barwon Bluff and even a few taken down at Cape Schanck. The action included a range of different techniques: jigs, live baits, poppers and lead-lines all produced fish on their given days.
Yet with all this attention it has to be said that there is a downside. It would seem, anecdotally at least, that the kingfish populations are again in the increase on the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsula. The difference to 20-30 years ago is that many, many more anglers have the boat, gear and know-how in targeting these challenging fish. For locals it no doubts presents a conundrum for inherently the charter operators, tackle stores and other interested parties want to promote the resource and yet in the same breath want to ensure that this is only the beginning of a strong and healthy return of the species to the area, not a flash in the pan that gets wiped out with over enthusiasm from Melbourne’s significant fishing population. For now, it would be safe to say that this year’s autumn run of kings was better than last, let’s hope that next year’s is bigger again!
Squid have continued right through autumn in very good numbers. Many anglers commenting that it is as good as it has been since the start of the year. It is certainly worth noting that some of the heavily fished areas such as deep off the Sisters at Sorrento has seen a significant change in the weed beds meaning that there are less squid out there than there was a year ago. Keep your eyes open, the weed beds have moved and you might need to move with them!
The late season snapper fishing was steady over the last month with most anglers still able to produce a couple of fish a session. The grounds surrounding the Mussel Farms deep off Mud Island were the hotspot, however there were also plenty of undersize pinkies out there which proved a nuisance at times. Brent Rietman, as always, fished hard and found results on a number of different occasions, snagging fish consistently between 4-6kg.
May really signifies the beginning of surf season and back beach fishing. No doubt more and more anglers will see the benefits of surf spinning, but more on that in June. Further afield, it is a great month to have a trip planned to head down the west coast and target bluefin from Apollo Bay to Port MacDonnell.
Plenty to do out there, let’s go fishing!
For more information feel free to drop in and see the boys at Peninsula Total Tackle, 11 Boneo Road in Rosebud or phone: 03 5981 1994.Reads: 1327