Get rugged up for good salmon, squid and whiting sport
  |  First Published: June 2013

Winter seems to have rolled around quickly this year, maybe in part due to the sensational fishing which has kept the mind occupied in the early part of the year!

Whatever the case, it’s amazing how quickly I find myself rugged-up, returning to Gunnamatta back beach to inspect the surf scene which has come alight in these last few weeks.


I can happily report that the fishing on our back beaches had been pretty good for most of the year but we are now seeing big crowds again heading down and fishing the many beaches around the Mornington Peninsula. Most of the salmon have been between 500-800g although there is a steady mix of bigger fish to about 1.5kg being caught amongst them.

I feel like I say this every year, but there is no doubt whatsoever that again the mix of lure anglers V bait fishers is ever changing, with more and more hanging up the old 12’ surf rod in preference for a 9’ light spin rod. Most anglers are spinning 35-50g metal slugs but the more adventurous are waiting for calm days with northerly winds where the can use lighter weight sinking stick baits and sub-surface lures such as the Rapala Sub Walk.

If salmon are not your thing the other good news is that we still saw a number of gummy sharks to 8kg taken at Merricks back beach over the last full moon. Certainly worth a crack this month before it slows off through the dead of winter.

Whiting and Flathead

It has been pleasing to see that the late autumn run of whiting and flathead has probably seen the best fishing of the last 5-6 months. Plenty of fish came from St Leonards and up to Port Arlington while the top of Symonds Channel also fished well in the shallows before the drop off into the main basin of Port Phillip. My suspicion is that, similar to last year, we are going to see a strong congregation of flathead and whiting through this area for most of winter.


The last two or so months has seen an abundant run of small to mid-size calamari which has been a real attraction for the weekend fisho looking to bring home a meal. Blairgowrie has fished exceptionally well but even land-based platforms such at the Mt Martha rocks and Mornington pier have seen heaps of action. Given their speedy rate of growth hopefully all these little fellas are a good sign that we will have an exceptional spring run of big squid when the wheel finally turns and we head into the later stage of the year. White and black jigs have been pretty good producers over the period.


The last four weeks or so saw some quality snapper produced off Mornington. Some of the fish were clearly ‘new entries’ not showing the typical dark colouring or signs of living inside the bay. There is no doubt this is testament to the health of the bay and the state of the snapper fishery. Many of the fish were between 4.5-7.5kg which certainly twigged the interest of die-hard snapper anglers.

Simple keys were plenty of berley, pilchard baits and a tide change.

Looking ahead, salmon schools should continue to move into the bay that often provides for some great fishing from land-based locations like Blairgowrie Marina, Dromana Pier and the rock groins at Martha Cover. Take a packet of plastics and get in on the action – there is plenty of winter fun to be had!

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.

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