Winter brings out the tough anglers for good fishing
  |  First Published: June 2013

Rain has been a little bit more frequent and the days are getting cooler, but, there are still a few fish around for those still in the game.

The top end

The reports have been very slim from the top end but persistence will surely pay off.

There has been a lot of small gummy sharks around the channels east of Tooradin with most fish being legal and just over. There is still a lot of bait around so spend the time getting your calamari and/or yakkas first and this will usually lead to a feed of your preferred species. The elephants have not been too much of a pest this season but I still wouldn’t be surprised if you encountered a few of these interesting looking creatures along the way.

Joe’s Island is littered with pinkie snapper at the moment and can be great fun on the whiting gear. Most of the fish are a little under size but fish to 50cm are still showing up quite frequently, it’s just a matter of staying patient and wading through the smaller fish.

The Quail Bank has had a good little sprinkling of squid over it and targeting them on the run-out tide has been the way to go. Aided by a nice gentle drift you will pick up a bag on both artificial jigs and jags baited with silver whiting suspended under a float.

The north arm

The north arm is where all of the action has been in current times. The calamari fishing has been insane and the whiting continue to fill bags with a little bit more work.

The Tyabb Bank has still been fishing beautifully for calamari with artificial jigs. We have had a little bit of rain of late so the water has been a little bit discoloured which has made the darker, red bellied jigs the preferred choice. The most impressive thing though has been the size of the calamari around, finding a squid with a hood measuring 40cm plus is a very big possibility.

Sandstone Island is a little place in Western Port that for the most part goes un-noticed, but it is surrounded by some of the most calamari-rich waters in the port. Andrew Johnstone is one angler that not only knows about this area but also found out how good it can be. In a recent session Andrew managed his bag of calamari in no time at all with the biggest specimen boasting a 45cm hood. Artificial jigs in sizes 3.0 and 3.5 did the trick.

The middle spit is still the place to be at the moment. There is still a lot of whiting around but it is getting a little tougher. The local charter boat operators have stuck specifically to this area of the port and for good reason. All the good boats have shared success and are still turning a good bag of whiting on most trips. That 5-8m area off the spit has been the favoured depth and the usual whiting baits in pipi and mussel are getting it done. The size has varied from school to school so with a few pick drops you can still find some very solid sized fish. Most of the school fish have been sitting 32-35cm but fish to 43cm have still been quite common.

Tankerton is another area of the port which has fished very well. There are some monster squid around which the charter boats have been getting amongst a few beasts weighing as much as 2.5kg. Early mornings have been the most productive for the bigger models and jigs in either red or olive green in sizes 3 and 3.5 have been the stand out.

The submarine out from Hastings has still been a bait fish mecca with loads of yakkas and slimeys still hanging around the area. Luke McCredden and Mark Keaveny stopped here on the way out to a recent gummy mark and said with the introduction of a little berley they had bait around the boat in no time. There has also been some very nice whiting and pinkies mixed in with the yakkas and coming up the berley trail.

Though the fishing is beginning to get a little tougher with winter vastly approaching it is still pretty clear that there is some great fishing to be had. The calamari fishing will continue to be red hot and the gummy fishing will only get better as the year grows older so it’s not all doom and gloom!

Keep the reports coming and good luck!

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