Hard work rewarded with good fishing
  |  First Published: June 2013

As with everywhere else, winter is upon us, but with some warm clothing and a good plan some great fishing should come your way.

Corio Bay

Well, it was a reasonably disappointing whiting season inside Corio Bay with anglers working hard for quality and numbers. Those seeking whiting should try around the top of the Bellarine Peninsula like St Leonards and Indented Head. There has however, been plenty of flathead kicking about. Ross Winstanley has found it tough going for whiting inside Stingaree Bay but managed a few mixed bags that have included flathead (yank and rock), pinkie snapper and mullet.

Geelong Freshwater

The European carp were still biting although the cold weather should put a stop to that sooner rather than later. On our Sunday bike ride recently, we did happen past some gents enjoying a fish just near the Latrobe Terrace Bridge when they locked up on a carp of around 2-3kg using corn for bait. If the water remains relatively clear, try trapping some live baitfish or shrimp in the Barwon and using them for bait. Redfin will still bite throughout winter. You’ll get less fish, but they are often bigger.

Clifton Springs and Portarlington

Anglers have caught a few small snapper and flathead around the 40cm mark drifting and flicking plastics near Hermsley.

Work colleague, Greer Meehan had her three nieces visit recently. Greer’s parents took them out off Portarlington. Nine year old Olivia who loves fishing, managed to boat a lovely 43cm flathead using mussel for bait after a long and patient wait. Her younger sister, seven-year-old Jessica hooked two whiting in succession plus a toad fish also using mussel as bait. She noted that she could not fish any more as her wrists ached too much from all the reel winding. Four year old Abigail found all the action too much and fell asleep in the cabin.

Brent Hodges had a report of a lucky angler that locked horns with two thumping snapper fishing with soft plastics off Portarlington. Casting on the drift using Gulp Jerk Shads in deep water, two snapper one of 8kg and another of 9kg were boated after a tense battle on light tackle.

Ross Winstanley has also been out off Clifton Springs and caught bags of ten and eight medium sized calamari in two trips. There are a couple of weed beds not far off Clifton Springs that hold numbers of calamari on occasions. Try drifting over these and flicking small to medium sized jigs.

St Leonards to Queenscliff

Last month, Josh Rushton went out off Queenscliff with his mate Mitch McGuire in search of any kingfish stragglers. The lads deployed lead line and trolled around. This method proved successful as the lads caught a whopping kingfish at 13kg fishing near the bend off Queenscliff during the last two hours of the run-in tide.

Bendigo resident, Neil Williams was holidaying with his wife Sandra down at St Leonards recently. Neil says that he visits the Bellarine around 5-6 times a year staying at the St Leonards Caravan Park for a few weeks at a time. Whiting are the prime target for the Williams’s although they did capture some exceptional flathead up to 50cm with squid being the most popular bait.

They also caught some quality whiting which ranged from 33-38cm with the biggest fish around 41cm. Neil says all fish were in excellent condition and caught on fresh squid, mussel and pipis. They found the run-out tide was by far the best and all their fish were caught between the boat ramp and the west channel beacon.

Sandra also managed a very respectable elephant fish while they were fishing for whiting just out front of the St Leonards Yacht Club which was a bonus.

Barwon Heads and Surf Coast

A few elephant fish were taken over the past month by anglers fishing the Barwon River estuary. Best bait has been pilchard fillets and after dark has been most productive. Tyler Hunt fished the estuary lately and locked horns with a respectable elephant fish during the day using pipis on 3kg line.

The Anglesea River has enjoyed a big comeback since the 2010 fish kill with quality bream being caught by anglers on both bait and lures.

Daniel Helbig has been fishing the Anglesea River a bit and doing quite well catching bream either side of 40cm. Daniel has been using 2kg line and peeled prawn for bait.

Daniel has also been out off Torquay where he caught a gummy shark that weighed in at 16.6kg.

I fished down at the Anglesea River with my four-year-old son Max plus good mate Andrew Sertic and his boys Lincoln, ten years old and Fraser, six. The small bream were so thick you could hand feed them which kept the kids busy for an hour or so.

Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to --e-mail address hidden-- with “VFM” in the subject field or give me a call on 0408 997348. Please include where (without giving away your secret spot!), when, what on and who caught the fish. Pictures are always great, but please make sure they are at least 1mb (file size).

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