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Gummies and calamari are the prime targets
  |  First Published: July 2013



It’s no secret that it’s wet and cold and the fish have definitely gone a little bit quiet but it does not mean that they are not there.

With a little bit of patience and forward planning the reports certainly indicate that there is still a good bag in it for those willing to work.

THE TOP END

It’s very easy to focus on what fish go quiet during the winter period as we get fed up with the cold early and pack the boat away. We need to focus on the species that do fire up and lucky for us they are amongst the best eating fish we have in Victoria: calamari and gummy shark. Whiting have certainly gone very quiet in the top end but the gummies and calamari have been on fire.

Grantville Jetty has seen a little bit of action of late with land-based anglers getting amongst the last of the elephant fish before they leave the port and also quite a few small gummies. Dylan Sutherland has put in a few hours on the jetty recently and reports that at times it can be tough to land a legal gummy but keep wading through the small fish and more often than not you will leave with a good feed.

Lang Lang is a forgotten area of the port as it is generally too shallow to get most boats onto but since the influx of kayak anglers venturing away from estuaries and into the bays it’s an area which once again has been put on the map. The shallow flats around Lang Lang are rich with beautiful table-fare gummies and the kayakers have been having a ball as a result.

David Lockely dropped his small anchor in 1.3m of water recently and on the high tide landed two sensational gummy sharks that went home to feed the family.

Some ridiculous sized squid have calamari have been taken off the Quail Bank with some morsels sporting hood lengths of over 50cm. Casting artificial jigs is a proven winner but most reports of the bigger squid have come on silver whiting suspended under a glitter bug float.

THE NORTH ARM

The north arm of Western Port has once again been one of the more consistent areas of the port and along with the calamari there has also been some very good reports of King George whiting despite the cool weather.

The Tyabb Bank should be re named the calamari bank with the reports I have received this month. The calamari have been enormous and they have not been hard to catch. Local fisho Eren had a great session on the squid and found that the brighter coloured jigs got the job done on the day. After a brief stint on the sidelines Pete Ferguson had the boat back in the water and it didn’t take long for him to fill the boat full of squid ink again.

Pete has consistently bagged squid with hoods 40cm plus and has also pulled a couple weighing over 2kg! All squid have been taken on artificial jigs, both casting and retrieving and sending a couple of jigs out as sleepers have been getting it done.

Cameron Slaninka was another angler who has been dominating some calamari on the Tyabb Bank but did encounter a strange occurrence recently. While casting a squid jig around he managed to hook and land a thumping 55cm flathead on the white coloured squid jig he was throwing around!

If it’s an off-season whiting you are after then the middle spit is where you want to be. Both Matt Cini and Jason Turner have had their charter boats on the spit and while the whiting are a little hard work they are still leaving most days with a healthy bag. Jason has been regularly getting fish to 45cm and fishing in 5m of water with pipi the best bait by far.

Matt has had a welcome problem on the whiting with some of the local calamari camping under the boat and shooting out to grab any whiting being pulled in. This is why it pays to have a squid jig ready to go as whenever this happens Matt drops a jig over the side and that nights dinner very quickly turns into whiting, chips and calamari!

Jim Davies is another who has continued to get whiting off the spit and finding a very healthy average size along the way. In a recent session of 14 whiting, all fish were 36-38cm and taken on a mussel and squid cocktail bait.

It is very hard to gain motivation at this time of the year, but while it’s cold there is still some awesome fishing to be had.

So rug up and push on and the rewards will be there. Once again, keep the reports coming and good luck!

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