From my perspective I would have to say that the peninsula has experienced one of the best Australian Salmon seasons in the last 3-4 years.
The fishing both inside the bay and from our local back beaches has been exceptional with most known destinations producing fish on any given day. So let’s take a look at where they have been biting and what they have been taking.
For a number of weeks land-based anglers and those fishing in close in the boat have enjoyed an enormous school of salmon that has been hanging around the pier and the near surrounds. The fish have been regularly moving through the moorings between the Sorrento Yacht Club and Point Franklin spending long stints around the ferry as it docks at Sorrento.
Why there were so many fish and why they have stayed in the same area for so long is anyone’s guess – yet this has proved a bonaza for anglers wanting a bit of wintery action and not wanting to travel too far!
Staying inside the bay there have also been excellent schools at the Mt Martha Point, Dromana Mussel farm and around the entrance to Martha Cove.
As one might easily guess, Gunnamatta back beach has been heavily fished over the last couple of months with any hint of fine weather and calm conditions sending anglers down in droves to get a piece of the winter salmon action. The best part is that most who have taken the time to learn the beach have come home pretty happy with fish ranging from 400g-2kg, a regular occurrence.
Other beaches fishing well include Portsea back beach where one of our local charter operators Joe Farr, was socially fishing and encountered some of the biggest salmon he has seen in our local waters estimated at around 3-4kg. When Joe cleaned the fish he found that they had eaten whole baby salmon - up to 20cm long! Probably as big a salmon as you are likely to encounter in our waterways.
I couldn’t go any further with this report without getting stuck into the other prime species at the moment which is squid! We have had a wonderful and consistent winter season on the squid which is so important given the popularity and accessibility of the species when they are running hot.
Portsea and across the bay at Queenscliff and the mouth of Swan Bay has been producing the biggest squid while the shallow grounds all the way from the Mt Martha cliffs through Rosebud, Rye, Blairgowrie and Sorrento have seen plentiful amounts of smaller and mid-size squid.
The final piece of the winter trident of favoured species is, of course, the King George whiting. Fish have again been in good numbers on the stretch of coast between the Mouth of Swan Bay, through St Leonards and up in spots closer to Point Arlington.
A little bit closer to home, there has been some good whiting fishing off the Pinnace Channel and on some of the weed beds close to the south channel deep off Rye and Blairgowrie.
Time will tell as the month progresses but if we’re lucky we might see a bit of fine weather as we wind up the piscatorial thermometer and enter into spring. Definitely a time to look at a bit of bait collection or maybe even a reconnaissance mission to see if any early snapper are starting to hold on structure marks – and who knows maybe the big spawning squid might start to make an appearance too!
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: 1930