This winter we have had rain, cold, wind, rain, ice rain and rain and it has made fishing in general quite tough.
The one positive that we have seen through reports that they have been very exciting indeed.
It has been a little miserable through the top end and I really think that is due to the lack of people fishing it.
Phillip Smith is one keen angler that has been fishing the port and has pretty much had the place to himself. In his kayak, Phillip has been poking around Lang Lang in only a couple of meters of water and getting a beautiful feed of gummy on most trips. Most fish have been around 5kg and prawns have been the favoured bait.
Tim Milnes has been putting in a few hours around Joes Island of late and he gave us one of those amazing reports that I mentioned earlier. He has been doing extremely well on the snapper boating three fish over the course of one weekend ranging 4.9-6kg. They also managed a handful of gummies to 7kg as well.
This is not the only snapper report from around Western Port over the last month, and it really is a great sign of things to come. Having said that though, it is not an un-common capture. Snapper will reside in the port throughout winter and it can be one of the most challenging and rewarding things we can do as Victorian anglers. All of the principals to in season snapper fishing apply, the challenge comes in finding the tide that the fish will be feeding on and being ready when those fish go. Generally it will be a very short window and you need to be ready to capitalise when they do. Joes Island is a great place to start and has been a proven winter snapper fishery for many years.
It has been much the same for the north arm of the port with reports being very patchy but mainly due to the lack of people fishing.
The Tyabb Bank has still been fishing very well for calamari but fishing a little bit deeper is the key due to the rain and influx of dirty water over the banks.
Artificial jigs have been easily out-fishing the baited jigs and with the dirty water around those darker coloured jigs are really working well. Either black or dark green with red belly jigs have been getting it done and concentrating your efforts around the high tide change has been very productive.
Charter operator Keith Diprose has been hard at work through the winter and showing quite a few clients that the fishing can still be red hot during this mighty cold time of year. Keith has still been getting quite a few whiting off the middle spit but most of his time has been spent catching quality snapper and gummy sharks through the deeper channels of the north arm.
Squid rings have been a clear favourite with those rings coming from squid caught fresh from either the Middle Spit or from any of the shallow shorelines between Stoney Point and the Tyabb Bank. The fish have been of reasonable size too, the gummies have been averaging around the 6kg mark and the best snapper has been 6.5kg.
For land-based anglers, Stoney Point Pier has been fishing exceptionally well during the winter months. Some nice calamari have been caught under the lights of a night time for those keen enough to hang out in the cold of the night. During the day has seen some seriously good schools of Australian salmon patrolling the area and they can provide some flat out mayhem when they get going. A bit of berley will keep the fish in the area and for those bait fishing, small pieces of unweighted pilchard are getting the fish, but to have some serious fun, tie on a small metal lure and hang on!
Amongst the salmon there has been plenty of mullet and also the odd good silver trevally has been caught. Local angler George had a great little session in the rain landing a handful of salmon to 2kg and a nice silver trevally that measured in at 45cm.
Though it has been cold and miserable at least that we can say that the worst is now behind us. It is August already and snapper season is right around the corner. It is time to get the boat out of the garage, get it back on the water and iron out any little kinks and start getting a bit of bait in the bait freezer while the calamari are still on.
Before we know it, the we will have some really consistent snapper reports in it and the fire will be back in the belly.
Good luck to everyone and keep the reports coming.Reads: 1086