The last four weeks have been an exciting time down in the southern part of Port Phillip Bay. With the increasing water temps it felt like the bay came alive with a good variety of species being caught in a range of different locations.
With the crowds descending for another fantastic summer, there is no doubt in my mind that we are in for a hot fishing season!
The bay temps are taking sometime to warm up this year. The best fishing on the snapper grounds deep off Mornington and Mt Martha, has only happened in the last four weeks. The 22m line off the Fairway fired up and plenty of the school fish that were being caught further north finally moved south to keep peninsula anglers’ happy.
Snapper were also taking in 17m around the turning bell at Mt Martha, as well as in the deeper water out behind Hovell Pile.
My thoughts are that it could be a ripper late season this year. There are acres of bait holding off Mt Martha and this should keep this fish in the area for a long while.
While it’s only in its infancy here in Victoria, it has been interesting to watch the trend in snapper fishing toward ultra-light or slow jigging, as another form of lure fishing for snapper. For those who may not have seen or heard of the style it is basically using very small knife jigs in the 30-60g range, some of which have feathered or skirted assist hooks. For those dedicating a bit of time to the practice they are already coming up trumps! My guess – we are going to see a lot more of this over the next few years.
A big talking point this month has been the gummy sharks. From early in the month regular captures of fish to 20kg have been reported with the periods around the full moon an absolute hot focal point.
North and south of the South Channel have been producing fantastic fish through this area and on our calmer nights have provided for some classic fishing.
There have been plenty of smaller sharks taken as by-catch while snapper fishing off the other side of the great sands as well. As always, fresh baits are best, however, salmon fillets have no doubt proved effective this last month.
The shallow grounds off this area are always good for squid and whiting. And despite whiting have taken a while to heat up, we are now seeing some good numbers come from the Sorrento Channel and on the edge of the Rye Channel.
Fishing dusk has been effective. Fresh squid has been the best bait closely followed by cocktail baits of pipi and mussel or pipi and squid.
Squid have been fantastic this year, with only a few periods where they slowed down. Most of the time this could be put down to the heavy spring rains, which often forced the squid into deep water and would slow them down for a week or two.
Most of the calamari have been in the 10-20cm hood range, which should continue for the next couple of months.
The new Gancraft jig in King George whiting colour has been hugely popular and accounted for some really good calamari, so have some of their other new colours they released in November this year.
Land-based on the squid has been good too with Blairgowrie Marina and Portsea Pier the best spots.
Good whiting and squid have also been found at Point King, and those who have been looking for big gummies have been doing okay around Channel Marker 2. The real excitement in this area however, is prospect of yellowtail kings. We have heard a few rumours so it would certainly be worth having a look around the heads and offshore if a big Vic king tickles your fancy.
Land-based, there have been plenty of tommy rough and slimy mackerel being caught from Portsea Pier and other piers at this end of the peninsula. They have been fishing best at dusk and into the night.
Finally, to all the readers and those who support us with fishing reports and pics throughout the year I want to say a big thank you. It’s crazy time down here on the peninsula and I look forward to meeting a few of you in my shop. Be sure to drop in and say g’day!
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.
The author with a couple of classic snapper taken deep off Mt Martha.
Sam Sierakowski with a huge gummy shark caught while fishing the south channel at Rye.
Gawaine Blake with a snapper caught on jig. Ultra light jigging for snapper is set to explode!
More whiting than you can poke a stick at! They certainly should provide good entertainment for the summer crowds over the next month.Reads: 703