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  |  First Published: February 2014

It has been such a busy period over the last four weeks that it’s sometimes hard to decipher the genuine hot spots. We are getting reports from all over the peninsula and on such a variety of species. I kid you not when I say that we would have heard of almost every available species being caught in the last four weeks.

King George Whiting

It’s pleasing to see that it has already been a far better whiting season that it was last year. And that goes for both sides of the peninsula. Early on, the middle spit in Western Port was on fire but we are now seeing great catches of whiting in areas such as Rosebud, Blairgowrie and Portsea.

Ebb tide has been, for the most part, the best tide to fish, but conversely Portsea can fish very well on the flood.

While the usual baits of pipis, mussels or cocktails with a squid strip have been good, we have also been getting plenty of interest in whiting worms (basically a beach worm) that are available in most quality tackle outlets now.

Gummy Shark

Gummies have been a standout with most anglers getting into a few if they put in the time. However, we have certainly seen more smaller size gumbos this year in the 3-8kg range.

As we tell plenty of our customers, there are no secret spots – head to the South or Symmonds Channel, sit on the embankment using a Western Port style rig with fresh fish baits and you are in with a chance! Salmon has probably been the bait of choice this year.

In the last month, we have also had multiple reports of school sharks lost and caught, as well as a thresher, all hooked as by-catch while fishing inside the bay for gummies! So go prepared you never know what is out there!

Land-based anglers have also seen some mid-size gummies being caught at Gunnamatta back beach at night. Again, if you get there early and can catch a couple of salmon first, you really set-up yourself up with the best chance of catching a gummy shark later in the evening.

Aussie Salmon

So far a few salmon have started to show up in the rip at the heads, although they have not been in abundance just yet. You are actually just as likely to find a good sambo trolling lures in the shark hole at the moment in front of the Blairgowrie Marina.

Small barracouta have also at times been available, which make for outstanding baits on either your next gummy shark or snapper fishing expedition.


The tiger and sand flathead have been pretty good for those drifting off the Sorrento and Portsea back beaches this year. As seems to happen every year, a few thresher sharks have also been encountered with follow-ups and hooks ups often quite close to the boat.

At this time of year, threshers seem to be available right along the length of our coastline with stories from as far as the Punchbowl and right through to Barwon Heads.

Outside the heads, the best mako fishing seems to have been to the west. Pushing wide of Barwon Heads has seen good quality water with fish up to about 80kg encountered.

Looking Ahead

It is about now that we start to see some genuine interest in the local yellowtail kingfish populations. Although we have not seen any real evidence of the fish being here in any significant numbers it is worth remembering that those who do a lot of leg work to find the species often keep it under their hat for a while. There is now a lot of bait by way of slimey mackerel and yellowtail scad in the bay, so hopefully the big predators are not far behind!

At the end of the day if you are keen to catch a local kingie it might be worth just getting out there and having a go!

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.


A juvenile thresher shark caught by Joe Farr Fishing Charters was drifting for flathead off the Portsea back beach.


Jay Furniss and Shae Holmes with a school shark caught on the South Channel while filming for Savage Seas Adventures.


Craig and James Purcell and mate Mark Gill hold up one of three threshers they hooked near the Nobbies.


Adam Stan and his wife Kathie have been landing some very decent calamari while fishing around the peninsula and St Leonards.

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