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Steady as she goes
  |  First Published: February 2014



It has been another month of trying conditions and the fishing has been patchy at best, but that does not mean the fish aren’t there. Those who are willing to stay on the move have made the most of the break in weather and come home with the goods! The whiting have still made up the bulk of most bags with a few nice gummies rounding out a good feed.

THE TOP END:

We all know that the top end of the Port holds some brilliant whiting grounds and again they have been producing a lot of fish. Most of the whiting around the top end have come from within the bigger channels and arms running off them. The banks of the Tooradin Channel have fished well and though most of the whiting have been on the smaller side there has still been small pockets holding bigger fish to 42cm.

Lyalls Channel has been the home of some nice gummies of late. Most fish caught are within that just legal category but there was a massive 25kg gummy caught recently. Gummies of this size are not a common capture in this area but it really does show that anything can happen. That’s two big gummies in two months in this area and the fresh baits have taken the bigger fish, in this case it was a fresh piece of salmon that did the damage.

Moving further along the top end it has been a similar story on the whiting front.

Gentle Annie and Warneet Channel have both fished fairly consistently but trying to find bigger fish has been a little difficult. There seems to be endless amounts of whiting in these areas but the average size has been ranging between 26cm and 32cm, so a little on the small side. Pipi and mussel have been the preferred baits amongst most anglers but I do know of a few local boys who have been pumping their own bass yabbies and turning them into a few better sized fish, so it is always worth investing in a bait pump and getting the kids down to the Warneet pier at low tide and you will be surprised at just how fun catching your own bait can be!

THE NORTH ARM

The North Arm has easily been amongst the most productive water in the whole Port last month and some of the bags of whiting that I have seen have been phenomenal.

The charter boats have been doing most of their work along the banks of the Middle Spit and up on the Tyabb Bank and more often than not they have been treating their clients with a full bag of really good quality whiting. There has been a lot of weed floating around the Port lately and this can make hard work of it in some spots so the run in tide has been a little bit more productive as the weed is not as bad.

I fished with a really good mate of mine recently and also found the fish were rather hard to hook. There were plenty of whiting around but they were biting very tentatively. If this is happening to you there are a few ways that you can combat this. A squid strip over the top of your bait will most time instigate a second, far more aggressive bite. You should also hold the rod and strike early! We started our mission in 2m of water on the Tyabb Bank and finished around the top of the Middle Spit. Like I said, they were hard to hook but there were plenty of fish around.

Apart from the whiting the gummies have been quite good as well and a few snapper still continue to pop up. Just below Crawfish Rock, down through Lysaghts and to Hastings have all produced good, legal gummies and snapper.

If it is the bigger fish that you crave, then there has been some next level gummies to 15kg taken under the cover of darkness in the deeper channels. Fresh bait is always best and there hasve been plenty of squid, salmon and trevally hanging around and more often then not these ‘bait’ species will come to you. A fine surface berley while you are at anchor for the gummies can most times result in some of the freshest bait available.

We have been getting plenty of reports of anglers witnessing a lot of bite offs recently. There has been a rather large influx of both seven gill and school sharks lately which can provide plenty of fun when the fishing is tough. We are in that time of year where we can also expect to see the odd thresher shark too so it would pay to have a bit of wire in the tackle box!

Like I mentioned at the start of this report, the fishing has been tough, but as you have read there is still plenty to do and catch. Let’s just hope for a bit of warmth and consistent breaks in the wind and the fishing will heat right up in no time!

Good luck and keep the reports coming.

Some nice snapper still cruising around for keen anglers.

The reason for most of the bite offs, the school shark!

Some seriously nice whiting coming from the Tyabb Bank.

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