Barwon clears for lurers
  |  First Published: February 2014

Geelong Freshwater

The Barwon in Geelong has finally cleared up enough to use lures. There have been a few redfin caught by anglers walking the banks and casting parallel to them near Queens Park and Buckleys Falls.

European carp have been biting well on the hot days. A fantastic day can be had by taking a barbeque down the river, flipping some snags with the family and lobbing the lines out.

Take a bait trap baited with bread and see if you can get some gudgeon – redfin love these. Just hook them through the op lip and use a running sinker rig. For carp (and heaps of fun), try garden worms, sweetcorn and white bread.

Keep your eyes peeled for blue-green algae sign posts and avoid contact with the water if these are up.

Corio Bay

Ross Winstanley went out on the Stingaree Bay spoil grounds recently where he caught two sand flathead, two small whiting and, thankfully, a 52cm rock flathead that saved the day.

Ross headed out the other side of Point Henry where the snapper obliged and bit well from ‘lines down’ at 5.10am until 5.45am, by which time Ross had kept the best out of 13 that measured in from 28-33cm. Then the big banjos moved in en masse, at that point Ross shifted to just north of channel marker number 11 off Point Henry to try for a feed of flatties but only managed a heap of undersized fish.

On another occasion, Ross managed to catch 4 King George whiting, 2 yank flathead, 8 sand flathead, and 1 Australian salmon, which is a great mixed bag for Corio Bay!

Ross says his whiting are mostly 32-36cm and he’s happy enough to be catching a good mixed feed on a regular basis until things hot up this February. Ross made mention that there are lots of big bait stealing banjo sharks around too.

Clifton Springs and Portarlington

Work colleague, Adam Jordan has been enjoying some good Bellarine Peninsula angling of late. Adam crawled out of bed at 4 o’clock in the morning to fish with his son Will out off Clifton Springs. Adam says the undersized pinkie snapper were ravenous and Will managed a 37cm one, which was ok.

Adam had another crack fishing the bend off Clifton Springs with his father-in-law where they caught a 61cm snapper plus 2 at 50cm, 3 at 38cm and stacks smaller than that.

Adam also fished with Trev Shell off St Leonards where they had ripping conditions and caught calamari, salmon and small snapper. Adam notes that the mutton birds (shearwaters) drove them nuts by diving deep to grab their baits before they had time to sink.

Adam is pretty sure that the change of tide is the key for catching the larger snapper.

St Leonards to Queenscliff

St Leonards has been very busy with anglers fishing the deep water for flathead, snapper and gummy sharks, while in the shallow, there has been some good days and bad days on the whiting but worth a look all the same.

Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says the fishing has been great with clients catching gummy sharks in 15m of water between Portarlington and Indented Head with high tide being best. Rod says best captures have been on fresh pilchards or squid.

Rod notes that the calamari have also been going great guns over the shallow weed beds with a few clients bagging out drifting the shallows. Grassy Point near Portarlington and out wider near the Prince George Bank have been most consistent but makes special mention of Queenscliff with some larger squid down there. Rod recommends packing a good variety of jigs as they are super fussy, with the best time being first and last light with a low tide or a bit of cloud about.

There have been a lot of snapper up to 1kg caught by anglers drifting in the deep water from St Leonards back to Portarlington. Early mornings and higher tides were the best times, however there are a lot of undersize fish keen to pinch baits.

Those after a feed of flathead at the moment are in luck as they can be in quite close and shallow with some fish around 50cm. There are large numbers of flathead available at the moment drifting out deep from St Leonards to Indented Head with pilchards being best bait.

Barwon Heads and Surf Coast

March can see good numbers of yellowtail kingfish hanging around the reef areas off Barwon Heads and the Surf Coast. Try tolling lures or strips of squid off Collendina, the Rip and Thirteenth Beach as there are some good reef structure there. In the deeper water off the Rip is also worth sending down some jigs as there are some patchy reef areas where they hold.

Big King George whiting are also a chance in the shallow waters off Barwon Heads and the Surf Coast. First and last light is always best but I’ve caught them here all day when they are really switched on.

Aiden Jarosinski fished off Anglesea recently with his mate Kevin McLaughlin. Fishing in 25m of water they caught two big gummy sharks around 10-16kg. The one Aiden caught was a 16kg female so they decided to release her. The big female took a whole salmon and the gummy Kevin caught was about 10kg, which they kept for a feed. They also caught some calamari and a big seven-gill shark, which they also released as they already had enough flake on board.

Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to --e-mail address hidden-- with “VFM” in the subject field or give me a call on 0408 997348. Please include where (without giving away your secret spot!), when, what on and who caught the fish. Pictures are always great, but please make sure they are at least 1mb (file size).

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