It is really exciting that for the second month in a row I can start the report discussing yellowtail kingfish!
Over the last few years we have seen a steady increase in the numbers of kings and this is categorically the best season we have had in that period. I really hope that this is only the beginning of a renewed and returning fishery. I would love to think that in five years from now we all expect the kings to run hot through February and March every year!
So with that said, one of the best things about the kings this year is that they have made a good showing inside the bay, which has made it very accessible for many anglers. The area known as The Bend saw plenty of action but at times was overwhelmed by the number of boats fishing the space. I am sure, over time, that many of the first-time king hunters will broaden their horizons and explore new grounds locally, as the truth is that fish have been taken in many different locations, including some of the offshore reefs, the subs, at the mussel farm and more.
The other notable point this year is that there have been plenty of kings taken on knife jigs, which is great as anglers have not had to worry about spending hours in search of live baits. I am sure more than a few tackle stores in the last month ran out of knife jigs where they usually only trickle out the door!
For the most part the kingfish have been between 60-75cm this year, however, we did see pods or schools that swept through over a period of days that would varied between 8-15kg – genuine tackle testers!
As I write, the kingfish bite is slowing down, but it has been a great season so I can only urge all the local fishos to take care of this new found fishery! Make sure the undersize fish go back and let’s hope it’s bigger and better next year.
We’ve seen a range of different species caught for those who spend their time land-based. Gummy shark are a popular species and we saw good size fish caught at Gunnamatta, while the eastern side of the peninsula, around Point Leo through Merricks probably produced the most consistent fishing for those who targeted the species during the evenings.
Further up the peninsula, customer Luke Mcloughlin and daughter Maryanna found plenty of action fishing in the Balcombe estuary where black bream were the species of the day. This is a great little spot to take the kids and get them some action.
There has also been plenty of action on the minor species on our local piers and jetties. Tommy rough continue to be a prolific target at Sorrento Pier.
The salmon fishing around the rip and heads area has been terrific this year although it has started to slow over the last couple of weeks. These fish must spread from their vast schools feeding around the heads and disperse along our local back beaches as we have already seen the beach fishing heat up. Even some of the local surfers have been commenting on the schools they have seen at popular spots such as Gunnamatta Back Beach.
For my money, May is really the start of the winter beach fishing scene so we will have plenty more salmon action in the coming months.
With the winter beach scene upon us, it might be worth thinking about how you are going to tackle Aussie salmon this year. Many anglers over the last two or three seasons have made the switch to 9’ rods, small spin reels and a bunch of metal slugs to target their quarry. My advice is that if you have not tried spinning for salmon – get into it! It is a light and easy way to fish and can make your next beach session plenty of fun – I’m sure you will find the results are outstanding!
• 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.Reads: 680