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Calamari with a side of gummy
  |  First Published: July 2014



We are officially halfway through the year and we have definitely entered winter mode! The fishing has been challenging but like normal the gummies and calamari have continued to make it worth the trip out to get the boat wet.

THE TOP END

I will kick off this month’s report by heading on over to Granteville, which is one of the most underrated places to fish in the port. The fish are not massive over there but what they lack in size they certainly make up for in quantity.

A really good mate of mine is Mark Keaveny who loves this area of the port and has been absolutely dominating fish in the shallows. He is still picking up the odd elephant but the main catch consists of gummies and small schoolies. It’s not rocket science but Mark is leaving with a feed more often then not, and that’s all you can really ask for at this time of year

Pillies and squid are good enough to get the fish going but make sure you plan your trip around the high tide as it does get pretty shallow on the low.

Moving on around the top end to Joe’s Island and a couple of the local charter boys have been putting in quite a few hours here and finding some very nice fish indeed. There have been a heap of nice gummies to around the 8kg mark and the number one bait has been freshly caught calamari.

Possibly the biggest surprise packet has been the snapper fishing at the moment. Joe’s Island has seen some cracker fish already taken and I can only see it getting better before it get’s worse. Plenty of anglers are reporting picking up some good marks on the sounder, it’s figuring out the tide that they will feed on which seems to be the challenging part. The biggest secret however is fresh squid. If it isn’t fresh squid for bait, it just doesn’t seem to get the job done!

The calamari fishing on the Quail Bank has been nothing short of spectacular again this month and this will continue right through our off-season. Nathan Peterson puts in a few hours up here and some of the squid he gets are simply massive.

I really wish I could point you in the direction of a sure-fire colour to get the calamari but the truth is it has been very erratic and unpredictable. Some guys are finding darker red jigs the go, where others are going back to the more traditional colours like orange and pink and having the same success. I really think it’s just a matter of having a nice little selection to choose from and just suss out what’s happening on the day.

THE NORTH ARM

The Tyabb Bank is a flat out squid haven at the moment and a truckload of calamari are filling the dinner plates of a few anglers. Unlike what is happening on the Quail Bank there seems to be a more solid trend in the jig colour department.

The red foils are easily out fishing most other jigs and there are literally hundreds of them on the market so they are not hard to find. It is the time of year to up the jig size too, 3.0 is about the norm but don’t be scared to bump it up to a 3.5, even a 4.0 because often this can lead to some of those big breeders we hear so much about.

Local fishos Kayne and Pete McConville have been dominating squid in only 2.5m of water and have found that the incoming tide has produced the better numbers. The hood length for the boys has been averaging around the 36cm mark.

It’s getting quite tough for the whiting anglers that persist through the cooler months. There is still a light sprinkling of fish on the Middle Spit but your tactics do need to change as the water gets quite cold. The secret here is to be as quiet as possible and get those baits as far away from the boat as you can. Still concentrate in the 3-5m mark but don’t give them a reason to get shy; keep the baits long and you will be ok. Keep on the move if nothing is happening and do the hard yards to get the bait.

Live Bass yabbies are deadly in the cooler months and can be the difference between a couple of fish and taking home a nice feed.

I also know of a few anglers who like to fish the deep water out from the Tyabb Bank towards the top end of the Middle Spit. They like to park in the 14m range and drop some small baits to the bottom. They will generally run a standard two hook paternoster, one with a pipi and the other with half a pilchard and get the odd good session pulling some really nice whiting and some table sized pinkies. This is a great way to spend that last half an hour on the way back in as you find out pretty quickly if the fish are on or not.

It’s very easy to switch off during winter but I have found that the warm weather seems to roll around faster if you keep those lines in the water! Good luck and keep those reports coming.

1

A sample of the quality snapper through the Top End at the moment.

2

The calamari fishing on the Quail Bank has been nothing short of spectacular

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It has been a cracking start to the calamari season, check this out for a nice Tyabb Bank squid!

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