Red bite in the Barwon
  |  First Published: March 2015

Redfin and carp are still biting in the Barwon River! As long as the water remains relatively clear, the lure fishing for redfin will remain a priority.

Casting anything that looks like a minnow parallel to the bankside weed growth is the best method to target these voracious predators. Soft plastics work a treat because you can control the depth a bit better than a bibbed minnow keeping the lure in the strike zone for maximum time. The strike zone for reddies is almost always close to the bottom, so try to keep your lures down there.

If bait fishing is your thing, a bunch of worms will catch most fish but live minnow is like a party pie to a redfin – you can always fit one more in even if you’re not hungry!

Out west, Wurdi Buloc Reservoir near Moriac is producing redfin and rainbow trout to lure anglers. Michael Evans has been consistently producing quality fish from this location using fish arrow soft plastics bumped along the bottom.

Short-finned pike up to a meter have made themselves known in Corio Bay and many soft plastic enthusiasts have had their lures mauled of late. Pike have an incredibly hard jaw, so hooks should be razor sharp to keep these fish connected. Trolling bibbed minnow lures close to the bottom in about 4-6m can also be successful. They have been caught at the Geelong waterfront, North Shore Rocks and Hermsley.

Snotty trevally have been going bananas at Cunningham Pier, but most of them have been fairly small at around 25cm. They are fun to catch using light tackle and are climbing all over pilchard fillets and raw chicken.

Pinkie snapper have been a prime target for soft plastic anglers seeking light tackle action with fish from legal length to 55cm being taken on turtle back worms in pumpkinseed and Gulp minnows in bright colours such as nuclear chicken. Early in the morning has been best in around the 4-5m mark, but when the sun gets up a bit, the undersized fish move in.

Work colleagues Andreas and Jake have been fishing land-based from Rippleside, where they have caught a few legal pinkie snapper and King George whiting using pipis, salted pilchards and raw chicken.

March is traditionally a good time to look for yellowtail kingfish around the structures of Corio Bay. I had not heard of any in February, but you can bet they will be prowling this month. Live bait such as garfish are deadly and they will take fresh squid and baitfish-profiled lures.

The fishing from Portarlington to Queenscliff has been fantastic and there has been some real quality fish gracing catch bags.

Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports calamari are still coming in from the Prince George reefs as well as Governors Reef and some of the weed beds closer to St Leonards with best times early and late in the day.

The best fishing has generally been around the high tides with some plenty of nice size pinkie snapper coming in with the best spots being around the Governors Reef.

There are plenty of good sized flathead coming in at around 45cm. Rod says that fishing the shallows from Indented Head back to the Prince George Bank has been best.

King George whiting are certainly worth chasing as well in that same area using pipis, but the tide must be moving. Rod notes that if you can get the wind in the same direction as the tide it’s well worth the effort. The fish off Indented Head are coming in a lot larger than the ones from St Leonards with some at over 40cm and the odd fish approaching 46cm!

The gummy sharks have been biting well out in the deeper water from around 18-22m of water. Rod has had half a dozen come in one day late January but the recent anglers have been dropping them at the boat as some have hooked them fishing for whiting. One gummy shark was even hooked on a silver wobbler while trolling for salmon! The gummies are feeding in fairly close to shore on the squid and whiting so fresh squid is the bait of choice.

Alan Jones fished out there with his cousin Brendan. They fished the west channel from about 6am using chunks of salmon for bait when both their rods went off. Brendan hauled in a 10kg gummy while Alan’s put up a 40-minute fight and pulled the scales down to 19kg!

There has also been plenty of Australian salmon kicking about the Bellarine Peninsula. They have not been too big at around 35cm, but make great bait and they are fun to catch! They have been a little hard to locate so trolling lures about until a school is located is the best bet.

There has been some bigger salmon closer to the Rip and some of these have exceeded the 2kg mark. Anglers using fly and lure tackle have had a ball chasing the big schools as they move about the lower reaches of Port Phillip Bay. Just make sure you give everyone plenty of room and whatever you do, don’t troll lures through the middle of the school as it only frightens them off.

Yellowtail kingfish to 65cm have been caught by anglers using deep jigging methods outside the Rip and off Collendina. Trolling around the 10m mark near Ocean Grove and around Charlemont Reef off Thirteenth Beach has also been productive.

Those with heavy tackle seeking a mako should head out to the 70m mark and with a good berley trail, you should have a few mako and blue shark around.

Been Fishing?

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 997 348. 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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