It’s ting time
  |  First Published: April 2015

Summer may have gone but the fishing continues to get better and better. Last month may have seen a few unusual weather patterns sweep over Western Port, but in general, it has been pretty consistent with calm weather allowing anglers to get out and about.

Overall, the fishing has been quite consistent with whiting the prime target at present. These should continue on strong for the next few months, but for now they are widespread and actively feeding both in the deep and on the banks.

The prime locations have been down along the Middle Spit with some very large fish caught near Tankerton Jetty. From all reports the best time to catch them has been during the last two hours of the run-out tides. When the tide funnels down the eastern channel, whiting push down with the tide to this area and can be found easily with a little berley. Another prime spot is to set anchor on the edge of the bank a little south from the Tankerton Jetty in around 2m of water. Once again, set a berley trail and the fish will come your way. That aside, the Tortoise Head Bank has been very consistent of late with most fish being caught during the last two hours of the flood tide and first two hours of the ebb tides.

Consistent catches of whiting have also been coming from Coronet Bay with some of the larger models being caught amongst the thick reef at Reef Island. There have been a lot of solid whiting caught around here with some fish measuring a fat 49cm along with some nice rock flathead. Local angler Andrew Peterson managed a nice bag of 12 whiting including a 49cm specimen.

Further down amongst the weed beds out from the Bass River entrance Terrance Wilder managed four whiting, one flathead and an estuary perch all on pipi baits. He was fishing the high tide in his kayak.

Dickies Bay and Cleeland Bight have also been producing nice whiting. These areas are quite weedy and you will have to do some work to find the sandy patches. Once you do, the whiting will be hot onto your offerings.

Whiting aside, we are now full blown into elephant season and although the bag limit may only be one per person, there is certainly no shortage of them at the moment. For consistent numbers, the better locations are in the Corinella region and at the corals near Rhyll. This soft silt muddy area is where you’ll find them in their greatest numbers but using a little berley in the water makes it much easier to find them.

Don’t think for a minute that they are a boat-only affair either. Land-based anglers can also enjoy the fruits of elephant season when fishing from Settlement Point at Corinella, Tenby Point, Lang Lang beach or at Stockyard Point.

From all locations, you’re best to use a paternoster rig with size 3/0 circle hooks. These will allow the fish to securely hook themselves eliminating the risk of you missing the fish on the strike.

Despite elephants being a scavenger, squid, pipi and pilchards are the top choices when it comes to bait selection.

Gummy sharks are also about in good numbers with Shaun Furtiere from Think Big Charters getting amongst them in the Western Entrance. Shaun and his clients have been doing very well with some cracking fish coming onboard. Squid baits have been working well.

Offshore and the makos weren’t as prolific as I thought they might have been, in fact, they have been quite disappointing this season. A number of years ago they were quite popular but with slim results over the past five or so years every season, less people are putting in the effort. I guess when you’re spending all that money for one fish and only catching one in 4 or 5 trips, I can understand why so many people are heading east and west to go game fishing rather than straight out the front. I guess we can only hope that one day they will return in greater numbers once again.

Lastly, land-based fishing has been quite productive for those heading out both during the day and night. There has been some good calamari being caught from the Flinders Jetty on the high tide. Size 3.0 jigs have been dominating the larger models.

Fishing from the rocks to the east of the pier has also been a productive location to cast from. Anglers using 8ft egi rods have been able to make a fair cast to the drop-off where there has been a lot of calamari of late. Care must be taken when rock fishing at all times.

Another under-rated calamari fishery is off the San Remo Jetty. You only get a short window but fishing half an hour either side of the tides changes are the prime times. During the night is more profitable with good size calamari available. Catching them on artificial jigs in the 3.0 size and or on a baited jig is the best approach.

The Port is alive and fishing extremely well, if you catch anything, you can always email in your reports with a photo to --e-mail address hidden--

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