Finally – it’s here! Spring is in the air and I have to say that I am pretty pleased about it. We had a very cold, and windy period over the last 4-6 weeks and it’s a sweet thing to know that we are now in that period of change which, for me, heralds the beginning of the fishing year.
With the inclement weather over the last month we often see a lot of anglers opting for land-based fishing rather than getting their boats out. Our young staff member Jules Frank and mate Trent North spent a bit of time doing just that, picking up a number of interesting catches including some very nice eater gummies from the east side of the peninsula.
The boys had good success at Point Leo as well as around at Somers where they were often able to pick up a couple of sharks in a night usually between 3-6kg. Freshly caught squid from inside the bay was often the bait producing fish however, other minor species that the boys caught, such as yakkas and trevally, also helped produce fish.
On the days that have been fishable, squid have probably been the favoured target amongst many of our anglers and it’s good to report that the fishing has been very productive for this species. I think in part due to the fact that while we have had a cool winter we have not had an excess of rain, which has meant that the waters around the peninsula have remained fairly clear, which is always a positive for squid fishing.
The grassy areas around Safety Beach Ramp and Mt Martha rocks have produced, as have the weed beds at Portsea Pier and out at the Pinnacle Channel. Over last few weeks there has been no stand out colour in the jigs with a wide variety from the super brights to the very natural colours in green, brown and black. The very bright, UV Hayabusa jigs have been popular as a new entry into the market.
It’s been good to see that we have had some reasonable fishing from the piers in the last month too. There has been some big size tommy rough down at Portsea as well as gars for those who care to spend a bit of time getting a berley trail going.
On the gar front it has been a lean year with the warmer months being almost devoid of this species however, we have seen them in fits and starts through winter. The key has definitely been to be patient and ensure you have a very consistent, fine berley trail running. My advice would be to make sure you have some tuna oil or at least ground pilchards mixed with bread crumbs to ensure a nice ‘fishy’ slick.
Other notable land-based fishing has included action at Blairgowrie Marina with schools of salmon being targeted on plastics and metals. I am not sure if it is due to the works currently going on at the marina, but on the whole we have not seen as many salmon there through early and mid winter. However, the last few weeks have certainly seen some action with some good quality fish around 1.5kg.
Although we don’t see a lot of it, staff member Jules franks has been trying his hand at saltwater fly fishing down here, targeting the sand flats and various piers. Interestingly, even through the cool of the last month he has managed to come up with a raft of species including flathead, cowanyoung, barracouta and even trevally – all on fly!
Spring quite simply is snapper season. It is the biggest and, in some ways, busiest period of the year with literally thousands of boats hitting the bays on a weekly, if not daily, basis. By the end of this month the AFL footy will be over and this is traditionally the whistle to get your engines rolling and get out there to target this favourite species of local anglers.
Who knows how the season will unfold but I would certainly suggest getting our and getting some fresh bait over the next few weeks so that you are at an immediate advantage when your quest for the red fish begins!
Compleat Angler’s Jarrod Day with a lovely squid taken off Tootagrook.
The new Yakamito squid jigs are still proving popular amongst squid anglers.
Jules Franks caught this cowanyoung on fly, at night!
A cool nights fishing can still yield good results. A nice little gummy shark from the beach at Point Leo.Reads: 564