After a few tough fishing sessions over Christmas, the whiting have started to show up in better numbers and although the sizes haven’t been huge (mostly in the 32-34cm range) with the odd 40cm one thrown in, I have managed about ten fish on most trips. The top end of the bay around the Tooradin Channel has fished well with some large garfish caught in the same area.
All the local beaches currently produce salmon. Fish a rising tide with whitebait and blue bait to catch fish to 2kg. Now is also a good time to target gummies after dark.
Below the bridge, The Cleelands Bight area has produced some good quality whiting and calamari. Outside the Entrance, flathead are about in reasonably good numbers. The good news is that the makos have started showing up, together with blues and bronzies, which we haven’t seen for the past few years. Arrow squid have arrived this year in big numbers, together with schools of slimies so there’s lots of food available to predators. If you want to target the arrow squid you need to be in at least 40m of water, and you need to weight your jig so that it gets near the bottom. I use any old jig as the arrows aren’t fussy and will take anything. A word of warning when handling arrows, grab the head section of the jig and hold it in a horizontal position so the squid simply falls off. If you grab an Arrow behind the head (like you do with calamari) they will latch onto you with their suckers. These squid can swivel their head 360° and take a chunk out of you before you know it.
Above the bridge bigger snapper seem to have dried up, but there are still some good pinkies about in the 34-40cm range. Fishing just before daylight is the best time to target them. Whiting are about in better numbers, but you still have to move around a bit to find fish. These fish move around, so make sure you do as well to locate the schools.
For the last few years this part of the bay (Flinders, Point Leo, Shoreham, Somers and even Cat Bay) have been disappointing when it comes to whiting catches. These days you are lucky if you can catch a couple per trip. Two trips over the Christmas holidays resulted in zero fish. Years ago you’d bag out on 45-50cm fish. I don’t know the reason for the decline of fish in the area; I just hope that next year the fish start to show up again.Reads: 724