If you had any doubt that the kingfish have returned to Victoria, this last month or so would show that we have a serious kingfishery right here, right now! This is an excellent opportunity, offering local anglers a genuine game fish to tangle with in our local waterways.
The fish started to appear early in the offshore season. Many were ‘rats’ and taken on trolled skirts. However, as the season has progressed fish have been taken on jigs in various locations including The Rip, the sunken subs offshore and around the scuttled HMAS Canberra.
As the kings thickened up more and more anglers turned to live-baiting. This year squid have been abundant and very popular whereas slimies and yakkas are a little harder to come by.
I would expect that we will have good fishing right through the rest of the month, and with kings in abundance in other parts of Victoria too (such as Portland and Marlo) we can all be pretty happy fisher people!
A small fish, but one close to the heart of many anglers, I thought gars might be worth a mention as we have seen some good quality specimens caught in the last month.
The last two years have been lean for those who like to target gars, but we have finally seen some really nice ocean going models (the big ones that are great to eat) caught over the local weed beds.
Good berley and bait is critical, use some nice ground berley such as Stimulate along with gents or maggots for bait to get a few in the boat. Fish have been found at Blairgowrie Marina, both for the anglers fishing from the pier or out in the boat sitting among the moorings, but Sorrento and Portsea have also had fish.
Fishing the ebb tide in The Rip can be dangerous, but it is generally the period where the big schools of salmon come to the surface and are easily accessible by trolled lures or cast lures. This year has been no different. What has been impressive though is that the schools have consisted of pretty big fish, often over 3kg. This may not compare to a West Australian salmon but for us it is pretty big! And when they are en masse it definitely makes for a bit of fun.
Small white occy skirts have been popular, but it seems casting small sinking or surface stickbaits have become the latest craze. The other advantage of casting is that anglers will generally pull up next to the school rather than driving around it – which can still spook the fish and send them down.
Very simply, whiting and squid have continued to fish very well through the last month. Given that there are so many areas you can target these species on the peninsula, it is hard to nail down to one of two areas that have been firing. The bottom line is that if you like these two species for a good feed, get out there now as we are getting an abundance of reports from both sides of the peninsula.
March is a terrific month, mainly because it heralds some of our best weather for the year. Cool, calm days, with a hint of sun can make for a very enjoyable day on the water. It is a quieter time too, so if you enjoy some peace while fishing this is the month for you! March is a great time for bread and butter fishing. Some anglers start thinking tuna but I really enjoy heading out to target whiting and squid, get the kids out while it’s calm and enjoy some family time on the water.
• For more information feel free to drop in and see the boys at Peninsula Compleat Angler, 11 Boneo Road in Rosebud or phone: 03 5981 1994.Reads: 430