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Whip out your rods, the whiting are here!
  |  First Published: March 2016



We are currently experiencing one of the best fishing periods in a long time in Western Port, and the variety of different species available at the moment is phenomenal. Whether it’s whiting or flathead, snapper or gummies, it doesn’t matter, everything is biting well!

THE TOP END

Where do I start? The top end has fished exceptionally well over the last month and it hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down yet! The land-based guys who fish the shallow tidal flats around Lang Lang and Jam Jerrup have done well on the gummies on those warm, balmy nights. Dana Cihelka and her two boys, Adam and Benedict, got stuck into the gummies off Lang Lang and landed a good feed of fish to take home. Karl Wilkinson put in a few hours off the beach at Jam Jerrup and also left with a nice feed of flake that was taken on the low tide.

Joes Island has proved to be a great spot as per usual, and anglers have taken home a variety of great table fish. There have been decent whiting sitting in the deeper water around the island that are a great target when the tide slows down and the fish on the shallow banks go quiet. Fresh squid strips have been a favourite of the deeper fish; match them up with a ‘whiting snatcher’ for a deadly combination. The gummy sharks have also been found in numbers off Joes, as Leigh Easton and Jason Smyth recently found out. They fished in 8.5m of water with fresh squid and salmon for bait and took home a couple of nice gummies on the run-out tide.

The rest of the top end has been consistent for a variety of species. Little Koby hit the boat for the first time with his old man and had a ripper session. They landed a heap of small pinkies and a beautiful big elephant fish, and young Koby was thrilled.

THE NORTH ARM

The North Arm is teeming with good whiting at the moment and anglers are making the most of it! Young Aleahra Smith fished with the family out from Yaringa and landed a pair of absolutely massive King George whiting that measured 46 and 49cm. Work the sand holes just outside the Yaringa Channel and onto the Tyabb Bank for a great, active way to fish – the results this season have been unreal. Pipi, fresh mussels and squid strips are all wicked baits, but don’t forget to have a squid jig ready as it’s quite common to see big calamari chase your whiting to the boat!

The Middle Spit is on fire, and if you’re after whiting you’ll find them here. The local charter boats dominate with great bags of fish for their clients most days. Keith Diprose of Big Time Charters has worked the spit and he says the key to his success has been to stay on the move. Keith only spends 15-20 minutes on each spot until he locates the fish and then sits on them with the aid of a little berley. Some days may take quite a few moves, but once you find them you can generally get a nice bag pretty quickly. Mussels have been the go-to bait and Keith has also caught a few calamari while targeting whiting.

Shaun Furiere from Think Big Charters is another angler who has terrorised the local whiting population and has commonly found fish to 43cm, with the odd bigger model mixed in. Shaun is a massive advocate for fresh bait so he works fresh mussels, in conjunction with fresh squid strips and has had great sessions as a result. Berley is a must in the shallow water.

It’s not all about the whiting, and Hastings has thrown another couple of species at us that are well worth targeting. Jake Hilbert found a beautiful little patch of snapper out from Hastings and ended up with a couple of cracking fish for the table. A couple of mates of his also finished a session with a couple of nice gummies in the same area. It goes to show that the snapper are still well and truly a realistic target if you haven’t quite got your snapper fix yet.

Some big rock flathead have also shown up around Hastings and are one of the best eating fish in the Port! Local angler Maria got into them and was rewarded with a whopping 54cm flathead out from Hastings. Maria confessed that the flathead was a rather pleasant by-catch as her initial target was the whiting.

We really are in a great little patch of fishing at the moment so get out there and make the most of it… Go on!

Good luck and keep those reports coming.

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