Salmon set up shop
  |  First Published: March 2016

The good fishing continues in this part of the world and boaters and land-based anglers have plenty to be happy about.

Outside the entrance, boaters are having a great time, and whiting have been caught to the 50cm mark on a variety of baits including bass yabbies (a standout bait), alongside pipis, squid and sand worms. Locals who know the area have had great success – as well as whiting they have bagged other quality fish such as flathead, silvers and big garfish.

Gordon Elkenstein and a mate decided to try their luck outside the entrance where they have some reliable GPS marks. They were targeting gummy shark but any catch was welcome. They caught a nice bag of quality flathead as well as three very good-size gummies taken on pilchard baits. Gordon said that they also received a visit from a pod of dolphins that stuck around their boat for a while and then wandered off in a westerly direction and out of sight.

There are always numerous land-based anglers stationed at Pensioners Corner trying their luck on both sides of the tide, which is the best time to wet a line. Families are often seen wetting a line, especially on a wind free sunny day when fish such as mullet, silvers, flathead and the occasional gummy shark making the effort worthwhile.

Recently, anglers reported a school of salmon that visited the area, surprising a large group of shore-based anglers. As the school slowly made its way up the entrance, the action began and in a very short time happy anglers had all they needed. As usual the fish were all around the same size – the 30cm mark, which is ideal for the table (but they must be fresh for best results).

The jetty gets a fair workout, but there can be a fair wait between catches. Crabs have been caught in drop nets. I received a report from a visiting angler Jerry Wilkinson, who decided to try his luck off the jetty and in just a few minutes he managed to hook into something big grabbed his whitebait and took off. The fish headed straight away from the jetty, towards the other side and eventually was turned around. After a battle the fish was brought in close to the jetty and revealed itself as a large salmon that he estimated to be around the 2kg mark. As luck or bad luck would have it, after all the hard work the fish broke free just as it was about to be landed, but Jerry said he would have released it anyway.

Recently there was a mishap on the water where a boat unfortunately collided with a sand bar at low tide. Experienced boaters know that these bars move around, especially after strong winds and high tide but every so often there is an unfortunate accident. As it turned out there were a couple of jet skies on then spot and they were quickly on the scene lending a helping hand, which was very much appreciated, and there were no injuries.

Further up the inlet as far as the double islands there has been very good fishing. Move around until you find the fish as they are out there but spread out. There have been positive reports from Stevies Gutter, where fairly good numbers of perch were caught, mainly on the run-off tide. The best baits seem to be a combination of pipis and sand worms. Flathead and salmon are also making an appearance in bags. Land-based anglers are coming in from Lees Road and even though there is a fair walk, the results have made it worthwhile. Boaters, especially those not familiar with the area should be aware of the shallow sand bank at low tide where they can become stranded.

The Tarwin River is always worth a try and perch have been in reasonable numbers caught on the run-out tide. There are also silvers, mullet and for those who know where to look, bream being bagged. The fishing platforms located on the river between the hotel and the highway bridge are very popular with land-based anglers. At time there can be a fair wait between bites but when the dinner bell rings there can be plenty of action and everything else is forgotten. Always worth a visit, according to the successful ones!

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