Summer felt like it rolled through pretty quickly this year but that’s OK because autumn is a unique and favourite period of the year for many local anglers. Crisp, calm mornings often see the best winds of the year (which for us anglers usually means no wind!). Even boat traffic is generally quiet –rarely do you see a jet ski! This is the ultimate season for some quiet time on the water.
The KG have been really good this year. After a couple of shaky seasons many fishers believed they might go quiet or disappear at some stage, but looking back on the last few months we can now comment with authority that this season has been surprisingly consistent.
This is good news in light of a recent announcement that all but two of the commercial netters operating in Port Phillip Bay will give up their licenses by the start of this month. That means many tons of whiting will no longer be taken commercially, heralding an absolute bumper whiting season in our beautiful bay. There isn’t any other species that will benefit more from the removal of commercial netting than King George.
Areas that have produced consistently in the last few weeks include 5-8m shallows off Rosebud and Tootgarook. The area deep of the Sorrento Sisters has been good, while plenty of other random (secret) weed beds off Blairgowrie and Rye have also held fish, sometimes for weeks on end. There were reports of whiting quieting down at the Safety Beach end of the peninsula.
Kingies are always going to command attention, so it was interesting that so many people stopped fishing for them early this year. In my mind it was a definite case of burning out too early as the best fishing proven over the last few years has been at the end of February and in early March.
Those who persisted saw some really great fish in The Rip – generally up to about 10kg but also some quality fish off the wrecks offshore. Those who managed to find some live slimies or yakkas did even better! The best captures however, were probably those that were taken around the nobbies at Phillip Island and around Pyramid Rock. These kingies included fish between 10–15kg. At this size they will definitely test out the quality of your gear and knots!
As we head into autumn, many anglers will turn their attention to squid fishing. Calm conditions can make squidding ideal. Your boat wont’ drift too fast, which will generally give you plenty of ‘hang time’ over your favourite weed patch. This will ensure your jigs create the right action and will encourage strikes.
Most of the peninsula weed beds hold squid at the moment. Jig selection has been varied – black has been good, the ever-popular red foil with dark back is still a killer, as is the chartreuse coloured jig which seems to only have found resonance with Victorian anglers recently although it has been very popular in South Australia and Tasmania for a long while.
Next month we roll into surf season. The surf scene down on the peninsula often dominates fishing reports for a couple of months. Many anglers have a layover in their boat insurance or simply pack the boat up during this cool stage of the year. Consequently, plenty of anglers hit the back beaches chasing Aussie salmon and mullet.
Surf spinning has started to dominate the landscape over the last few years with many anglers ditching their cumbersome baitfishing rods for lighter outfits, and using metal lures to catch salmon. For me this is the future – if you haven’t tried it you should! You can catch more salmon more swiftly and it’s a heap of fun!Reads: 937