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Cooling water delight
  |  First Published: June 2016



Winter is knocking at our door and the nights and mornings are certainly getting quite cool, but it’s still impressive with just how well the top end of Western Port has been fishing! The elephant fish are well and truly into their annual run, the calamari and whiting continue to bite well, and the winter snapper have been a pleasant surprise!

THE TOP END

I will start this month with a little bit of land-based action as the elephants have moved in in great numbers up on the flats around Lang Lang. Wayne Watson fished with the gang off the beach at Stockyard Point and had a cracking session on the elephants just recently. Like always, timing your trip with the low tide is a must, as it gives you amazing access to the channel that runs through the area. Half pilchards or a strip of squid are the gun baits at the moment. Elephants are a particularly good species to access land-based, so make the most of them while they are around.

Still on the land-based front, the beach at Lang Lang has been absolutely on fire! The elephants are in massive numbers there and quite a few anglers have been getting amongst it. Local anglers Adam and Benedict had a great little session off the beach, where they easily got their bag of fish. High tide is a must at Lang Lang, as the long sweeping flats are not covered by much water on a low tide.

Staying at Lang Lang, but heading out in the boat now, we come to one of the more exciting reports of the month. Kane McDonald sat in the shallows armed with fresh salmon fillet in search of a late season red, and boy, was he not disappointed! Kane ended up leaving with a cracker of snapper that tipped the scales at 7kg!

The Boulton Channel is also holding some reasonable numbers of snapper, with some big fish feeding up before the water gets too cold. David Goldworthy landed his PB snapper of 7.5kg, which was taken on a fresh calamari tentacle. It just proves the point that if you go to the effort of gathering fresh bait, it still puts you in with a very good chance of capturing that PB fish!

The calamari have definitely kicked into another gear as we enter the cooler months, and will be one of the more dominant species throughout the winter. The Quail Bank has had some really nice fish settle in and locals Matt and Ben got stuck into a few on a recent trip. The squid, however, were just a by-catch, as the boys also boated 30 odd whiting on squid and pipi cocktail baits in 2-4m of water.

THE NORTH ARM

It has been another solid month in the north arm with both whiting and calamari dominating the reports.

The Tyabb Bank is on fire for some really nice squid and the average size has jumped up nicely too. Pat Ellaby landed a cracker that had a hood length of 40cm. Flicking artificial squid jigs around seems to be a preferred method up on the bank, as you’re able to really cover some ground to find those weed beds that the squid are sitting on. As far as jigs go, 3.0-4.0 sized jigs work a treat.

Joe Howes also spent some time up on the Tyabb Bank, and while throwing around a white Shimano squid jig, he boated a really nice cuttlefish, which was a bit of a surprise! Cuttlefish are becoming a lot more common and although they are incredible on the chew, I know a few whiting anglers who would not use anything but cuttlefish for bait if they could.

The Middle Spit continues to be the whiting hot spot for the Port, with a lot of our local charter boats still getting a heap of fish in the shallow water. Shaun Furtiere of Think Big Charters and Keith Diprose of Big Time Charters have both been doing exceptionally well in finding some great schools of fish.

Both operators have reported that the fish are starting to get a little bit finicky as the water cools down, so plenty of moves are necessary to find the feeding schools of fish. Mussels and squid strips have been the gun baits.

There are also some really nice whiting sitting in the deeper water out from Hastings. Lavente Peto and his son Nick had a great little session landing a heap of whiting on mussels and fresh cuttlefish.

Don’t let the cooling weather put you off just yet, the fishing is still red hot, so let’s continue to make the most of it! Good luck on your next trip, and keep those reports coming in!
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