Whip out the whiting guns
  |  First Published: July 2016

Winter is here and it’s cold, wet and windy. But we’ve still been getting little breaks in the weather and on a massively positive note; the fishing has been quite good. Gummies have been the highlight off the beach, the odd snapper is still hanging around and the calamari have been so consistent that they have reminded us that fishing in winter is still very much worth the effort.

I have to start with the land-based fishing around Jam Jerrup this month as it has been just too good to ignore. Ash McMillan is a regular to Jam Jerrup and has sussed out a little hole down there that produces great fish! In one trip Ash braved the howling winds and put some quality fresh bait to good use. Armed with fresh yakka chunks and a surf rod Ash returned from the trip with a beautiful table-sized gummy shark and a surprising winter snapper that made the frustrating conditions all worth it in the end. Ash then backed up this session with another three gummies, putting in a few hours on the low tide in the same area.

Ash isn’t the only person to take advantage of the great beach fishing either. Shannon Knight and Jarryd Rossiter braved the cold and planned a night session off the beach at Lang Lang for a great result. They left with a cracker 10kg gummy and a couple of elephant fish to round out a great night. The elephants were taken on pilchards while the gummy fell to a fresh mullet.

Moving off the beach now, but still staying in the Lang Lang area, Darren Bull took the tinnie into the shallow water around Lang Lang and boated a crazy good snapper that tipped the scales at a healthy 6.5kg. That’s a huge effort for this time of the year! Speaking of snapper, they just keep popping up; even now that we are into winter. David Goldsworthy fished at the top of the Bouchier Channel and during the run-out tide tempted a 6kg snapper into taking a squid/pilchard cocktail bait.

The whiting have backed off a little, and those that are putting in the work are definitely the ones coming home with results. The entrance to the Tooradin Channel has been pretty good. The fish aren’t huge, but with an average of 32-34cm a good feed is still out there. Anglers who work a berley pot hard and moving every 10-15 minutes if need be are significantly out-fishing anglers doing the opposite. It’s a normal thing for this time of the year, but at least there is still reward for hard work. Another rather interesting report on whiting came in from the Warneet Pier. Chris Whitehead landed a great whiting off the pier recently. There has also been a few nice calamari around too, so make sure you take a couple of squid jigs with you!

Calamari fishers have experienced some red-hot action. The Quail Bank is absolutely on fire! The amount of reports we have seen from here are unreal. There is a very broad size range of squid here too, a lot of smaller ‘bait-sized’ squid have been captured, but we have still seen squid as big as 2kg coming in quite regularly. There haven’t been any great secrets in regard to jig colour, but jigs are definitely out-fishing bait at the moment. Calamari are very in tune with a moving bait at the moment, which indicates they in a very aggressive state of mind at the moment. The standard red foil or white jigs have been successful, but it’s the blacks and gold foils that have really come into their own as the recent rains discolour the water a little bit.

Apart from the snapper, there haven’t been great surprises in the above reports. I really love this time because there is always that group of anglers that prove to the fishing world that there is still some exceptional fish to be caught if we are willing to target them! Thank you to everyone who submitted reports and good luck to those who brave the elements and get among the quality fish out there.

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