Plenty of anglers have tried their luck at Wurdee Buloc Reservoir near Moriac for big redfin, but they can be difficult to tempt. Quality trout should present themselves as the water cools in July. Trout love a mudeye suspended about 1m under a bubble float allowed to drift about. This method is most effective when you get a light easterly, as this will take your float offshore. Lures you can get good distance with will catch good fish, as you can cover a lot of water. Winged lures like Tassie Devils and metal spoons can be worked high for trout or low and slow for redfin.
Australian salmon have been spotted working baitfish on the surface around Corio Bay’s inner harbour. They have been caught on soft plastic and metal lures cast into the hungry school. Best bet is to cut the motor and cast rather than troll lures straight through the middle of the school, as this only frightens them off. Most fish have been around the 35-40cm with a few up around 45cm – fantastic fun on light tackle. For boaties chasing salmon, try St Helens, Grammar School Lagoon and Point Henry. If you’re land based, try St Helens rocks, Rippleside and Geelong waterfront.
Ross Winstanley fished the south end of Stingaree Bay earlier this month and managed 20 King George whiting between 33-38cm before 8am! Ross says he has fished the same area over the last six months or so with, “Positive but variable results,” often returning home with a feed. Ross noted that there have been a few guys trying their luck for garfish off the Limeburners boat ramp rock wall using floats. This could be worth a try if the winds come through.
Portarlington Pier can see good numbers of small Australian salmon kicking about here too. They’re often in close and it is a good place to give the kids a bit of a thrill if they are about. Silver trevally also turn up here in June so keep an eye out for these hard fighters.
Whiting are still having a go from Clifton Springs and right around the Bellarine Peninsula with some quality fish either side of 40cm kicking about too. If we get some big winds and the water dirties up, the whiting bite can improve so keep an eye out for this. It’s a little harder to spot the sand and weed patches, but the fish love it. Squid are the preferred bait over pipis at the moment and thankfully they have also been biting in the same areas. I would expect the region’s hot whiting bite to taper off somewhat over July but I thought that a month ago as well and they’re still about.
Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says the squid were a little harder to find and their size has dropped somewhat as we ease into winter. Grassy Point near Portarlington and the reef areas off Indented Head still saw a few of his clients nab a good feed. Rod says they had some quality King George whiting come in with plenty of fish between the 34-44cm mark. The fish were a little better towards Portarlington from the pier around to the boat ramp at Indented Head while the grass beds on the edge of the deeper water were productive on the incoming tide near the Prince George Light. Land-based anglers should try the Portarlington Pier during the day for Australian salmon and the odd whiting and sit it out until dusk. When it gets dark, lob out a whole pilchard as there has been the odd big snapper caught here at night. Those keen for a feed of flathead should try drifting out in the deeper water off Indented Head, as they have made more of an appearance here lately, according to Rod.
Australian salmon move in a little closer to the beaches around this time of year. Wayne Elmer got stuck into some ripper salmon to 56cm fishing from Bancoora Beach at Breamlea recently and there have been a few caught out of Barwon Heads when the weather has permitted. Those keen on beach fishing for salmon should give the stretch from Fairhaven to Eastern View a crack this July. Last July saw good numbers of fish either side of 1.5kg grabbing pilchards and metal slices cast into the gutters along this beach. Similarly, Jan Juc Beach holds good numbers of salmon with the chance of a gummy shark after dark as well.
Small salmon in good numbers will be inside the Barwon River estuary during July. Your best bet is to wait for the clean water of the incoming tide to inundate the lower reaches, as they are not too fond of the fresh. If the Barwon is brown from heavy rains, forget it.
Winter can see some fair slabs of King George whiting mooching around the shallow reef areas near the Barwon River mouth and Fishermans Beach at Torquay. They’ll take pipis and squid (as always), but have been known to scoff a pilchard fillet too.
If you’re looking for somewhere to get the kids onto a few fish this July, give the Anglesea River a go for some bream. There is easy bank access all along the Geelong side and the Lorne side has a great playground and sheltered barbeques as well. Just use a running sinker rig with a small sharp hook baited with peeled prawn and that should see you among a few.
Southern bluefin tuna were biting well down the west coast of Victoria so those with the gear and boats should start looking for them now out off Barwon Heads, the Surf Coast and the Rip as they could show up any time from now.
• Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to --e-mail address hidden-- with ‘VFM’ in the subject field or give me a call on 0408 997 348. Please include where (without giving away your secret spot!), when, what on and who caught the fish. Pictures are always great, but please make sure they are at least 1mb (file size).Reads: 285