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Good morning Mornington Peninsula
  |  First Published: December 2016



What’s not to like about this time of year? The sun is shining, the water is warm and the fish are biting. It seems as the boat traffic and holidaymakers disappear, the fish come out to play even more – and now is the time to really get stuck in to that summer species that you love!

Fishing offshore becomes more of an option, as the opportunities strengthen, in regard to the number of species. Fishing the shallows along the peninsula heats up with whiting and flathead, and putting in the hours on those deeper edges where you’ll find monster gummies is almost as good as it gets.

King George Whiting

It has just about been a 12-month run this year. The whiting have not disappointed and are set to continue their run right through the summer period and into Easter. The beauty of this last few months is that King George whiting have been caught both land-based and from boats. Peninsula Compleat Angler staff member Jules and his partner Emma have been landing really good numbers of whiting from a number of land-based spots; including Blairgowrie Marina. It seems berley and cocktail baits are the secret. My recommendations for the boaties, as it is most summers, would be Mud Islands, The Sisters and Queenscliff for best results.

Squid

As always, the arrival of holidaymakers means boats, jetskis, dogs and snorkelers. This is a fact of life, and summer holiday fun should not be put on hold for a fish species, but you will notice the drop off in squid captures. They get a bit precious about the noise and activity, so they might not bite as well as they did before Christmas. Having said that, if you can think outside the box, and work on finding areas away from heavy traffic and patches of ground that hasn’t been flogged to death, you will find pretty good numbers of calamari. In fact as we speak, the hive of activity is easing, and the squid will bite more readily – so persist and you’ll get results this month.

Flathead

This humble species is once again being recognised as a genuinely targeted and sought after fish along the peninsula. There are some really good-sized fish along the shallows late in the afternoon. This is ideal on those balmy nights, after dinner with a couple of refreshments. The flathead have been moving into the shallower sandy bays and feeding on crustaceans and small baitfish that have been separated from their schools. Working soft plastics, bumping them off the bottom is most productive – lures like Squidgies Wriggler in 100mm and Zerek 2” Shrimp are ideal.

Yellowtail Kingfish

We are well and truly seeing some good captures of kingies. I guess the question is, where and when? Dan and the boys from Peninsula Compleat Angler have been noticing the reefs just out from Port Phillip Heads to be very productive in the early parts of the morning for smaller fish. Small jigs and live baits have been the best method. Given that the weather has been all over the shop the last few months, you really need to be careful and choose your conditions carefully. If you are new to visiting the heads, please, please, please seek some sound advice before even contemplating going near The Rip. As mentioned, Dan and Jules and the gang at Peninsula CA are right on the pulse and know that area better than most. So I would recommend contacting them before a trip. The Rip itself is holding fish as per usual and jigs are the best way to get among the action there.

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