It’s all about decision making at the moment on the Mornington Peninsula. What to do? It’s a great problem to have. From bread and butter species to pelagics, there are so many options at the moment and anglers from all walks of life can find something to suit their style.
We had a cracker run of kingfish! It’s fair to say that this fishery keeps improving and the numbers and sizes are strong. Having said that, the fishing is still inconsistent and a lot of anglers are frustrated with zero bite days straight after days of kingfish mayhem. This is the way of yellowtail kingfish.
They shut down faster than you can blink, but the beauty of them is that we now know that they are in the area and when you fish the bite windows, you will be in for a treat. Live slimy mackerel are by far the best bait, albeit hard to come by. In terms of lures, 200-300g jigs are an ideal starting point. Mix up your colours, because if we know one thing about kingfish, it’s that they can be fussy.
Did I mention southern bluefin tuna? I’m sure everyone has seen and heard about them already, but I can’t get through this article without giving them a mention. The same baits and jigs as the kingfish will get them, however trolling small skirts is the most productive way at this stage!
The end of summer has seen a resurgence of gummy sharks, both in the bay itself and with captures from the beaches. Gunnamatta Beach proved a great fishery over the last few weeks with many Australian Salmon, but also a good number of decently sized gummies. Fresh squid and salmon fillets proved too good this time round and a number of anglers enjoyed some nice feeds of flake.
Inside the bay, the South Channel was a good area for gummies with a bit of a mixed bag of sizes. Compleat Angler Rosebud customer Robin Berry managed a very nice 14kg model in amongst some small fish to 3-4kg. Fresh squid baits once again were the optimum choice of bait.
Once again, we speak of King George whiting, which in my book is testament to the fishery right now. Portsea, Blairgowrie, Rye, Mornington and Mount Martha are all fishing well. The fish can seemingly disappear due to being harassed by kingfish, but the main place they stay seems to be in fairly shallow water around these locations.
Mussel and pipis are great, but if you can get some fresh calamari or cuttlefish and use small thin strips, it will see a few more bites. Land-based options are there too and Mount Martha Rocks have seen a fair share of whiting scales this month, not to mention squid ink!
The salmon schools have turned up again from Frankston to the rip basically, but what we are seeing is better size classes. Anglers spinning from the rocks and beaches have been landing fish from 600g right up to 2.5kg predominantly using 20-30g metal casting slugs. Try using small assist or double assist hooks on your slugs for a better hook-up. If you want a hand rigging them, just drop into your nearest tackle store and they will run you through it.
The standout species around the area at the moment are King George whiting, gummy sharks and kingfish with an honourable mention to southern bluefin tuna!Reads: 492