Cooler fish are heating up
  |  First Published: May 2017

The weather was pretty kind to us over the last month or so and plenty got out amongst the fish. Wurdiboluc Reservoir near Moriac has been fishing well for redfin from tiddler size to 35cm. Minnow lures and heavy spoons have done well due to their distance and water covered while fishing with live minnows has been best for bait fishers. Expect the fishing here to pick up over May as the water cools.

Trout will move into the shallows and larger redfin will bite over the next month. The Barwon River in Geelong has remained mostly clear making it good for lure fishing. Walking the banks and casting parallel to the weed beds has seen redfin to 35cm caught on minnow lures, metal vibes and soft plastics. Carp have also been biting well for those using bread and corn for bait.

Eleven year old Lochie Cobb has caught the fishing bug and went down to the Barwon River at Breakwater with his dad Jason to test out his new rod after school. Using cheese for bait, he hooked and landed a ripper carp around 3kg after an exciting fight. His proud dad Jason said, “A tackle box beats an Xbox every time!”

Ross Winstanley has been fishing hard inside Stingaree Bay awaiting the arrival of King George whiting. Near Point Henry last month Ross caught six juvenile snapper and one 40cm whiting. The next day he fished further south in 2m of water for eight pinkies.

Ross has also had hauls of up to 11 pinkies, quality whiting in small numbers to 40cm and yank flathead. Fishing down at Clifton Springs, Ross caught 12 calamari in two hours in 2.8m off the Clifton Springs Golf Club. Ross kept nine up around the 800g mark. Ross expects the whiting to arrive inside Corio Bay very soon, so keep an eye out for them.

Craig Rippon from Apollo Bay spent the March long weekend at Indented Head and found calamari all over the place. Whiting were difficult to tempt.

Phil Walters from St Leonards Angling Club says members have been catching quality whiting up to 43cm off Clifton Springs and around as far as the Prince George Bank.

Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says there have been quality squid and cuttlefish caught over the last week with some fair sizes coming in. One of the better buckets of squid was caught using orange jigs. Rod says to try from St Leonards around to Grassy Point. Move around trying weed beds from close in and out deeper. Rod has also had a lot of juvenile snapper caught by clients in close at Indented Head on Governors Reef and near the Prince George Bank.

Rod’s hire boats have also had their best bags of whiting since Christmas. The sizes are good with customers not throwing any back and high 30cm fish are plentiful. Either side of the high tide has been best and the Prince George Bank has been the area of choice while good quality pipis were the best bait.

Justin Savage got an excited call from his mate Blissy one arvo about his mate who was off Barwon Heads with schools of non-biting tuna all around him. Within two hours the lads were trolling skirted lures out off Barwon Heads.

They dragged their lures around for ages and with heaps of bird life and a few bait balls, things were looking good. Nothing was happening until about 7.30pm when the lads had a hit, but the fish didn’t hook up. Then, just as they trolled over a large bait school, all four rods went off! A mad scramble saw the lads catch two out of the four-way hook-up on southern bluefin tuna to 20kg!

They trolled back over the same mark where they had a few more tuna hook up in an exciting after work session! Tiger flathead have come back on the bite out offshore from Barwon Heads. Most have been around the 50cm mark, so you can easily get a good feed. Mako sharks and southern bluefin tuna make up the rest of the offshore excitement with plenty of anglers trolling small skirted lures for tuna and laying long berley trails for sharks.

Danny Skene had a cracking day in Barwon Heads last month fishing with Trevor and Natalie Holmes and Darren Brockway. First up, they headed offshore where they caught 40 squid, a stack of pinkie snapper, a couple of kingfish and then retreated into the Barwon estuary where they caught around eight mulloway on a red hot bite! That wasn’t enough for Danny so he put his boat in at Clifton Springs and headed out for a night session where he caught a couple of quality snapper. What a day out!

Andrew Sertic fished with Darren Green out off Barwon Heads recently. There was a slight easterly and they set about laying a decent berley trail. It wasn’t long before they had hooked up to a feisty mako shark that they estimated to be about a metre long. Not long after this fish regained its freedom, another larger mako around 2m hooked up and put on a spectacular aerial display leaping clear of the water several times.

Twelve year old Bill Nunn-Joud fished with his dad Khaled Joud out from the Rip in search of kingfish recently. Trolling a hardbodied lure and with a bit of help from dad Bill landed a monster kingfish of 10.55kg!

The Barwon River estuary has been producing consistent captures of silver trevally to 40cm from the Ocean Grove Ramp and a long way upstream. The best bait has been raw chicken and pilchard fillets. This month, try near the mouth on the incoming tide for whiting.

Trent Schiller has been hitting the Surf Coast estuaries where he has been catching and releasing some quality bream to 40cm using soft plastic lures. Australian salmon should be moving into the local beaches along the Surf Coast. Try fresh pilchards just on dusk and above all, have fun!

Fish HARD – Die Happy! 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).

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