Rain, wind and cold weather – in among all this, there are some very fishable conditions. Most importantly, there are fish biting! In particular, southern calamari have been and still are a hot target. The squid captures are coming from all areas of the peninsula and the quality lately has been fantastic, with squid to 1.5kg being semi-regular.
Squid is the ideal target species at this time of year. They are thick in numbers and seemingly spread along the peninsula. Squid around 1-1.5kg have been a genuine reality for a lot of anglers fishing over the last month and there is no sign of them letting up yet.
The beauty of squid fishing at the moment is not having to travel for miles from any peninsula boat ramp and therefore not being frozen by the cool winds as you power across the bay. Effectively, you could start your session in close proximity and work your way around some of your favourite haunts without getting too chilly.
From most reports, large squid are being caught on larger jigs. Size 3.0 is the smallest you want to use. Size 3.5 is ideal, as it is a much larger profile and the bigger squid seem to find a way to monster these jigs before any of their smaller siblings.
On the patchy sunlit days we are experiencing, when the sun is out for 30 minutes then it’s cloud cover for 45 minutes and so on, I have found it crucial to have a range of colours in your arsenal that can be suited to the changing conditions. Darker foils work well in the darker conditions, while the brighter, lighter colours like gold and yellow work really well with a bit of sunshine. At the moment, squid anglers are often finding that when you catch one, you should hang around in that exact area. They are holding tight together for the most part.
These fish have been one of the mainstays of 2016/17 and they don’t seem to be going anywhere. The way you target them is changing slightly. Most anglers are finding good-sized whiting around the Pinnacle Channel, Portsea and out from Rosebud. It’s taking several moves to get good numbers. This is not uncommon, and it just means a bit more work for the angler.
Making sure you give enough time for your berley to work is important. Not spending too much time waiting is probably just as important. You will get an idea of whether there are fish are around within 25 minutes. If you get zero bites within that time, move on. Your moves don’t need to be far, and some anglers this month reported six or seven moves of only 30-50m at a time to get their bags. Pipis, mussel and squid baits are all doing the trick as per normal, and keeping that berley happening is imperative.
There are a number of good reports of snapper and even whiting offshore, and there is plenty of good rubbly ground to go looking. Out from Port Phillip Heads, most GPS units will give you a basic idea of where to find some old wrecks that are more than enough to hold pinkies, whiting, leatherjacket and trevally. While it may be cold in the air, the offshore reef species begin to heat up!
King George whiting and southern calamari are the go this month. An honourable mention goes to gummy sharks in the southern part of the bay.Reads: 97