Calm before the storm
  |  First Published: September 2007

The fishing in the Phillip Island region has been steady without being sensational. Salmon have been landed along the beaches, while gummy sharks and whiting are on offer in the port. The good news is that big snapper have made an appearance already, so the fishing should really pick up from here.

Surf Beaches

Despite the bad weather and the weed, there have still been some good catches of salmon coming in at Cemetery, Kilcunda, Williamsons, Baxters and Woolamai beaches. Runs of good fish to 2.5kg have been caught, you just have to be lucky and get a good day weatherwise. Best baits have been whitebait, bluebait, along with blue and white surf poppers.

San Remo Area

Below the bridge there are still a few good whiting about in close. Near the old boat ramp has been one of the better spots. Above the bridge there are still reports of gummies to 1m just off Corinella and on the Corinella side of Elizabeth Island.

A few good snapper to 7.5kg have started showing up too, which coincides with the start of the early run of big snapper every year in this area. If you’re looking for a big fish, now is the time to start chasing them.

Newhaven and San Remo Jetties

The fishing has been reasonable on these jetties for those tough enough to withstand the cold conditions. Mixed bags of salmon, trevally and garfish have been caught on the run-in tide. The Western Entrance to Western Port is still accounting for quite a few gummies and the odd school shark.


The big squid have started showing up in good numbers, and the snook are about over the reefy weedy areas for those wanting to troll a lure. Squid are also showing up at Stony Point and Hastings, so it’s time to start stocking up on snapper bait or a good feed of calamari – or both!


It’s the opening of the trout season for all of our local rivers and I will be off to South Gippsland with my grandson to try and bag a few. It should be a great opening because of the good winter rains. The fish should be in pretty good condition too, with all the extra food being washed into the streams.

Winter break

While the rest of you shivered through the cold, wet and windy conditions, I was lucky enough to be invited to go barramundi fishing in New Guinea at Bensbach Lodge on the Bensbach River, about 300km from Daru. Let me tell you, it’s the best barra fishing I have ever experienced. We were catching at least 100 fish a day, with most in the 7–10kg bracket, and quite a few between 12–18kg. It’s totally unspoilt and untouched fishing and the river is absolutely chockers with fish life. We saw huge barra terrorising the local population of tarpon, which were literally throwing themselves onto dry land to get away. In some cases you only had to cast the lure in the general direction of where the baitfish were being slaughtered and you were king hit as soon as the lure hit the water. For me it was like fishing one of the last frontiers of a relatively untouched fishery.

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