Great Gummy Comeback
  |  First Published: February 2006

Summer is well and truly upon us and the fishing has been as expected. All species of shark are available to offshore anglers, as are the usual targets of flathead,snapper, gummy shark, arrow squid and barracouta. The latter have been so abundant on some days that they’ve made bottom fishing difficult.

This can be overcome with the use of wire rigs, which will help raise bottom fish without being bitten off every time. Note that I said every time as some days the ‘couta take a liking for the swivel that attaches your rig to your main line. There is not much you can do on these days!

The gummy sharks have been nothing short of fantastic in terms of both size and consistency, with plenty caught even off the ideal moon phases.

The flathead, although slow to start, have improved but are far from what they had been in previous years prior to the trawlers targeting them in Commonwealth waters, south of The Heads. This, I guess, is due to the high price they now fetch at the market and seafood outlets.

Lets hope that Victorian Fisheries can foresee what may be about to happen to this important recreational species before it’s too late and apply pressure on the Federal Government to investigate stricter quoters and closed seasons to trawlers during spawning season.

Many offshore anglers are hoping that the yellowtail kingfish return and have perhaps grown a little over the past 12 months. Whether or not we see the return of the big kings to The Heads area is anyone’s guess but I feel pretty confident that the smaller ‘rat’ fish to 6kg will again hold up residency on our offshore reefs. It’s then that anglers jigging, trolling and drift baiting (with berley) should have a heap of fun on these speedsters with the never say die attitude.

Kings can be very fickle creatures at times and a variety of techniques are needed to catch them one day in, day out. There are many different tricks to entice them to bite and to keep them on the chew such as using chopped tinsel Christmas decorations sprinkled on the water. Once a king is hooked and is being played, the chances of enticing one of his buddies can be improved keeping the hooked fish in the water until another is hooked.

Remember though, Victoria does have bag limits on kingfish with a maximum of 5 per angler per day.

Manners Please

There are some anglers out there who seem to take delight in driving through berley trails, or worse still, fishing in them. I’m not sure if it’s ignorance or arrogance. So do the right thing and give other boats a wide berth. It may save you from some confrontation at the ramp at day’s end.

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