Western Port has been fishing reasonably well on most fronts lately but the large numbers of large gummies have really taken anglers by surprise.
Cranbourne Fishing Tackle staff member, Jarrod Day, fished with the guys from channel 31’s Fishin’ Trip near buoy 14 recently. While filming, they managed to land two great gummies of 8 and 12kg in 30m of water. Both fish took a juicy fillet of cured eel. They also hooked and lost a few bigger gummies but did manage to hang onto a snapper of 1.5kg.
Not to be outdone by Jarrod’s performance, colleagues Andrew Smith and Jamie Smith headed out from Warneet just a couple of days later. Chasing gummies, they found a nice drop-off in 16m. It didn’t take long before one of the baits was slammed by a serious fish. After a few frantic minutes Andrew had raised the beast and the long sleek profile of a gummy shark began to emerge from the port’s murky waters. The gummy was weighed a short time later and pulled the scales down to an impressive 16kg. It had also taken a fillet of cured eel.
To top the story off, Andrew sold some eel to customers Vince and Jeff the following day at the shop. He explained that it was an excellent bait for big gummies because it’s very oily and rubbish fish can’t pull it apart because it’s as tough as old boots.
Vince and Jeff took Andrew’s advice, bought some eel and headed out to Crawfish Rock. Little did they know that they were about to hook one of the biggest gummies you’d ever hope to see.
They returned to the store the following day rather excited. The boys dragged the impressive fish from the boat to be weighed. This was a truly awesome gummy shark measuring 5’10”. It weighed 23kg cleaned. What a thumper!On a slightly different note I recently did something I’d wanted to do for years and got my open water SCUBA ticket. In just 4 dives I’ve already seen hundreds of fish and crustaceans including dusky morwong, sweep, silver trevally, crayfish, banjo sharks, stingrays, leatherjackets, squid, octopus and even a giant wobbegong. I’ve learned more about fish habitats in a week’s diving than I have in the last 6 years of fishing: red rock lobsters hiding in reefy crevices and bass yabbies puffing sound out of their holes on the grassy whiting beds off Queenscliff.
I’d like to say a special thankyou to Stephen Henderson and the crew at Henderson Dive in Geelong for helping me take my favourite sport of fishing to another level. Give them a call on (03) 5248 3488 if you’re keen to know more about their courses. They run free trial dives so you can splash about in a local swimming pool to see if you like it. Good luck on the water, and maybe under it.Reads: 569