Last month saw the gradual ebb of what was a fantastic start to the snapper and calamari season. January also saw an increase in King George whiting captures around the Bellarine Peninsula, and the gamefishing season kicked into gear offshore with a few decent sharks showing up.
Sean Devlin from Barwon Heads reports that there have been a few good whiting kicking about the Barwon River and off Collendina. This time of year has coughed up some very large bream from the Barwon so keep this in mind when rigging up bass yabbies here.
This time of year also sees the barracouta get real thick offshore as well as the annual influx of arrow squid. Both of these critters will be a curse to those anglers fishing deep for tiger flatties and gummies outside The Rip and off Barwon Heads.
Kelby from Catch 22 reports increased captures of King George whiting from Queenscliff, Portarlington, Limeburners rockwall and Point Henry but St Leonards has been the pick with some fish nudging 45cm! Kelby notes that some decent sharks have started to show up too. Most are between 60 and 100kg, but some lucky anglers weighed in a very large mako of just over 200kg!
The snapper have slowed somewhat, but there has been an increase of garfish inside the bay. These have been available to those boating anglers with berley. Landbased anglers have done best at Limeburners rockwalls.
Janette from Ray Long’s Tackle reports that Brian went out off Queenscliff recently and got into some ripper garfish and some very nice whiting on bait. He then switched gear and caught a 2kg salmon on fly and a monster 3.5kg flatty on a soft plastic! This has been the second very large flathead I’ve heard of in the last four months falling to a soft plastic in these parts.
Janette mentioned that the lure Brian was most successful with was a Sluk lure, which is chrome with a jointed back. The big flatty fell to a Mojo soft plastic.
Dean Pora has been out a fair few times off Point Richards and has caught heaps of small pinkies, but lucked out on the whiting.
I’ve had a couple of tough days out fishing with the wind blowing us off the water. I slipped out off Queenscliff in early January and caught a few whiting to 37cm just off the Cottage by the Sea. I drifted about for squid but only saw a medium sized specimen that couldn’t be tempted.
Ross Winstanley has started to lurk around his favourite whiting patches near Point Henry of late. So far, he has managed a couple of decent whiting, a few flatties and hundreds of undersized pinkies. Seeing so many small pinkies tells us that we should have a few more good snapper seasons ahead of us!
If you find yourself getting blasted by small pinkies (or any fish for that matter) while baitfishing, remember to keep a tight line. This helps avoid gut-hooking fish and aids in the healthy release of unwanted or undersize captures.
Caught a few on the Bellarine Peninsula lately? Then send me an email with the anglers name, catch, size, what caught on and where (without giving away your secret spot!) and a picture to --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 1628