Big Shark Bonanza
  |  First Published: March 2006

Western Port anglers have been treated to a mind-blowing month of giant gummy action. These powerful sharks have simply taken the port by storm, turning up in unprecedented numbers. Quality fish of over 20kg have been caught by the dozen.

Many keen gummy fishermen are simply in awe of the amazing size of these monsters. Conversations back at the boat ramp have been dominated by talk of big baits and even bigger fish.

Matt Cini of Reel Time Fishing Charters has been on fire, landing multiple numbers of 15kg plus gummies in consecutive sessions. That’s right, his morning clients have landed 15, 17, 18 and 20kg gummies in the morning only to be followed by other clients who repeated those sort of catches in the afternoon! Most of these super sized sharks have been landed on Cranbourne Fishing Tackle’s red-hot gummy bait of cured eel. I don’t quite know why it works, but the runs are on the board.

It’s worth noting that many of these big fish are mature breeding females and it is wonderful to see responsible anglers returning many of them to the water. Matt’s clients have often decided to keep just the one smaller fish between them rather than kill the lot.

Offshore, the makos and blues have kept gamefishers entertained. Colleague Jarrod Day and I fished out from Cape Schanck recently and found plenty of toothy action. We fished with long time friend Chris Halstead on the Saturday and channel 31’s Andrew Pawsey and ‘the maggot’ on the Sunday. (Arty, I still can’t believe he calls you that!)

We managed a total of 2 makos (1 threw the hooks), 1 blue shark, 2 seven-gills, an 18kg gummy, an 8kg gummy, 30 pinkies, 50 odd salmon to 6.4lb and more snook, pike and barracouta than you could poke an Ugly Stik at!

On other fronts, the whiting have been a little hit and miss along the Middle Spit. When they can be found, bags of kidney-slappers between 38 and 52cm have been the norm. Fresh mussels and squid strips have worked well. Deeper water of 8 to 12m, just after a low tide change, has been the most productive.

Finally, a special congratulations is in order for fellow staff member Vicki (aka ‘shark-bait’) for capturing her first elephant fish, snapper and gummy – all in one trip last month. Well done mate, even though the elephant was as big as a fish finger!

Reads: 2006

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