Salmon and Big Whiting at Torquay
  |  First Published: June 2006

King George whiting were fairly inconsistent during the prime months of April and May but local Colin Northwood bucked the trend and took nine fish to 41cm, plus a pair of decent flatties, just out front of CSIRO in about 4m of water.

This is one of Ross Winstanley’s favourite haunts. He’s fished here a bit over the last few months with mixed results. Early in April, Ross was taking bags of 15 and 20 small fish from 30 to 35cm but then they tapered off.

At the end of one day on the water, Ross met up with four-year-old Eli Worldon and his dad Scott from Belmont. Eli had caught a very nice silver trevally on his brand new rod, fishing in Corio Bay.

Geoff Vale from Catch 22 Fishing Tackle reports that anglers have been catching a few whiting from Point Henry, about an hour either side of dusk. The cooler water has seen the pinkies and yank flatties disappear, but the rock flatties have come on. These have been between 35 and 50cm and have provided great sport and a great feed!

Gavan Moloney and his partner Veronica Olsen had a go with soft plastics in Corio Bay recently. The bream were nowhere to be seen but they did manage a few flatties to 38cm.

Brendan from Ray Long’s Fishing Tackle reports that Janette and Brian were still getting the odd pinkie casting soft plastics in May, but things had slowed somewhat. They did mention that schools of salmon were in Corio Bay. These fish have been a little hard to find with the birds not always giving them away. Once found however, they’re very willing to take just about anything thrown at them. Most fish have been around the 1kg mark.

Large numbers of garfish have been around too so don’t forget to pack the quill floats and berley!

Clifton Springs to St Leonards

Bill Hartshorne had a day out at Point Wilson casting soft plastics recently. He took some 45cm pinkies on 4” Bass Minnows and also managed a few on fly using white Clousers in 5m of water. When retrieving his fly he noticed a dark shape behind it, which turned out to be a ripper 2kg calamari. Bill whipped out a squid jig and before too long had a few of these tasty cephalopods for dinner.

John Duckson has been doing very well on the flatties just out off Portarlington and St Leonards. These fish have been up around 45cm and taking bluebait on the drift. John has also done very well on the calamari, fishing over the broken ground off St Leonards. They were taking just about anything on offer and were a respectable 1kg each.

Janette from Ray Long’s reports that there have been a few decent whiting caught in 6m at St Leonards.

Geoff from Catch 22 has had reports of irregular whiting captures from the Prince George light, close on dusk.


April and May were interesting months around the Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast. I went for a fish down at Queenscliff not long after ANZAC day. Conditions weren’t ideal, but for a reasonably flat, overcast Sunday it should have been quite busy. But the car park was near empty! I can only guess that everyone was down at Portland chasing those swimming 44 gallon drums they call tuna!

We were keen to get a few flies away at the ever-consistent salmon in The Rip, but our enthusiasm was shattered by the lack of birds in the area. Not to be outdone, we trolled through The Rip and had a single hit on a pink soft plastic, which failed to stay connected. My fishing buddy, Gavan, managed a 38cm pinkie and I boated a small 2kg cuttlefish for bait, so the day wasn’t a total waste.

The Queenscliff entrance to Swan Bay known as The Cut is famous for its winter run of silver trevally so keep it in mind if conditions are rough out the front. These silvers reach 2kg and are pretty keen on pilchard fillets, pipis and a wide variety of soft plastics.

Geoff from Catch 22 reports that a few of his mates fished off Queenscliff recently and managed 32 whiting one day, six the next and only one the following – they’ve been hard to predict!

Barwon Heads

The Barwon River has been fishing very well for bream to 35cm. They’ve been biting best on bass yabbies and have been caught by anglers fishing from the bank at the Sheepwash area of the river and by those fishing from boats near the Ozone Jetty, and further upstream near the thunderbolt.

Big whiting are great news for anglers fishing this area of the coast. Fish over 45cm have been turning up and it won’t be long before one breaks the 50cm mark. These fish have been taking bass yabbies, pipis, pilchard fillets and fresh squid. The best places to try include: the deeper sections near the Ozone Jetty, the Ozone Jetty, immediately downstream of Fishermans Jetty, near the mouth of the river just past the two channel markers in the calmer water, in the deeper sections around the ‘Red Can’ channel marker and just inside the Boilers. The section offshore from Ocean Grove and Collendina has some great whiting grounds with a maze of broken ground to prospect. So when the swell and the wind abates, it’ll be well worth a look.

Geoff from Catch 22 has had some good reports of salmon to 2kg taken by anglers trolling white octopus lures on the surface off Collendina Beach. Surf casting anglers should target these fish when they come into the shallows at dusk.

Gordon from Scriv’s Geelong Bait and Tackle recommends anglers break out the surf gear and hit the beaches as this winter should produce good salmon.

Mulloway anglers have been whispering for a while now and we all know they’re long overdue for a good run of these mythical fish in the Barwon. In May, a few decent fish were sighted with one angler losing a very nice fish by the side of the boat. Fresh squid is dynamite bait for mulloway and if you fish a few days either side of the full or new moon during slack water, you’ll be in with a good shot.

Decent snapper have been taken by anglers drifting in 15 to 20m of water. These fish have been between 2 and 3.5kg on average. Phil Lowe was fishing off Barwon Heads recently chasing these snapper but said there were so many seven-gill sharks that he couldn’t get many baits to them.

Torquay, Anglesea & the Great Ocean Road

Torquay has been in the grip of big whiting fever with some fish reaching 50cm. John Albrecht recently caught a 49cm whiting that weighed 720g. He also reported that some very nice snapper to 4kg have been taken from the local reefs.

Torquay has seen a good run of salmon that have been giving the local krill and baitfish a hard time. These fish are from 1 to 1.5kg and can turn up a fair way offshore. John Cairney managed to get stuck right into them and caught over 30 fish in less than an hour.

Big schools have been sighted about 1km off Point Danger, Yellow Bluff in close, and the local surf beaches. Anglers surf fishing Jan Juc Beach behind the Surf Lifesaving Club have also taken a few fish on dusk using bluebait and pilchards.

Ryan McKnight from Anglesea has been fishing when the weather allows it with his friends Julian and Steve. The boys have taken some great whiting over 40cm and some ripper salmon from Point Roadnight. Ryan says they lost a few fish amongst the bull kelp, but it was fantastic fun all the same.

Mick from Allyweld Engineering reports that ‘Snowy’ from Ocean Road Auto Elects has been doing very well wading for garfish in Roadknight Bay. This area is famous for its garfish in the shallows and they’re reasonably easy to catch. Any night when the swell isn’t too big, chuck the waders on and flick a few quill floats out in 1.5m from Roadknight Beach in Anglesea.

A group of anglers intending to have a go off Lorne Pier dropped by Catch 22 recently. Kelby reminded them that the pier was now closed for demolition while another was being built. He suggested they try Jump Rock, which is located on the Great Ocean Road just before Lorne.

A few days later, the grinning anglers dropped by Catch 22 on their way back to Melbourne to thank Kelby and report that they’d caught some fantastic snapper between 2 and 3.5kg using surf casting tackle from the rocks!Caught a few fish between Geelong to Lorne? Send me an email with VFM in the subject line and include the angler’s name, catch, size, what caught on and where (without giving away your secret spot!) and a picture if you like to --e-mail address hidden--

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