It’s a cold winter’s night, there’s a slight breeze blowing on the water, the temperature is about 6 and you wouldn’t be out in the middle of Western Port for quids. Or would you?
There’s a small band of dedicated diehard fishers who consistently target mulloway. Every time the weather is right, they catch their fresh bait and head off on another all night mission. Their average tally is about one fish every three trips, which is quite acceptable according to this dedicated bunch.
The fish are normally in the 10 to 15kg range, which are good fish in anyone’s language. Frank Maguire and his son Andrew are both mulloway men. They recently fished the mouth of the Bass River in about 3m of water in the wee hours of the morning and managed a couple of beaut fish.
To be a successful mulloway man you have to be dedicated and patient. Pick a spot where you know baitfish congregate at night, fish a run out tide and most importantly, fish with fresh bait. The best baits are squid, mullet, salmon and garfish.
Fish in shallow water. Four metres or less is normal. Standard snapper gear is fine, loaded up with 10 or 15kg line on a spool with a capacity of 300m or more. Use 6/0 to 8/0 hooks on the business end. Take plenty of hot drinks, rug up like an eskimo and you might just get a fish or two.
All the surf beaches have been producing salmon to 2kg. Woolamai Beach has been the most consistent although Gunnamatta Beach has been good too. Kilcunda, Williamsons and Baxters have been running hot and cold.
San Remo, above the road bridge, hasn’t seen too much happening. Below the road bridge there have been salmon in good numbers right at the entrance.
Reasonable numbers of estuary perch to 40cm have been caught below the road bridge. The last half of the run-in tide has been the best time to fish.
There has been the odd gummy about and a few reasonable flathead. Snook are showing up in good numbers too. One local angler got 16 to 1m off Somers recently, trolling small chrome lures on lead lines.