I can’t believe that spring is just around the corner! Although I love those winter gummies, I am looking forward to a season full of warm weather and big snapper. I’ll bet I’m not the only one!
Last month, dedicated anglers braved extreme cold to chase big gummies that enter our ports to spawn during winter. Matt Cini of Reel Time Charters found some quality gummies between Buoy 13 and the Fairway Buoy. Most fish were caught in the deeper water, between16 and 20m, on the channel drop-offs.
Other anglers found similar success. Regular customer Brad fished Lyalls Channel recently and landed three nice gummies. He also caught large seven-gill sharks from the same spot.
The seven-gills have been landed in other areas of the Port too. Freemans Point, north of Corinella, is one of the best seven-gill hot spots in Western Port.
These sharks are becoming an increasingly popular target species, although some anglers still rate them as an inferior by-catch. This is understandable because their fighting qualities vary greatly from one shark to the next.
I have caught seven-gills on light snapper gear, only to have them swim lethargically to the boat. Other seven-gills though, have impressed me by stripping hundreds of yards of line on solid 15kg outfits.
If you’re targeting seven-gills then be prepared to berley hard and use wire leaders of around 150lb breaking strain. Remember that they have huge gobs so don’t be afraid to use large baits and hooks to match.
As the weather warms, large calamari will move onto the grassy sandbanks to spawn. The weed beds surrounding Flinders Pier, Stony Point and Sandstone Island near Hastings will all be worth a try.
While they will be found in the deep water too, it’s the shallow areas in 3-6m that produce the best results.
Cranbourne Fishing Tackle staff invited customers to partake in a surf fishing trip last month. In total, a group of around 20 anglers, including myself, journeyed down to Gunamatta surf beach in pursuit of some quality Australian salmon.
It was good to see a mix of angling experience. Some customers were long-time surf fishermen. Others including James Vanderwold, age 14, and Harry Beech, age 10 were chasing their very first salmon.
Colleague Jarrod Day and I fished with the young fellas and it wasn’t long before I hooked a quality salmon of 5-6lb. I passed the rod over to Harry who fought the fish for a while until it jumped clear of the water and threw the hooks into the wave break.
Not to be outdone, Jarrod got in on the action, fixing James up with a nice sambo of around 3lb. Well-done on landing a quality fish in tough conditions lads! I’m told it made a fantastic salmon curry.
Mark Whinney of Wavebreak Adventures agreed to offer his considerable surf fishing expertise, and joined us at the beach. He pulled a few nice salmon from a small washy gutter, fishing on into the night after we’d left.
Mark runs professionally organised surf fishing safaris. His clients can enjoy some of Victoria’s best salmon and gummy fishing destinations. They travel in style in his comfortable minivan, and while you’re welcome to bring your own gear, Mark does have surf outfits available. He can be contacted on 0400 626 652.
Oakdale Angling Club president John Van Vleit and club member Mark Dalzeal also joined us for the beach fishing trip. The boys managed to find quite a few fish out of a deep gutter a few hundred metres further down the beach. The fish ranged between 2-5lb with most taking bluebait and surf poppers.
Oakdale Angling Club is holding their 43rd annual surf fishing competition on Sunday 13 August at the Venus Bay Lifesaving Club. Entry is open to all and the fee is minimal so don’t hesitate to call John on (03) 9850 7386 or Mark on (03) 9877 4110 for more information.
Paul Worsteling’s Cranbourne Fishing Tackle is sponsoring the event and there are plenty of great prizes to be won. Last year there were plenty of thumper salmon caught.Reads: 1300