Salmon in the surf at Cape Woolami.
  |  First Published: February 2005

With the holiday season almost over we can return to a more normal pattern of life on Phillip Island. In February expect the fishing to improve and some extraordinary catches start to make some waves in the fishing circles.

Surf Beaches

The good news is the salmon are back in numbers on the surf beaches and even the odd gummy shark is being caught during daylight hours. Williamsons and Kilcunda beaches are fishing well. Heath Anderson and party caught 30 salmon to 1.5kg and went back the following day and bagged out. That is sensational fishing in anyone’s language and I’d expect this to continue for a while yet.

Now is the ideal time to chase gummys at night. The warm February evenings that are not too blowy are perfect for sitting back on a beach and waiting for an inquiry from a curious gummy shark. Be prepared too because the gummys can get up to 1.5m long and approach 20kg – a great fish from the beach. You need a rising tide, calm seas and fresh bait to be in with the best chance.

Powlett and Bass Rivers

The Powlett River has been very quiet. Bream are very patchy – few and far between. The Tarwin River is fishing much better with some good estuary perch being taken on lures and live baits of worm or Bass yabbies. If you catch a silver trevally you can cut some strip baits off it (as long as it is legal size) and try these on the bottom. The estuary perch find them almost irresistible. There have also been plenty of mullet being caught above the road bridge in the Tarwin. Eaten fresh with they are quite a tasty fish.

Newhaven and San Remo jetties

On the San Remo and New Haven jetties, calamari, salmon, mullet, leatherjackets, silver trevally and the odd snapper are still being taken. Not in large numbers, but enough to keep one interested. Most anglers have been fishing in the low light periods or when there is a change of tide.

San Remo Bridge to the Entrance and Cape Woolami

Below the bridge, whiting, salmon, pinky snapper and barracouta are on the go. For those wanting to venture outside, there are some good-sized flathead to be caught on the 20 to 40 metre line by drifting along and bouncing baits or heavy plastics rigged on Paternoter rigs.

The makos are around in numbers on the 50 metre plus depth along with some blue sharks. Some of the makos sighted are 100kg plus, so it’s worth the effort to give them a go.

Flinders Area

The calamari squid run is all but over for another year but the whiting are now showing up in numbers and there are some thumpers about. My fishing mate Frank is still crying about the big one he lost at the boat, but that’s fishing.

There have been a couple of big white pointers sighted in the Flinders, Seal Rock and Somers area. The bigger of the two is estimated at seven metres in length. I cringed the last time I was down there watching the wind surfers on their little boards skipping over the waves a kilometre offshore. If only they knew what could be swimming beneath them – would they still play Russian roulette?

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