Well, summer is officially over and hasn’t it been a great season in the old port? Anglers have made consistent catches of gummies, snapper and whiting which look likely to continue through the March/April period.
King George whiting have been in plague proportions with many anglers saying that the whiting fishery hasn’t been so good in years. Surprisingly, these fish have been of exceptional size too, with plenty of whiting exceeding a whopping 45cm. Workmate Don Smith (aka whiting guru) has had an exceptional run on the King George recently landing over 120 fish in just three sessions! They were taken on pipi and squid with most fish being released to grow even bigger for next year.
While we’re on the subject of whiting size, I think it’s about time we got serious and followed the South Australian’s lead on increasing the fish’s minimum legal length. The current size of 27cm is far too small and an increase of just 3cm would give these juvenile fish a bit more time to spawn before they could be taken. Besides, you get more meat from a vegetarian souvlaki than you do a 27cm whiting.
The first elephant reports filtered through mid January and by now they should be relatively easy to find. The elephant triangle between Rhyll, Corinella and San Remo is an excellent place to start looking. Land based, they can be caught off most piers and Stockyard Point is always a favourite.
The shark scene has been running hot lately with makos, blues and threshers all on the chew. Early February saw an impressive capture in the form of a monster bronze whaler from Boulton's channel. The shark was brought to Cranbourne Fishing Tackle where staff members were forced to drag the beast with their cars in order to winch it up to the scales! The scales weren’t strong enough and the bronzie was estimated at over 160kg.
Workmate Jarrod Day and I were invited out with long time customer ‘Big Phil’ aboard his boat ‘Blood sport II’. Phil took us to his favourite mark in 70m off Woolamai where we berleyed for 10 hours. Just when I was ready to give up, my Tiagra 50w came to life as an energetic mako swallowed the whole tuna bait and leaped several times in an awesome acrobatic display. After some impressive boat work by the skipper (and gross incompetence from the angler!) we had a very well conditioned mako of just over 60kg subdued by the boat. I have caught plenty of big sharks before but never targeted makos and it was a pleasure to learn from an old pro.
Thanks Phil, we had a ball.
Now that is starting to get to the serious size. Good skill by the skipper helped subdue this mako.Reads: 508