Good Catches Despite Poor Conditions
  |  First Published: April 2005

With the non-existent summer weather we have had during the past month, fishing in Bass Strait has been difficult and at times testing. Despite this, there have been good catches in the short breaks in conditions that saw 2 weeks of dirty water hug the coast out to the 65m line.This dirty water seems to have sent the pelagic sharks well offshore with the exception of good numbers of thresher sharks. Many of these have been sighted, hooked and on most occasions lost in the ‘Heads’ area. We hooked and then lost one on whiting gear and a size 4, longshank hook in 8m of water inside the rip. Another boat had a similar result when they hooked a thresher on a salmon lure.While the shark fishing has been slow, bait fishing on the bottom has been at its usual high standard with great catches of snapper, nannygai and jackass morwong on the 50m plus reefs and some great school and gummy shark fishing on the same reefs. The dirty water seems to have caused reduced light reaching the bottom, which in turn has resulted in the fish biting all day long. One boat made the most of this and caught 40 snapper and a couple of school and gummy shark. I guess some good has come from the discoloured fresh water sitting on top of the cleaner sea waterThe appearance of small ‘rat’ kingfish has been fairly consistent on the reefs between Point Lonsdale and Torquay but most of these fish have been quite small with the exception of a handful of fish to 4kg. These larger fish took leadline rigs and on one occasion we teased up a small school of them for fly anglers, only to be cleaned up in seconds on the shallow reef we were fishing.If you’re anchor fishing, be ready for the unexpected. If you happen to hook a good shark, whether it is a thresher or mako, have a buoy ready to deploy on your anchor warp end so you can untie your boat and take chase. Once you have finished the battle you can then return to your anchor, tie up and continue fishing.Let’s hope we are in for some more settled weather for the second half of our season and that the pelagic sharks reappear closer to home. Good fishing and safe boating.

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