Cool Water gummies
  |  First Published: September 2005

Large swells and fresh westerly winds have hampered many offshore excursions during the last month but reasonable fishing has been had by those lucky enough to get trips in. They’ve been rewarded with very consistent gummy shark fishing. We’re averaging at least one shark per trip with a couple of much better days when school sharks have also been caught.

Gravel ground off Barwon Heads and Collendina have been the spots to hit with these delicious eating fish going as large as 11kg or more. The same area has been home to small schools of pinkie snapper around the 1kg mark, with the occasional fish pushing the 2kg.

With the larger swell conditions it’s been hard to access the normal winter target species of banded and yellow eyed sweep in close to the shore. Furthermore, recent rains have brought dirty water down the Barwon River, which hasn’t helped.

We’ve had some good early season catches of flathead and although they’ve been a good size, the numbers are certainly down on what can be expected during spring and summer.

For those berleying, silver trevally have been available. They’re often found in the shallower water along our west coast. Recently, we’ve been lucky enough to attract a school to our trail whilst sweep fishing and had a ball on these tough little fighters.

Some excellent southern calamari have been taken from the reefs as they make their annual run toward Port Phillip Bay to spawn. Large baited jigs of tommy rough or small salmon will account for these calamari, which are prime eating and make excellent bait. Cuttlefish to 6kg have also blackened the decks of boats recently. Many of these amazing cephalopods can be found floating on the surface dead but still in great condition to be used as bait.

Whale sightings have continued along our coastline, coinciding with the krill patches that are also still attracting blue shark for those with enough warm clothing and the stamina to work the berley pot for long periods. This year has seen many more whale sightings than the last 10 years. We can only hope that this trend continues, although with the Government’s plan to dredge The Rip at Port Phillip Heads, the plume may steer these creatures away in future.

With the snapper season just around the corner, start to stock up on your baits, service those reels and boats and get ready for the crimson carpet.

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