Tarwin Perch and Mullet
  |  First Published: September 2005

The locals at Inverloch will tell you that the best bait to use at Anderson Inlet is without doubt the humble bass yabby.

There are plenty of these little fellows around if you know where to look for them. All that’s required is a bait pump and a bucket to put them in. Head out at low tide on the flats at Inverloch and look for small holes in the sand, then pump away. This is a great activity to involve the kids who seem to love the action. They’ll soon learn to keep their fingers away from those big white nippers.

Only take enough yabbies for your immediate needs. If I have any left over I put them in a small plastic container with some saltwater and freeze them. When they’re needed, just place the container in some fresh water to thaw them out.

One local legend, Jules Tiziani, has been fishing the area all his life and reckons these little blokes are unbeatable for whiting. Some King George to 38cm have been taken from near the bathing boxes at low water. Jules recently tried his luck just outside the entrance with good mate and President of the Wonthaggi Angling Club, Peter Clarke. They bagged out on garfish that stretched the tape all the way out to 43cm. These fish are second to none, especially when filleted properly to handle the small bones.

Further up the entrance towards Stevie’s Gutter the whiting are a bit smaller, around the 35cm mark. Mixed in with them have been some trevally and Australian salmon.

Angie Chiodo is a local, has fished the area for years and says there have also been any amount of those tiny flathead about. They aren’t much more than little bait thieves and he reckons that they just never seem to grow. Or maybe it’s simply a nursery area at particular times of the year for the fish spawned last season.

If you decide to try your luck in the Tarwin River there are good numbers of perch with some up to 37cm. They’ve been taken on lures, bass yabbies and sandworm. There have also been a few mullet about and sandworm is the go if you’re keen on these fish.

There are plenty of eels around. On my last trip I managed to land a few with one Congo measuring 1.6m. I wasn’t real happy about this because my bass yabbies were intended for perch. Like most people, I feel that they make much better shark bait than table fare although a few of my European friends would disagree with me.

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