Bellarine Bonanza
  |  First Published: October 2005

October is the month to get out and start pestering the snapper on your favourite marks. We’ll start to see some very large fish turn up and, with any luck, in decent numbers!

The calamari have been a little inconsistent with some of the larger ones turning up very early, then failing to show up in any great numbers. I’ve had a few cracks at them near Point Lonsdale and have had mixed results. I’ve had bags of 7 or 8 decent ones and then days of only two, although one of those was in excess of 2.5kg! I’ve had most success on baited jigs as well as green and orange cloth covered jigs. The calamari have been a little more consistent, but smaller in size, up around St Leonards and Indented Head.

Bill Hartshorne has fished a fair bit with Nathan Alsop down on the Lonsdale Pier lately. They’ve taken some very nice salmon to 2kg casting soft plastics. They take a fair bit of lifting up onto the pier if you’re using light gear so Bill recommends a large drop net to help you land your catch. Successful plastics have included 2 and 3-inch Atomic shads in grey ghost and 80mm Squidgy fish and shads in silver fox and true blue colours. They’ve been fished on a relatively heavy head to get the lure close to the bottom. Bill also suggests keeping an eye out for the silver trevally that are due to come in to the Queenscliff Harbour. They’re excellent sport on soft plastic lures or bait. Good baits include pipi, pilchard fillets and raw chicken. The best time is about 2 hours either side of slack water in the harbour.

Sean ‘Splinter’ Devlin from Ocean Grove reports that the bream were on the bite with the recent flow of dirty water coming down into the Barwon estuary. The water cleared up pretty quickly, but the bream are still keen with bass yabbies the top bait. Sean has taken whiting out off Barwon Heads most of the year and now, with the season about to start, he reckons they never really stopped at all! Sean’s also seen some snotty trevally but acknowledges that he hasn’t seen these too often offshore. The gummy and school sharks turned up en masse in about 25-35m off Barwon Heads in early September. The best bait for these delicious sharks was a fresh fish fillet such as trevally or salmon. They were also taken on pilchards and squid. The sharks ranged between 4 and 10kg and were taken both drifting and while at anchor.

The tiger flathead started making their way into their regular haunts in early September so by the time you read this they should be in full swing! These can be taken by finding some gravel beds in about 30 to 40m and drifting with some decent lead to get you down there!

Brian from Ray Long’s Tackle reports he’s been doing quite well on the silver trevally in the Queenscliff Harbour. They have been taking baits and lures and Brendan from the store has also taken a few on fly. He’s been using a very fast sinking line on a 9-weight rod and casting both around the boats and just outside the mouth of the cut. These trevally have ranged between 400 and 800g. Brendan has also been doing a lot of casting soft plastics in Corio Bay around the outer harbour. He’s been taking a few small pinkies to 500g but the pike, around 50cm, have been a real nuisance, destroying his plastics. Anglers have also been doing very well on garfish from Fisherman’s Pier. The best bait is silverfish and maggots. Brendan also confirms that the squid are about off Queenscliff, as are a few decent snapper between 2 and 4kg. These should really pick up from now on! Other places to watch for snapper include Clifton Springs and Portarlington, both of which have good small reef areas and weed beds.

Gordon from Scriv’s Geelong Bait and Tackle reports some snapper have started to turn up in the outer harbour including a nice fish of 6kg taken recently by Danny Skene.

Kelby and Geoff Vale from Catch 22 Fishing Tackle report some excellent captures of snapper form the St Helens rock wall for those anglers who put the time in. Geoff mentioned that 7 or 8 fish, averaging 4kg and up to a whopping 7kg, have been weighed in recently. Anglers have also been pestered by small ‘couta, some ling and the odd small flattie. Pilchards have been the preferred bait. Good snapper have started to poke their heads out along the 9ft bank as well. Geoff and Kelby have taken a few nice bream from Laker’s Cutting after dark. These are by no means record breakers, but in decent numbers all the same.

This month, persist with the squid in the Lonsdale Bight and the silver trevally in the Queenscliff Harbour as both should increase in size and abundance. For those with boats, head off Barwon Heads and start drifting for those ripper tiger flatties. These fish can give 3kg a scare on occasions and are in 30 to 40m of water. Drifting is the best option.

Send in your Bellarine Peninsula reports to --e-mail address hidden-- or give me a call on 0408 997 348.

Bill Hartshorne has fished the Lonsdale Pier lately and taken some good salmon casting soft plastics.

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