Mixed Bags in Western Port
  |  First Published: December 2005

It’s December already and the bearded guy in red stockings is due to slide down the chimney before long. Yep, Christmas is upon us and if you’re anything like me you’ll be struggling to squeeze in a few hours on the water.

It’s a shame really because this can be a fantastic time to fish the murky depths of Western Port. The whiting are finally on the chew after a very quiet spring and quality reds are being taken from a number of locations. Gummy fishing has been extremely consistent and there has already been the odd elephant fish caught.

Last season the snapper really fired up during October and November and then died down a little in mid-December. Nearly every boat on the water was landing reds until a fortnight before Christmas. This season the snapper entered Port Phillip and Western Port in huge numbers during September, but they weren’t as aggressive as they had been previously. Sure there were fish caught, but even dedicated anglers found the going patchy.

Lee Raynor of the TV series I FISH managed several trips throughout October. Results varied from one night to the next. Some sessions he landed (and released) six or seven fish. The next night nothing.

I was fortunate enough to fish recently with my partner Julie. We scored two reds of 2.5 and 4.8kg. Not monsters, but typical fish considering the start to this season. The next week in the same spot we didn’t even lose a bait! Hopefully December sees a little more consistency in our Western Port snapper catches.

Charter operators are in full swing, spoiling customers with mixed bags of prime table fish. Skipper Steve Johnston of Ace Fishing Charters has enjoyed some success chasing snapper around buoys 12 and13 off Cowes. The fish have been around the 3kg mark, with some nudging 4.5kg. Pillies have accounted for most of the fish. Like other anglers, Steve has noticed that there are plenty of snapper on the sounder, but they’ve often been hesitant to bite. He has also managed to find small numbers of quality whiting opposite Hanns Inlet and around the Tankerton area.

Another charter operator doing quite well is Glen Harvie of Adrenalin Fishing Adventures. Glen regularly fishes Crawfish Rock and has landed a number of snapper to 6kg in 20m of water. Most fish have been around 3kg. Glen’s gummy haunts in the top end are also producing the goods with some of his customers taking these sharks into Cranbourne Fishing Tackle to be weighed.

Feel free to drop into the store with your catch (if you decide to keep it) as we are always after recent and accurate fishing reports. If that’s not convenient, jump on the internet and log onto www.ifish.com and enter your email address to receive a free weekly update. You can send in pictures and catch reports so we can include it in next month’s VFM report. Have a great Christmas and a safe new year.

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