Prime Time in Corio
  |  First Published: April 2009

April is prime time for King George whiting in Corio Bay. This is the time of year their size and numbers increase on what has already been a stellar year!

Matt Bruce fished with Colin Northwood out off Leopold recently. The lads did it tough in ordinary conditions with only a pair of whiting and a 39cm garfish.

Ross Winstanley reports a few decent pinkies have shown up on the spoil grounds inside Stingaree Bay. Ross recently caught pinkies to 40cm, yank flathead to 55cm and whiting to 36cm.

Ross also re-caught a whiting he tagged on Australia Day this year. Ross tags lots of whiting to help us better understand their movements, growth and breeding patterns. If you capture a fish with a small yellow tag in it, carefully measure it (you are allowed to keep it of course!) and call the 1800 number on it (you may need a magnifying glass).

Ross’s tagged fish have been recaptured from Corio Bay, Portarlington, Mornington, Rye, Queenscliff and off the Erskine River near Lorne, which just goes to show us how far they travel!

Colin Northwood fished out off Avalon last month bagging six whiting with the largest being 36cm. Colin reckons he got there a little late at around 7.15am, with rods going off everywhere in the area when he arrived. This was really strange given that a large seal was also having fun in the area, leaping out of the water at times.

Bellarine Peninsula

The Bellarine Peninsula has been alive with whiting and snapper over the last month. The larger snapper are weighing around 7kg and there are plenty from legal length and up to keep everyone happy.

Wayne Trewin from Portarlington Seaside Resort says there have been plenty of happy campers returning with whiting from the mussel farms and snapper out deep. The larger snapper have been from 5-7kg and some boats have taken bag limit captures of King George whiting.


Bob from Swan Bay Boat Hire reports things have really improved with the hot weather and big tide movements. The whiting around the White Lady have gone off but varying in size from 35-45cm. Locals claim that they have been bagging out in 1.5 hours.

On the east side of Duck Island, smaller whiting are available by the dozens, as are small to medium gummies.

Inside Swan Bay, medium to small whiting, trevally, garfish, gummies sharks (after dark) and some good size pinkies are being taken mostly at high tide. There have also been a few good pike caught in the channel of Swan Bay by those drifting with bluebait under a float or casting soft plastics.

Some big yank flathead to 2.8kg have also been taken by those hitting the berley pot during the run out tide.

Anglers using jigs when the weed isn’t too bad have also caught small to medium calamari.

Large salmon schools with fish from 400g to 1.8kg have provided good sport for those fishing the Rip. The run out tide has been best with flies and soft plastics out fishing metal and trolled lures.

Quality shark fishing is available too. Those anglers prepared to put the time in have been rewarded with makos from 40-80kg and plenty of blues.

Barwon Heads

Offshore from Barwon Heads anglers have enjoyed reasonable shark fishing with a few makos around 40kg.

Jamie Behrens from Barwon Heads has been out chasing kingfish, but says they have been hard to tempt. He has seen them on his sounder hanging over their regular haunts, but is having trouble hooking them.

Dylan Pace from Torquay fished the Barwon River estuary after dark recently. Dylan fished near the mouth where he caught a few whiting using pipi until the tide slowed. He then moved to the bridge where he saw a fair school of mullet swim upstream, but failed to tempt any.

There has been a dolphin hanging about the lower Barwon estuary and many are blaming it for the lack of fish in the lower reaches at least. I know of a few anglers who are still catching silver trevally, whiting and bream by heading a little further upstream past the Sheepwash.


Dylan loves fishing Spring Creek and has been catching and releasing a few bream from 28-34cm from it lately using prawn as bait. The bream bite best on overcast days and the later the better.

John Albrecht from Torquay Angling Club reports a couple of club members have ventured out in kayaks while ‘Mother Nasty’ has been taking a break from the 30 knots winds and have been rewarded with a few whiting and pinkies in close.

John managed to get out recently and fishing in 30m he bagged out on aero squid using baited jigs and soft plastics. John returned a small gummy shark and a few baby seven-gill sharks too. About six small barracouta were in that mix and he also busted off some axe handle specimens.

Kevin McLaughlin has been bagging the odd mako shark to 40kg offshore as well.

Anglesea and Great Ocean Road to Lorne

Dylan also went night fishing in the Anglesea River again using prawn as bait. Dylan ended up catching a few bream from 23-26cm, which is a decent size for this estuary.

My family and I had a weekend down at Anglesea as well. We threw a few prawns into the river and almost as the bait hit the bottom, a bream came biting. It was very exciting fishing for our girls and highly recommended to others with budding young fishers!

I took the girls for another weekend at Moggs Creek. The wind was onshore and had a fair nip about it but we did have a crack from the beach that only yielded one small salmon before the wind forced us back home. The gutters were definitely there and it would be a viable low tide option on dusk.

Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to --e-mail address hidden-- with VFM in the subject field or give me a call on 0408 997 348. Please include where (without giving away your secret spot!), when, what on and who caught the fish. Pictures are always great, but please make sure they are at least 300kb (1mb preferred).

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