Whiting have been around in good numbers this season in Westernport Bay, but the last few weeks has seen them disappear off the radar.
Anglers who have been consistently catching 10-20 whiting in a sitting have been working hard to catch two or three fish. Normally the season goes to mid May but by early April they have all but disappeared. Why? There are many theories but no one seems to know, only time will tell.
The elephants have shown up in good numbers between Corinella and Rhyll but with a new bag limit of one fish per person, are they really worth the time and effort to target? I personally have never targeted them and as a table fish have found them to be just average.
The reports coming in from the beaches have been a mixed bag.
Baxter’s Beach has been producing salmon up to 2kg and the best baits have been bluebait and bottley squid.
At Kilcunda and Woolamai beaches, small salmon around 500g have been the norm. Fishing the rising tide early morning or late evening has been the most productive.
The Cleelands Bay area is been fishing well for snapper, whiting and trevally. The bottom half of the run-off tide is fishing the best.
Offshore between the 40m and 70m line, the makos and blues are still about, however it’s nearing the end of the season and they will all start moving further north. There are also some big arrow squid about so you may want to target these while you are drifting.
Any sort of squid jig on a paternoster rig weighted and drifted a few metres off the bottom will get results. A baited line drifting along on the bottom while you are waiting for a shark could pick you up some nice tiger flathead.
Dickie’s Bay, Leola Shoal, Reef Island and Tortoise Head Bank are all producing some whiting. Pinkie snapper in the 30-40cm range are being caught around Reef Island and The Corals. There are also a lot of small gummies and school shark about.
The bigger fish are coming in from Corinella, Mosquito Channel and Elizabeth Island.
The Newhaven and San Remo piers have been fishing reasonably well with some good-sized trevally, small salmon and leatherjackets and a few squid.
Cowes jetty has had a mixture of fish taken with trevally, flathead, salmon, mullet and couta on the main menu.
There are still some good whiting about but you have to keep moving to find the fish. Also a few good pinkie snapper around 1kg are mixed in. Cat Bay is producing a few good solid whiting as well.Reads: 1650