I am totally amazed at just how productive the fishing has been in the port over the last couple of months. And the best thing is that it is definitely not showing signs of slowing, especially when more sharks, gummies, whiting, snapper and mulloway continue to be captured.
One of the most exciting catches of the month was a magnificent mulloway caught out from Corinella in the last week of March. I received an email from Sheree, who fished throughout the night after catching calamari from Mornington to use as fresh bait later that evening. Fishing an hour either side of the low tide change, Sheree managed an 8kg mulloway – a well rewarded catch for her efforts.
And there has been plenty of other spectacular fish roaming the murky waters.
The offshore fishing has undoubtedly been one of the best seasons I can remember. Although the past few months have had many makos reported, none to the likes of the monster Daron Proudlock landed when fishing off Cape Woolamai. The fish weighed in at 289.5kg, was caught on 24kg tackle and is now a pending Victorian record.
In the same week, Daniel Sutherland fished off Cape Shank with his mate Rossi Hagen Muller. The boys were drifting in 40m of water when they landed an awesome thresher shark. Later, the boys took the fish to Tackle World Cranbourne to be weighed. It pulled the scales down to 98.5kg.
On the same day the boys at Tackle World weighed a second thresher of 42kg (cleaned) that was taken from the same area. It seems that Cape Shank was the place to fish if you were after a toothy.
Shane from the Keysborough angling club told me that while drifting for mako he had his bottom bait taken on three occasions resulting in a 15kg, 11kg and 9kg school shark capture. These fish were taken on 80lb mono trace and a large circle hook.
There has been plenty of gummy action around this month, with Gawaine Blake from Think Big Charters doing extremely. Gawaine spent most of his time fishing the Western Entrance with fish ranging between 10-20kg caught and released.
Aaron Sammut from Tackle World headed out with Gawaine one Tuesday. The boys managed an estimated 60kg seven-gill shark and a 5kg gummy. And they found salmon fillet was the most productive bait.
Still with the theme of gummy sharks, regular Tackle World customers Chris and Lisa Wayne fished out from Warneet near Joes Island to land a 7kg specimen. Unfortunately they also lost a larger fish at the boat that was estimated at 15kg. It when it went in one end of the net and out the other.
Starting them off young, Brendan Wing of Salty Dog Films took his daughter Billie (4yo) out fishing from Sandy Point. Billie did very well while dad coached her to land a 9kg gummy shark.
The snapper fishing may have quietened down significantly but catches of quality fish are still being reported. There has been some good fish located around Nobbies and Cat bay areas in 12m of water. These fish have ranged from 1-3kg.
Tim Rogers and his wife fished around Corinella and caught a 3kg snapper on a salmon fillet.
Robin Gray from Peninsula Fishing Charters reported a good run of pinkie snapper around buoy 5 and 6. These fish were consistent throughout the month and kept anglers very busy. Pilchards on a paternoster rig worked best when drifting in this area.
There has definitely been no shortage of whiting with good catches coming from the Middle Spit, Tortoise Head, Quail Bank and the Tyabb Bank. All these locations have proved yet again to be the places to find whiting.
The 20th Annual Western Port Angling Club Whiting Challenge was held in the first weekend of March. They received a record 405 entrants. The Heaviest Fish Junior went to Uriah Maloney with a whiting of 620g, Heaviest Fish Senior Female went to Marian Kraulis with a whiting of 612g, and Heaviest Fish Senior Male went to Geoff Whall with a whiting of 777g.
Other anglers also had plenty of whiting success. Scott and his mate Bob fished the bottom end of the Middle Spit to manage a healthy bag of whiting with the best going 45cm, but most fish were 32-41cm.
The bag limit on elephantfish has dropped back to one fish per person this season, making it very quick to land your bag in no time.
Amongst nearly every report I received, most have contained a mention of elephants. It seems even if you were targeting whiting you’d somehow get connected with these fish.
While the most prolific location has been the Elephant Triangle near Rhyll, they have been wide spread.
Daniel Corrie fished out from Corinella in 10m of water to catch and release seven elephants up to 4kg. Fresh arrow squid was the best bait, which also enticed a small gummy shark.
Brett Peterson also found plenty of elephants while fishing for gummy shark in Boultins channel. Brett caught and released 15 elephants in a four-hour session while fishing the run-out tide.
While searching for a feed of whiting along the Middle Spit, Scott ended up with a good bag of whiting and was plagued by elephants to 3kg.
The technique when searching for elephants is very straightforward: head to the Elephant Triangle anchoring on the edge of a drop-off. If you can’t find one, ‘The Corals’ GPS mark is productive. Use a running sinker rig tied from 60lb leader with a 3/0 KL circle hook. Set a berley trail of mashed pilchards and tuna oil, then use squid and half pilchards for bait and sit back and wait.
While there have been plenty of reports from boat fishing anglers, the land-based brigade has been quite successful.
Wayne and his son Jack from Pascoe Vale fished at Stockyard Point over two days. Together, they had a ripper session catching and releasing elephants to 5kg. They also managed some small gummy and school sharks.
Wayne also mentioned they saw plenty of anglers getting into the elephants, catching and releasing over 60 fish. Apparently the USA boxed squid was the most productive bait being used.
Another productive area was Balnarring Beach. I received an email from Phil who thought he’d try his luck on one very gloomy Friday night. In less than favourable conditions, Phil stuck it out fishing the high tide and managed a 6kg gummy shark on fresh squid. A few weeks later and young George (12yo) fished the same area and caught a few beautiful pan sized pinkie snapper. George fished the run-in tide and used fresh squid to catch his quarry. He also lost a few fish on the reef.
So there you have it, another very successful month on the Port. This should have you biting at the bit to get out and experience fishing at its finest, which is good considering the gummy shark action is still yet to hit full strength during the winter period.Reads: 2582