Although we might be rapidly heading towards winter, the productivity of the Port has continued to be outstanding. Where only a few weeks ago it was all about snapper, the focus has quickly switched to whiting, gummies and elephants along with plenty of by-catch.
To lead off this month, I must first convey my deepest thoughts to all that knew, worked and fished with Neil Tedesco from the Fishing Television program on Channel 31 Adventure Bound.
Neil was a true ambassador to the fishing community; teaching and showing all who tuned in every Tuesday evening how and where to fish for some of Australia’s most prestigious sports fish. I had the privilege of knowing Neil for a brief period joining in on a rock adventure. Neil did a lot for fishing in Australia and he will be sadly missed.
While the windy and rainy weather fell upon us, many anglers rugged up and headed to the sandy shores to try their luck. Many reports have been emerging of late from Williamsons, Cemetery and Kilcunda beaches. These locations have been very productive with salmon the main catch.
During April, many fish caught ranged in the 500g to a kilo bracket but as we move forward the larger fish will move in within casting distance. The most useful technique has been to berley with an onion bag staked into the sand filled with mashed pilchards and tuna oil soaked pellets. This has attracted fish to the gutters and with a paternoster rig containing two baits; pipi and blue bait, success has been all but guaranteed.
Just out from Phillip Island, James fished aboard a charter boat with mates Patrick Chen, Patrick Zheng, Alex, and Alex’s girlfriend. The weather was pretty average so they headed in close and bottom bashed for snapper, but had to compete against a hungry seal that kept stealing their catch on the wind up.
In the end James landed a corker of a seven-gill shark that went 120kg and 2.6m long. Anglers John and Nick also found success when fishing out from Flinders. The boys fished late into the day and weighed in a thresher shark at Tackle World Cranbourne that pulled the scales to 55kg.
The elephant run has continued on with plenty of fish in excess of 4kg being caught. The waters around Rhyll have been most productive, not surprising considering these are spawning grounds. Over the next few weeks we should see a decline in captures as they begin the long journey home.
For the land-based angler, Stockyard Point has also been fishing well for those in search of elephants but regular by-catches of silver trevally, gummy sharks and small school sharks have been welcomed. Regular customer of Tackle World Cranbourne, Sheree, dedicated a day to chasing one of the most elusive fish in the Port, the mulloway. The day started off at Mornington where she collected fresh squid before heading off to Corinella. She fished an hour each side of the low tide and just as they were about to leave, Sheree caught a lovely 8kg mulloway.
There has also been a few toothies getting around with seven-gill sharks the most common caught. Anglers Brett and Cameron fished out from Spit Point and managed a seven-gill shark that pulled the scales down to 43kg. It took a salmon head bait fished on the bottom.
The top end of Western Port really hots up at this time of year, and last month produced the goods for those dangling a line. Emma fished with her Dad out from Joes Island to find success while fishing the run out tide. Emma used a pilchard for bait and managed a gummy shark of 18kg.
Whiting have also continued on in good numbers with the regular haunts worth a look. The middle spit, Tyabb and Quail banks have produced fish over 40cm. Pipis, mussels and squid baits have been the most popular baits used. Out from Warneet, Joe and Nick fished just out from the Warneet channel. The boys had a cracker session catching some thumper whiting ranging 37-44cm. Further up the Port and Tim Frankie had a session under the footbridge at Tooradin. He landed a 61cm flathead weighing 1.2kg on a pipi. I also received an email from Ian who fished out from the Tooradin Channel. Ian was fishing around the turn of the tide when he managed a gummy shark over 20kg on squid bait.
Still, with all this hot action and mixed bags we are now faced with some chilly conditions as we head into the winter period. So why not brave the elements, you’ll be well rewarded. Big gummy sharks will be a common catch, as will silver trevally, seven-gill shark, flathead and, if you’re willing to search for them, monster winter whiting are all on offer.
Big calamari can be found over the shallow weed beds for those willing to search for them.
Gawaine Blake shows two magnificent Western Port whiting taken from the Middle Spit.
Remember, before launching at any of the Western Port boat ramps to check the tides first.Reads: 1763