Well, the weather sure is cold, but the fishing has been hot around the Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast.
A few calm days have seen anglers out testing the cool waters of Corio Bay. Those die-hards prepared to work for their bites have done well with some fantastic soft plastic fishing for small pinkies, trevally, Australian salmon and pike around the Geelong waterfront.
Snapper anglers who will not give up and continue to fish after dark have landed the odd large snapper over 5kg fishing the known haunts of winter fish like Grammar School Lagoon, North Shore Rocks, Corio Quay and the mud flats of Western Beach and Geelong Waterfront.
Anglers fishing Cunningham Pier have tangled with the odd silver and snotty trevally, with garfish and yellow eyed mullet also providing entertainment. Try floats and bread for the gars and mullet, then fish another rod a bit deeper with no weight for the trevally.
Ross Winstanley continues to find the odd school of whiting from 32-36cm, but says they are not as thick as they were this time last year.
Ross tags a lot of whiting in Corio Bay so if you happen to re-capture one with a tag in it, please record the tag number, where and when you caught it, how long the fish was and call the 1800 phone number on the tag.
Twin brothers, Ben and Shaun Willis fished out off Clifton Springs where they enjoyed ‘healthy competition’ catching a variety of flathead and undersized gummies. The lads had been fishing 16 hours straight when Ben’s rod went berserk. Just as Shaun slipped the net under a beautiful 4.2kg snapper, his rod wailed to the red tune as well. You guessed – both fish exactly 4.2kg. So the sibling rivalry is all tied up at 4.2kg each at this point.
Calamari and whiting have been caught by anglers fishing from the Pilot Jetty to Lonsdale Bight in 4-5m of water. The calamari are by no means big, but well worth the effort. The whiting have been up to 43cm, but not in big numbers.
Silver trevally have made an appearance inside the Queenscliff harbour. These fish have been up to a whopping 2kg and taking soft plastic lures and pilchard fillets.
The mouth of Swan Bay has been fairly crowded with garfish of late. Anglers putting in some cool nights have taken gummies up to 4.5kg fishing inside the channel in Swan Bay when the weed has allowed.
Point Nepean has seen the odd large school of salmon hanging about. These fish may be swapping from one side to the other as Point Lonsdale Pier has been quite busy with salmon schools zipping in and out well within casting range. Most of these fish have been around 800g, with the odd bruiser around 1.8kg.
Tristan and Julian Thompson from Point Lonsdale ventured off the Rip to see if their home tied ‘snapper snatchers’ would pull a flathead or two. Turned out to be a cracker of a day with 5 knot northerlies and a dozen flatties from 30m of water.
Dylan Pace from Torquay has enjoyed good fishing for sweep off the beach at Torquay Surf Beach with his mate Jarrod. The pair have also been fishing Spring Creek with a bit of success. Using bread and chicken for bait, they have caught plenty of yellow-eye mullet to 30cm until a swan came over and spoilt the party eating all their bread.
Dylan also pinched his mate’s kayak for an arvo flicking soft plastics off Torquay in dead calm conditions. Dylan was struggling until he found a heap of blue throat wrasse over near Yellow Bluff that provided a few thrills.
Dylan has also nabbed a flounder or two fishing the mouth of Spring Creek.
John Abrecht and ‘Youngie’ from Torquay Angling Club had a crack off Torquay for their whiting recently. They had only two whiting in two hours so switched to soft plastics and nabbed a few silver trevally. “One more fish” on the way back in turned out to be a good decision as they bagged 24 fish in the first half hour and the next half hour finished the bag and left them biting!
John says they tasted so good, they headed out there again – this time, armed to the teeth with soft plastics. They managed another 30 or so whiting including about six using the Gulp turtleback worms!
John says there is the usual presence of gummies around this time of year near the wider rubble areas. Fish from 5 to 10kg have been taken with some larger fish also. Salmon up to 2kg have been taken off the beach at Jan Juc and Bancoora near Breamlea.
The Barwon River estuary has been firing for small salmon up to 40cm. Fly and lure fishos have been having a ball casting their artificials from the bank. Boat anglers have also had a bonanza trolling and casting lures up and down the estuary.
Silver trevally have also made an appearance in the estuary. Most of these have fallen to pilchard fillets and pipi baits on the incoming tide.
Jason Andrew fished with his mate Jason McPherson off Barwon Heads and managed to nab two fine examples of flake.
Ken Stevens from Barwon Heads Angling Club reports there has been some fat whiting to 45cm in the shallow reef areas near the mouth of the Barwon River. Pinkie snapper to 40cm have been biting over the shallow reefs at dawn as well.
Many of the beaches and rock platforms along the Great Ocean Road have seen some fantastic salmon fishing with many anglers landing fish from 800g to 2.2kg fishing with pilchards and whitebait on dusk.
Fairhaven to Eastern View has been most consistent with plenty of 800g to 1.2kg fish, but the rocks are where the 2kg + fish have been bought in.
Lorne Pier has seen some excellent fishing for yellow-eye mullet, salmon and silver trevally, but get there early as it is very popular.
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 997348. 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).Reads: 5025