Season about to start
  |  First Published: August 2009

September is the beginning of the annual snapper run. Boat service centres and ramps start clogging up as the reports start to wind up. Depending on just how fast the water warms up will see just how soon the fish start to turn up. The Surf Coast is always first to experience a handful of fish so keep an eye out down here.

Geelong freshwater

During the July school holidays, I took our girls, Bridget and Adele down to St Augustine’s Waterhole near Waurn Ponds in hope of nabbing a small trout or two. A few fish were biting on worms, Powerbait and corn plus the odd fish taken on bladed spinners. These trout are around 200g or 30cm and have been stocked in St Augustine’s Waterhole and Seagull Paddock Lake in Geelong as part of the Family Fishing Lakes fish stocking program.

The fish were biting a little quick for the kids to hook one but they had a great time anyway.

Unfortunately, we did find a bit of rubbish laying about and the girls helped me clean that up. Anglers need to be very careful and clean up their rubbish after a fishing session or we will lose the right to fish in some places.

A bit further up the bank was Alexandra, a grade 6 student from Bridget’s school fishing with her dad, Peter. Alex had landed a fine trout and her dad had caught one as well – both on Powerbait. Seeing the two trout on the bank re-kindled the girls’ enthusiasm so we hung about a bit longer, but to no avail.

Corio Bay

Soft plastic enthusiasts have enjoyed consistent action right throughout the cooler months from the Royal Geelong Yacht Club to North Shore Rocks. Captures have included Australian salmon, pinkie snapper, snotty and silver trevally plus the odd bream. Most of these species have been around the 5-600gm mark, but every now and then a nice kilo fish comes along.

Both the inner and outer harbour of Corio Bay produced quality snapper for those that were prepared to put the long cold hours in after dark. Fish over 6kg have been taken by anglers fishing Corio Quay, Grammar School Lagoon, Western Beach, Curlewis Bank and the Geelong waterfront.

Bellarine Peninsula

Some quality calamari have been caught by anglers fishing the shallows near Clifton Springs and Portarlington.

Ross Winstanley has been pestering them just off Clifton Springs and has returned with a few up to 1kg. Ross managed 10 one morning after touring up and down either side of the boat ramp; he eventually caught them not far out from the break wall!

St Leonards Angling Club is glad to announce the annual Bellarine Snapper Challenge will run from September 1 2009 to April 1 2010 (Entries don’t close until October 31 2009) – now that’s a competition! The official launch, registrations and a FREE BBQ will be held at 6.30 pm on Friday August 28 2009 at the Clifton Springs Tennis Club, Jetty Road Clifton Springs (Melways map 456 F7). Any further info, please contact club secretary, Phil Walters on 0411 215 146.


Calamari have been available in the Queenscliff boat harbour to anglers using smaller than usual artificial jigs. There are no bag limit captures, but their numbers do justify your attention.

Ross Winstanley fished in the Lonsdale Bight with Marc Ainsworth where they managed to boat 6 calamari up to 1kg in 4-6m of water using artificial jigs. Ross said that other boats were also catching a couple of squid which is good news for the September run. September has been excellent in the past for XOS calamari either side of 3kg, but the last couple of years they have been very patchy.

Barwon Heads

Ken Stevens from Barwon Heads Angling Club says there are still a few silver trevally and salmon to 1kg kicking about the Barwon River estuary.

Salmon have been best on the outgoing tide and hit the incoming for silver trevally. Wading the shallows and flicking plastics, flies or metal lures into the deeper areas can be great fun when the salmon are in the estuary.

The silvers have been a bit shy of the soft plastics and pipis seem to be best at the moment.


John Albrecht from Torquay Angling Club reports the whiting have been biting well for anglers fishing the shallow reef areas. A welcome by-catch has been the odd pinkie snapper up to 2kg, which makes for some loud words when whiting gear is connected to them. John says if the pinkies turn up, switch to soft plastics for some great sport. Berkley Gulp minnows in Nuclear Chicken has been the standout.

John also notes the timely appearance of some quality salmon up to 2.5kg at Jan Juc Surf Beach. They have been a little hard to pin down as they turn up en-force one day and are nowhere to be seen the next. Dylan Pace from Torquay has fished Jan Juc a bit with his mates, but they have only beached a few small salmon using bluebait and whitebait.

Anglesea and Great Ocean Road

Dylan and his mates have also been fishing the Anglesea River using raw chicken and catching and releasing a couple of bream up to 26cm as well as mullet from 20-35cm.

Salmon have been reasonably consistent from Fairhaven to Eastern View. Most fish have been from 500gm to 800gm with some larger fish coming from the rock platforms on the Great Ocean Road.

Lorne Pier continuers to produce salmon, calamari and silver trevally. Picking which day the fish are going to be around however, has proven to be a bit tricky.

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).

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