We’ve had some awesome weather over early summer culminating in some electric fishing.
The Barwon River in Geelong has been fishing well for redfin both on lures, live minnow and shrimp. The best lures have been diving minnow profiles followed by soft plastics and bladed spinners. Live shrimp can be easily netted using a fine mesh net amongst the bank side weed. Minnow can be either trapped in a collapsible bait trap or caught on size 18 hooks baited with worms around the weeds. Top spots include the Breakwater, Queens Park and Buckleys Falls.
The snapper continued their fine form in January with fish around 4-6kg with a couple of trophies around the 8kg mark taken after dark. Plenty of smaller fish from legal length to 1.2kg have also been caught by anglers fishing with plastics in the shallows. Flathead are also fairly thick, with fish from 30-50cm available. A handy by-catch for anglers targeting snapper after dark are gummy sharks around 3-5kg.
Calamari have been caught over the shallow weed areas and have proven themselves to be excellent bait for local snapper with good fish either side of 5kg available on the run out tide. Stewie Turner fished after dark and was able to nab his first 5kg snapper off Portarlington measuring 78cm.
Big carp have been on the bite in McLeod’s Waterhole in Drysdale. Lachlan McDowall has caught a bag of fat fish to 6kg during the summer period. These are awesome fun on light gear and a good way to teach the kids how to play out a big fish.
Work colleague Claudia Thalmann fished with her partner Marty off St Leonards where she caught her first calamari near the red stick. Claudia says that she was hoping to bring at least one in for Christmas dinner. King George whiting, calamari and snapper have continued to bite well here also.
Ken Stevens from Barwon Heads Angling Club reports the offshore snapper have been averaging 3-4kg but have been a bit very hot and cold. Flathead and gummies have been running hot out on the 40m mark.
Heaps of bait schools are about off Barwon Heads including yellow tailed scad (yakkas), krill and pilchards so keep an eye out for salmon busting up on the surface. This time of year has traditionally been good for yellowtail kingfish off Barwon Heads and the Rip.
Trolling either strips of squid, skirted lures, diving lures or jigging over deep reef areas has proven successful in the past. Try capturing a few aero squid and drop them down as baits over deep reef if the jigs fail to get them excited. Past years has yielded fish from 2-5kg so let’s hope there are a few around.
The Barwon Estuary has been fishing well for silver trevally to 800g, salmon to 500g and whiting to 300g. Ken says there should be a few bream about as well, but most club members are fishing offshore.
There has been some great gummy shark fishing off Anglesea with both good sizes and numbers about and plenty of snapper up to 2.5kg.
Anglesea has been fairly productive over January with reports of gummy sharks out around the 4km mark and some pinkie snapper to 4kg with plenty of squid as well.
Leather jackets to 1kg around the reefs have been keen and salmon have been on the open beaches up to 2kg. Reports of King George whiting have seen bag limits being caught at various spots close to the beach. Squid and pipis have been the best, with pilchards running a hot second.
John Swingler headed down to Jan Juc in search of a few salmon recently. He was very surprised to haul in a small mulloway that scoffed his squid bait intended for the salmon.
Snapper from 1-5kg have been caught with some regularity and the odd 9kg fish has kept everyone keen. Soft plastic enthusiasts have caught snapper to 3kg while berleying at anchor in 4.5m of water over heavy reef areas.
King George whiting are continuing in the shallows of Torquay with dawn, dusk and after dark the go for these tasty fish. Yakkas have also been showing up in the berley trails of many boats. These fish are fantastic bait for gummies and snapper alike.
A few calamari have moved into the shallows off Torquay and this migration is often followed by thresher sharks chasing them in for an easy feed.
The Erskine and St George River near Lorne have been fishing very well for bream to 42cm.
Adam Skurka from Groundswell Bricklaying in Birregurra fished with his daughters Summer and Amber and Adam’s mate Tom and his son Zac. Together they caught and released 13 bream up to 42cm fishing the Erskine and St George Rivers.
Richard Boyd fished the Erskine River in Lorne with his two lads, Tom 14 and Luke 16.
Please remember that some of the Surf Coast estuaries are very small and the larger bream should be released as the populations in these estuaries are not as large as those in others.
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: 2850