Corio Bay for Whiting
  |  First Published: March 2010

April and May are prime whiting months inside Corio Bay. The fish seem to come in en masse and anglers in the know are always waiting.

Ross Winstanley is one angler that well and truly has them worked out and always manages a feed on the cool autumn mornings.

Try to hit the water first or last light, have all your bait ready to go (pipis shucked, squid cut into small pieces) and switch to one rod if they start biting. Ross swears by circle hooks as it reduces the throat hooked fish to near zero.

Ross participates in the DPI angler diary program where he records the numbers and length of fish in three fishing locations each month or so.

This helps fisheries study migration, recruitment (previous years breeding) and establish future bag and size limits.

Bellarine Peninsula

Claudia Thalmann and her partner Marty managed to find a couple of whiting near the mouth of Swan Bay on an unusually quiet day recently.

Claudia and Marty have since taken a few more whiting and flatties to around 35cm of St Leonards. She says they have been both out deep and in shallow and a little hard to predict.

Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Hire Boats reports it has been a little quiet over the past month and the wind has made it hard to get amongst the fish.

However there has been some good catches of squid around the Indented Head area with the morning and evening fishing well. There are a lot of them about but they seem to be moving around at this stage, with some good sized models amongst the schools.

Anglers have also taken a few whiting off the St Leonards pier so its definitely worth a trip down there.

The whiting have been patchy but better catches have been around the Portarlington area; prime time seems to be late in the evening till dark. These fish have been in shallow water quite close to the shore.

Lastly there are plenty of garfish right through the area as well. These make both great bait and great eating.

ANSA King of the Rip competition

The King of the Rip ANSA convention was held by Drysdale Sportfishing Club and Bellarine Light Game and Sportfishing Club over the last weekend of February. The 70-odd participants battled the wind and weather but still managed a few nice fish. The highlight was a 9kg gummy shark caught on 2kg line that came from Swan Bay after dark as did a fair few other fish including snapper and a few small gummies.

Swan Bay has also fished well for flathead to 60cm, whiting and silver trevally. Drysdale Sportfishing Club members have enjoyed good sport just out of the mouth of Swan Bay catching whiting up to 35cm. Larger fish to 44cm have been available out deeper closer to the channel.

Portarlington provided plenty of small snapper to 900g north of the shipping channel for a few anglers but Wayne ‘Puddy’ Trewin bought home the biscuits with a 5kg+ snapper boated using only 2kg line. Steeles Rocks also proved a fruitful spot for snapper anglers but nothing of any real size was about.

Barwon Heads

Ken Stevens from Barwon Heads Angling Club says the fishing has been very good in the Barwon River estuary of late. Trevally have been a bit slower lately but the few that have been caught have been around 1.5kg plus some bream have also been caught around the same size.

Offshore there has been loads of pinkie snapper on the inner reefs. Some good gummies to 18kg have been taken as well as some larger sharks further out. The skipjack tuna (striped tuna) have been a lot harder to find last month but there have been a few taken.

King George whiting have also been biting in the Barwon estuary as the Duncombe boys will attest to. Their dad, Todd, took them out recently and they have caught a couple of whiting using Bass yabbies. Will Duncombe also caught a respectable bream on Bass yabbies.


Dylan Pace from Torquay has been fishing Spring Creek lately catching and releasing a few bream. Fish up to 30cm have been taking 3'' Gulp minnows in sardine colour. 

Metin Ugur fished from the beach at Point Impossible last month where he caught a monster school shark using fresh whiting as bait around 11pm!

John Albrecht from Torquay Angling Club reports Joel and Kevin McLaughlin of have been catching a few gummy sharks recently.

Some big King George whiting to 47cm have been boated but the small pinkie snapper have been a pest for those targeting these tasty treats.

Great Ocean Road to Lorne

Dylan fished Lorne pier recently where calamari were biting well in good numbers. Just about everyone on the pier managed to catch a couple while Dylan was there.

They were mostly taking brown and orange coloured jigs. Dylan also managed to spin up a large snook but it regained its freedom by swimming around the pylons. Dylan says that the local Tommie ruff were also on the bite and that they responded well to plenty of berley.

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 1mb (file size).

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