The Merry Month of May
  |  First Published: April 2010

The Barwon River has received a much-needed flush out with all the recent rains.

If the water stays clear, the lure fishing for redfin can be very good in May with fewer fish, but larger average sizes. The areas from Moorabool St Bridge to Breakwater and Balliang Sanctuary to Fyansford have been offering good sport for lure enthusiasts. There are some great walking tracks along here too, but be careful of other users and please pick up your rubbish!

Anything that remotely looks like a small baitfish does the job. Other lures that are very effective are single tailed grubs and bladed spinners like Celtas and Jensen insects.

Corio Bay Inner Harbour

May is whiting month inside Corio Bay. Hit the shallow margins at dawn and dusk. You can still catch a feed during the day, but you will get larger fish and more of them by concentrating on first and last light.

For boat anglers, try Point Henry, Stingaree Bay and the Nine Foot bank. For land-based fishos the Limeburners breakwall can bring some very good captures indeed.

Flathead have been fantastic this season. There has been plenty of fish either side of 50cm taken on both bait and lures.

Anglers walking the Geelong waterfront and flicking soft plastics about have taken these fine table fish plus plenty of small pinkies and the odd bream. Ross Winstanley headed out to one of his favourite pinkie spots and caught 12 good yank flathead, mostly 35-45 cm. Not a bad by-catch there!

Clifton Spring and Portarlington

Last month saw an influx of gummy sharks in the area. Many were either side of legal length, but there were a few larger fish taken.

Plenty of whiting around 35cm have been taken recently, along with squid and flathead. Most of the whiting are being caught close to evening. However there is still good catches from Portarlington through to St Leonards during daylight hours. Nearby Governor Reef is producing good size whiting as well as calamari.

The reefs between Portarlington and St Leonards are the places to target calamari. Pink coloured jigs seem best and don't be afraid to put a bigger jig on as a lot of the big squid are being lost.

Garfish are everywhere around the Bellarine Peninsula and just require some berley to keep them around.

The Queenscliff cut is still producing quality silver trevally for land-based anglers flicking soft plastics and using pilchard fillets for bait.

Barwon Heads

The Barwon River estuary loves a good flush and this normally kicks the bream into gear. The Barwon is not what I’d call a soft plastics estuary for bream. Not sure why, but they don’t seem too keen on them.

The bass yabby is king in the river and they can be pumped at low tide on some of the islands in the river. Remember there is a marine park on the Barwon bluff so this is a no go zone.

Fellow VFM reporter and maker of the Crown Seal Lure Steve Haughton and I had a day out on the estuary for a competition with the Silvertop Angling Club. Most of the fish we caught and released were well undersized but this is a good indication of a healthy system. 

Amongst the fish caught were whiting, small salmon, garfish and trevally. 

Steve also put his lures to the test on the local salmon population boating several small fish casting around his boat.


Spring Creek has been fishing well for small to medium bream. As with all small estuaries, it is a good idea to practice catch and release here, as the fish population would not support heavy fishing pressure.

Dylan Pace from Torquay has been catching and releasing plenty of bream up to 35cm using soft plastic lures. Dylan says the best lure has been the Damiki M grub with the Squidgie # 3 blood worm Wrigglers and Berkley 2.5'' Gulp pearl watermelon minnows coming in a close second.

Bait anglers have also been catching plenty of bream from 20-30cm mostly on prawns. Dylan says since the creek has been open to the sea, the small salmon have been a bit of a nuisance. He has also seen a few big mullet cruising up and down the estuary.

The fishing off Torquay has been a bit slow lately with the wind blowing from the southeast most of the time making conditions a little less inviting. But with summer out of the way now we should see a more suitable wind pattern forming during May.

John Albrecht from Torquay Angling Club reports there has been a few elephantfish caught lately by anglers fishing for whiting. As these fish aren't readily targeted most were returned to the water to continue their spawning activities.

Autumn is good time of the year to fish off the beach for gummy sharks and Jan Juc Beach is almost the best option after dark. Salmon should also make a more consistent appearance and make great gummy shark bait.

John has spotted some good-sized schools of garfish swimming about while he has been out paddle surfing so a good spotlight and a prawn net in the calm of the shallows is another option after dark. Garfish are good bait but go well on the plate too.


Mick Allardyce from High Tide Constructions in Anglesea fished wide off Anglesea looking for some toothy critters recently. Mick found no sharks but plenty of nannygai and slimy mackerel in 70m using Louganis jigs.

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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