Patience yields results
  |  First Published: June 2010

Some good rainfall over the catchment for the Barwon River has increased flows by a fair margin.

This can often make the Barwon turn coffee coloured, which pretty much counts out lure fishing. Bait fishing when the water is discoloured will more often than not only produce eels, which can be frustrating.

If the water does clear up, try a big minnow fished on the bottom using a running sinker and you may get onto one of the large redfin perch that sometimes bite in the depths of winter.

Corio Bay Inner Harbour

July can surprise anglers who fish inside Corio Bay. If you have plenty of warm clothing and patience, you can sit out on the bay and try to tempt one of the big resident snapper that Corio Bay has a reputation for.

Boaties should try out in front of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, Geelong waterfront, Corio Quay or Western Beach. Land-based fishos can expect a few yellow-eye mullet and garfish kicking about the piers with a few schools of snotty trevally (blue warehou) and silver trevally if you are lucky.

Ross Winstanley says that things have been a little scratchy for whiting inside Corio Bay lately. Ross did have a couple of good trips near the eastern tip of Point Henry where he caught bags of 10 and 16 whiting over two trips. Ross said that it was spoiled a bit by drifting seagrass and menacing leatherjackets.

Schools of Australian salmon can show up inside Corio Bay in July. More often than not there is no surface activity, so when fishing the waterfront with soft plastics they are usually taken by blind trolling or as by-catch for other species.

Clifton Spring and Portarlington

Haydn and his dad Paul Woolfson headed out off Clifton Springs last month in an attempt to find a few whiting in close. Instead of whiting, the calamari had their boat surrounded and were attacking the baits on their paternoster rigs. So aggressive were the cephalopods that they managed to capture five by luring them to the waiting net and hooking them on their whiting rigs. 

Indented Head to Queenscliff

King George whiting have been busy around 3km offshore from the St Leonards Yacht Club. There hasn’t been too many bag limits, but the fish have been from 35-40cm so they are well worth the effort.

Calamari have been around in good numbers from Portarlington to Queenscliff too. Just about any shallow reef or weedy bottomed area can hold some.

Drift across the reef or weed a few times and move if there is no action after 3-4 passes. Orange jigs were out-fishing just about any colour on my last effort down there but this can change daily.

Swan Bay still has plenty of garfish available for both boat and land-based anglers fishing from the pier. Gummy sharks have also been available for those prepared to put a few hours in after dark.

Anglers fishing out off Cottage By the Sea have caught a few larger whiting. Run-out tide has been best and fresh squid was doing most of the damage.

Nick Whelan fished with his mate Nick, Dylan and Leon around the Queenscliff boat harbour during moderate northerlies and a run-in tide that was howling. Nick W opened their account first with a silver trevally measuring 36cm using soft plastic lures. Dylan hooked up and landed one around the same size in quick succession. The fish were spread out so they decided to head back towards the office of Gamerec Fishing Charters and sent out some berley.

Fishing a bit down from the trail they were soon into a few small tommy ruff and Nick caught a decent whiting using pipis. The two trevally were caught on Gulp Turtleback worms on 1/8 and 1/4 jig heads and 1/0 hooks.


Torquay can produce some fantastic whiting fishing over winter. Bag limits are unusual, but the whiting can reach 50cm at times. The Australian salmon have been on and off but Jan Juc has produced a few fish either side of 2kg for anglers fishing the surf on dusk. Casting metal lures from the beach, surf snatchers, surf poppers and regular baits such as blue- and whitebait have all been successful.

Great Ocean Road to Lorne

Wayne Diffy from Apollo Bay Surf ‘n Fish says Steve Kados managed a gummy shark plus a pinkie snapper fishing the deep water off Eastern View. The Australian salmon have been biting well from Fairhaven to Eastern View. Dusk has been best and most fish are either side of 1kg.


Anglesea River has been full for a while and the bream have been biting well, but it is hard work working your way through the hoards of small fish to bring a legal sized fish to the bank.

Best bet here is to fish after dark or switch to lures. Offshore, there are still a few pinkie snapper to 40cm kicking about the local reef areas and the salmon have been cruising up and down the local beaches.

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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