Westernport Bay Elephants still about

Peter Crawley-Boevey

While the ‘normal’ Autumn weather slipped away from us recently – it should be back and with it most of the usual Autumn target species. In Westernport Bay the most well known Autumn appearance is the elephant fish. The elephants aren’t generally targeted by many spare a small brigade, but can account for a fun on light tackle. The elephant ‘triangle’ has been a popular zone to start looking about for them, with mid-depth mud and sand flats where they do their best at digging up prey items.

Customer Chris fished out from Rhyll recently and got amongst them on baits of fresh squid. Fishing the areas out of the main current flow seem to be more effective as they cruise about at their own pace. Baits of pipi and squid are excellent, with fresh squid a preferred favourite when fished on heavier whiting tackle and ‘upsized’ hook leaders.

Customer Shane has also found the elephant action while fishing from the shore near Balnarring. Shane was fishing from the beach and using freshly caught squid as bait.


East Gippsland

Peter Crawley-Boevey

The eastern estuaries of Gippsland have been on the mend after huge rain events that have semi flooded and open many to the sea. While the water may still be dirty and discoloured the fishing can still be excellent. The area down at Marlo has been one such area, with plenty of fresh water still heading downstream in the snowy keeping the system discoloured. The fishing has still been good however, with a little more effort in locating fish but they are generally biting fairly well.

Customer Neil and family fished the region recently and had some fun even though the action was a little slower than normal. Youngster Nelson was fairly keen to get amongst the local bream and flathead on lures and he had plenty of fun amongst the hits and misses. There were some lovely bream and luderick caught fishing the lower section of the estuary in some deeper, saltier water however.

Back around Lakes Entrance there has still been some variety on offer. While the overall fishing has slowed down a little, the keen anglers putting the time in are still getting amongst them. Customer Ryan has been fishing slightly back up the system from Lakes and has found enough action to get a nice varied feed of fish happening. Fishing the shallow weedbeds and deeper sandy drop offs with pipi and squid has still been producing some nice King George whiting amongst the flathead and pinkies. The area should start to slow a bit as the water cools off a lot but at present there are a multitude of species on offer.


Southern Shore Based Squid

Peter Crawley-Boevey

Even though rough weather has discoloured many land based squid options, many more are on the mend and fishing well. Southern Port Phillip has held the most consistent fishing for squid at present, with anywhere south of Mt Martha worth the extra drive. The eastern seaboard between Frankston and Mornington has been patchy but further south the stronger tidal waters clean much quicker and start producing again.

Down around Blairgowrie and Sorrento piers there have been plenty of smaller squid caught. Staff member Don and son Tyger fished Blairgowrie during the week and landed a few from the pier. Size 1.8 jigs caught more when the bite had slowed off, with natural baitfish and darker colours working the best.

Customer Steven fished bot Blairgowrie and Rye piers during the week and landed some slightly larger squid. Steven fished a mixture of jigs and found that size 3.0 was effective, as were 1.8’s. The smaller jigs generally do well on the large schools of smaller squid that occupy the southern peninsula piers that are out of the direct current.

Across the hill at Flinders customer Tony has caught a few decent squid. While water conditions have been touch and go with clarity, when the water surrounding the pier isn’t too cloudy the squid fishing can be good. Tony has caught a mixture of squid from smaller 17cm hoods through to much larger models recently. Fishing UV ‘banana’ coloured jigs in size 3.5 and dark brown/green natural tones has been effective for him. The brighter colours normally get the initial ‘reaction’ bite from the squid being bright and aggressive, while the natural tones resemble food items such as grass whiting and grass around the weed patches.


King George Whiting consistency

Peter Crawley-Boevey

The Rough weather that we have received the past fortnight or so has kept most anglers off most waterways, but the keen few have been making the most of the small windows amongst the weather to target a feed of whiting. Both bays have still produced fish with fairly good consistency even though the water temperature has dropped significantly. Whiting like this 47cm model caught by young Zander have still been coming over the sides in both bays, with Westernport the king when it comes to KGW.

In Westernport the weather can be danced around easier if winds and tides are checked prior to fishing, with small breaks in the rain and window providing plenty of action for customer Michael. Michael fished out from Hastings and managed a nice bag of solid whiting fishing inside the Eastern channel and using a mixture of pipi and squid. the outgoing tide was the best time for him.

Customer Jamie has still been doing well on the whiting in WPB also, with smaller patches of fish coming on the bite but nothing to complain about considering the weather. Jamie has been fishing the reefy ground near Reef Island in 5m of water. This area can be frustrating for toadfish and leatherjacket, so small frequent moves to stay on top of the whiting is crucial to keep away from the bycatch.

Over in Port Phillip the whiting continue to provide action, especially for those fishing the Queenscliff to St Leonards area. This area provides consistent whiting fishing for a fair bit of the year, with plenty of school fish in the area. Customer Josh fished with a few mates in a small weather window in the Queenscliff area and did well. The boys fished between 3-4m of water and found cocktail baits of pipi and squid were the most effective.


Lake Tyers on fire

Peter Crawley-Boevey

Lakes Tyers continues to be a hotspot with many anglers, with the Easter weekend providing some excellent weather and fishing the those on the lake. The lake has been producing large tailor and some excellent bream, with some very good flathead fishing on offer also. Anglers fished the lake’s flats and shallow sandy margins are being rewarded with some very nice bream, many of which are around 40cm. Customer Paul managed fish around the 40cm fishing shallow running hardbodies over the flats over the weekend.

The large flathead are the main drawcard for anglers fishing the main lake basin and inlets. Fishing with larger lures is the main technique in attracting the larger flathead out of ambush. Swimbaits, glidebaits and large soft plastics are the main lure choices that flathead-savvy anglers have tied on. Fish well into the 90cm mark have been caught around the shallow flats and hunting ledges, with that benchmark 1m fish lurking somewhere in the lake’s confines.

Customer Dan fishes the lake regularly and catches his fair share of fish. Dan has caught plenty of solid flathead on swimbaits and soft plastics but has recently trialed some large surface lures and crawlers – with good results. Dan has been fishing surface lures in the 100mm to 170mm size range and slowly working them over any likely ambush points in the shallows, with some of the large fish really belting the offerings. Dan’s latest session on the lake using this method produced 4 fish between 75 and 90cm in one morning. It pays to experiment sometimes!


Offshore

Peter Crawley-Boevey

During the spell of quality weather we have been having locally, there have many who have ventured offshore in search of gamefish such as tuna, kingfish and sharks. While the kingfish action has been hit and miss of late, the bluefin tuna continue to provide plenty for those searching anywhere offshore from Barwon Heads through to almost Inverloch. While fishing for gummies out towards Cape Schank customer Jak came across a school of bluefin so the stickbait rod was brought into gear. Jak landed a nice fish on the sinking stickbait, and ended up with a nice fish for the table that night.

Customers John and Izzy have been having plenty of success on the tuna while fishing out from Westernport. Fishing out from Flinders Bank the pair have experienced loads of fish to around 20kg in water from 40m out to 60m depth. Cast stickbaits, trolled hardbodies and skirts run behind teasers have all been producing, with many multiple hookups occurring.

Customer Rich has been back on the tuna himself. Rick has been fishing out from Westernport also and has been getting amongst the bluefin with plenty of school fish taking small skirts run behind the teaser. Brighter coloured teasers have been best, with flashy spreader bars also working well on days with increased sun.

Amongst the plentiful tuna there has been the odd angler chasing sharks. The area wide of Cape Schank has been a hotspot for shark anglers, with plenty of tuna in the area to attract larger predators. Customer John fished the area in 70m of water solo in search of a shark and was rewarded with an excellent table sized mako and larger blue shark for the session. John’s blue shark took a fresh salmon head and the smaller mako also a half salmon bait.

Customer Tim also managed a nice shark fishing West of Cape Schank in 65m of water. Tim’s shark weighed around 45kg and took a stitched bait of fresh tuna flap.


Land Based Squid

Peter Crawley-Boevey

The squid fishing has been good around the bays over the past week or so. Both bays have been producing squid for anglers fishing from the shore, with Stony Point and Flinders proving to be productive. Stony Point has produced multiple squid during a session, with average size around 20cm hood length. Size 3.0 jigs fished from the shallows facing back towards the shore back to the pier have collected squid, with bright pink/orange and green working the best.

Flinders pier has also been good for some nice squid, larger than Stony but in smaller numbers. Sunset and Sunrise and also late evening have been the best times to target the squid, especially when the water around the pier is clean. Customer Angelo has been catching some quality squid from the pier on artificial jigs. Angelo has been using some size 3.5 Yamashita jigs with blue and white lumo part of the colour rotation.

Across on the Mornington peninsula squid have been the go over the past week. Customer Shane has been doing well around Mornington and Mt Martha with size 2.5 jigs working the best. Mornington pier has still been producing good numbers of squid on small jigs, with size 1.8 the standout. Around the rock ledges nearby the 2.5 and 3.0 sized jigs are working better, with longer casts proving more effective.

Across on the Mornington peninsula squid have been the go over the past week. Customer Shane has been doing well around Mornington and Mt Martha with size 2.5 jigs working the best. Mornington pier has still been producing good numbers of squid on small jigs, with size 1.8 the standout. Around the rock ledges nearby the 2.5 and 3.0 sized jigs are working better, with longer casts proving more effective.

Customer Tony has been fishing down along the peninsula also and he has been finding some quality squid fishing on offer. Tony has fished Blairgowrie, Rye and Mornington piers and has found squid every trip. Tony has found Yamashita and Clicks jigs in size 2.5 and 3.0 effective with orange, brown, green and red foil all working well. Cycling through the different colours to see what the squid wanted was the only way to make the most of the activity.


Freshwater Targets for Easter

Peter Crawley-Boevey

Freshwater fishing is on the cards for many anglers getting away and relaxing over the Easter break. Many of the popular inland destinations are fishing well at present, with the popular Eildon region being one in particular. The area has been producing plenty of trout in the myriad of river options nearby – with the Goulburn really shining for bait anglers fishing out of the main river flow. If the rivers aren’t your thing the pondage has been worth a shot wether bait or lure is your choice. With plenty of access for all, and some absolute monster fish about the pondage has been an excellent option. Customer Matt has been landing some thumping trout fishing land based on the pondage while casting lures. Matt has found long casting spoons to be dynamite in tricking the large fish. If a relaxed fishing is more your thing then the pondage your best bet with coarse-style powerbait tactics.

The lake at Eildon has still been fishing well for all species, with Murray cod, yellowbelly, redfin and trout on the cards over Easter. The rainfall that the lake has received will help the action on all species, and should start the resident trout on their pre-spawn movements. For the trout angler the main river arms should start to see some fish concentrated towards the entrances and adjacent banks. The Murray cod and yellowbelly have also been active as the water temperature drops, with fish pushing deep into the inlets. Customer Cooper spent a few days camping up on the lake last week and had some fun with some lovely yellowbelly on lures fishing deep into some inlets and arms.

While many keen freshwater anglers are trying their luck around Nagambie during the Go Fish competition, the Yarrawonga-Mulwala area is producing both cod and yellowbelly. As the weather cools off the larger cod increase their activity in feeding heavily over the Winter months, preparing themselves pre-spawn. Lake Mulwala is an excellent spot for any to target the large cod and also numbers of smaller fish too. Customer Trev fished the lake recently with surface lures and while there were a few missed attempts he managed to pin a couple of nice fish. Medium sized paddlers worked slow over the many horizontal timber structures.


Squid

Peter Crawley-Boevey

The Mornington Peninsula has been fishing well for squid for land based anglers over the past week or so. Even with all the strong wind and rain that has been about the fishing is still good. There trick has been to fish the areas affected by the weather the least. The southern end of the peninsula around Sorrento and Portsea have been good for larger squid but not so much large numbers, with larger quantities taken from Rye and Mornington – with Mornington the real stand out.

Small jigs in the 1.8 – 2.5 size range are the go at Mornington while the massive numbers of small squid are about. Colour wise for jigs has not mattered as much, but as usual the use of a sinker and paternoster rig does. Many anglers adopt this technique for casting distance, but this really doesn’t let the jig work to it’s fun potential.

Customer Damien has been getting down to the pier for some bait collection and reports that 10 squid can be easily caught in most sessions without too much trouble. Small 1.8 jigs are the most effective when the fishing is a bit quieter, while 2.5’s are working when the squid are a bit more fired up.
While the pier has been busy, many anglers are getting their kids involved with the action. Young gun Marko managed his first catch at the pier recently – a nice squid, using his dad’s outfit. The prime bite time for these squid here has been the hour or around last light, with most caught during this period compared to the rest of the night or day.


King George Whiting

Peter Crawley-Boevey

The whiting fishing continues to kick on well into Autumn. Both bays are fishing well for KGW, with a growing number of year-round whiting aficionados following the fish about throughout the seasons. At present the fish are still fairly well spread out in both bays and biting actively. The recent dumping of rain that Melbourne has seen will shift the fish again, with increased freshwater filtering out of creeks and drains.

The southern end of Port Phillip remains consistent, with Queenscliff and St Leonards being the real hot spots. Customers Josh and Michael fished out from Queenscliff and managed a nice bag of fish. The boys found pipi the hot bait, and 6 – 7m of water amongst the small sand gutters adjacent to reef and weed towards Lonsdale bight.

Across in Westernport the whiting are providing quality fishing for anglers. The region around the middle spit has been an excellent spot to work through, from 2m of water through to around 8m deep. Fishing the small run off gutters and scattered weed with pipi and squid scored a bag of school fish for customer Jamie.

Also fishing around the middle spit, customers Izzy and John have been working hard on the whiting. While the bites have gotten a touch tougher, they are still catching some bags of nice fish. Fishing fresh squid and pipi and moving deeper as the tides slow has been helping add a few more quality fish to the bag.