|mornington peninsula with charlie micallef
Dated: 1 December, 2005
Wind, wind, wind – a windy fortnight makes fishing tough, but the fish are still on!
|Ash Micallef with a good sized Couta taken out from Port Phillip Heads, These fish make exellent bait and taste great smoked. |
Off Shore Bass Strait
I recently fished with my son Ash at the heads. Not venturing out too far as the wind has been blowing quite hard. The good news is the Barracouta are in! We only ventured out four kilometres and saw the couta on the sounder.
When fishing for couta, they are usually on top at first light and last light, but you can’t always combine first and last light with slack water. For safety purposes, we always fish the heads on slack water. When the couta are down deep we use deep-diving lures. We have had great success with the Storm Deep Thunder lure. Color doesn’t seem to matter. Couta are great fighting fish on light gear.
In no time Ash landed enough couta for our Snapper baits and for the big flatheads that will be venturing in around at Mud Island soon. Speaking of large flathead you can get a good feed in no time in the twenty to forty metre mark. You don’t have to venture out too far to collect a good feed.
The Arrow Squid are also in. When picking up these Arrow Squid, care must be taken as they can be quite vicious. I have known people to lose a considerable amount of skin off their hand if unfortunate enough to be bitten by one. Once I witnessed an Arrow Squid do a crocodile roll on a one metre long couta that was being pulled into the boat. It was quickly and easily pulled to shreds.
Port Phillip Bay and Western Port
We are coming up to the spawning time for the Snapper, where things usually slow down. But, there has been some amazing fishing on the reds. The following reports make an interesting read in relation to these and other fish.
|Storm Big Thunder Lures. Great for diving deep to catch the couta, the more line you let out the deeper it goes. |
Fishnet member Gerry and his son Riley headed off to Tortoise Heads. Twenty minutes after anchoring one line took off, and then the other rod took off. Gerry gave Riley the first rod; an egg beater. Gerry grabbed the over head and landed a 48cm Snapper, Riley landed a 44cm Snapper. They missed three good runs and hooked something big – four times taking the rigs. It turned a bit rough for Riley who then slept in the cab.
Ernie Peterson went out on Sunday, with his 12 year old daughter, Jessica. They fished from about 10am till just before dark, for not much, two Snapper, 3kg and about 4.5kg. They fished from Werribee as usual, got the fish in late in the afternoon. Jessica got the bigger fish. Ernie knows of other fishnet members who fished the same areas, Brammo and AOK got a small pinkie, there was a group of about sixty boats in one area. Another of his friends fished that spot on Saturday and landed fish to 7kg.
Nick Grabowsky reports his last trip was Sunday 13/11, between 4 and 9am. He launched from Newport and Fished out off Sandringham in 15metres. His catch was all school fish between 2 and 3.5kg. Best bait was whiting. Many runs and a few dropped to. They only fished one spot, got their fill and returned leaving them biting. They were fairly successful with the Snapper on their last four trips, with an ok gummy and some good sized salmon mixed in for a bit of variety.
|Jessica Peterson with a good sized snapper. Jessica loves her fishing with her dad Ernie.|
Brett (fishnet Bden) fished the local Hobson Bay Comp and put in 12 hours over a two day period from Saturday afternoon 2.30p.m. to 8.30 for just one run deep in 20 metres of water off Werribee. Then between 4.30am and 10.30am Sunday, only caught fish at 9.15am within a 15 minute period in 17.5 metres of water - GPS mark (s 37 59.944 e144 50 .025) after about the fourth move. Brett caught four fish in total with the largest being 3.3kg and dropped two others all on Silver Whiting. The competition was won with an 8.9kg Snapper and a record number of fish were caught, in all six hundred plus, between 500 competitors.
Mario Recke (fishnet member rovernaut) fished the afternoon high to low change of tide out from Lysaghts on Sunday 13/11/2005. He fished in 15 metres over rubble ground. Baits used were Pillies and Squid heads. They didn't get a touch till they caught a flathead and used its fillets for bait. Nothing until a half hour before slack water, then bang! Mario’s 10 yr old son Kristopher hooked into a massive Snapper, but lost it about 10 minutes into the fight. He further hooked up on some nice pinkies; this all on the same rod that was baited with fresh flathead. When the flathead bait was gone the action stopped. The fish wouldn't bite for them on any other bait. They caught three fish to 50cms. This was Kristopher's second only trip on the Snapper and he is proud of his catch.
|Its tough being a snapper fisherman. An exhausted Riley takes a nap. |
Rick McCarthy fished at AItona from 6 .30am on Monday morning, in water to about 1 metre and wind to 10 knots (E/SE). The water temp was 18c. Their bait for the day was Pilchards. Their success is as follows - they landed one Snapper of 2.5kgs at 5.45am. Dropped one at 6.15am, then ten minutes later landed another at 6.8kg; their biggest fish so far this season. These were caught at his favourite September/November Snapper mark in16.8 metres of water. This was his 4th trip to this spot this month for fourteen fish over 2kg; again no one within kilometres of him.
|Kristopher with a good catch of snapper. Taken on flathead fillets. Fishing out from Lysaghts.|
Fishnet member David (galaxsea) fished Westernport for the best fishing on the Snapper he has ever had. He had planned this trip for the past 6 months. He planned on fishing the Friday as well but didn't need to as he had done extremely well on the Thursday. His catch consisted of good-sized Snapper and Gummy Shark. David moved to East Gippsland some eleven years ago to get away from city life, but loves getting back at least twice a year for a few days to fish Westernport. It is his favourite water, bar none. It is a fair drive for him, some 3 hours to Cowes but always worth the effort. David says – “If you love fishing enough you'll travel anywhere, anytime”.
Chris Bourke, the original ‘Mako man’, has been enjoying success of late off Mt. Eliza. He consistently catches good quality fish up to four kilos on every trip. He keeps imagining a big mako jumping out of the water and hitting him in the head. I keep assuring him that his experience was ‘once in a lifetime’ event and to relax and enjoy his Snapper fishing.
I personally have had some great Snapper fishing days of late, fishing on the mud out from Rye. I fished with my mate Paul Heffernan on the 19th of November when we expected to find a 10 to 15 knot S/W. Unfortunately this was not the case, it was more like 30 knots. We did not turn a reel. The next day however was a different story. Fishing by myself this time, I arrived at Rye boat ramp at 3.00am. I headed straight out 15.5 kilometres to fish on the mud, in nineteen metres of water. When I hit the area my Raymarine C70 picked up some big red blotches. I knew these were good, big fish. I dropped the anchor and baited up six rods. Berley over the side; the waiting game began. Right on cue at the change of tide, all rods went off. This was some of the best Snapper fishing I have ever experienced in Port Phillip Bay. Fish ranged from 7 to 8.5 kilos. All fish but one were released. I cannot understand why anyone would want to keep more than that one big fish that is definitely enough to feed the family.
|Galaxsea at WesternPort, they made the trip down from Gippsland for some great action on the snapper and gummy shark.|
Free diving and Spear fishing
Cray season is only two weeks old and already we have the makings of a good season. If the conditions could stabilize a little we could all die happy!! There have been a few reports of good crays from the west coast as well as patchy reports from Phillip Island. The Mornington Peninsula boys are doing quite well. So far they have pulled crays out of "Number 16", St Paul’s Rd and of course, Koonya Ocean Beach. Justin Goss pulled a beauty at Koonya on December 1st. Odie Charles and Russell Bennett had a top day at Number 16 recently.
Fin fish have also been full on with Odie Charles and Brett Illingworth catching some quality Trevally at Portsea as well as some gigantic Salmon at Safety Beach. They even managed a couple of Squid and Garfish at Schnapper Point in Mornington.
Just a whisper, but word has it that some rat Kingfish have been sighted in Canadian Bay at Mount Eliza. Don't tell any-one!!!
Next meeting of the Southern Freedivers Spearfishing Club will be held on Wednesday 7th December at the West Dandenong Football Club. (Greaves Reserve. Bennett St entrance - 8:00 pm start.) Come all. For information, call Brett Illingworth on....0439881958.
|Chris Burke the one and only Mako Man off Mount Eliza.|
Next spearing competition will be held at Cape Schanck on Sunday December 11. Meeting time is 8:00 am.
What a great country we live in. With top sport and table fish on our doorstep we should all be very proud and count ourselves lucky. Next time you are on the water, slow down and take it all in!
Until next time, safe fishing and free diving.
|The big fish are on the chew. Charlie Micallef with a good size snapper taken on the mud out from Rye. The fish took a silver whiting.|
| Russell Bennett with a good catch taken at #16 on the Mornington Peninsula.|
|Savage Seas Adventures Fishing Guide enquiries at Savage_seas@hotmail.com or (03) 9435 4314