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geelong, corio bay & beyond with geoff wilson
Geoff Wilson
Dated: 29 January, 2013
Sam Quick with the mako shark he caught east of Port Phillip Heads.

Daniel Stranger and Ric Wilson of Geelong Charters and Fishing Trips – along with clients Sam Quick, Matt Chambers, Paul McMurrich, Michael Ozzi and Matthew Locket – were hoping for action some seventeen kilometres east of Port Phillip Heads on Monday afternoon when they spied an impossibly huge dorsal fin several hundred metres distant.

But then they hooked a mako shark of 25 kg or so, which re-focused their attention, But the mako was bought aboard fairly quickly; in fact it didn’t put up much of a fight but just tried to hide beneath the boat.

The mako was followed by a somewhat larger blue shark which behaved in much the same way. However, the cause had now become obvious, for as they could now clearly see, the fin that they’d spied earlier was in no way disproportionate to the massive great White Shark now circling their boat, an event to which they all reluctantly bade farewell at the end of their charter.

Making an early start in 45 metres of water off Barwon Heads on Monday, Adam Tabak, Sean Doyle and Chris Thompson put a saury out for bait under a balloon hoping for a shark.

Unfortunately the mako shark, when it arrived, took another line which it bit through, and became tangled in another. However, it continued to swim around the boat for 20 minutes or after which time it took the saury and eventually greeted the scales for a verdict of 37 kg.

Bellarine Peninsula
Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that garfish made a welcome appearance over the weekend and there’ve been some good ones among them. Add to that the re-appearance of good size whiting among daytime catches, and continued catches of squid, and the fishery down that way is improving, said Rod.

Ranin Qoja, Jarrod Gauci, Idan Younis, and Khaled Younis with a sample of their tuna catch from Portland (Photo Bob McPherson).

Corio Bay
Taking a run of off Clifton Springs on Thursday evening, Simon Werner, son Jayden, and friend Glenn Charles were attracted to a flock of birds working over about six metres of water off the long jetty ruins.

Rigging up with a variety of lures they moved into the area and soon had a Snook aboard. They finished with six altogether, returning to the boat ramp just on dark.

Making a 5.00 am start on Friday in around five metres of water off Point Wilson on Friday, Daniel Stanger and Dennis King had no trouble taking their respective bag limits of pinkie Snapper to 1.5 kg by 7 am using squid and Barracouta for bait.

Launching at St Helens on Saturday afternoon, Gary Espig didn’t have to travel very far to pick up a Snapper of about 4 kg on the first pilchard he put out for bait, but even though he fished till late in the evening, there were no more takers.

Mitch Lee of Bacchus Marsh with a 5.1 kg brown trout from Lake Bullen Merri (Photo Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park).

Lake Purrumbete
Marie Jopling of the Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park reports fishing was good over the Australia Day weekend with Brown Trout the most sought after and photographed species. The largest brown weighed 5.1 kg and was taken by Mitch Lee of Bacchus Marsh on a No 3 Stump-jumper lure.

Barwon River
Neale Walker didn’t have quite as many bass yabbies and shrimp as he would have liked because the wing nut had come off his bait pump and was lost. Never the less he eventually hooked a good size fish which turned out to be a Silver Trevally of about 1.5 kg, but alas, no bream.

Werribee South
Gary and Maria Warren sent in a photo of their six year old granddaughter Charli with one of the flathead that won her a major prize in a flathead competition conducted by the Werribee and District Anglers Club over the weekend. Fishing with Grandfather Gary, it turned out that Charli’s share of their catch weighed 7.5 kg which was enough to claim the heaviest bag of flathead on the day.

Down Portland way, Bob McPherson reports that some good catches of Southern Bluefin Tuna were taken over the Australia Day long weekend. Among those to return with the prized bluefin were Ranin Qoja, Jarrod Gauci, Idan Younis, and Khaled Younis.

Bob said that the tuna, which were up to 30 kg or so, were caught in different areas including from 40 metres of water just out from Lawrence Rock, and in 70 metres of water off Cape Nelson.

Also present, said Bob, have been large shoals of Australian Salmon ranging in size up to 4 kg and sent in a photo of a 3.8 kg specimen taken by Karl Kassab.

Steve says
I read about the boy’s shark encounter while spear-fishing in your column of January 24. Well the same thing happened to me the following week while spear-fishing under the Alcoa Pier. I was stalking bream in crystal clear water less than two metres deep, when at a distance of no more than 1.5 metres I found myself staring into big black eye of a huge shark as it swum across my path. It’s my first such experience in 15 years of spear-fishing.

Thomas Kitchen with his 8 kg snapper from 70 metres of water off Portland.

Steve; large female sharks come inshore to have their young during summer, January in particular, and Corio Bay seems to be one of their favourite locations to do so. Over the years there have been some notable encounters such as yours, thankfully with no unfortunate outcomes. Never the less, my position has always been to create awareness of situations such as yours which may, at least, save somebody from a heart attack.

You may contact me on or send reports to

Karl Kassab with a 3.8 kg Australian salmon taken off Portland.

Chas Harris with a southern bluefin tuna taken off Portland.

Charli Warren 6, with a sample from her prize-winning catch of flathead.

Sean Doyle and Chris Thompson with the 37 kg mako shark that they took off Barwon Heads on Monday (Photo Adam Tabak).
Geoff Wilson Fishnet Pro Angler
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Fishing reports may be sent by e-mail, or mail to Geoff Wilson:
PO Box 384,
Geelong 3220.

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