|mornington peninsula with charlie micallef
Dated: 16 January, 2007
|Phil Stroker with a great looking Mako Shark|
2007 is off and running! With great weather the fishing is off to a great start, so let's do the rounds.
The water temperature is 18º C, and the sharks have definitely arrived. We have had a string of northerly winds and if you pick your window of opportunity the rewards will be there. The Couta are thick and so are the Aero Squid and because of this the sharks have moved into shallower water. Some good sharks have been taken on the 20 and 30 metre mark. Mako, Thrasher, Blue, Gummy, and Seven Gill sharks are there for the taking. Remember to plan your trip according to the weather conditions and have plenty of berley on your boat.
Some small Rat Kingfish have been caught on Charlemont Reef but not in great numbers as yet. This could change over night so keep reading fishnet for news on the Kingfish. Usually this time of year the small Pinkies move to our inshore reefs, but so far they are only in small numbers. Again this could change very easily. There are some great reefs off Sorrento that usually hold the Pinkies. The Salmon are still in the heads but at this time boat traffic can be hazardous so please be careful and show some respect to other boat users.
Down off Cape Schanck the schools of Pike have thickened up and these can be easily found by using your sounder. The King George Whiting can also be found in Bass Strait and are usually good sized fish. The broken ground off Koonya back beach is producing great King George Whiting at this time of the year and in particular February and March. With a strong northerly wind the swell flattens and it is quite safe to anchor up on the King George Whiting grounds, make sure you check it out before you enter in close, as safety comes first.
Fished on Savage Seas Adventures in 40 m of water off Barwon Heads. Conditions were quite good, there was a small swell and it was his first time out through the heads. He found it quite safe in his 7.5 tinplate boat. First fish of the day was a Snapper but unfortunately it spat the hooks. Then we had the traditional fish like Perch, Blue Throat Wrasse, Leather Jackets etc. and then Torch hooked into something big, the way it was fighting it looked to be a Thrasher shark, but unfortunately we will never know. 25 minutes into the fight it broke from the swivel!
Guy ventured to the 70 metre mark with his crew in their 6 1/2 metre Sea Legend to find crystal clear flat conditions. Leaving Sorrento at 7 a.m. they trawled around the rip and picked up some great Couta, Salmon, Aero Squid and Perch. On arriving on the 70 metre mark they threw out there sea anchor and started to berley. The Couta were very thick and made it very difficult to keep bait down. They kept on berleying and three hours after they first arrived they had their first hit, a great looking Mako around 75 kg. They were using a TLD 25 spooled up with fins 30 pound. It was a good fight and lasted three quarters of an hour before they could get the gaff to the shark. When they were fighting the Mako they had up to eight blue sharks around the boat! They will be back for more whenever the weather permits.
Jesse had a crack at the flathead over the Christmas period and found them to be easy to locate using a twin hook rig. They had no problems getting their bag limit. The fish were up to two a half kilos and Jesse tells me that they are fine on the table. Californian Squid was the bait of the day which he bought from the Vic. Market at $12 for 3 kg - good value indeed. Jesse uses his sounder to find the broken rubble and sand and this is where he gets his flathead from. He prefers off Sorrento and the broken ground at Gunnamatta.
|The southern end of Port Phillip Bay is holding some good sized Snapper. |
PORT PHILLIP BAY
The Whiting continue to impress and the Snapper are starting to get harder to catch, however the guys that are using freshly caught Squid seem to be coming home with some good fish up to 6 kg. Simmons Channel and the waters surrounding it have producing great fish over the Christmas and New Year period and should continue to do so.
The boys from Fishooked tell me that some customers who are putting in the time and catching fresh Squid have also been doing well on the Kingfish off Point Nepean. Fishing with leaders up to 3 m and a big ball sinker drifting with the wind seem to be working quite while but only attempt this if you have freshly caught Squid.
On the reefs off Rosebud, Point Nepean and Mt Martha, the Snook can be taken by trawling small Minnows, or half a Garfish. The secret with these guys is not to trawl to fast - the slower the better - totally different to the Couta.
Perfect size small Squid can be taken in the shallow areas straight off Rye in 10 m of water. The water here has been crystal clear so you'll have no problem locating the broken ground where the Squid can be caught.
Portsea seems to be the place for good sized Gummy Sharks. Either side of the channel has been good but particularly the northern side. You'll have no problems whatsoever to get a feed of Flathead as mentioned in the last report the bigger guys love the shallow water, anchor and berley up with chook pellets and tuna oil, then place a Pilchard on a float and wait for the big boys to show up.
The big Garfish have also arrived on the Peninsula. Great fun for the kids and not too bad on the table either, there isn't a fish in the water that will not take fresh Garfish so keep a few for your bait as well.
With the hot balmy nights the Bronze Whaler Sharks are targeted. I have tried a couple of times but at this stage have not had a Bronzie take my bait but hopefully it will only be a matter of time before we here the reel scream off.
|Dale Nissan has been doing very well on the sharks|
Just after New Year, Dale tried (unsuccessfully) fishing the gutters out from St. Leonards for Gummies. He lost a nice one at the boat, bitten off a number of times by strong running fish, using 100lb mono. He decided to upgrade the rigs for the next trip with 100lb plastic coated steel and a couple of snelled 6/0 circles in an attempt to land one of the toothies.
Next trip he took a couple of young fellas with him who didn't have much experience on the water. After the continuous run of Rays and Banjos the action started to hot up around an hour after the start of the run out tide. Something grabbed a big strip of Salmon and headed for Tasmania! About ten minutes later - another bite off, with approximately 150mtrs of line out.
Shortly after another strong running but considerably smaller fish, took one of the baits and after a short battle and some interesting antics boat side they had a small Bronzie on board. This was followed by a Seven Gill Shark at around 20kg and another shortly after of a similar size that they released. The boys finished the day by taking a small Gummy of around 4kg.
Darcy started out wide off Mt Martha and caught a nice Snapper on Silver Whiting. He made a couple more shifts in 22m off Mt Martha and ended up with 4 nice Snapper and then decided to head in and pick up some Squid in close.
Darcy’s mate Wayne ended up catching his first ever Snapper that must have had a run in with a toothy – it was certainly freshly scarred around the tail and head area. Wayne is from Barham and was stoked as he’s used to catching Murray Cod, Yellowbelly, Crays and Carp. It was hard to wipe the smile off his face when he landed his second Snapper.
They fished about 600m off the rocks on their way back in to catch a feed of Squid when the motor lost power. The little 40hp just had no go in her. They stopped for about 10 mins and floated around waiting for it to cool down and then it fired up first go, but not enough power to get her up on the plane. Luckily Jason was in close trying for some squid and he gave them a tow back to Safety Beach.
Darcy has been doing some land-based fishing as well. He fished the Neimur River (up Deniliquin way) for the Cod opening and camped out on his mate’s property. He had a great weekend and caught and released over 30 Murray Cod and a couple of Silver Perch.
|At last a good sized gummy and Michael Toon is a very happy boy!|
Michael has finally done it! After four years of trying to catch a good size Gummy Shark his reel finally started to scream off Mt Martha. He launched at 3 a.m. off Mt Martha with his father Damien. With an esky full of fresh Trevally they were quietly confident of a great grey submarine. They have read the reports, seen all the DVDs but had still not been successful with the big grey submarine. The biggest Gummy Shark that Michael had caught prior to this day was 8 kg. Some would say not a bad effort by Michael wanted something big. The tides started running out and you guessed it Michael heard his reel scream and 25 minutes later the end result was a good sized Gummy Shark.
Richard loves fishing for King George Whiting; he has been targeting the KG off Sorrento at the Sisters, using a combination of Pipi and Mussels. Good fish to 45 cm have been caught; Richard tells me many of his friends are experiencing the same catch of good quality King George. The locals in the area are also excited about the quality of fish that have entered this area and feel that things should improve more in February and March. In the past year the King George in this area have been a bit hit and miss, but Richard has been returning back to the boat ramp every time with a good feed of King George. (good to hear Richard!)
Rocco and his wife Julie and son James anchored up in the shallow bay just after Portsea Pier and had a great session on the Garfish. The Garfish at this time of the year are fairly thick and in the crystal clear water off Portsea it is a joy to watch the float go down. Rocco says Julie also fished for some good Flathead at the same time using Blue Bait with a running sinker. They finished up with eight fish 45 cm. The Garfish were caught on Pipi, and they returned home with a good feed of fresh fish.
Ken and crew fished 23 m straight out from Portsea and found a good school of Snapper on their sounder. They tried for three hours to get a bite but the Snapper did not want to know about it. With a tide change coming up they decided to stick it out. This turned out to be good idea, as the fish came on and they finished up with four Snapper; the biggest going 6 kg. The fish hit hard, and also ran hard. This is typical of Snapper in this area using the current. All fish were caught on Squid.
Ian tells me that the Snotty Nose Trevally have arrived at the Fort. Using a fine mist of chook pellets, they managed to bring the fish on. Ian tells me you must use small long shank hooks for hook up as these fish have a very small mouth. Very small pieces of mussel threaded on the long shank will see you get results. Ian also tells me that it's important to keep the line tight as these guys will suck the mussel off the hook before you know it.
|Anthony Camilleri fishnet member acama and the kingfish he caught at Eden.|
The Families of Anthony Camilleri and Ray Saliba ventured to Eden NSW for a 6 night fishing adventure in search of their first ever King Fish. Not having ever fished for the King Fish they phoned me before their trip and wanted some tips. I was more then willing to provide them with necessary advice of how and where to fish for these great sporting fish.
The following is a report from Anthony on their trip:
Day 1: With a fresh SW of 15 to 20 knots blowing we ventured out for our first taste of the Eden waters and headed straight towards Mowarry Point some 12 kms from Twofold Bay boat ramp. On arrival we sounded up and found some good marks at a depth of 28 meters of water. Within 15 minutes of jigging with Williamson Knife Jigs, crew member Shaggy (Shannon) calmly yelled out "I'm On". After a brief struggle a King Fish which was estimated to be 2-3 kgs and just on size (60 cm) was at the boat. The fish was released to fight another day as the boy's were in search of a bigger specimen. Soon after releasing the first fish, crew member Duncan Mackay had his rod buckle over with what looked to be a decent sized fish. This was to be our first keeper, a 3.5kg fish measuring 69cms but still a long way off from the specimen we were after.
The weather took a turn for the worse and the rain and wind persisted for the remainder of the week. During Day 4 of our stay we were able to get out for our second fish of the trip. Although the wind had subsided to 15-20 knots, the rain did not let up. We headed straight back out to Mowarry Point in search of the bigger King Fish and reached our destination at about 8.00am after a bumpy ride out.
We spent about 1 hour trying to sound up some fish but to no avail, so we tried our luck anyway but after 2 hours of no action we decided to head towards some shallow reef areas and tried our luck with a bit of bottom bouncing. On light tackle, the plague of Sweep that we come across entertained the boys for well over an hour before we decided to move on in search of some other variety of fish. For the next two hours we fished light tackle and managed some good size Snapper to 2kgs, Morwong, Giant Leather Jackets and Wrasse and even picked up a few Nannygai.
It was at almost to the minute of the forecasted 4.00pm tide change we notice a large school of fish appear on the sounder, much to the surprise of the crew. After a scurry for positions the crew began jigging with much more enthusiasm and within 5 minutes crew member Shaggy’s (Shannon) lure was the first to get smashed, only to have the fish let go seconds later.
Crew member Ray Saliba was next to feel the sheer power and exhilaration of the mighty Yellow Tail King Fish, but he too lost the battle after a brief 3 minute encounter. The boat was repositioned back over the same trail that we had just come down and as soon as the first lure hit the water Anthony Camilleri was locked in battle with his first ever Yellow Tail King Fish and by the fight it was putting up it was the one we were after. The gear he was using was a Dawia GS9 with 20lb Maxima mono line on a 6 to 10 Kg Ugly Stick, quite strange for this type of fishing but it sure did to the trick.
The fish was at the boat no less then three times and each time it took off like a steam train peeling line out as if the drag system was in free spool even though he had 4 kgs of pre-set drag on the reel. After a 10 minute fight the fish was subdued with a precision gaff shot by Ray Saliba The fish weighed in at 8.2kgs and was caught on a Blue Williamson Knife jig. Minutes after having just placed the fish on ice Ray Saliba was on again, and this time he was determined not to let this one get away. After a 5 to 10 minute battle he had him in the boat, much to the relief of the angler.
Meanwhile back on dry land the better halves were entertaining themselves with a spot of Surf Fishing. Judy Camilleri, Georgette Saliba and Melissa Cilia managed to bag eight Australian Salmon and 12 Yellow Eye Mullet at the Pinnacle Point Surf beach.
|John Triklis with a Northern port Phillip Bay Snapper he caught on a Silver Whiting.|
Northern port Phillip bay with Kingi 69
Welcome to the first report for 2007. It has been a very good start to the season with a few Sharks and a heap of quality whiting kicking about. Of
On a personal note I have had a busy few days booking out my next 2 months. I will be heading to Bermi with Charlie, then off to Fiji in March for 8 Days trying to score a Decent GT or Dogtooth Tuna. I can’t wait!
The snapper fishing up North has slowed although there were a few reports over the last week or so to suggest there coming back on. Most of the deep marks are producing smallish fish from 2 – 3kg. Spoil grounds, P2 and deep off Black Rock is the go. I haven’t been out for the reds of late so I can only go by what the boys tell at the tackle shop.
The garfish are still about in fairly big numbers around most of the shallow reefs. The best areas are behind the willy footy oval and the dead mans stick at Altona. Silver fish is the standout bait.
I don’t know why but the whiting in the northern part of the bay are hard to find. I have had a few sessions but have only raised a dozen keepers to 35cm and these were taken off brighton in 4m of water. On the other hand Mick Jacobs AKA (Stesslboy) has had great success out off Werribee taking bag limit catches of small fish most days. Best baits are fresh pipi and mussel.
Good mate Paul headed to the 18m mark off Mordialloc late last week and took 3 snapper all in quick succession. All fish ranged in size from 1 – 3kg and took pilly baits. Paul said that the silver whiting where getting smashed but he couldn’t hookup.
I had a couple of sessions before the new year chasing the elusive jewfish. We found plenty of mullet but failed to raise a fish but we did manage a good hit late one evening that totally smashed the bait. Ohh well that’s jew fishing!
|Joe and Hayden and a couple of snapper they caught off St Kilda.|
This is where I have concentrated most of my efforts of late. The whiting are is big numbers and I have taken some very good ones. Most fish coming from the middle spit and Tankerton way. The best baits by far are cocktails of squid and pipi fished on a very long leader of 2m. Best depths are 4 -8m on the edge of the drop offs.
Good friend Nick Lazarevski headed out of the Eastern Entrance. He cruised straight out to the 40m mark where he began his burley trail. 4 hours later his balloon took off and sure enough a 80kg mako was the culprit. They fought the fish and boated it after some anxious moments with the flyer. It was there first Mako for the season. Well done Boys.
Brendan wing has been doing extremely well on the King George Whiting of late, And he has been sounding up his Whiting. Lots of fish deeper off stony and tankerton ranging 36-46cm. Reason for going deep is bigger schools and bigger fish.
Pipi mussel, the top bait,And braid is essential for bite detection and hook setting Brendan tells me the run in tide has been working best and four hooks Brendan has been using long shank bait keeper on a paternoster.
|Bille-Marie, admires her dad's catch (Winga) of King George Whiting.|
FREE DIVING AND SPEAR FISHING
With the water temperature at 18.5 in bass Strait and 20.2 in port Phillip Bay many divers are getting out the wetsuit and hitting the water.
And why not ? With so many North winds the visibility in the ocean has been fantastic and the fishing is great as well. Many divers entering the water have been coming out with good catches of crayfish they are one of the most sought after species in Victoria.
Most Victorian spear fisherman will only go for dive to catch crayfish , and only shoot fish if anything decent happens to come along the Mornington peninsula ocean beaches can be very rewarding for the crayfish diver particularly if you see the prices they are fetching in the market today.
Don't think that crayfish are just sitting there waiting to be caught, You have to find the crayfish which is the hard bit, once done so you then need to work out the best way to get them out. Not as easy as it sounds.
The more experienced you become, you will get to know which ledges to look under, this takes a little time.
|Lou Pabappboulos one of the Southern Freediver's, And a BIG! Bull Crayfish!|
Make sure you have good torch and investigate every nook and cranny as you will be surprised where you will find a good crayfish.
Good crayfish can be located in water as shallow as 3 m in fact in areas that have been heavily hit with crayfish pots the shallow shore line works best.
Remember the professionals can't drop their clay pots in close of our coastline because of the big seas so when we have strong northerly wind work in shallow and hopefully you will land a good-sized Cray fish!
Until next time,
Safe fishing and free diving,
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