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geelong, corio bay & beyond with geoff wilson
Geoff Wilson
Dated: 12 March, 2012
Steve Mantzaris with his catch of whiting from Queenscliff.

Bellarine Peninsula
Whiting have been on offer at Queenscliff, and you don’t need to go far to catch them. Among those to find them last week was Steve Mantzaris who took a bag limit catch during last Thursday evening’s ebb tide.

On Saturday and Sunday, Steve O’Keefe and Daniel Stranger aboard Geelong Fishing Charters and Fishing Trips, found plenty of whiting for their clients in 12 metres of water just a few hundred metres off the harbour entrance; they too had no trouble taking respectable bags of fish.

Launching at Indented Head on Friday, Jeff Richards and Steve Carr caught all of the squid they wanted over the Prince George Bank and there were some good size specimens among them, along with a couple of cuttlefish.

A little further out toward the Prince George Pile from where they were fishing, a disturbance in the water caught their attention.

Motoring over to investigate, they found pilchards rippling the surface as Snook rounded them up, some leaping from the water as they did so. Needless to say the pair were soon rummaging through their tackle boxes for suitable lures.

They caught 14 Snook altogether, including a couple approaching the 3 kg mark before their most effective lure, a Rapala X-rap, was lost to a large specimen beside the boat.

Jordan McLean of Melbourne Storm with a 26 kg bluefin tuna from Portland (Photo Bob McPherson).

On Sunday, Jeff and long-time fishing partner Chris Hateley, fished the West Sand between the Coles and West Channels off St Leonards for whiting. Here, from 12.30 in the afternoon, just as the incoming tide picked up, the fish came on and they took 25 beauties using cuttlefish and pipi for bait.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea boat hire at Indented Head reports that as conditions improved on Friday and over the weekend, clients took some very respectable bags of flathead to 45 cm or so on the drift along the edge of the Prince George Bank.

Jack Oliver with the 15 kg squid the crew found floating off Portland at the weekend (Photo Bob McPherson).

Corio Bay
Early last week, Andrew Phillips, George Urahnas and Zlatko Henry, found whiting off Avalon but had to keep on the move because it was seldom long before those undersize pinkies in the bay at present, found them.

Eventually, they not only caught their bag limit catches of whiting, they also came across a patch of legal size pinkies of which they each took a bag limit catch as well using pipis and squid for bait.

Making an early morning start in around 5 metres of water along the Wilson Spit last week, Daniel Stranger found a good patch of pinkie Snapper to 55 cm, three of which he kept releasing others.

Daniel said the bite was fast and furious while it lasted, but it was all over by 7.30: Baits used were squid and pilchards.

Last Thursday afternoon, Steve O’Keefe took a run over to Lake Elingamite near Cobden where, using mudeyes for bait, he caught three trout; two browns and a rainbow. They were all just short of a kilogram and not quite what he’d hoped for, so he retrieved his boat and went to Deep Lake near Derrinallum, arriving in the evening.

Casting from the bank with an offering of Berkley Powerbait in chartreuse, he caught a Rainbow Trout of 1.2 kg so he decided to stay the night and launch his boat come morning.

Not a bad move as it turned out because he caught two more rainbows of 1.2 and 1.5 kg.

Kevin McLoughlin with his 144.8 kg bronze whaler from Portland at the weekend (Photo Scott McKenzie).

Down Portland way, Southern Bluefin Tuna have made an appearance, but from all accounts most are well out in 700 to 1000 metres of water toward the South Australian border. It was here that local angler Stephen Atkinson caught several and released others last week.

On Sunday, Bob McPherson, along with Glenn Green and Jordan McLean of Melbourne Storm, also found fish to 26 kg in much the same area.

On the water off Port MacDonnell on Monday were Matt Grgic, Darren Pavic and Rob Rovis, all hoping to connect with buefin tuna. While they couldn’t find any bird or obvious fish activity they did have a couple of blind strikes in 400 and 800 metres of water which resulted in two fish of 20 kg each both taken on skirted lures.

John Bennett of Bairnsdale with his 125 kg striped marlin from Lakes Entrance (Photo Joe Costoso).
With the tuna a little slower than they would have liked, they broke out the bottom fishing tackle and electric reel, and in 450 metres of water they caught a couple of respectable gemfish which should go well on the plate.

Lakes EntranceFollowing Joe Costoso’s magnificent Blue Marlin a couple of weeks back, other marlin have been taken in the same general area.

On Monday two more were added to the tally when John Bennet of Bairnsdale caught a Striped Marlin of 125 kg while fishing with Rick Ziarkowski aboard “On Strike.”

Jake Walsh caught another stripie of 135 kg while fishing with Brian Walsh and Luke Richards, all from the Gippsland town or Moe, aboard “Too Easy.”

Fishing in 90 metres of water off Portland over the weekend were Jason Hoeskstra and Morgan Hunt who hooked a mako shark, which unfortunately escaped.

The following day they were joined in much the same area by Kevin McLoughlin and Scott McKenzie who offered up a squid under a balloon on 24 kg game fishing tackle, also hoping to snare a shark.

They didn’t have long to wait before their bait was taken and Kevin was hooked up to a Bronze Whaler that kept him busy for some two and a quarter hours.

Eventually though the shark was subdued and put on the scales at Portland for a verdict of 144.8 kg.

Fishing with Chris Dwyer out in 600 metres of water of Eden on Monday were Nathan Lewis and Mario Gazdovic who were hoping to snare a blue trevalla or maybe a hapuka or two.

Mario Gazdovic's broadbill taken off Eden on Monday from Chris Dwyer's boat (Photo Marijana Peric).
Now it does take a while for the baited hooks to get down that far, even with an appropriately large sinker attached, However, when Mario’s line came to a shuddering stop with only about 450 metres of line off the reel, they suspected a Thresher Shark had taken the bait the bait on the way as this had happened before. That’s what it felt like anyway.

As it turned out, the culprit wasn’t a Thresher Shark this time but a 64.5 kg broadbill swordfish that surfaced some 200 metres from the boat and was eventually subdued.

Tony asks:
I am coming down to Geelong at the weekend and plan to do some land based fishing; so where are they biting?

Tony, I suggest trying off the rocks at St Helens where pinkie Snapper have been taken lately. You can cast out from the reclaimed land and watch your rod from the car. Mind you, early morning and evening are the best times for this exercise.

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