Weekly FIshing Report 10th December 2012

Summer holidays are all about family, fun, rest and relaxation. Fishing is this and so much more to many people, whether you’re a serious angler, or a weekend dangler Melbourne’s South East has so much to offer. 

 Fishing crosses generations and gender lines making it Australia’s number one recreational past time. So here are a few tips on where to get a feed of fish, from blue water sport fishing adventures to casting a fly at trout it’s time to get the rods and see all that the Mornington Peninsula is about.

Boaties: For those venturing out on boats it’s fair to say snapper are the number one target. Snapper are best targeted from Mt Martha to Carrum in Port Phillip Bay and Cows to Warneet in Western Port Bay. The best times to get on the “Reds” are first and last light and the change of tide.

Best baits are squid, silver whiting, pilchards, red rockets and garfish. Best locations are between 16 and 21m of water. I always fish a running sinker rig for snapper and I never use a wire trace, 1-2meters of 40-60lb monofilament is fine. Another summer hit with fisho’s is the highly prized King George Whiting. Anglers chasing whiting find success from Warneet, Yaringa, Tyabb, Stony Point Balnarring and Somers in Western Port Bay and Rosebud to Mt Eliza in Port Phillip Bay. Best baits are squid, nippers, mussels, sandworm and pippies. Best results come from fishing the weed beds and reef edges in 4-6 meters of water. The best rig is a running sinker rig for slow moving water or a paternoster rig for fast water. A size 6 to 4 long shank or wide gap hook your best bet for hooking a whiting.

For those wanting to put some calamari into the pan, then Flinders, Cat Bay, Tyabb Bank and Somers are the hot spots for some giants in Western Port, while the biggins are also found at Portsea, Sorrento and Pt Lonsdale in Port Phillip Bay. These big inky critters are best tempted with fresh silver whiting or size 3.5-4.5 prawn imitation jigs.

For those after your normal run of the mill models of squid try Hastings to Warneet in Western Port Bay and Mt Martha, Mornington, and Mt Eliza in Port Phillip Bay. These areas are best fished with a size 2.5 squid jig tied directly to your line. My best tip is have a variety of different colour jigs, but as a rule expect bright jigs to work best on bright days and dull jigs to work best on dull day.Another Victorian favourite is flake and there is no better flake than gummy shark.

If you’re in search of a gummy shark the best places to try are West Entrance, Cows, Hastings, and Boucher and Boulton channels in Western Port Bay. As for Port Phillip try the Channels off Rye, Rosebud, and Sorrento or the deep water off Mt Martha and Mornington. The best baits for gummies are fresh squid, garfish and salmon as well as cured eel. The best rig is a running sinker rig with a pair of size 6/0 hooks tied to a 60-80lb monofilament leader. My best tip with gummies is to use burley and be patient, the gummy shark is a hound shark so they find food with smell, so there is no point burleying up a place for an hour only to move. The best time for a gummy is 2 hours either side of the tide.

Over the last 20 years squid and more importantly calamari has come off the bait table on onto the kitchen table. For those wanting to put some calamari into the pan, then Flinders, Cat Bay, Tyabb Bank and Somers are the hot spots for some giants in Western Port, while the biggins are also found at Portsea, Sorrento and Pt Lonsdale in Port Phillip Bay. These big inky critters are best tempted with fresh silver whiting or size 3.5-4.5 prawn imitation jigs. For those after your normal run of the mill models of squid try Hastings to Warneet in Western Port Bay and Mt Martha, Mornington, and Mt Eliza in Port Phillip Bay. These areas are best fished with a size 2.5 squid jig tied directly to your line. My best tip is have a variety of different colour jigs, but as a rule expect bright jigs to work best on bright days and dull jigs to work best on dull day.

For those with a boat that want to hit the blue water the Peninsula has a few hidden treasures. King fish can be found off the ocean bommies from Barwon Heads to Kilcunda. The best method is to trawl lures or baits using 15-24kg equipment. For those in search of a toothy, mako, blue, whaler and thrasher sharks are on the cards if you “chum up” in 40-80meters of water in Bass Straight. Bass Straight also holds some great bottom fishing for flathead, school and gummy shark, some of the hotspots include Flinders bank, Rye and Phillip island.

For those without out a boat that want to hit the water you have a couple of different options. You could venture out on a hire boat and do things at your own pace and in your own way or you could join a fishing charter. For those on a hire boat, this time of year in Port Phillip Bay snapper are the number one target, however flathead squid, whiting, salmon and garfish are also common captures. In Western Port, hire boats target Gummy shark, whiting, elephant fish and flathead with great success. Contrary to popular belief you don’t need a boat licence to hire a boat and and with prices starting at about $130 for a 4 person boat for four hours it’s also a very cost effective way to get the family on the water!

This time of year fishing charter boats target many different species. From sharks to snapper and flathead to squid there is sure to be a charter operator out there to suit your requirements. Prices range from about $50 to $150 per person depending on the type of fish targeted, boat and number of people on board.

For those that prefer a land locked option surf, rock, pier and fresh water are all on offer.
During the hot summer months surf fishing is a very popular option. The surf beaches at Portsea, Rye, Gunnamatta and Point Leo are great for salmon during the day while at night gummy sharks and even a mulloway is a possibility. The best tip is to fish the deep gutters and rips. These areas are the region where the least amount of wave breaking occurs (white water). Try and fish an hour either side of the tide or on sun rise and sun set. For baits try pilchards, blue bait and pippies during the day and salmon, squid and pilchards at night.

The best rig for general fishing is a two dropper paternoster rig with a size 4 star sinker. I fish a surf popper on the bottom dropper (to keep those pesky crabs away) and a size 1/0 hook on the top.Fishing off the piers can be a great family option as well as a very productive one. The greatest advantage of the pier is that there is no sand and more importantly you wont get sea sick! Popular piers include Flinders, Stony Point, Frankston, Rye, Portsea and Mornington. If you’re in search of squid and whiting, Mornington, Flinders, Portsea, Sorrento and Stony Point are where to head. If it’s Snapper that get you going then Morinington is your best best bet with Stony Point and Mordialloc also an option.

If it’s a feed of garfish or salmon that you’re after give Rye, Rosebud, Mornington and Frankston a go. For fishing the piers the best baits are squid, mussels, pippies, prawn, sandworm, blue bait and silverfish. My tip is to fish with fresh baits and remember that not all the fish are caught off the end of the pier. Rock hoppers: For those that like their rock fishing try the cliffs at Hearn and Ian roads in Mt Martha, Linley and Schnapper Points in Mornington are also worth the effort. Fishing these locations anglers regularly catch squid, garfish, salmon, whiting and snapper. The best baits are squid, mussels and garfish. The best times are first and last light.

When rock fishing use bomb or snapper sinkers as these are less prone to snag, but if you can get your hand on some spoon sinkers then these are premium. While the peninsula offers many ocean rock platforms these are dangerous places and ones that I would not recommend for the beginner.

For those that like the ambiance of creeks and impoundments the mornngton peninsula now has more options with the opening of Devil Bend. Stocked with Redfin, rainbow and brown trout and with rumors of black fish, eels and marron this newly opened public space is a sure winner! Offering fishing platforms and other facilities this is truly a family friendly fishing option. If its a bream you’re after both Balcombe creek and the Patterson river a worth a try! Most popular methods are bait fishing with prawns, however soft plastics are a genuine option for those more adventurous or wanting to avoid “bait fingers”! My number one tip in freshwater and creeks and rivers is keep your fishing gear as light as possible. Hook size should be a size 6 to 2 with my preferred hook pattern being a straight shank bait holder, the best rig is a running sinker rig with about 40cm of 6lb monofilament trace, or a lightly weighted bubble float with the trace set to just above the weeds.

Put simply it doesn’t matter your level of experience there is a holiday fishing option to suit everybody. So grab the rods organize the crew and get on the water this holiday season, who knows you just may catch that fish of a life time while you further strengthen your bonds with friends and family!

So till next time play it safe on the water.
Tight lines and calm seas

Paul Pingiaro

Managing Director
Mornington Boat Hire, Bait & Tackle Pty Ltd

Schnapper Point Boat Hire, Mornington, Port Phillip Bay. www.fishingmornington.com

Yaringa Boat Hire, Somerville, Western Port Bay. www.westernportboathire.com.au

e: spbh@bigpond.com
p: 0417 551 373

Jonny from Yaringa Boat Hire