By Kevin Tyler
Fishing can be like the pollsters that tried to predict the outcome of last week’s federal election: just when you think you know when the fish will bite or not, you are wrong.
They will do the exact opposite and I suppose that is why they call it fishing and not catching.
I told you that, so I could now tell you this.
Earlier this week, I received a call from Rod Lawn who runs Adamas Fishing Charters at Queenscliff.
He said normally at this time of the year he would have relocated to Portland to chase tuna, but for a number of reasons he decided to stay at home, and he had been fishing around the heads.
He said the snapper which had gone quiet a couple of weeks ago had come back on the bite with a vengeance.
Rod said the fish further up the bay were migrating and he was reaping the benefits with some good-sized fish being caught around his neck of the woods.
Snapper this side of Wilsons Promontory usually heads south over winter and don’t return until late October or November when the snapper run in Port Phillip Bay will begin again.
Rod said he was not sure how long the snapper would remain around the region but he added it was now a case of making hay while the sun was shining.
Rod said flathead were biting along the sandy bottom and the edge of the shipping lanes around St Leonards as well as off Barwon Heads and Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale.
He said the calamari around the Cottage were mainly small but the larger sized ones should be around in a month or so.
The whiting and salmon had both gone off the bite and around the mouth of the creek near the ferry terminal he was catching silver trevally.
The report from Western Port Bay was similar although gummy shark were biting in the deeper water near Cowes.
Anglers using fresh fish fillets and small squid were getting the best results when fishing the run-out tide and around dusk.
Around the traps
The fishing around our region has continued to be good, despite the rains of early this week.
Cod are biting in both the Murray and Goulburn Rivers. Bait including cheese, worms or yabbies is getting results as well as spinner baits and hard-body lures mainly in the darker colours.
In the Goulburn, the best spots were around Murchison and Toolamba, but Jordan’s Bend and the Golf Course downstream of the city and even into Reedy Swamp were also fishing well.
In the Murray, I heard good reports from Ulupna Island and around Cobram and of course Lake Mulwala.
Eildon is still the most productive waterways in the region with redfin among the trees, and cod and trout in the river arms.
Trout is caught mainly during early mornings using a fender trailing a bunch of worms and the cod were taking large diving Jackal-style lures.
At Dartmouth, the trout fishing is now starting to pick up as the cold temperatures are bringing the fish to the surface.
While early morning is still the best time, the fish are staying near the top later in the day and a fender with bait or a lure trailing behind it is the best method.
Fishing from the bank is also worth a try and using a float with a mud eye or bunch of worms is a relaxing way to spend some time while you wait for a fish to bite. Both rainbow and brown trout are active although the rainbow trout are starting the annual spawning run and may not be in great condition.
Back to the saltwater and at Eden, John Liddell said it was still quiet off the shelf and most of the action was along the inshore reefs from Boyd’s Lookout to Green Cape.
He said Mark from Freedom Charters was bagging snapper and morwong while fishing the reefs and flathead — some up to a metre — in the deeper sandy bottoms off the cape.
He said some kingfish were also being caught but they were getting harder to find.
At Narooma, Graham Cowley said there were plenty of table fish being caught along the reefs near Montague Island and bags of flathead from the sandy bottom between the reefs.
He said kingfish were still being caught but they were getting scarce at this time of the year although when you did find a school they were visually of the larger sized fish. Graham said when the mouth of the river was too rough for boats to go offshore, there was always plenty of fishing inside the lake with flathead and bream, around the structures such as piers and the oyster leases.