By BRIAN LONG
FANTASTIC conditions over the long weekend attracted massive numbers of boats onto the water, with a many reports of captures as a consequence.
Many anglers chased the whiting, with Queenscliff to St Leonards hosting the best action for many weeks.
Terry McMahon easily caught his bag limit on pippies at the entrance to Swan Bay on first light. Guy Stevens also fished Swan Bay for a bag-limit catch in only 90 minutes. A shift out to deeper water soon produced a nice bag of flathead as well.
Troy Martin and James Miller drifted the edge of the Coles Channel where they caught flathead as well as over a dozen whiting and three snapper around 1.5kg.
Salmon kept anglers busy around The Rip area. Many shoals were holding deep, requiring the use of a downrigger, which soon had the O’Toole brothers constantly hooking up on salmon to better than 1.5kg.
Kingfish reports had been limited until Tony Fitzgerald and Stan Toll fished wide of the Portsea Hole last weekend, catching five fish but only keeping the largest, a 4.2kg specimen. Slow trolling with white Slug Go lures was the successful method.
Squid remained viable as long as they were targeted at first light. Grassy Point and Point George were consistent but the shallows of Hermsley were probably the best, with small natural-coloured jigs catching plenty of squid.
Graham Shorten drifted the spoil grounds off Leopold with soft plastics, catching a variety of species featuring snapper, flathead and pike. Graham’s largest snapper was 3.1kg and his longest pike over one metre, with Gulp turtleback worms in the Pumpkin Green pattern working best.
Salmon continued moving throughout Corio Bay, making them at times difficult to locate. However, they were found consistently around Alcoa Pier at first light and close in at Bird Rock in the evenings, with soft plastics taking the most fish.
Jake McManus trolled deep-diving lures off Bird Rock where he was into some big pike. Slow trolling the shallow grass beds of the bay at this time of the year will always produce quality pike.
Colin Carter caught over a dozen pike in three sessions while fishing land-based from the rocks at North Shore. Colin used small metal baitfish lures to land fish up to 85cm along with three salmon that he estimated at just over 1kg.
Paul Jeffries cast soft plastics from his kayak to catch pike, salmon, snapper and flathead around the boat moorings between Eastern Beach and Royal Geelong Yacht Club. Late in the evening around high tide was best.
Surf anglers caught plenty of salmon from the rock platforms just past Lorne, especially when using lures around high tide.
Nathan Priest fished the Barwon River near Queen’s Park where he found plenty of small redfin. Soft plastics worked better than hard-bodied lures, especially when worked extremely slowly.
The area between Fyans Park to Ceres has been the most productive local stretch of the river for redfin, with late afternoons the best time to fish.
Michael Evans continued putting in plenty of time at Wurdee Boluc Reservoir, which understandably rewarded his with the best results. Big redfin have been caught at the reservoir early morning or late in the evening, with smaller specimens biting during the day.
Lake Toolondo again produced the best trout fishing in the state. All methods worked but drifting mudeye out under a float was best in bright conditions, with anglers landing fish better than 2kg.
Many local anglers travelled far and wide over the long weekend, including Geelong fly expert John Mole who went all the way to the wilds of Tasmania. He did it rough but managed some outstanding fishing, with his best rainbow trout estimated at over 5kg.
Tackleworld staff member Chris Pitman fished the estuary at Nelson where he caught bream and mulloway on a mix of vibe and bibbed lures.
This weekend’s tides should be ideal for salmon from the surf between Lorne to Wye River. The two hours either side of high tide should be best.
Send reports and photos to at email@example.com or visit Brian at Ray Long’s Fishing World, 105 Shannon Ave, Manifold Heights.