Bottom’s up for fishing offshore

THE KING AND I: Chris Pitman with a kingfish caught offshore around this time last year.

On the Bite, by Chris Pitman

Glassy conditions Sunday saw Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula’s boat ramps cop a workout.

Mako sharks were high on the agenda offshore from Barwon Heads, with anglers drifting in 50m to 70m of water finding reasonable numbers.

Bottom-basing with baits was the way to go while waiting for a shark, with snapper to 6kg on the chew.

Kingfish were at times elusive but when they switched on all tactics worked, including casting 100mm to 140mm stick baits into the surface commotion.

The Barwon River estuary offered plenty of small Australian salmon, silver trevally and mullet all along The Sheepwash. Keen anglers also caught mulloway further up the river.

Queenscliff’s Bell Reef and main pier fished well land-based for squid. Larger jigs in size 3.5 worked best.

Queenscliff Harbour produced silver trevally at high tide. Soft plastics rigged on 1/6oz jig heads landed the most fish.

St Leonards’ whiting numbers increased, especially in the Bourke St area on a reasonable tidal flow.

Swan Bay slack tides fished well for flathead and garfish. When the tides began running whiting came on the bite.

Clifton Springs produced mixed bags of flathead, whiting and squid, while pinkie snapper to 3kg were in excellent numbers on the nearby spoil grounds.

Pinkies were also thick inside Corio Bay, where the odd large black bream was also taken.

Warrnambool had a fantastic run of bluefin tuna just out from the boat ramp, while the Hopkins River hosted sensational bream fishing on bait and lure.

Trout began popping up again at Lake Purrumbete where good-sized browns were taken on Tassie Devils trolled along the east bank.

Next door, Lake Bullen Merri’s Chinook salmon responded to bait fished down deep, with the average fish about 1.2kg.

Redfin continued hitting spinners along the Barwon River. The section of river up from Breakwater offered the biggest fish.

Next week should be good for casting soft plastics around the Geelong Waterfront and spoil grounds off Clifton Springs for pinkies and maybe even something a bit larger, while kingfish would remain a solid option off Barwon Heads. Freshwater anglers should head west for trophy brown trout at Lake Purrumbete.

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