Whittley Boats have a long history of making boats that are family friendly. Well-appointed cruisers have made boating a pleasure for generations of Aussie boaters. Anglers, however, often don’t appreciate the refinement of a comfortable cruiser. We often don’t think twice about foregoing any level of comfort at all if it means that were working in a more ‘fishable’ space.
Summer is done and dusted and what a great season of fishing we have had in the Wangaratta area.
Although the summer began with a very hot period early on, the rains and cool weather that followed gave our catchment some much-needed water and our rivers received a good flush.
Tassie’s late summer months are often our most settled weather. Long warm days can give hours of quality fishing from dawn right through to well after dark. These warmer months can literally make for 24 hours of fishing and using a variety of methods to tackle different parts of the day and night.
After a few tough fishing sessions over Christmas, the whiting have started to show up in better numbers and although the sizes haven’t been huge (mostly in the 32-34cm range) with the odd 40cm one thrown in, I have managed about ten fish on most trips. The top end of the bay around the Tooradin Channel has fished well with some large garfish caught in the same area.
There is only one bad thing about fishing in March – choosing which fish to target! The dreaded weather however has kept quite a number of anglers at bay but when the opportunity arises to head out, there are some very impressive fish to be caught.
The lure of catching southern bluefin tuna is in the veins of the majority of Victorian saltwater anglers these days, and with tuna right on tap just a few hours west of Melbourne, it’s no surprise!
Anglers who fish the Yarra this month will find the usual catches can vary, from carp and eels through to an elusive Macquarie perch or Murray cod. The river should start to cool down a bit over the next month, which can bring on some quality trout fishing higher up. For the moment the aforementioned species are more active.
What a month we’ve had in Portland, with the mighty kingfish appearing, and many anglers achieving results, from 5-6kg fish to monsters close to 20kg, which has made this one of the best seasons in years. Others have been spooled or snapped off, and with some of the gear being used catches may get even bigger.
Warm and settled conditions continued for the majority of last month, treating the bay anglers to some superb days on the water. Some welcome rain arrived during the middle of last month, giving the inshore areas a real shot in the arm, and juicing up the food chain on the inshore reefs. As is the trend during this time of year, evening offshore easterly winds have cleared the inshore and beach areas very quickly, once again making fishing missions during the low light of early morning, late afternoon and evening much more effective.
The peak of summer and early autumn is when Metung delivers the goods and right on cue we have seen an influx of species – with a few additional surprises. Although the bream are yet to turn up, just about every other species has set up in Metung at the moment, including a few large elusive kingfish. The flathead have been very slow to fire this summer, and for whatever reason it may not be a stellar dusky season. The real prime time for flatties is still a few months away so they may surprise us yet.
The Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic is held annually in March. The competition is fished in local estuary, surf and offshore waters between Port Campbell and Yambuk from 12-20 March. Keep these dates in mind if you’re thinking of making a trip down, as there will be plenty of prizes for both junior and senior anglers. If the fishing continues with the excellence of late, the competition should be a ripper.
When you think of Portland, you think of deepwater fishing. Starting with the Lee Breakwater, which gives land-based anglers a great chance to fish depths usually only accessible for boaties. The adjoining deep-water harbour is a great sheltered fishing spot as well. Heading offshore to the famous tuna grounds and excellent bottom fishing that offers a range of tasty deepwater species, Portland really has it all for those keen to target the salty depths.
After months of very little rainfall, recent storm activity has delivered some much-needed precipitation across the local region. A flush of freshwater is just what the Melbourne rivers needed to kick the fishing into gear in the lead up to Easter. For those up for a challenge, early March through to the winter months is prime time to cross paths with a metropolitan mulloway. These once mysterious predators have been in far greater numbers over the past few years. Hopefully the pattern continues and we see many more enter the system over the coming months.
With less boat traffic throughout the Wimmera the fishing has settled down and regained some normality. The lakes are virtually deserted through the week, but see many visitors on weekends as well as ski and wake boats. Plenty of fish have been landed and many released over the holidays with resurgence in redfin populations in Lake Fyans – a thrill for many. Other lakes have continued to suffer a decline in water level, but a bit of much needed rain has seen a couple that looked doomed hanging on by a thread.
The signs are there that March is going to be a great month for fishing, particularly game fishing. At this stage the Easter break is shaping up to be sensational.
Every autumn blows me away with how well the area fishes. Species such as gummy shark, school shark, yellowtail kingfish and southern bluefin tuna have made massive comebacks from previous years. These fish were once myths and whispers, but are now staple fare.
If you had any doubt that the kingfish have returned to Victoria, this last month or so would show that we have a serious kingfishery right here, right now! This is an excellent opportunity, offering local anglers a genuine game fish to tangle with in our local waterways.
March can be an exceptional month to fish the Glenelg River with continued good weather and plenty of fish on offer.
I simply can’t believe it’s March already! Time truly does fly, but on the bright side the end of the irrigation season is looming, and when the lake starts to rise again, the fishing should go nuts.
Huge schools of salmon and tailor have patrolled our coastline, and surf fishing has become a very rewarding pastime. Reports have come in from all our surf beaches of anglers catching big salmon, with some well over 3kg and tailor nearly as big. Baitfishers with surf rods or anglers using light tackle and spinning with metal lures have taken the best catches.
How lucky are we as Victorian’s to have such amazing fisheries around our state. One such fishery that has stood out almost above all others in the last five years, has been the southern bluefin tuna fishery in the western part of Victoria.
With the holiday season behind us, and a lot less traffic on the water the local fishing scene is set to really fire up. With a wide range of species caught locally, it is a very exciting time to be fishing in East Gippsland.
There continues to be some productive fishing in the Bendigo region. Water temperatures are high and fish activity has been good. Water levels continue to fall in our local impoundments, but water clarity remains decent at the majority of locations.
If you’re a regular reader of Fishing Monthly, you’ll remember that we’ve tested a couple of the South Australian built Northbank boats over the past 12 months. Specifically, the 5.5 and 6m versions, supplied by Melbourne Marine Centre.
Ok, so they can put the brakes on the year any time they like! It feels like only yesterday that it was Christmas and now we are rolling into March. On a positive note however, while the months aren’t slowing down neither is the fishing, with the past weeks providing anglers both in their boat and land-based loads of fishing options.
March is the most exciting month for us on the calendar, as there are so many options in the area around this time of year. The trout should start to feed more regularly due to the cooler days and longer nights, and if we get some rain through March that will really help the cause too.
We are currently experiencing one of the best fishing periods in a long time in Western Port, and the variety of different species available at the moment is phenomenal. Whether it’s whiting or flathead, snapper or gummies, it doesn’t matter, everything is biting well!
Local angler Steve McQuinn and company recently launched off Boat Bay at Peterborough to look for a feed of fish to bring home, and they certainly weren’t disappointed. The boys ventured out and anchored up in anticipation of some decent fish. They didn’t have to wait long as two gummy sharks at 15kg and 18kg respectively were quickly boated.
There’s no escaping the doom and gloom surrounding the drought like conditions that are affecting our freshwater scene in the South West, but there’s still an option or two available to sweet water anglers.
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