Perfect cod for anglers

April 06, 2018

Adamas Fishing Charters' Rod Laqwn with a beaut 20kg kingfish hooked off Point Lonsdale on a knife jig late last month. Kingfish are still being caught at Narooma and off Flinders Island.

Give yourself a big pat on the back, we have gone through Easter with no fatal road accidents.

Sure there were a couple of minor prangs but on the whole a great outcome.

Fishing around the region went as predicted by my Anglers Almanac; good to great with plenty of cod being caught as well as a swag of yellowbelly.

The Goulburn fished as good as I have seen it for a while and some great fish were landed including a metre-plus monster caught by a lady angler from an undisclosed location.

It took her and two female friends some time to bring the big fish to the bank to be photographed and then released.

Lake Mulwala was another hot spot. One angler (a window cleaner) and his friends pulled in 18 fish in one session on the water, all but one being undersized, and all were released in what he described as a great day of fishing.

Best baits were the usual suspects — chicken, cheese, yabbies, shrimp and worms as well as a variety of lures.

The journey to the north-east was also worth the trip with anglers reporting plenty of trout, both brown and rainbow, being caught at Dartmouth as well as in nearby rivers and streams including the upper reaches of the Mitta River near the Blue Duck Inn.

A mixed bag of redfin, trout, yellowbelly and an occasional cod were taken at Lake Eildon, although finding a spot to fish among all of the ski boats took a bit of wangling. As expected, camp sites and other accommodation were at a premium.

Up north

I had a quick chat with John Liddell at Eden and he said Mark, from Freedom Charters, was still heading out despite having his foot in a moon boot following an ankle injury. He has a couple of exceptional deck hands to help with fishing and handling the boat.

John reported it had been one of the best snapper seasons along the inshore reefs since the fish traps had been removed.

He said there was plenty of fish, and the size of snapper being caught was impressive.

John said large-sized flathead were being taken along the sandy bottom between the reefs as well as morwong and an occasional run of kingfish.

The best locations were off Boyd’s Lookout and near Green Cape. Best baits were fillets of mackerel and squid as well as soft plastics and knife jigs for the kingfish.

Off the shelf it was all go, with marlin still being caught and tagged by anglers on the game boats.

There was also an occasional southern bluefin tuna among the catch, making for some added excitement for the lucky anglers who managed a hook-up.

At Narooma, Graham Cowley said it was bedlam during the Easter break, with all camp sites and accommodation booked out as too were the fishing charter boats.

He said there were plenty of reports of bags of snapper and flathead as well as kingfish.

Off the shelf, the marlin activity was going full steam, with anglers using skirted lures as well as cubing for them.

Graham said his son Nicholas had tagged a number of fish.

He said he, too, came across an occasional tuna, but the yellowfin were not due for at least another six weeks.

Down south

At Queenscliff, Rod Lawn and Peter Smallwood are still going gangbusters on snapper. Plenty of pinky-sized fish are being bagged off Barwon Heads and the submarine dive site off Point Lonsdale, which is also the spot where some kingfish have been taken.

Rod said salmon was being caught in the rip during the runout tide, trolling white occy-style lures. Whiting and squid were among the grass beds in front of the cottage and near the mouth of Swan Bay.

Peter was also bagging plenty of flathead on the sandy bottom near the edge of the shipping channel off St Leonards inside the heads.

A trip to the bay was also productive with snapper off Hastings and good-sized gummy shark biting towards evening near Phillip Island.

Best bait was fresh salmon or trevally fillets.

It is gummy shark paradise off Flinders Island, according to James Luddington.

He said jumbo-sized flathead were being caught when they could get to the bait ahead of the gummy shark.

James said it was one of the best seasons for gummy shark he had seen for a number of years.

He was also catching kingfish and salmon around the smaller islands near Lady Baron and Chapple Island.

James said it was coming to the end for his fishing season as the number of anglers was starting to dwindle.

He said it was the best weather for fishing at present and anyone making a fishing trip to Flinders Island would be in for a good time.

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