FAD-tastic summer ahead for southwest fishers
Torquay’s offshore artificial fishing reef welcomed the return of five fish aggregating devices (FADs) last week, with another two to be deployed off Lorne and Aireys Inlet in the weeks ahead.
FADs are large floating surface buoys attached to a long rope attached to the bottom. FADs provide structure in an otherwise open sea and attract pelagic gamefish species popular with saltwater fishers.
“Our FADs program is funded by the Victorian State Government’s $35 million Target One Million plan to get more people fishing, more often, in more places,” Victorian Fisheries Authority chief executive officer Travis Dowling said.
“The five FADS at Torquay are each attached to concrete reef clusters up to four metres high and weighing 20 tonnes. The addition of FADs 25 metres above the reef mean there is more vertical habitat for kingfish, tuna, dolphinfish and trevally.
“The two-year trial of FADs at Torquay saw kingfish captured as anticipated, which is why the trial is being extended and expanded to include two other southwest Victorian locations.
“The two new FADs at Lorne and Aireys Inlet have come about from collaboration with the Lorne Aquatic and Angling Club, which had liked the Torquay FADs and wanted something similar.
“Club members’ local knowledge of the waters and kingfish hot-spots guided the decision to locate the two new FADs off Stoney Creek, north Lorne, and offshore of Aireys Inlet.”
Mr Dowling said FADs are installed during the warmer months then removed to reduce the risk of damage from large winter swells or entanglement during whale migration.
“We’re really excited to hear how the two new FADs perform this summer and look forward to seeing lots of smiling faces with great fish through the holidays.”
The Torquay FADs are above the reef at 38˚ 19.990′ S 144˚ 22.440′ E.
Before the end of November 2019, FADs will be deployed at the proposed locations off Lorne (38° 32.264’S 144° 01.940 E) and Aireys Inlet (38° 29.143’S 144° 09.728 E), when fishing for kingfish along the southwest coast really hots up.
Both Torquay and Lorne Fishing Club members attended the event, and all were impressed by the units themselves as well as the potential to increase their fishing options.
Vice President of the Rusty Anglers club from Anglesea John McKenzie said FADs were a fantastic idea and would love to see at least one of Anglesea as well.
I would also like to remind everyone also to keep those photos coming in of your big catch.
Photos: Please forward them to the email address below, with type of fish, weight, length, location and your name. I am more than happy to place your photos in My Big Catch. Email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you see or suspect illegal fishing activity any time over summer please call the 24-hour reporting line 13 FISH (13 3474)
- Some nice Snapper are now being caught offshore
- Reports of a few small odd flathead offshore
- Some nice gummy shark have also been reported
- Salmon have been caught off the beaches
- A few mullet are also being caught off the ramp and along the shore
Thanks to the Rusty Anglers Angling Club Anglesea
- A few Snapper being caught offshore
- A few small Flathead have also been reported
- Reports of some nice Pinkies and a Gummy Shark being caught in the River
- Local beaches still producing a few Salmon
Reports compliments of the Ocean Grove Angling Club
- Some nice size gummy sharks coming in but no school sharks at the moment
- Plenty of flathead being caught with some nice big ones amongst them
- Recently we caught some and they were spitting out tiny silver whiting that were still alive
- There’s the odd king George whiting about but lots of small pinkies beating them to the bait
- There are still a few big snapper being caught but they are a bit hard to find
- The yakkas have returned but the water temperature is still only 15 degrees
- Plenty of salmon about and heaps of dolphins chasing them
- The pier is still fishing extremely well with lots of salmon, trevally, calamari, whiting and the odd big snapper
Reports Compliments of the Lorne Aquatic & Angling Club
- Reports of a few snapper being caught when fishos can get out
- A few tiger flathead have been reported
- Reports of the occasional gummy shark
- Local beaches still producing salmon
- Spring Creek continues to produce a few bream
Reports compliments of the Torquay Angling Club
- St Leonards is seeing King George whiting, flathead and squid being caught out wide chances of snapper and whiting
- Clifton Springs reports a few good snapper as well as a few whiting and calamari
- Queenscliff is producing reports of the odd whiting, Trevally along with a few flathead and Squid
- The Creek is still seeing a few trevally being caught along with a few salmon
- Swan Bay is producing a few calamari and whiting at the entrance
- Point Lonsdale reports a few nice salmon, trevally, whiting, and a few snapper and squid off the pier
- The White Lady is seeing reports a few whiting, calamari, and occasional snapper
- Indented heads report some flathead, King George whiting and calamari and some snapper out wide
On November 3 we held our 6th and final major fishing competition for the year sponsored by Ken and Chick from Lorne Hardware.
Conditions were calm and we had a pretty good turn up of anglers.
Our reigning club champ Andrew Clarke won with an impressive flathead (3790 points).
Runner up was Kaide Love with a big leatherjacket (2840 points) and a close third was Joel Norton with a snapper (2530 points).
Alby Dawson who was competing in his first ever fishing competition won the Junior section with a nice flathead (2190 points). Alby is the son of club sponsor and local concreter Tom Dawson. It’s great to see the kids out having a go.
The final winners for 2019 will be announced at the AGM where they will be presented with trophies and prizes.
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