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Thursday, January 20, 2022
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Fishing Report: November

As we continue our spring fishing in November, there are a few more species who are beginning to grow in prominence. The Snapper season continues to rage on and as we covered in last month’s edition squid will continue to remain prominent. 

When it comes to fishing in Queenscliff this month expect to see the boat ramps and jetties getting busier as it becomes apparent that Greater Geelong won’t be going back into lockdown (fingers crossed). As these sites start to team with life both on and off-shore, let’s take a look at what our fish of the month is.

FISH OF THE MONTH: Yellowtail Amberjack

This very popular and highly prized gamefish supports significant commercial and recreational fisheries throughout its range.

The Yellowtail Amberjack is a large active fish with a slender streamlined body. Its body narrows down into a strongly forked tail. The biggest to be caught on record is 2.50 metres (weighing in at 96.8 kg). More commonly they’re caught at 1 metre in length. They may reach up to 12 years of age.

In its early stages it’s not uncommon for this species to form large schools of even several hundred.The smaller Amberjacks are fairly rare to see as they prefer to live quite a distance offshore.

To avoid being seen by both predators and their prey, the adult Yellowtail Kingfish will have developed a specific colour pattern. On the top half they are green and blue, while being near white on the bottom, with a very distinctive yellow line between. 

WHEN AND WHERE TO FIND THEM:

Usually found in depths between 0 to 50 meters, the Yellowtail Amberjack has also been recorded at levels below 300 metres. 

Adults often form large groups around the deeper parts of reefs and the rocky outcrops in coastal areas. Anywhere you can see pinnacles and offshore islands will be a good place to start. If you don’t have access to a boat then your best spot for onshore fishing for this species are the bays and harbours around jetties and pylons.

In the last 20 years they were rarely found in Victorian waters outside of Port Phillip Bay. However recent studies and statistics have seen increased numbers in central Victorian waters near Port Phillip Heads.

WHAT EQUIPMENT:

This species is an active predatory carnivore. The majority of their diet includes small fish, squid, cuttlefish, crabs and prawns. If we keep this in mind when selecting our lures and baits, we’ll have a better chance of catching them. 

If you’re fishing with baits any decent sized live bait-fish can work. As they’re not a particularly fussy fish, any type of runner type baits should work well. 

As for lures, they love metal jigs. If you are able to use chum to encourage them to the surface, they have also been known to take a variety of topwater and subsurface lures including jerkbaits and plastics.

It’s recommended to use conventional gear with 50lb braid lines or more. This species doesn’t have teeth so wire leaders aren’t a must have.

THE RIGHT TECHNIQUES:

This species pulls very hard for their size. Take care if you’re not pulling on big fish, as you could run the risk of getting ripped along by these big beauties. They’re renowned fish who love ‘bricking’ anglers, meaning they’ll sink with as much force as possible when they’re hooked, so be prepared.

It’s recommended to target them by dropping your baits and lures at the bottom or at whatever depth they happen to be. Alternatively, they can be coaxed to the surface with chum.

SUMMARY:

With Melbourne most likely coming out of their lockdown you’ll see Queenscliff get a bit of a tourist rush, which is great for businesses and the region in general. Even though this might mean your local spot might be busier it’ll be great to see the town busy again. Keep enjoying what spring has to offer and good luck with your fishing!

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