Brown Dun | Kingfish swim in the new year

SURPRISE: An angler got more than he bargained for in St Helens last week. While fishing for King George whiting in Georges Bay he instead hooked a kingfish.
SURPRISE: An angler got more than he bargained for in St Helens last week. While fishing for King George whiting in Georges Bay he instead hooked a kingfish.

Many anglers have reasons to remember when last year ended and this new one began.

Big news down East at St Helens is the return of kingfish to Georges Bay and brine outside, including around Elephant Rock.

Their arrival last week was heralded by an angler after some of the King George whiting still in the bay.

He received an abrupt but pleasant shock when briefly hooking a kingfish instead.

Presently popular for kingfish are jigging and spinning with plastic lures.

While many small bream are also in Georges Bay, so are tailer and big trevally – and although Australian salmon are patchy along local beaches, they remain plentiful in the bay.  

In the North East, boaters who set out from Bridport last week returned with 20 sizeable flathead they hauled aboard on bait fished near Ninth Island, known locally as Twenty Day Island. Then trout anglers will welcome good news from Lake Sorell, where carp have been very active inshore thanks to warm water and rain.

Using many methods, Inland Fisheries Service officers have therefore been able to remove 69 carp since September 1. In contrast, 228 carp were removed in 2016.

Along with the current high number of tracker carp compared with wild carp, this total of 69 reflects how critically small the carp population has become.

No wonder IFS officers are determined to do all they can into the New Year to make the most of this increased inshore activity by eradicating as many carp as possible.

All those trout anglers looking forward to Lake Sorell reopening will certainly wish them well.

The rebuilt Lake St Clair boat ramp has a new walkway designed to shelter it from northerly winds.