A major difference between Indented Head and most other areas of Port Phillip Bay is that it has small inshore reefs mixed with grass beds. Boats dominate the fishing scene and a dual boat ramp with mooring jetty is sheltered from southerly sea breezes that blow in the afternoons. The ramp is relatively shallow and best suited to boats less than 6 m. Weekends and holidays often see the ramp crowded and during peak times, queues are common and parking spaces at a premium.
One reason the area is popular is the Prince George Bank. Covering an area that runs 5 km north and west, and 3 km to the east of the ramp, the Prince George bank is an extensive area of seagrass meadows interspersed with sand. Regarded as one of the bay’s prime grounds for King George whiting, it regularly produces catches of other species including pinkies, calamari squid, sand and yank flathead, snook, garfish and leatherjacket.
At the northernmost point of the bank is the Prince George light, now marked simply as PG. At the light, the bank drops off on to reef. The edge of the reef can produce snapper while the heavy areas are good for big leatherjackets. There is a kelp bed hard in against the inshore side of the light and then Dead Mans Reef runs for half a kilometre west from the light towards Portarlington. This is popular with anglers trolling for snook.
Indented Head isn’t just a small, table-fish port. Anglers who want bigger fare will find snapper and gummy sharks once they cross the bank and move over deeper water. Two kilometres past PG light and you are in 20 m of prime gummy shark and snapper water.
Even when whiting are down in numbers around the bay, they are often encountered over the Prince George Bank. You don’t have to travel far as most of the grass bed areas can produce whiting. A favourite early-season snapper spot is Grassy Point to Steeles Rocks, north-west of Indented Head. Between the mussel farms and the shore, about 600 m out, a reef produces good numbers of snapper in October.
Anglers need to pay heed to the cardinal marks. In a line due east of the cardinal mark (two black balls) is shallow reef, so slow down and steer clear. Little Governor Reef, closest to the ramp at about 300 m offshore, is dry at low tide. Between Little Governor and the ramp, there is about 4 m of water. Governor Reef is a top spot for calamari squid.
The most consistent area for King George whiting is the Cabbage Patch (GPS: S38.06.285, E144.43.175), which is in about 10 m of water. Seven Hills (S38.06.871, E144.44.627), also known as Black Shark, is the widest reef on the Prince George Bank and produces both pinkies and whiting at a depth of about 10 m.