While most people assume that shore based fishing isn't any good around the bays, there's been a lot of variety caught at the moment. There are many piers, rockwalls and beaches around both bays where you can catch some fish - the trick is to try and target a particular species. While this can sometimes be fruitless (that's why it's called fishing and not catching) you will generally do better if you set yourself up in search of a particular fish, instead of setting up for everything and most likely not catching much.


Around most of the piers in southern Port Phillip and Westernport there have been good numbers of yakkas. While they turn up and disappear pretty quickly, they should hang around for a while now as the reports have only recently hotted up. Portsea, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Flinders are all worth a shot. Customer Angelo fished from Flinders pier during the week and while the squid were quiet for him, the mackerel made up for it. Small pieces of prawn fished on light gauge hooks off a paternoster rig were the go for him. Many anglers have also been catching good numbers of mackerel fishing under a float, as they tend to move about mid-water a lot. A fine grit, coarse-like berley mix is deadly when these fish are around, as it will keep the school actively feeding in your area. They can also be caught using small soft plastics fished on light weight and fine gauge jigheads.


While not normally known for whiting, fished from the shores of Port Phillip can produce some nice fish. Staff member Dylan has seen some good sized fish around Brighton and Black Rock during the week while swimming - with no one fishing for them. Fishing after dark around the top of the tide can be the most productive time, especially after a warm day. Customer Ange fished from the shore around Sandringham during the week where he caught some nice fish. Ange also found a patch of smaller pinkies, which came from a nearby reef to hammer his baits.

If you are chasing the whiting, try and target areas of sand with small patches of eelgrass or light reef nearby, and cast your baits around the edge of this structure, as the whiting will frequently patrol the edges looking for food. If it's pinkies your after, areas of heavier reef with broken sand patches are more productive, especially around last light. There are plenty of areas like around Brighton, Black Rock, Frankston and Mornington.


On the squid scene, things have been good. The warm afternoons have been good for squidding from the beaches and rocks, with Blairgowrie, Mornington and Mt Martha all producing. Customer Harry got out and fished from the beaches around Mt Martha and Mt Eliza, where he caught 8 nice squid using the Yakamito 'fluoro lemon' jig.


Around the same sort of ground off Mt Martha, customer Daniels and Jake fished in close to the shore in their kayak. A nice calm 5:30am start meant they caught prospect around the shallows without much chop and boat wake. The guys ended up with 9 squid in a few hours, on a variety of jigs in both size 2.5 and 3.0. Orange, green and purple colours worked on the day. Staff member Dylan fished in a similar area during the week to land 9 squid on size 2.5 Yamashita and Shimano jigs, with UV based blacks and pinks the standouts.

 


While there are still some crowds around the Gippsland lakes region, the fishing has been very good - especially if you can find a bit of quieter water. The whole region from Sale through Lakes Entrance and out towards Mallacoota near the NSW border has plenty on offer. Flathead, King George and sand whiting, luderick, bream, silver trevally, tailor, pinkies, salmon and prawns are all on offer at present if you're still out towards Lakes Entrance or thinking of heading down that way.

The beaches have been producing salmon and tailor around first and last light, with Eastern beach getting runs of fish to just over a kilo. The prawns have also been around in good numbers if you can find a quiet cove or bay to work, and we're currently just around the new moon so they should be easier to find. Cunninghame arm, North arm, Tambo bay and around Metung have all been good.


Customer Jordan has found lots of variety in his catch lately out towards Mallacoota. Jordan has been lure fishing with mostly 'crankbait' style hardbodies and surface pencils working the best, due to the large number of small 'school' sized king prawns in the estuaries. The sand whiting in particular have been really fixating on the surface lures when worked correctly, and most hits have turned into solid hookups after a few small modifications to terminal hardware. Big tailor to 60cm have also been blasting the surface offerings, along with deeper crankbaits worked through blue pockets and holes.

 


The King George whiting have been receiving more attention over the past month or so as many anglers put away their heavier gear and go in search of these tasty and hard fighting estuary dwelling fish. While Port Phillip has been producing fish also, Westernport bay certainly holds the trophy for being the better whiting fishery. Most of the normal haunts have been producing fish, from the top end banks and channels right through to the back beaches and exposed ocean swell points.

Many anglers are pleased with the size of the whiting coming in, with many fish over 40cm a reasonably common occurrence at the moment. There have been some bigger fish above 45cm taken from the deep channel marks also, so there are plenty of areas worth targeting at the moment.

Customer Torpy got out on the whiting during the week north of Corinella where he landed fish to 47cm in length. Run out tide over a sou'westerly wind made for hard conditions but the fish bit well. Pipi and banana prawns were the best baits. 

Staff member Don fished with mate Sam earlier in the week out from Blind Bight to land fish into the low 40cm mark amongst leatherjacket, yakkas and flathead. The run out tide fished best for them along the middle spit with pipi/squid cocktail baits along with cuttlefish doing the job.

 

 

The Aussie salmon are starting to make their presence felt along most of the beaches at the moment, along with good numbers of them in both bays. While numbers aren't huge just yet, the size of some of the fish has been impressive - with fish to around 4kg confirmed. Customer Ben fished down at Gunnamatta recently to land a cracker of around 2kg from one of the close in gutters. Fish to 2kg are generally a bit more common early in the salmon season, so if you're after a bigger fish now is your time! Once the winter really kicks in larger numbers of fish in the 400g - 1kg size range will be more commonplace. Baitfishing and spinning has gotten results on the fish, with bluebait still a favourite. 

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also found some solid salmon recently while fishing the southern end of the bay. James has found good schools working dense baitballs, with a lot of the fish in the school up around 2kg, and a handful of bigger fish to just under 4kg. These are good sized fish in anyone's book, and they really test the limits on the light gear. Small Yamashita Golden Bait skirts have been good, along with Pakula Micro Uzi's when trolled along the edge of the schools. Soft plastics, metal jigs and flies all thrown into the path of feeding fish will also get a look in. 

 

The local beaches continue to produce some nice salmon for anglers braving the cold mornings. Early morning high tides have been the best bite window, however the fish can be caught all day long if a few preparation steps are involved. To make the most of the fish that move and and down the beach, a good berley mix is needed. If you are fishing close to a good gutter or hole with some quality berley you should be able to catch a few salmon. The key to the berley is to hold those fish in your area for longer. A good mix of pilchards, bran based pellets and some pilchard oil is a good way to start for targeting the salmon on the beach. 

Staff member Chris recently ran a surf fishing trip with some customers down at Venus Bay where everyone experienced some surf action. Customer Shane caught a few fish up to 1kg on bluebait and surf poppers in the blue colour. Keen young angler Luke also got into some salmon and a few mullet in close around the shore wash. The mullet really liked small pieces of filleted bluebait and also pippi.

A bit closer to home, on the peninsula beaches Customer John has been catching fish to around 1.5kg. Early morning sessions staking out the gutters at Gunnamatta have produced some quality fish with lures and bait both doing the trick. Late afternoon sessions flicking small metal slugs and plastics rigged on 1/2oz jig heads can also be a good way to hook up to a few bigger fish down here. Customer Stan recently hit the beaches up and kept a few nice fish for fresh snapper and gummy baits. Blue and red surf poppers tipped with squid and pippi were the most effective.

 

Reports of salmon from the beaches, piers and rocks around the area are still good at the moment. Most of the salmon are averaging around 1kg, with a few either side. Gunnamatta and Rye ocean beach have been good, along with Woolamai, Cleeland Bight, Kilcunda and Williamson's. Further along Venus Bay and Sandy Point have got a decent run of fish as well.

Staff member Chris took some customers down to Venus Bay over the weekend for the surf bus trip where they were met with good conditions. Most of the anglers were fairly new to surf fishing so they appreciated learning the finer art of reading the beach, quickly tying up rigs and the importance of berley and fishing in the right area. The trip saw salmon, mullet and flatties caught from the beach by most of the anglers.

Customer Tim gave us a report from down at Kilcunda earlier in the week, where he said there were plenty of salmon around 700g hanging around in close. Tim was having a ball catching a heap on 25g Searocks in pink and bluebait colours. 

Customer Rui reports that the salmon are thick enough from most of the piers at the moment as well. Rui was recently fishing for squid when he caught 2 salmon in 2 casts on his jigs. 

 

The colder months of the year are the best time for anglers to hunt down some aussie salmon. Salmon prefer the cooler water and during the winter months there is normally no shortage of baitfish such as whitebait and pilchards, along with smaller garfish. Salmon can normally be caught year round, but the more consistent fishing for them is roughly between May and October. 

As for the areas to fish pretty much any section of beach from one side of the state to the other will hold salmon, but some good locations closer to home are Gunnamatta, Woolamai, Kilcunda, Williamson's and further down towards Venus Bay and Sandy Point. 

Customer Erol reports that there have been some nice fish down at Gunnamatta, with some of the bigger fish measuring around 55cm. Erol has found that bluebait and salted pilchards have been doing the job when halved and fished on 2/0 octopus hooks. Erol has preferred the top of the tide especially later in the afternoon. 

There have also been a few fish caught down at Gunnamatta for the lure anglers as well, customer David took his light spin rod down last weekend where he caught 5 fish all around a kilo just after sunrise. He said it was cold but worth it, after catching a few nice fish in just half an hour. David said that metal slugs in 25g with single hooks were the most effective. 

Customer Robert fished Venus Bay beach number 1 last week and said that there were plenty of fish about. Robert's biggest fish came in at around 1.8kg, with most of the others around the 700g mark. Pipi and salted pillies were the best for him. 

As a 'start off' outfit for someone looking at surf fishing or even for using off the piers, we're putting a super special together on these Shakespeare 1202 Vigilante outfits which are going out at just $45! That includes rod, reel and line ready to go and hit the beach!

Another great option for the keen surf angler is this Aerowave/AG6000 outfit - at just $99! That gets you a 12ft Shimano Aerowave medium/heavy glass WB rod and the Daiwa AG6000 graphite surf reel. The reel also has an aluminium spool so if you wanted to spool it up with some braid you could do so. 

If you were just looking for a surf rod by itself instead of a combo, we're running a special on Shimano Aerplus 1202 rods. These are a lightweight 2 piece glass rod that are perfect for salmon fishing. Grab one for just $30 while stocks last!

 

Customer Gary is a keen fisherman from northern NSW who likes fishing for mulloway and luderick around the rock walls and breakwaters of that part of the coastline. 

Recently Gary headed up to the central QLD coast, where he stopped at Yeppoon. Yeppoon is situated just north of Rockhampton and the area has no shortage of bays, creeks and river that hold some nice fish. 

Gary hadn't caught a barramundi so he decided to try around the beaches of nearby Rosslyn Bay. Not long into the session Gary hooked a nice fish about 20m from the edge of the shoreline which started jumping and trying to throw the hooks out. 

After a torrid 35 minute fight, Gary landed his first barra which measured 116cm and weighed around 13kg. Gary caught the lovely fish on a large 180mm hardbodied lure on a Penn spinning outfit spooled up with 10kg line. Not a bad fish for his first! 

 

For the anglers out there who like catching salmon - there have still been a few kicking around even though the water is warm. Most of the usual beaches have produced a few here and there, with Gunnamatta being one of the better beaches for local anglers at present. Fish to 2kg are cruising the beach, with low light periods giving the most productive bite. Further afield there have been better numbers of fish along the beaches from about Golden Beach East.

Customers Vicki, Peter and Quinn fished from Pearl Point beach down near Bemm River in Eastern Gippsland last week where they got into some nice salmon in the surf. Most of the salmon were around the 2kg mark with a few that gave 3kg a nudge - which are chunky salmon in anyone's language. The best method was to fish a paternoster rig with a green surf popper on the bottom dropper, and a bait of squid or pilchard on the other.

Speaking of pilchards, our quality 2kg WA pilchard blocks are just $10 at the minute! Stock up on them, whether they're for berley or bait - just about every fish loves them!

 

 

With a bit of rough weather lately, the shoreline around the Eastern side of the bay has had some nice salmon to be caught. The shore from Mordialloc right through to Seaford has been best for the salmon with small metal slugs doing the damage - and there has also been a few nice bream caught on bait as well.

Customer Robin caught 3 nice bream from the rocks down near Patterson River on soft plastics. Robin was getting pestered by smaller salmon on bait so he decided a change was in order. By Texas rigging a small soft plastic with heavier weight, he was able to slowly work the plastic back away from the salmon which resulted in a couple of nice bream which he released back to swim again.