The weekend and past few days has seen a heap of anglers out making the most of the calm weather, with quite a few out targeting squid in both bays. Early spring is a popular time to be out squid fishing and many anglers will be out starting to collect baits for the looming snapper season.

Land based there have been plenty of options, with virtually all of the bayside piers running clear and cold. Customer Joh and friends fished from Beaumaris pier over the weekend and although the flat, sunny daytime conditions were almost too good - they scored some 'normal' sized squid for here. Size 2.5 and 3.0 jigs are the go, with red foil/pinks working well at the top of the tide in the bright sunlight.


Customer Emmanuel took the tinny out for a run in Westernport's top end in search of some squid - and some nice models were found. Drifting the mid depth sections of quail bank was the go, with a bright pink and orange jig getting the job done. Again flat water and clear conditions the brighter colours are standing out.

Customer John fished with his father and sister out from Hastings to score some ripper squid over the weekend. John's sister Alexandra scored her personal best squid with a ripper from along tyabb bank.


John and his family have now got some good meals and early snapper baits sorted!

 

 

 


The garfish have been about in pretty good numbers over the last week or so, and withe the calmer weather the past few days many anglers have been making the most of these tasty fish. While they have, and are about along virtually all of the eastern seaboard of the bay, there have been a few 'hot spots' the past couple of days. The locations worth having a look while the weather has been calmer have been Beaumaris, Frankston and Mornington. Mornington has been the most popular location of late, with a plethora of anglers flocking to the 'small' pier and inner harbour to catch a bag - with some fish up to the 40cm mark.


Staff member Don has been catching numbers of gars from Mornington and Frankston piers. Don has been using small silverfish as the main bait, with a mixture of float setups. The float and bait size will vary on how the fish are biting - and the honest info is make sure you have the gear to change up when required.

Berley, and fine 'mist' style berley is a must. Unless you like watching others catch around you! Berley is what will keep the school hanging around, while the correct hook pattern for your chosen bait is equally important. A mixture of different weighted floats is the other critical bit of gear, and some days your heavily weighted float will only dip or roll when a fish bites, and will prevent you from setting the hook. The difference between slight gear and rig modifications is a full bucket!

 


In amongst the rough weather, there still have been some nice squid caught. The trick has been to fish the shore where the wind hasn't been smashing against, and try to avoid the dirtier water. Lately areas like Beauamaris have been sheltered from the northerly winds, along some of the shore from Somers to Flinders has been worth fishing also. Customers Jo and Cipto fished Beaumaris during the week to score a good bag of squid. The boys found that white and green/red jigs worked well for them in the cleaner water.


Speaking of the Flinders region, customer Damien scored a cracking squid from the pier during the week. Damien found the water clarity to be quite good so persisted with a bright 'chartreuse shrimp' colour in the new Owner Draw4 series and he was rewarded with the big squid. Brighter colours like chartreuse and pink/purple are normally good options to try in cold, clear water for larger squid.

 


Many land based anglers have been making the most of the pinkies lately with no shortage of excellent eating size fish about. Just about any pier, beach or rockwall along the eastern side of the bay with some reef nearby is worth having a look at, especially after a few days of strong westerly winds. Customer Steve has been getting a few around the traps with fish to 45cm pretty common place, and ideal for the plate!


Customer Kien has been making the most of the large numbers of pinkies that have been about over the winter. Kien has been fishing Victoria Harbour or the 'Docklands' for his fish, with many fish around 40cm landed and some larger up to 2.5kg. The most effective bait has been the humble pilchard, fished on a running rig. Heavier leader has been useful when fishing the harbour as there are many barnacle encrusted posts and objects for the fish to break off against.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been having some fun on the school sized pinkies out in the bay. James has found the numbers of nice table fish to be very good, with plenty of happy customers taking home a feed of fish. Most of the larger fish have been found out from the reef a bit further, as the big schools normally hold tight to the reef for cover. Having a quality sounder to locate the small patches of fish is vital, and once found smaller baits of pilchard and squid on 2/0 sized hooks have been deadly.

While it may not seem it yet, snapper season is just around the corner. There have already been some scattered reports of solid fish around towards the southern end of the bay. Most of the southern land based spots - Mornington Pier, Mt Martha Rocks will be worth fishing from now on - especially for a 'trophy' fish. Regardless the fish aren't far away, so it's the time to get your gear organized for the season.

 


The bread and butter species like gars and squid have been good in spells of clearer weather over the last week or so. The usual pattern seems to be salmon and pinkies during rough weather with dirty water, and then once the water clears up and wind drops out the squid and garfishing is much better. Picking the conditions to suit will better odds on your chosen species. If it's gars you're after, then the main hot spots have been Beauy, Frankston and Mornington piers. Fishing in a bit shallower at these locations is normally the preferred area for the garfish as they become easy prey once out of the shallow's safety.

Fishing small pieces of silverfish and prawn has been good, so long as your float setup is correctly balanced and your berley is fine particle rather than chunks. You want the fish to swim through the 'mist' and become hungry rather than eat the big pieces. Staff member Dylan fished for gars earlier during the week where some real chunky fish were caught on small pieces of peeled prawn. Dylan didn't have the correct gear on him so where he caught one others would catch two. Being prepared for small changes in conditions will see you stay on top of the fish.


On the squid front things have been good for customers getting out and making the most of the breaks in the weather. Customer Long caught his bag of squid from the boat down the bottom end of the bay with smaller 2.5 jigs working the best. Long found that the shallower water was holding the small baitfish and numbers of squid after a recent rough front that passed through.


The piers around the southern end of the bay have been the most consistent performers recently as well. The only real weather that seems to affect these piers are days of rough onshore northerly winds, but even then the strong tides shift the clean water back into place quicker than the top end of the bay. Customer Cipto has been catching some nice squid from Sorrento pier and has even found a trevally or two hanging around. Cipto has been finding natural shrimpy greens and blacks have been the best performing jigs colours.

Customer Steve has also been catching some solid squid from the southern piers. Steve has been catching some proper squid but he has had to work hard for them. Constant jig changing and equal persistence has been the key to coming home trumps.

 


There has been no shortage of Aussie salmon around this winter, and they show no signs of letting up yet! The numbers and size of the fish recently has been excellent, with fish around 1.5kg nice but not out of the ordinary - and average fish anywhere from 600g to a kilo. For anglers looking to tangle with some salmon but not drive to the beaches the piers have been holding schools during onshore winds. South-westerly and Westerly winds have been what to look for, and areas to concentrate around have been Brighton, Beaumaris, Mordialloc, Patterson River, Frankston and Sorrento. All of these locations have been fishing well the schools have been moving about as the baitfish move.

Customer Cipto fished Sorrento pier recently while there were some large fish moving about, with fish to around 2kg hitting the pier. Cipto found soft plastics were doing the best when the fish were a bit cagey, with lead weighted stickbaits also working well when cast a long was out the back of the schools.


For those keen to walk the beaches, the really hot beaches at the moment have been Gunnamatta on the Peninsula and Venus Bay in south gippsland. Staff member Don and mate Jack fished Gunnamatta recently during a run out tide where they caught a heap of school fish on lures. 40g Metal lures like the Yakamito 'angry baits' were the most effective, especially when fitted with flashy assist hooks.


Customer Mark has been down at Venus Bay most weekends and has been learning the movements of the fish as the weeks have gone on. Mark has has mostly successful trips, with excellent numbers of fish to 2kg, and some larger fish earning their freedom. Mark has been catching fish on both bait and lures, with bluebait being the pick when fished on dual hook paternoster rigs. The top dropper has been deadly with a surf popper and 'bungee grub' on it, and the bait on the bottom dropper.

 


Dirty water earlier during the week hampered the squid activity for the start of the week, but as it has rolled on the water conditions have cleaned up and the squid have come back on. The northern end of Port Phillip has been patchy but will hit it's peak before Friday's forecast rain. Along the peninsula Mornington pier has been a bit murky but the squid have been there to be caught. A few anglers have reported squid to around 300g coming from both the main pier and inside on the small pier.

Staff member Don fished the small pier during the week where he caught a few decent sized squid on size 2.5 jigs. Rainbow foil was the go during late afternoon light, with a few others catching on orange jigs also.


Down south the piers have been the most consistent, with again Sorrento and Portsea the pick if conditions deteriorate. Across at Flinders the water clarity has been a bit murkier but clearing up, and the squid are active.  Customer Take fished the pier for the first time targeting squid and he managed a nice one at around 600g.

Customer Lilong fished over at Sorrento for an afternoon session to land squid up to 35cm hood length. Water clarity at the pier was good and while there weren't many squid caught, the ones caught were quality. Yamashita Pyon-Pyon search jigs were the most effective, attracting squid in with their rattle and subtle kick and they drop.

 

 


The calm weather we've been receiving bayside has been great for doing a spot of gar fishing. The normal trend around the eastern shoreline piers is garfish during calmer weather, and salmon disrupting all this when rougher conditions push their food withing herding proximity of the shoreline. The gar hot spots of late have been anywhere from Brighton to Frankston, with Seaford and Frankston the two more popular options. Silverfish and small pieces of prawn have been good baits, and as usual fine mist berley is key - if you're not packing a good berley you may as well stay home!


Customer Stephen has been down at Frankston trying his luck on the gars and has found some quality fish. The fish were feeding right up high in the water and unless you adjusted your rig to suit you wouldn't get a bite. Stephen used silverfish on a size 12 hook with a finely weighted small 'aaa' float equipped with chemical light to see the subtle bites.

Being able to see the smallest movement in your float can mean the difference between landing now fish and getting a few on the pier. Adding or removing shot to your rig to get it to sit perfect is paramount, and one of the reason we go on about certain float setups so much!

 


Most anglers don't realize but the winter fishing for both pinkies and snapper can be excellent. While numbers of fish aren't as thick as say October, the rewards are certainly there for anglers braving the cold conditions. There have been fish scattered all over the bays bu the real hot spot for numbers of fish has been the top end of Port Phillip. The reefy areas from Black Rock further north right up into the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers have been the better spots to focus on.  Most of the fish have been from 35 - 50cm but ththere have been much larger fish about.

Customer Maresi caught a ripper fish from Lagoon pier recently under the cover of darkness. Not much details are known about the capture but either way landing a big snapper sure beats staying at home!


The typical schooling size fish from the Docklands region have been on the chew lately, with both bait and lures getting bites. Productive baits have been pilchard and salmon fillets, fished on twin snelled 1/0 hooks. If you are able to cast baits like this unweighted you will be much more successful, as the fish will aggressively take the bait as it slowly wafts down. The same can be said with soft plastics - heavily weighted jigheads might gain extra casting distance but they all snag up much quicker and don't attract as many bites on 'the drop' like lighter weights do. Small 3 inch grub and paddletail style plastics are proving very effective at the moment, especially through the afternoon into night.


Customer Ryan has been catching plenty of fish in the 40cm size range from the Docklands and nearby piers, on both lure and bait. Ryan's more successful bait lately has been small strips and fillets of Australian salmon, which have also been plentiful.

Customer Jake has also been catching quite a few good sized pinkies while chasing bream in the metro rivers on lures. The lower sections of the Maribyrnong and Yarra have been holding good sized schools which have been responding well to worm style soft plastics. As these schools have been moving with the tide, having a depth sounder capable of locating them without too much fuss s the best way to maximize your fishing time.

 


The Australian salmon have turned up this autumn and were quite prevalent throughout the rip and lower end of the bay over early autumn, but are now making their presence felt around the rest of the bay. Good schools of fish have been moving about and can be found around most prominent points and estuary mouths, especially during some rougher onshore winds and rain. The eastern side of the bay has seen good numbers of fish around Frankston and Mornington piers and Mt Martha rocks during westerly winds, with the average fish varying from just under a kilo to about 1.5kg.

Frogleys Offshore representative Gerry has been catching some big fat salmon down around the southern end of the bay, with larger fish to 3kg having no problems inhaling 100mm stickbaits, plastics and hardbodies. The larger fish seem to stay down the bottom end of the bay and if you're lucky they have been turning up around Blairgowrie and Portsea during the flood tide.


The salmon pier along the local piers has seemed to be more consistent around first and last light, so if you're at one of your local piers during these times, it's worth having something rigged up and ready to go. During high winds and rough water metal slugs and slow jigs have been good, but without hardware alterations you stand the chance at losing fish. Calmer conditions call for small subtle soft plastics so it pays to keep both on you.

Staff member Dylan has been catching fish to around a kilo from Morinington and Mordialloc piers, and along the rivermouth at Patterson river. During rougher conditions metal lures like the Yakamito 'angry baits' have been excellent, with small but strong assist hooks fitted to prevent shake offs. So far Dylan has not lost a single fish, so with the assist hook set up hook up rate is the very best it can be at 100%.


The beaches both locally and further afield have been producing good numbers and size salmon also. The producers at the moment have mainly been down the east coast with Gunnamatta, Kilcunda, Venus Bay and further around Lakes Entrance the pick. Customers Mark and Darren fished Venus Bay beach no.1 last week to land a swag of fish with some pushing 2kg. The boys found that once the berley got the school in they went off, with the fish biting like crazy right into the night on whole pillies.