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 normally slipping under the radar amongst all the other fishing to be done over the summer months, there have been some ripper gars about. While a lot of anglers overlook them as a target, the beauty of them is they can be caught land based or boat. Most of the shallow inshore areas of both bays and all of our other estuaries will hold gars, it's just a matter of getting numbers of them to hang around. A bit of berley normally gets them going and they are a brilliant eating fish to add to the day's bag.

Pier fishing for gars in the bay has been good around Brighton, Sandringham, Beaumaris, Frankston and Dromana, along with Stony point pier in Westernport. Gawaine Blake has been catching some real gars around Stony Point while out near the whiting grounds.


Don't be fooled, gars CAN be very tricky to catch consistently and the correct tackle and technique will soon separate the full buckets from the empty ones. Delicately balanced and weighted floats with mid length shank hooks are some of the tackle 'must-haves' but matching hook to bait selection and the correct consistency berley mixture is also vital. 


Customer Tim has been getting some good gars from Frankston pier recently. Tim used both maggots and silverfish in conjunction with his berley mix to secure a bag.


 


For many of the famliy-based fishing over the holiday period, piers can provide some fun for the kids and adults alike. At almost every local pier you can find fish like salmon, pike, trevally and mullet. Bait fishing on the piers can be effective but lure fishing can also get you into some fish. At the moment the salmon schools are fairly good along the eastern seaboard with fish popping up from Black Rock all the way down to Dromana and Blairgowrie. 

Customer Ryan was in the boat out from Mordialloc recently where he caught some ripper salmon within casting distance of the pier. Ryan found the fish to be moving about a bit so trolling covered the ground needed to locate them. Deep trolled hardbodied lures got most of the fish when the schools went down, with lures in a pilchard blue or purple/silver colour getting the most bites. Customer Ange was fishing the pier landbased earlier this week where he was catching a few fish on bait, with this big snook coming aboard the pier on 6lb leader. Snook like this are always a shot when on the pier, especially when fishing small paddle tail soft plastics.

 

Port Phillip has heated up in terms of snapper activity. Up until recently the majority of bites were coming from the northern end of the bay, but now things have picked up of Carrum through to Black Rock. Customer Steve a nice 5kg fish out from Black Rock in 19m of water on silver whiting during the week.

 

Customer Ben took his father out during the week where they got into some nice school sized snapper off Carrum. Best baits were pillies and silver whiting. We have been noticing that the bite on silver whiting is much better now than it was around 10 days ago, especially out from Carrum.

When the snapper are more actively hitting harder baits like whiting they are a better target for lures. Customers Harry and Stephan were out earlier in the week where calm conditions made for some tough fishing. The boys could find fish marking but they weren't super keen to eat. On the way back in they found a small baitball and threw some small pilchard patterned flutter jigs around it to see if any salmon were about, but they ended up with a couple of nice school sized snapper. It pays to try more than one method when you're out there!

While there are still fishing going early morning, the late afternoon bite is quite good in Port Phillip even so into the night. Customer Peter fished out in 18m of water straight out off Carrum and caught fish from 3 - 5kg during the afternoon into the early night. Silver whiting and pillies did the job. Customer Chris also did well after dark out from Beaumaris during the week, where he caught fish to nearly 7kg on pilchard.

 

While normally a more consistent feature for land based fishing during the cooler months of the year, the past week hasn't been too shabby for squid fishing. The squid size aren't huge, but they make for some awesome bait or a good feed.

Staff member Dylan has been fishing from the shore around Brighton, Beaumaris and Sandringham where size 2.5 jigs have been the standout. Yamashita's 'Aussie' edition whiting pattern has been good, along with Shimano's glow tiger prawn. Size 3.0 Clicks jigs have also been good with their slightly slower sink rate too. 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the last thing some people might about during the winter months of the year is landbased fishing - some of the best fishing from the shore can be had at this time of the year. The winter months can be interesting while fishing from the shore with some species preferring calm, stable weather and others fishing best during the roughest weather that we get. With the recent rough onshore weather that Melbourne has experienced there will be some snapper roaming about close to shore. Of course standing on the pier or rocks when it's 8C and facing a 20 knot westerly wind isn't always easy - but these are the sort of conditions when your chances are the best. Customer Tony fished recently after a big front and was successful in catching a ripper snapper from the shore. Needless to say the location isn't really rocket science, but it is more about picking the conditions to target these fish. Tony managed this ripper fish on some freshly caught squid pinned to a 5/0 Owner SSW hook, on 60lb leader.

If you'd prefer to fish from the pier when the conditions are a bit more friendly - then garfish are for you. These fish prefer less rough weather and have been pretty good this season from all of the normal haunts including Beaumaris, Mordi, Frankston, Seaford and Frankston piers. Customer Kozi fished Frankston pier recently and caught a few during the run in tide. Zealcol fine grit berley and silverfish worked the best for him. Staff member Don also got a good haul of gars recently further down towards Blairgowrie. Don found that maggots and silverfish both worked well but the key was definitely setting up a good quality berley trail to bring the fish in and keep them around.

Further down towards the bottom end of the bay the squid fishing has been good. Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea piers have been producing quality squid both during the day and after dark. A good selection of jigs in the 3.0 - 3.5 size range is crucial down here, as colour/foil and running depth will determine whether you have a good day or a quiet day. Customer Kozi fished Portsea pier just recently and did well during the run out tide on size 3.0 Keimura jigs with red foil. Staff member Don also fished from the pier and caught some nice sized squid on red foil Haramitsu jigs in size 3.0 and 3.5.

 

Port Phillip Bay has really hit it's straps over the last few weeks on the snapper front. The temperature of the bay has risen to the hover around the same as bass strait and this is the trigger that really sets the snapper off. Over the last few weeks there have been fish caught all over the bay, from 10m through to 21m. At present the more consistent areas seem to be the 17 - 20m ground out from Mornington - Mordialloc, with the deeper parts out towards P2 in the north of the bay producing fish as well.

Baits of all sorts have been working with scad, whiting, saucy, cuttlefish, gar, salmon, couta, pilchard and squid all producing fish  - but that being said it is very wise to take a selection and definitely make sure there are some pillies and squid in that mix, along with pilchard and squid scented berley pellets. There have been too many fish caught to list each and every one, so from here on we will let the pictures do the talking. 



 

Squid fishing around the bay has been good recently for anglers from the shore, kayak, or in the boat. Most of the usual haunts are producing squid, from one side of the bay to the other. There have been some nice squid coming from the top of the bay around Altona and Williamstown, as staff member Ian found out. Ian fished over the weekend with mate Bruce in search of a few squid and possibly a snapper. Ian fished in various locations from Williamstown to Altona and down to St Leonards, with squid coming from all locations. Various jigs worked best, including size 3.0 Gesolas and Yamashita Sutte-R. The most successful depths were around the 4m mark, with the ultra shallow too glassed off during the day. After catching their squid, Ian and Bruce moved out a bit deeper in search of a snapper, but with no avail. They did however land a few good sized flathead and salmon on snatcher style rigs fished with fresh squid. 

Along the southeastern side of the bay, staff member Kozi reports some good numbers of squid coming from Bighton, Beaumaris and Mornington piers. While Brighton can be a bit patchy, darker coloured jigs work well when there hasn't been too much angler traffic along the pier. Staff member Dylan has caught some nice squid to around 1kg from Beaumaris during the week, with dark coloured Yoshikawa jigs in size 3.0 working the best.

Australian salmon have been thick in the bay at the moment, with schools being caught along both east and west sides of the bay. Customer Ryan reports that Beaumaris bay through to Sandringham has been boiling with fish to 2.5kg on some days. While the salmon may not be visible some days, they are more than likely working 'deep' and harassing bait schools that aren't on the surface. Ryan has been out in his kayak and has found a few patches of fish pushing bait towards the surface, where he has been smashing a few with soft plastics. Whitebait imitation soft plastics in the 2 - 4" size have been dynamite, especially in white/pale yellow/pink colours.

Further down along Frankston and Seaford there have also been salmon working along the shoreline. Staff member Kozi has been down on more than one occasion and has done well on fish around 1kg on flickbait style plastics around 3" in length. Days with a strong southwesterly wind have brought the fish right in close to shore.  

 

It might sound funny that the days are starting to get warmer and, coincidentally so are the snapper reports. The increase in sunshine slowly warms the water temperature, to the point where the snapper will feed for longer. At the moment, the temperature along the eastern side of Port Phillip is hovering around 14.5 - 15C, which is starting to fire the snapper up. The fish will generally go from a very short and fickle early morning bite to hitting the baits with more gusto as the month rolls along. Towards the end of the month we will see more frequency in their bite windows, with morning and afternoon sessions seeing some action. Customers Peter and Matt went out from Frankston earlier in the week in search of a red, and the morning bite saw them land 2 nice fish at 65 and 67cm. The guys were fishing out along the 16m line, and their pilchard and fresh squid head baits both went off at around 7:30am.

Staff member Dylan went out on Friday morning with customer Dave, in search of a couple of reds on the plastics. Laucnhing from Mordialloc, they fished out around Ricketts Point and Beaumaris Bay to land a nice fish of 3.2kg, amongst a heap of smaller fish. Best depths were 6 - 9m of water, with small plastics working much better than large offerings. Zman grubs and jerkbaits in the 2.5 - 4" size have been good, as there are lots of schools of small baitfish around. With lots of small baitfish in the bay, the snapper have been opportunistic - feeding on this bait. Because of this, a lot of school sized fish have very sharp, pointy canine teeth, as you can see in the photo. If you're bait fishing, make sure you beef up your leader to at least 60lb - and 40lb up if using fluorocarbon.  

 

Most anglers fishing Port Phillip at the moment are seeing red. Pinky snapper are very prolific at the moment and are being caught in just about every corner of the bay. The better areas have been around any reef structure but these fish will also cruise around over sand and mud if the food is there. The hotspots recently have been around Williamstown and Brighton through to Beaumaris Bay, and then again from Frankston through to Mt Martha. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has found the fishing for pinkies excellent over the last month, with some nice fish caught again this week. James is having no troubles finding fish in the 40cm size range for his customers - with the odd fish up around 1.5 - 2.5 kg finding the baits as well. James says that constant moving has been the key to finding active schools of fish, and having a good supply of baits has been helpful as well. Baits of salted pilchard along with squid and cuttlefish have been excellent, especially when fished lightly weighted on 2/0 circle hooks. More often than not they are smashed before they hit the bottom. 

While there have been plenty of smaller fish about, there are also good numbers of better sized 'snapper' between 4 - 7kg that have been roaming about. Not as many anglers have been targeting these fish, but they are around. Mt Martha, Carrum and Williamstown are good areas to search, with baits of pilchard or fresh squid.