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.

 


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.

 


Not that many people realize, but the snapper in the bay have been worth fishing for whether you're landbased or from the boat. Winter sees some snapper hang around, but many angler associate Spring with snapper fishing. At the moment there aren't as many fish about as in Spring, but they are generally good size and there to be caught in you're willing to target them. Many of the piers along the Eastern side of the bay have been worth a shot, with customer Kong claiming a nice 4kg fish for himself just a few nights ago from Mordi.


The piers with heavy reef nearby have been the go, as the fish will graze over the reef and onto the sand and mud nearby during rougher weather, especially during the night or low light periods. Piers worth a look at the moment have been; Mordialloc, Beaumaris, Black Rock, Brighton, Kerford Road and the multiple structures at Williamstown and right up into the Yarra itself. If boat fishing is more your thing, the extensive reef from Ricketts through to Brighton has been good, along with Victoria Harbour, or better known as 'Docklands'.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has recently been having a ball on school sized snapper and pinkies from Black Rock all the way north to the docks. James has gotten stuck into the schools of fish that have been hanging about in the harbour, with fish to 4kg coming out. Baits of fresh squid or small pilchards have been excellent when fished on smaller 2/0 suicide style hooks and very little weight.

 


While conditions have been favourable earlier during the week the squid fishing has been very good. Calm Autumn afternoons coupled with very good water clarity have had the squid going well around most of the local land based haunts. This time of the year the shallow mid-northern reef sections of Port Phillip tend to start firing as the water temperature cools down from it's Summer heat and that's where a few reports have been coming from. Most of these areas are quite shallow and littered with heavy coffee rock and reef, so picking the correct jig to suit is as important as having your rod with you.


Customer Ismail has been catching some nice squid from both Beaumaris and Black Rock jetties. Ismail has been fishing the Daiwa size 1.8 squid jigs and having success with them in these spots. These smaller more finesse jigs work well in shallow reefy areas because they tend to sink a bit slower than most small jigs, and their small profile can accurately represent the many small shrimp and baitfish on the reef. Just make sure to run a bit lighter leader strength when using these small jigs, as heavy leader can kill their 'dart' and action, and make the squid a lot less interested in them.


Staff member Dylan has been catching some squid from the shore of the bay. Dylan has been fishing around Brighton and has found some decent sized squid for the area. Dylan has been finding the late afternoon bite has been sporadic, but best around the top of the tide. Otherwise into the night the squid have been foraging over the shallow reef and sand, with one particular squid caught after casting to spraying baitfish almost right on the beach! The more productive jigs have been luminous or '490' glow Yamashita models with coloured overcloth, in size 2.5. Shallow sinking size 3.0 jigs have also caught a few the slightly smaller profile has been good when the bite is a bit slow.


From around the same area staff member George has been getting a few squid also. George has been using some larger jigs with good success but keeping them above the harsh reef can be tricky, especially if they sink a bit too fast for the area. Red foil and also natural yakka and baitfish patterns have been getting the bites, with a few larger models coming off the sand patches close by to the reef. A common theme with this form of rock squid fishing is changing jigs very often, so having them in an easy to reach squid bag is a must, along with quick-change spiral clips for effortless jig swapping in the dark.

 


While the reports haven't been coming in thick and fast, the land based action at this time of year can be excellent. Depending what you want to catch and how far you wish to travel, there are normally plenty of options.

Down along the shores of Westernport customers Matt and Brendan have been having fun with some nice table sized gummies. The areas such as Stockyard point and Tenby point have been good as has the Somers region. Freshly caught salmon, pike, yakka or squid has been excellent, otherwise pillies and frozen squid or cuttlefish have also been doing well with fish averaging around 4kg. Tides will depend on location you choose, as you won't be able to access some areas on high tides, others you will want to fish as the tide reaches it's peak.


The surf beaches have started producing some numbers of salmon, with no huge schools present at the moment but as always the larger fish seem to come through before the smaller school fish do. Peninsula beaches such as Gunnamatta and St Andrews have had some solid fish to just shy of 2kg, with early morning or late afternoon high tides the hot times. Bluebait and squid have been the best baits, but there have been a good number of fish caught on unbaited 'flasher' style rigs and surf poppers. Remember whenever you fish the beaches these types of rigs will stand out to the fish much easier than a normal rig, and increase your chances of a bite.

Customers Mark and Darren fished the beach down towards Venus bay, which has been producing better numbers of smaller school fish. The guys fished beach no.5 where they caught salmon to just under a kilo, and a couple of flatties to around 35cm. The guys found that bluebait and pipi were the best baits, with a number of fish taking the red surf popper also.


The pinkies have been fishing very well from most of the shore based locations around Port Phillip bay recently. The many rock groynes and points, along with the piers have had schools of fish anywhere from 25cm through to around 3kg. Fishing first or last light is the prime time to catch a few, but right through the night they have also been fairly active. First light has seen some better sized fish come through, with customer Sergio catching some lovely fish to nearly 2kg during the morning.


Sergio has been fishing a few different locations around the top end of the bay, with nearly all of them producing fish. He has been finding pilchard or salted mackerel fillets to be the best baits lately, with pinkies, flathead and small gummies all taking the same baits.

 

 

 

It seems squid fishing has been very popular over the last week, with people either catching them for quality baits or keeping them for a quality feed! Customer Tony fished out in Westernport recently for a mixed bag session but also did well on larger squid. Tony found that the killer jig for the day was a size 3.5 Yamashita in colour R35, which nailed most of his squid including some rippers well over 1kg.


Customer Ismail has been fishing with a few mates landbased around the bay as has been doing well on the squid. The guys have been concentrating around the Mordi - Black Rock area with good numbers of squid hitting the planks of the piers. The calm conditions have seen smaller jigs working best, with size 1.8's killing it at the moment. Most of the squid around this region tend to fish a bit better from Autumn into Winter so we should expect some good fishing yet still.


Customer Brendan has been doing well on the squid the past few weeks, but also managed some thumper cuttlefish. Over the last week there have been quite a few cuttlefish and octopus caught by anglers fishing deeper or over the thicker kelp beds in the southern areas of both bays. Brendan managed the big cuttlefish in 30m of water out from Flinders with heavily weighted jigs fished just above the reef and kelp. The most effective colour on these cuttlefish was a blue back/rainbow belly jig.


Another deepwater cephalopod capture this week was a great big octopus from customer Dennis. Dennis 'the menace' was fishing around the heavy kelp beds and reef around Portsea when his float rig went under. Fishing a normal bait, Dennis thought it was a fish of some sorts, but apon retrieval a great big octopus came up from the depths. After a few tense moments, the occy was in the boat and the story was revealed, a crab had tangled itself in the leader and the octopus grabbed it and hooked itself also!

 


The snapper have been going off in Port Phillip!

While there is normally a small run of fish during Autumn as they make their way out/move in to the bay, numbers of quality fish are excellent at the moment. Most of the hot fishing has been down along the peninsula from Mount Martha back to Frankston, but there are also patches of fish up the top end of the bay.


Bill from Mornington has been getting into some quality snapper around the area. Bill has been catching fish to 6kg from Mount Martha mussel farm back up to Mount Eliza, in water from 16m through to 20m. Fresh squid and pilchard have been the best baits, with early morning bite windows the best but not required as he has also been catching fish mid-late morning.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been making the most of these autumn snapper, with plenty of happy customers getting into some fish. The fish have been spread from around Mount Eliza up to Black Rock and Sandringham, in depths of 10m out to 16m. Midday bites and calm weather have been common this autumn.


You win some you lose some! James ended up losing a heap of line on a big snapper just this morning, with his Okuma Alaris looking worse for wear. Not long after a lovely snapper of 6.5kg was boated, with around some nice fish caught in 11m of water out from Brighton.


The numbers of school snapper or pinkies have been very good around the bay, especially up the top end from Brighton to Mordi. The reef complex along Black Rock has been holding large numbers of fish to 50cm, with the average size around 35cm. Customer Ange and mates fished in 7m of water straight out from 'The clock tower' to land a nice haul of table sized pinkies on fresh squid. Customer John also landed some nice pinkies to 45cm on pilchards in the same area in 7.5m of water recently.

 

Coming in to Autumn there has been plenty of action for land based anglers around both bays. Many people think they should be putting the gear away as we edge into colder weather, but in many cases the fishing can be better with the onset of Autumn and Winter species.

The gummies can be excellent throughout Autumn as customer Anel has been finding first hand. Anel has been fishing some beaches in Westernport with mates, were they have found no shortage of small table sized sharks. Baits of pilchard and salmon have been excellent with many small gummies taking a like to the baits.


You really know that Autumn is well and truly here once the elephant fish show up. Anel has said that in many areas of northern Westernport bay they are almost in plague numbers. Many elephant fish like this one have been eating baits intended for gummies, with pilchard and fresh squid some of their favourites.


A bit closer to home in Port Phillip, customer Ismail has been fishing around Mordialloc and Beaumaris. Just recently he landed this nice little gummy from Beaumaris jetty just after dark. The gummy took a pilchard cube fished on a 5/0 'Snapper Wizard' paternoster rig and measured 84cm long. The shallows up around the northern end of the bay can hold some alright numbers of small gummies throughout the cooler months but they are very rarely targeted here.

 


The squid fishing continues to be excellent in Port Phillip bay and should stay pretty good over the Easter break. Many locations have been producing good numbers of squid all along the shoreline of the bay, with the southern peninsula the standout. Customer Amedea has been getting amongst the squid over the last few weeks and has been catching some crackers from around Sorrento.


Some more squid and cuttlefish from Amedea. Size 3.0 Yamashita jigs have been the most consistent producers down here, with rainbow foil a favourite.


Customer Tony has been catching heaps of squid nearby also. The piers at Blairgowrie and Rye haven't been too bad if you can find a spot, along with Mount Martha rocks. Tony has been catching most of his squid on a Yamashita '490 glow' jig in size 3.0. The 490 glow emits a stronger luminescence that the calamari can hone in on easier in overcast conditions or at night time.

Mornington pier has still been producing squid for anglers still fishing it. The crowds have died off a bit but over the Easter weekend they should pick up again, especially with some decent weather forecast. If you're fishing the pier, the smaller 1.8 size jigs have still been the go - or try a size 3.0 from the rockwall if you're looking for a bigger squid.


Back up the top end of the bay, the Autumn run of squid are starting to make their way up. The piers around Brighton and Beaumaris should start seeing a few more caught as the water temperature starts to drop off. Customer Ronaldo caught some squid including this ripper from around Black Rock just recently. A pink size 3.5 was the hot jig on the night.