The bread and butter species like gummy shark are an excellent option during the winter months, as you are able to catch them shore based in the bays, from the surf beaches, boat fishing the bays and also offshore. The best part about this style of fishing is you don't have to go overboard, for a landbased session a surf outfit of your choice is the way to go, along with a sturdy rod holder and enough tackle for the session. 

Staff member Dylan did just this last week, took to the the ocean beaches in search of a gummy or two. A nice gummy of around 7kg hit the sand during the first hour of the run in tide, and took a fillet of freshly caught grass whiting on a single 8/0 circle hook. Picking your preferred beach during the day can give you the advantage in spotting the more likely gutters and rips, and taking the guesswork out of your fishing.  Programs like Google earth can also help you identify similar features from the palm of your hand, but just be mindful that these conditions can change subtly between aerial shots.


If the boat fishing for gummies is more your thing, then the offshore fishing at the moment has been worth getting in to. The gummy fishing just offshore from Western Port has been exceptional, with much better average sized fish coming in. Among the gummy sharks, you will also have other species like snapper and flathead to keep you busy offshore, so you can really bring back a mixed bag at times.


Frogleys Offshore Victorian Rep Gerry took his new boat out for a spin last week in search of a gummy or two while offshore conditions were good and he wasn't disappointed. Gerry landed 2 lovely fish destined for the table using the lightweight Atomic Arrowz offshore model rods.

Customer Steve also got out offshore in the same region to land a nice fish just under 11kg. Steve fished a patch of reef that he normally tries for gummies and found multiple fish around it. Locally caught couta was the best bait for the day, which were thick mid water and easily catchable on small sabiki style rigs.

 


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.

 

 

 

There have been a few anglers making the most of the perfect autumn conditions out on the bays during the week, and even more so with a public holiday thrown in there too. While there hasn't been an endless supply of fish, there's plenty happening if you're out there giving it a crack. There has been a small run of excellent size Autumn snapper hanging around the bottom end of the port, and they've biting fairly well so that has had some guys out there hunting.


Customer Igor fished the port over the weekend and managed one of these lovely reds. Igor fished south of Stony Point and landed a ripper fish of 5.6kg on pilchard. An excellent fish caught in exceptional conditions!


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also bumped into a few similar sized snapper while fishing the southern half of the port. James has been fishing around some of the shallower mud beds in search of elephant sharks for his customers, and has hooked some big snapper as by-catch. Pilchards and fresh squid on smaller than usual hooks have caught snapper to over 6kg in water as shallow as 5m. The area around Elizabeth Island and 'The Corals' are good areas to look for these fish.


 

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 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 snapper in Westernport Bay have moved about a bit and while the Corinella area has been quiet, reports coming from Stony Point through to the Corals have been good. The water temperature in this section of the port has become optimum for the snapper and they have been found in some larger schools.


Greg from Better Than Working charters has been having fun with clients out around the Corals area during the week. Most of the fish have been in the 3 - 5kg size range, and normally in good sized schools at this size. Full pilchard has been good in this area, with not as much tide to worry about over the large shallow mudflats and reef. 


Customer Daniel recently purchased a new Westernport snapper outfit and he has been out sorting out the snapper on it. Daniel has been pulling fish to 6kg fishing out from Stony Point using pilchard, squid and yakka. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been finding some nice fish in Westernport for his customers, with the deeper water around Rhyll holding good numbers of fish. Cut pilchards and cubes have been accounting for plenty of fish in the 2 - 4kg range in 17m of water. This area around Rhyll should fish well right through Christmas for this size fish.

 

Rain, hail or shine you can always try for a gummy! Unlike some other fish, gummies will hunt in murky tidal water with muddy rainwater mixed in. The gummy sharks' sense of smell is super sensitive also, so don't worry about how dirty the water is - a gummy will be able to find your bait, especially if it nice and oily. While most anglers have been wrapped up in snapper or whiting fishing of late, there have been plenty of nice table sized gummies to catch, especially in westernport.

Customer Barry was out earlier this week where had some mixed bag fishing, including this nice table sized fish from around the southern side of French Island. Fresh yakka and squid were the better baits in the milky water. Customer Daniel fished a bit further out around the Western Entrance in 30m where he landed a lovely eating size gummy on fresh salmon.

 

The top end of Westernport Bay has been producing some quality snapper for anglers persisting with the area. While this area normally fires up earlier than Port Phillip for instance - the fish are never sure fire and still require patience and persistence. These early season top end fish are generally between 5 - 8kg but more often than not are quite timid in how they bite. Very rarely will a heavy Westernport-type rod buckle on one of these fish. Soft tipped rods are the go for early season fish, as they are much better at detecting subtle takes from the fish. Fresh baits of squid, pike, yakka and couta are excellent starting points for the top end as well a subtle berley trail of cubed pilchards to entice them.

Customer Tony recently purchased a swag of Westernport outfits and got to christen them just earlier this week while fishing with a friend near Joe's Island. Tony was using freshly caught squid cut into 'onion ring' style baits pinned on 5/0 Owner hooks when he pinned this nice fish. Tony did mention that the bite from this fish was very subtle and not noticeable unless using a rod with a fairly soft tip.


Customer Michael also had a look around the top end of the port in search of an early season red, and he wasn't disappointed with the fish that he found. Michael fished around the Corinella region and got onto 2 nice snapper along a channel edge. Baits of fresh squid did the job, and also tempted a nice table sized gummy as well.

 



There has been a decent winter run of snapper in Westernport Bay since Melbourne had some proper rough winter weather a few weeks back. Not long had this weather started and snapper were being caught from a few land based spots as well as by anglers in boats. The fish have also been fairly well spread out, with reports coming from the top end of the port, right down to the fast eastern sections. Customers Chez and Adrian got out on the port recently and did well catching some nice winter fish to 7kg. The boys were fishing over in the eastern arm and using fresh squid to tempt these reds.

 

Customers Andrew and Ben have also had some success on the good sized winter fish in the port as well. Andrew was fishing towards Corinella when he landed fish between 5kg and 8kg. Squid heads and strips were the most effective baits. Customer Ben fished the shallows of the top end of the port during the night recently to land snapper to 7kg. Ben found that fresh squid was the gun bait.

 

On the squid scene, reports have been good during slightly calmer weather. The shallow areas along Tyabb, Quail and Stony banks fished well during low wind and low light times. Rough, churned up banks have forced the squid a bit deeper off the edges, and they can still be caught in depths of 5 - 7m. Customer Jarrad fished the Tyabb area between 2 - 5m of water to catch some good squid on the drift. Early morning produced some on baited jigs, and once the sun got up red foil size 3.5 Yamashita jigs did well. The biggest hood length measured 40cm which took the Yamashita jig. Customer Ben also fished in the Tyabb area for a good bag of squid taken on size 3.5 jigs during the week.

Whiting reports have slowed right down, with the odd angler catching some respectable fish but definitely not in the summer numbers. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been putting together some nice bags of fish for customers, with whiting averaging the 38cm size taking fresh squid and pipi. Along some of the deeper, more reefy sections that James has been fishing he has also pulled up the odd nice size cray.

 

Westernport bay has been producing lots of elephants and pinkies recently, along with a few table sized gummies. The elephant fish have been fairly thick throughout the 'triangle' over the last few weeks, with fish to 5kg being caught. Customer Shane fished out from Tortoise Head recently and caught a couple of good sized fish in 8m of water. The most effective bait on them was fresh squid.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching a few elephants with customers out between Tortoise Head and Rhyll, with baits of pilchard, squid and pipi being the most effective when fished on a sliding sinker rig. Depths of 7 - 14m over mud and broken ground have been good for the elephants, with the odd gummy finding a bait as well. Some customers have even been catching the odd elephant from the pier at Rhyll.

On the pinky front, most of the 'normal' areas where anglers would target snapper and pinkies have been loaded with fish in the 25 - 35cm size. There have however been some much better fish getting close to 2kg mixed in with the smaller fish. The trick has been to fish a larger, tougher bait that the smaller fish can't rip off the hook in 5 seconds flat, which will give the bigger fish a chance to get to it, and also fit it in their mouth. Baits of squid, salmon and couta have been good when targeting these larger school sized fish. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has caught some nice ones mixed in with smaller fish and elephants recently, which none of his customers have been complaining about!