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!

 

Westernport Bay has experienced a normal Autumn run of elephant fish and although they have been relatively quiet last year, numbers are better so far this season. Many anglers crossing over between whiting and gummy water have found the elephants, as this is prime territory for them. Water in the 5 - 10m depth along the edge of grassbeds seems to be a very good place to start. If in doubt, head to the 'elephant triangle' which is the open water section triangulating from Rhyll to Tortoise Head to Settlement Point at Corinella. This area is generally silt and sand mixed with small patches of grass and rubble, and is thought to be the main spawning ground.

James from Unreel FIshing Charters has been taking clients out in search of some elephant fish in the port, and he has been saying that the fishing for them has been good. James has been moving around the 'triangle' to finds the schools, and has found baits of fresh squid and pipi have been the best. Anglers fishing whiting type gear and rigs with a heavier 30lb fluorocarbon leader and 2/0 circle pattern hook have been the most successful. The heavier leader is to prevent the elephants' sharp dorsal spike from busting the lighter line as they thrash around. Customers Jarrod and Andrew fished from the shores of the port just recently in search of a gummy. The boys fished around the Lang Lang area and while no gummies were caught they did get amongst a few elephants, along with most other anglers. The most successful baits for the guys were small chunks of pilchard.

On the gummy front, calm Autumn conditions have had anglers making the most of the weather and good fishing. Gummies in the 5 - 8kg table size have been common along most of the channel edges and potholes, with a few larger fish further south towards the western entrance. Baits of fresh trevally, yakka, squid and salmon have been the most effective. Customer Will from the Hard Yards Fishing Club fished in search of a gummy recently and caught this nice table fish on a fillet of fresh couta.

The good thing about Westernport Bay is the variety it offers, and the fact that you don't have to zoom all over the bay to catch a few different species of fish, and most of the year round a few different fish can be caught. The whiting have been good out in the port at the minute, with not as many school fish about but some quality fish none the less. There are certainly less anglers fishing for them at the moment, but the keen fisherman who are targeting them are doing well. Customer Johnny fished out along the spit last week where he caught some lovely whiting up to 46cm. Pipi did the job on these fish, which fired up during the last hour of the run out tide.

Customer John fished around Tortoise Head on the weekend where he planned to catch some whiting and also see what else was around. John fished just south of the point where he caught a mixed bag of whiting, yakkas, flatties and an elephant fish. John found pipi and pilchard the most effective along with a berley bomb sitting on the bottom. 

Around Stony point there have also been a few decent pinkies and snapper caught this week. Customer Hendrik fished from the pier earlier in the week to catch pinkies to 2.5kg on pilchard. Hendrik said that berley was the key as well.  

Customer Daniel went out from Tooradin last week and fished the channel to see what was around during the run in tide. A few small flathead and salmon were around but at the top of the tide Daniel landed a ripper flathead of around 65cm on pilchard. 

There have still been plenty of gummies getting about in the port to keep anglers happy. There have been plenty getting caught around the top end of the port from Stony Point right around the top to Corinella. Customer Godfrey went out around Stony Point where he landed a nice table sized shark along the channel edge. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has found a few smaller gummies while out on the whiting in the port, with the majority of them measuring about 1m. At this size they fight well on light gear and will provide some nice size flake fillets for the family. Baits of squid, yakka and salmon have been the best on them. Customer Roland had a ripper session up in the top end of the port during the week where he caught snapper to around 7kg and 6 nice size gummies all in the one spot. Squid was the gun bait in the dirty water.

It may come as bad news for some anglers and love them or hate them - the Elephant fish are starting to show up in Westernport Bay. These fish normally start to turn up around the start of Autumn each year, where they move into the bays and larger tidal estuaries to spawn. While they are deemed a nuisance by anglers targeting other species, they can provide a bit of fun on the right gear. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has noticed a few of these fish turning up along deeper whiting marks in the port. Some of the elephants James' customers have been catching have been decent - up to around 3kg. The 'Elephant Triangle' is normally as good a place to target them as you could find - a large relatively open sand and mud flat towards the start of the East arm. Baits of pipi, pilchard and squid all work quite well when fished on 2/0 circle hooks and whiting gear. Just beef up your fluorocarbon leader to around 15- 20lb as they can break lighter leaders when their dorsal spike wraps in the line. 

Customer John found a decent patch of elephants across near Newhaven during the week. John was initially targeting whiting around a small sand hole when a school of elephants came through. After catching 13 and keeping 1 smaller fish he left to find his whiting. John said 8m of water was the depth, and whiting gear baited with mussel and squid got their attention.