While the 'normal' Autumn weather slipped away from us recently - it should be back and with it most of the usual Autumn target species. In Westernport Bay the most well known Autumn appearance is the elephant fish. The elephants aren't generally targeted by many spare a small brigade, but can account for a fun on light tackle. The elephant 'triangle' has been a popular zone to start looking about for them, with mid-depth mud and sand flats where they do their best at digging up prey items.

Customer Chris fished out from Rhyll recently and got amongst them on baits of fresh squid. Fishing the areas out of the main current flow seem to be more effective as they cruise about at their own pace. Baits of pipi and squid are excellent, with fresh squid a preferred favourite when fished on heavier whiting tackle and 'upsized' hook leaders.

Customer Shane has also found the elephant action while fishing from the shore near Balnarring. Shane was fishing from the beach and using freshly caught squid as bait.



Westernport has been providing plenty of options during some of our nice Winter days, with the cartilaginous fish one of them. If conditions allow, the offshore fishing for gummy and school sharks has been excellent, while the gummy fishing inside the port has been also. On top of that, there have still been quite a few elephants about if you're fishing between Lang Lang and Rhyll. 

Customer Thao got outside during the week and fished an area behind Phillip Island in search of a solid gummy and he wasn't disappointed, landing a nice fish upward of 15kg. Thao found a small patch of reef and berleyed just off it, and had the gummy take a chunk of silver trevally. Baits of wrasse and parrotfish are also excellent if caught from the area you're fishing. 

Inside the port customers Morgan and Trent had a day of ripper weather, but small boat issues so their fishing time was shortened. In that time they managed to load up on yakkas and salmon for bait out from Rhyll and once they got sorted it wasn't long before they had a couple of eating size gummies on deck. Fishing the run off drains nearby to Rhyll they managed gummies to around 7kg, which were perfect for a feed. 

Fishing a touch north around Corinella, customer Scott caught a few smaller sharks in one session. Scott was fishing one of the potholes in the main channel where he landed 3 small sevengill sharks which were released, and 7 elephant shark also. Baits of squid and pilchard worked well. The elephant fish took a bit to turn up this year in the port, but they are still about in reasonable numbers - especially over the mudflats south of Elizabeth Island. 



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.


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.