Snapper reports have started to really ramp up over the past week or so, with some rain and semi consistent warmer weather really helping things out a lot. With the bay temperature warming, the snapper bite is getting better and better but it still seems plenty of people are 'waiting' to hear reports rather than getting out there and doing it! There have been numbers of school fish from size to 2kg around the inshore reefs with Williamstown, Brighton, Black Rock and Mornington all holding big schools. Customer Ryan has been catching numbers of fish to about 1.5kg up the top of the bay around Williamstown on plastics. Worm style plastics on 1/6oz jigs have been good when fishing the shallower reefs in a bit of chop.


Customer Ange has also been getting into the school fish from the shore. Ange caught some nice solid pinkies from the beach around Black Rock and Sandringham during the week, with pilchard and squid doing the job. Staff member Dylan also saw some nice shore based fish caught from Brighton, St Kilda and Black Rock earlier in the week when he was in the area. Fish to around 2.5kg were caught with none smaller than about 35cm, on a mixture of baits like pilchard, squid and saury. Long casts to the surrounding reef have been the go, so 10ft - 12ft coarse 'feeder' style rods have been the most effective tools for the job.


While there aren't as many punters out in Port Phillip, Westernport bay has been solidly producing fish for the guys just getting out and having a crack. There are reasonably consistent reports coming from the Long Reef area through to channels behind Joe's, with Corinella and deep off Ryhll also producing. Many of the fish coming from the port have been quality, with the average sitting around 4kg.


Captain Perri fished out from Corinella earlier during the week with a couple of nice fish hitting the deck pretty early on. Fishing a 15m hole, fish to 5kg were caught using pillies. The bites were tentative and the fish weren't hooking themselves, so the lightest tipped rods on the boat were the go. Customer Thao also fished somewhere in the region mid week to gain his bag of fish to about 4kg. Thao found that fresh squid and pilchard were the go, with again soft bites and softer rods the go. Thao will most likely be enjoying his snapper with some mustard over the BBQ later this week, so the area is worth a look over the weekend.

 

 

The land based fishing around the bay has been good for quite a few different species lately, whether you're after some fresh baits or for some fresh fish for the dinner table. The salmon have been moving about, and while not as thick as they are during the cooler months there have still been enough about to normally get in to a few. Customer Brendan got into a heap at the mouth of the Patto recently on soft plastics. Brendan found that small paddle tail soft plastics under 3 inches were the most effective when fished on light jigheads.  During the calmer conditions the fish will push deeper and need to be fished with more finesse, and this is when plastics will outfish most other offerings.


Customer Frank also found some solid salmon fishing around Mornington. Frank again found small plastics the most effective when the other lures went quiet. Some of the salmon around the southern end of bay have been 1.5kg upwards. Around the same areas, especially inside the calmer harbours and coves the garfish have still been about. Not many anglers have been chasing them but some quality fish have been about. Staff member Don has been fishing for gars around Mornington and back to Frankston and he has seen some larger models. As usual, fine berley and very small pieces of silverfish have been the go - with size 14 hooks getting a lot more bites than bigger hooks.


Nearer to the ocean beaches, there have still some large salmon showing up. Beach fishing anglers have slowed off but there have been fish upwards of 3kg hanging around the gutters and headlands from Port Phillip heads down to Punchbowl. Customer Robin was fishing one of his usual areas around Phillip Island and found plenty of thick fish to 2.5kg. Bluebait fished on flasher style paternoster rigs with small squid skirts added got all the bites.


Around the shallower sections of the bay the flathead have starting moving in. Now is actually a good time to target these tasty fish as they push inshore and are hungry and hunting. There are a few species of flathead on offer for anglers also, with rock, sand and yank flathead all available. Customer Ryan found some nice rock flathead from the piers around the top end of the bay - with Brighton and St Kilda both productive. Small paddle tail plastics like the Megabass Hazedong Shads were super effective when fished on 1/8oz jigs. Staff member Dylan also good numbers of sand flathead to 41cm in close along the Seaford - Frankston area. 2.8'' ribbed style paddle tails accounted for every fish, with more than 30 fish caught in the space of a few hours.

 

 


The snapper reports are about to hit the next level around Melbourne, with rising water temperatures and more stable weather on their way. Westernport is still producing more fish if you're unsure where to fish, but port Phillip is also worth a fish if you want to stick to the bay. Customer Nathan fished the bay out from Mordi during the week to land a nice fish on plastics, with a 5 inch pilchard pattern doing the job. Squid scent on the plastic sealed the deal, with the real movement, look and smell of a real bait proving too much for the reds to resist. Make sure you have the correct tackle to fish soft plastics on the snapper, as many anglers still go fishless and frustrated after trying them on the incorrect gear.


Out in westernport the reds have been going well enough for the last few weeks, if you know where to look and how to tackle the port's current and bycatch. Customer Mario fished out from Corinella during the low light period into the night to land snapper to 6kg. Freshly caught squid was the ticket, with lighter tipped 'port Phillip' style rods perfect here in the shallower holes and along the mudflats.


The Corinella area has been a go-to area for angler unsure of where to look for snapper, as the water temperature stays a bit warmer than the rest of the bay with all the rock and mudflats exposed to the sun during low water. The region can produce some solid fish, with the odd '20lb' fish coming from the area each season. Heading south from Corinella the 'Corals' area can also produce some nice fish, but seems to fire a bit later in the season. Heading west, the deep water off Rhyll and Cowes is well worth fishing at present. The fish can school up in this deeper water here, and are regularly caught in 18 - 22m. Customer Mick fished this area over the weekend to land a few school fish and a nice 4kg model, along with a nice table sized gummy. Mick was fishing in 22m of water and caught everything on 'big eye' pilchards.

 


The garfish have been about in pretty good numbers over the last week or so, and withe the calmer weather the past few days many anglers have been making the most of these tasty fish. While they have, and are about along virtually all of the eastern seaboard of the bay, there have been a few 'hot spots' the past couple of days. The locations worth having a look while the weather has been calmer have been Beaumaris, Frankston and Mornington. Mornington has been the most popular location of late, with a plethora of anglers flocking to the 'small' pier and inner harbour to catch a bag - with some fish up to the 40cm mark.


Staff member Don has been catching numbers of gars from Mornington and Frankston piers. Don has been using small silverfish as the main bait, with a mixture of float setups. The float and bait size will vary on how the fish are biting - and the honest info is make sure you have the gear to change up when required.

Berley, and fine 'mist' style berley is a must. Unless you like watching others catch around you! Berley is what will keep the school hanging around, while the correct hook pattern for your chosen bait is equally important. A mixture of different weighted floats is the other critical bit of gear, and some days your heavily weighted float will only dip or roll when a fish bites, and will prevent you from setting the hook. The difference between slight gear and rig modifications is a full bucket!

 


The bread and butter species like gars and squid have been good in spells of clearer weather over the last week or so. The usual pattern seems to be salmon and pinkies during rough weather with dirty water, and then once the water clears up and wind drops out the squid and garfishing is much better. Picking the conditions to suit will better odds on your chosen species. If it's gars you're after, then the main hot spots have been Beauy, Frankston and Mornington piers. Fishing in a bit shallower at these locations is normally the preferred area for the garfish as they become easy prey once out of the shallow's safety.

Fishing small pieces of silverfish and prawn has been good, so long as your float setup is correctly balanced and your berley is fine particle rather than chunks. You want the fish to swim through the 'mist' and become hungry rather than eat the big pieces. Staff member Dylan fished for gars earlier during the week where some real chunky fish were caught on small pieces of peeled prawn. Dylan didn't have the correct gear on him so where he caught one others would catch two. Being prepared for small changes in conditions will see you stay on top of the fish.


On the squid front things have been good for customers getting out and making the most of the breaks in the weather. Customer Long caught his bag of squid from the boat down the bottom end of the bay with smaller 2.5 jigs working the best. Long found that the shallower water was holding the small baitfish and numbers of squid after a recent rough front that passed through.


The piers around the southern end of the bay have been the most consistent performers recently as well. The only real weather that seems to affect these piers are days of rough onshore northerly winds, but even then the strong tides shift the clean water back into place quicker than the top end of the bay. Customer Cipto has been catching some nice squid from Sorrento pier and has even found a trevally or two hanging around. Cipto has been finding natural shrimpy greens and blacks have been the best performing jigs colours.

Customer Steve has also been catching some solid squid from the southern piers. Steve has been catching some proper squid but he has had to work hard for them. Constant jig changing and equal persistence has been the key to coming home trumps.

 


There has been no shortage of Aussie salmon around this winter, and they show no signs of letting up yet! The numbers and size of the fish recently has been excellent, with fish around 1.5kg nice but not out of the ordinary - and average fish anywhere from 600g to a kilo. For anglers looking to tangle with some salmon but not drive to the beaches the piers have been holding schools during onshore winds. South-westerly and Westerly winds have been what to look for, and areas to concentrate around have been Brighton, Beaumaris, Mordialloc, Patterson River, Frankston and Sorrento. All of these locations have been fishing well the schools have been moving about as the baitfish move.

Customer Cipto fished Sorrento pier recently while there were some large fish moving about, with fish to around 2kg hitting the pier. Cipto found soft plastics were doing the best when the fish were a bit cagey, with lead weighted stickbaits also working well when cast a long was out the back of the schools.


For those keen to walk the beaches, the really hot beaches at the moment have been Gunnamatta on the Peninsula and Venus Bay in south gippsland. Staff member Don and mate Jack fished Gunnamatta recently during a run out tide where they caught a heap of school fish on lures. 40g Metal lures like the Yakamito 'angry baits' were the most effective, especially when fitted with flashy assist hooks.


Customer Mark has been down at Venus Bay most weekends and has been learning the movements of the fish as the weeks have gone on. Mark has has mostly successful trips, with excellent numbers of fish to 2kg, and some larger fish earning their freedom. Mark has been catching fish on both bait and lures, with bluebait being the pick when fished on dual hook paternoster rigs. The top dropper has been deadly with a surf popper and 'bungee grub' on it, and the bait on the bottom dropper.

 


The northern coastline of NSW is a popular destination for anglers as it is fairly quiet and holds a good mix of both southern and northern fish species. Popular fishing locations along this part of the coast include Brunswick Heads, Ballina, Yamba and Coffs Harbour. Customer Gary lives around Ballina and fishes the region a fair bit, and his latest beach session has seen him yield some massive tailor to 80cm. Gary has been fishing pilchard on ganged hook rigs early during the morning, with most of the fish coming while it's still dark.


Staff member Chris has just returned from a trip to Yamba, a tad south from Ballina. Chris did some fishing with his father but found the weather to hold them back a fair bit - with only 1 decent trip offshore. A good mixed bag of species were caught offshore with spotted mackerel, snapper, tuskfish, pearl perch, flathead and small whaler sharks making it to the boat. The humble pilchard did most of the damage with nearly all fish finding it heard to refuse.

 


The calm weather we've been receiving bayside has been great for doing a spot of gar fishing. The normal trend around the eastern shoreline piers is garfish during calmer weather, and salmon disrupting all this when rougher conditions push their food withing herding proximity of the shoreline. The gar hot spots of late have been anywhere from Brighton to Frankston, with Seaford and Frankston the two more popular options. Silverfish and small pieces of prawn have been good baits, and as usual fine mist berley is key - if you're not packing a good berley you may as well stay home!


Customer Stephen has been down at Frankston trying his luck on the gars and has found some quality fish. The fish were feeding right up high in the water and unless you adjusted your rig to suit you wouldn't get a bite. Stephen used silverfish on a size 12 hook with a finely weighted small 'aaa' float equipped with chemical light to see the subtle bites.

Being able to see the smallest movement in your float can mean the difference between landing now fish and getting a few on the pier. Adding or removing shot to your rig to get it to sit perfect is paramount, and one of the reason we go on about certain float setups so much!

 


Australian salmon have really been on the go this past week, with heaps of anglers getting amongst them - whether it's been on the surf beaches or from many of the local piers and rocks. With the more recent weather the fish have slowed off a bit locally, but a big blow and rain band will see them return within many angler's shore based reaches soon enough. For the pier fisherman Mornington has been one worth looking at, especially early morning or later in the afternoon.


Customer Patrick has been enjoying the sporting aspect of the salmon from Mornington pier recently, with small metal jigs getting the bites when conditions are quiet. 'Shore jigging' is fairly under utilized here in Victoria, but fish like salmon can be absolute suckers for small falling jigs when a normal fast retrieve doesn't get spark their interest.


The ocean beaches have been producing good bags of fish for anglers persisting. While the lure casting has been a bit hit and miss, there still have been some nice fish landed. The real key for turning the odds in your favour on the beach is to fish a quality berley. Berley will bring the salmon from a good distance away on the beach and hold them in your area for long enough to capitalize.


Staff member Don experienced just this at Gunnamatta over the weekend, with only a few fish seen along the beach. After setting a good berley trail, and knowing at which stage of the tide to deploy it, Don ended up with a bag of fish to around a kilo.


Customer Mark fished Venus bay beach number 4 with his kids over the weekend to land some ripper salmon. Mark landed fish 2kg + on both pilchard and bluebait, and also surf poppers in blue/white combination.


Staff member Dylan lure fished a few of the surf beaches along the west coast over the weekend. While not every beach produced fish, many were only fished for a few hours and not on 'ideal' tides. Most beaches around Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay were holding numbers of smaller fish to 30cm. Further west past Cape Otway the beaches were producing larger fish around 1kg. Dylan and mate Jordan walked the gutters spinning metal lures and stickbaits and caught over 20 fish per session, with assist hooks the trick to keeping fish hooked in the shorebreak. The salmon were coughing up medium sized pilchards so the stickbaits were the ideal imitation. Sub minnows and bungy casts were the most successful.


 


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.