While many anglers have had their sights set on snapper out in Westernport, there has been plenty of by-catch to actively target. The gummies have been fishing well whether you're out along the offshore ledges or fishing some of the deep channels or contours well inside the port. Customer Ben fished out along the western entrance in search of a big gummy and landed a monster female in the 30kg range. This fish had been offshore for some time as it's colouration is well suited for clear oceanic waters. Fresh cutlets of mackerel and salmon were excellent on the gummies for Ben.


Customer Bart has also been landing a few gummies, in amongst some other bycatch fishing out near Rhyll. Fishing were the eastern channels drop into some deeper water, most of Bart's gummies have been in the 5 - 8kg mark. Super pilchards and whiting heads have been very effective when fished on Reedy's rigs paternoster rigs. Fishing the shallower edges along where the channels drop Bart has landed a heap of pinkies and quality baits like salmon, yakkas, mackerel, pike and trevally. A bit of berley consisting of pellets and pilchard oil logs has really helped ramped up the bite with these species around the slacker stages of the tide.


While targeting snapper customers Daniel and Vito landed some nice table sized gummies. Fishing fresh squid and yakka chunks the gummies came along and provided some quality by-catch in between snapper bites along the north arm. Customer Edly also found some tasty bycatch while whiting fishing around the middle spit in the form of quality garfish. Edly found them hard to tempt and hook at first, but ramping up the berley mix and changing to smaller, narrow gaped hooks the bites were soon converted. A fine grain berley trail set up over the shallow banks is normally a good method of finding some of these tasty fish.


On the whiting front the fish have been fairly good for a few weeks. While many are sidetracked by the snapper the whiting fishing has been worth the effort. The top end of the port around the many channels has been producing whiting up to the low 40cm mark. The abundance of smaller school fish hasn't quite infiltrated the estuary as yet, but as the water warms these fish will fill the catches. Staff member Don and mate Sam fished out from Warneet over the weekend and found a good bag of fish to 41cm. Small strips of fresh squid and pipi made for the best baits when fished on smaller hooks than usual - as the bites were quite timid. Changing hook pattern to suit baits and fish activity is paramount to keeping on top of the bite at times.

 


If you're looking for a good quality gummy shark for the table and the weather plays ball - head offshore from the bays. The offshore gummy fishing has been excellent all winter and continues on, with the wind and swell the only real factors to consider. Heading out from either entrance in Westernport or from The Rip there is acres and acres of quality shark ground to drift or anchor near. If you're heading out from the eastern entrance like customer Steve did, you can head halfway towards Cape Paterson on the right conditions, and catch your bait and gummies out there. Steve fished a bit closer in around Cape Woolamai just recently, where he a couple of gummies to 12kg on baits of freshly caught wrasse and red mullet. Steve managed the fish in about 35m of water.


Out from the western entrance customers Benny and Damien have also been getting into the gummies. The boys fished out from the Seal Rock area in 40m of water and landed 3 nice fish between them. All 3 of the fish were around the 10kg mark and took baits of wrasse and pike caught from the area. There have also been a few snapper floating around these same reef areas as they make their migration into the bays.

 


While not everyone's game, there has been some excellent offshore fishing when a break in the weather opens up. There are numbers of snapper starting to move just offshore from the entrance to both bays, some excellent gummies on offer and still decent numbers of tuna along the West coast. James from Unreel Fishing Charters had a purple patch on the tuna along the West coast earlier this week, with 2 massive fish over the 100kg mark. James and his son both managed a 'barrel' each - with the monsters weighing 110kg and 140kg. There are still some serious inshore tuna out there to had when the wind and swell decide to calm down...


A little bit closer to home around the offshore reef the gummies have still been quality. Customers Johnny and Thao have been outside when conditions allow and have seen some serious gummies punching well above 15kg. There haven't been any 'hotspots' as the boys tried a new area recently and had results. Finding and plotting isolated patches of reef has been the key, with locally sourced baits also a key step. Catching wrasse and parrotfish from the reef is an excellent step in catching a solid sea-going gummy. Baits of squid are excellent for catching fresh bait, as are artificial offerings.


Small flutter-style jigs and soft plastics get eaten within metres of the reef by the wrasse species, but keeping them as  close to the bottom is key. Multi-coloured depth marked braid is excellent for doing this. Generally speaking, the most successful reef zones are outside the main entrance shelves, in the 25 - 30m depth or wider around 40 - 45m. At this depth there is plenty of bait and food for cruising gummies.

 


During bouts of calm weather the offshore gummy fishing has been excellent. The bays have been producing good numbers of gummies for anglers but the offshore fish have been of better quality. Customer Dave and mate Gawaine fished out from Phillip Island recently in slick conditions to land some nice gummy and school sharks. The average fish ofshore at the moment has been around 15kg, with much larger fish to 25kg or so frequently encountered. Dave and Gawaine plotted a small section of reef and after working out the layout they anchored up and started collecting bait. Fresh chunks and fillets of parrotfish and wrasse along with pike did the job on both the gummies and school sharks, so make sure you are adept at catching fish like these fish fresh bait if you venture offshore.


If landbased fishing is easier for you, then gummy fishing can be good. There have been plenty of land based options for these sharks around Westernport in particular. Customer Brendan has been landing gummies table sized gummies to around 7kg from the shore along the eastern side of the port at locations such as Corinella, Tenby Point, Lang Lang and Grantville. The region from Lang Lang through to Reef Island is good for targeting gummies as there are plenty of mudflats for the fish to patrol during the night, and they can be routinely caught if you pay attention to your tides. Brendan has been landing gummies on a variety of baits, with pilchard, pike, trevally and mantis shrimp all working well after dark.

 


There have been some winter pinkies and school snapper about in the bay for anglers to catch. While many don't fish for them in winter, it can be the best time to chase them, especially with calm sunny conditions. If you're landbased there have good numbers of fish hanging around in the northern region of the bay, with Port Melbourne and Williamstown holding some solid fish. Customer Ryan has been fishing the top end of the bay from the piers and has been catching fish to around 1.5kg. Ryan has done a couple of bait sessions at night but has found the afternoons have been fishing well with plastics. Small minnow and worm pattern plastics in 3 - 4inch have been the standouts, and even deadlier smeared in gel scent if the bite is slow.


The pinkies hanging around the inshore reefs have been touch and go, with a bit of sounding required to locate a patch of fish. When found however the fish have been pretty aggressive towards baits and lures especially late in the day. Customer Bashir and his wife Alexandra have been catching some nice table sized pinkies around Black Rock. Late afternoon has been the most productive time to fish for them, with cut pilchard being the best bait.

Further down in the southern end of the bay customer Petar landed a lovely winter fish of around 2.5kg during the week. Petar has been chasing the gummies around the south channel and surrounding channels, but was pleasantly suprised when he landed a nice red. Fishing baits of freshly caught squid and yakka has been the go for him, and with good quality baits you do have a good shot at catching these fish if they are around.


With some calm winter weather mixed in the offshore gummy fishing continues to be productive. While there haven't been any real 'hot spots' the areas around Cape Schank and Pyramid Rock have been good places to start. There have been two main methods to catching these fish, with both drifting and anchoring popular. Anchoring nearby to an isolated patch of reef and berleying to bring the gummies to you has been one method, while drifting 'wider' has also been a good way to intercept a cruising fish. Customer Jon fished recently out towards the Schank and landed some nice fish to around the 15kg mark. Baits of freshly caught wrasse and parrotfish from the accompanying reef are excellent options when targeting these fish.

 


The calm weather recently has really been good for anglers out on the gummies, and the gummy fishing has been excellent. The real hot spots at present have been the entrance channels on both bays and offshore, with a keen eye on the tides and fresh baits the real keys. Customer Paul fished with mate Jarrad out in the south channel on the gummies after chasing squid up on the banks and wasn't disappointed with a lovely 12kg fish on dark. Fish at this size are excellent for the table and normally quite common when fishing these southern channels.


Customer Petar has also done a few trips out around the southern end of Port Phillip with good results. Petar has averaged roughly 1 - 2 gummies per trip, with a 'normal' fish around 7kg. Petar has landed fish to just under 10kg during the week on fresh squid and yakka in the main channel just after dark. On the offshore gummy front, customer Edly has put fish to around 18kg in the boat during the week - with calm conditions ideal for it. Edly has been fishing small reef ledges out in 30m of water, and has found that the best baits have been parrotfish and pike.


Customer Damien got into the gummies during the week offshore also. Damien fished out from the western entrance in 40m of water and landed a brace of nice fish up to 15kg. Freshly caught wrasse and red mullet were the dynamite baits on the fish offshore.

 

 


With some calmer weather on it's way there some ripper gummy shark fishing to be had just inside the entrances to both bays and also offshore. With the last lot of calm weather anglers ventured out and and found the rewards in form of some lovely fresh flake. The hot areas to be fishing have been the western entrance from around Sandy point south, or in Port Phillip the Blairgowrie end of the south channel. Just outside both entrances the fishing has been excellent also, with small patches of reef from 25 - 40m productive.

Keen fisherman Ashie went out in westernport with dad Steve last week and managed a couple of nice table sized gummies from down in the western entrance. The area around cat bay was productive with chunks and fillets of freshly caught salmon and pike providing the ideal scent trail for the gummies. Fishing the small outcrops of reef along these channel edges has been productive for Steve with an average size fish being around 7 - 10kg.


Once you get offshore proper the average gummy size seems to increase, with fish around 15kg being about standard - and a 25kg+ fish a real chance. Customer Edly fished outside in 40m of water recently to land 3 solid sharks all around the 14kg size. Freshly caught baits can be the difference between fish and no fish and gummies are no different - with plenty of bait options cruising about offshore near or on your fishing grounds. Parrotfish and wrasse are excellent, along with barracouta, pike and salmon or mackerel - which can all be collected with some prior preparation to your gummy fishing. Fishing large chunk baits on heavy gauge 8/0 circle hooks will ensure a solid jaw corner hookup and get your gummies to the boat. 

 


The gummy shark fishing around the southern end of the bays and offshore has still been excellent lately. While the consistency inside the bays isn't 100% the fishing is good at present. Customer Josh regularly fishes the southern channels around Rye and Blairgowrie and has again recently with good results. Josh managed a nice gummy around 14kg from the south channel over the weekend. Fishing baits of fresh mackerel and salmon was the key, and presenting these baits directly along the channel ledge was also crucial.


When the conditions have allowed, the offshore fishing has been very good. The sections of reef outside both bays are a good starting point for solid gummies. Customer Thao fished outside the western entrance recently to land a few nice fish up to 18kg. Thao has been fishing 25m of water around small isolated patches of reef, with freshly caught baits from the area getting the bites. Parrotfish, wrasse and mackerel have all been deadly on 8/0 circle hooks when dropped around the reef.


Customer Joel has also had the same idea lately, targeting offshore gummies. Fishing towards Cape Schank Joel and mate landed 3 nice fish around the 12kg mark during their last session. Joel has been fishing in water around 40m deep and has found barber perch and salmon very effective on the fish.

 


The gummies have been going off! If you're after some light tackle sport and a feed of fresh flake then now is the time to be amongst them. Both bays have been producing nice fish, and the offshore action has also been great.


Customers Johnny and Thao have had a few good sessions throughout the western entrance of Westernport with some solid sharks to around the 20kg mark, and a good amount of nice table fish to 13kg or so. Chunk baits of freshly caught salmon and yakka have been the goods when fished on heavy gauge 9/0 in-line circle hooks and 80lb leader. Fishing the bigger tides and deeper channel edges has required lead to 30oz and suitable rods coupled with fine diameter braid to help hold bottom.


Just outside the entrance the gummy fishing has been outstanding, with customers Christian and Jason catching some good fish. Fishing either behind Phillip Island or Cape Schank around the 20-25m line and deeper out between 40-50m has been the go especially when conditions along for a good drift. Finding small isolated patches of reef around these areas can be an excellent way of location both the gummies and suitable bait. The boys have been fishing fresh wrasse and slimies on similar westernport gear but without the needed extra lead. Paternoster rigs can be successful offshore also and they provide extra movement of the baits when held just off the bottom.


If venturing offshore or towards the entrance isn't your thing the gummy fishing has been good further up the bay. Customers Jamie and Brad landed 3 nice fish in a recent session while fishing out from Stony Point. The guys were sitting along a nice channel drop and using freshly caught baits of yakka. Finding a suitable drop to intercept the gummies is the key to prime location, and catching your own fresh bait helps immensely.


The southern end of Port Phillip has been excellent for large gummies also, with the south channel being the main hunting grounds. Customer Josh has been out over the past week and has been landing some ripper fish to around 20kg. Fishing the south channel itself with freshly caught squid and salmon has been the undoing of these fish. Fresh trevally have also been excellent when they have been around.

 


Autumn is a great time of year to be out chasing the gummy sharks, both in the inlets and bays and also offshore. When calm Autumn conditions prevail, the gummy fishing can be very productive as many have been finding out. Customer John landed a cracking gummy of 23kg recently while fishing offshore from Port Albert. John was fishing 26m of water and had a 20 minute fight in light line with the big female gummy, which snapper the stem of his reel off the rod during it's last powerful run. After some tense moments the fish was in the boat. The successful bait was freshly caught slimey mackerel.


Inside Westernport there have been plenty of table sized gummies about, and some elephant sharks floating about in the same areas. Fishing the muddy waters around Corinella, customer Alex has been landing fish to around 6kg. Fishing freshly caught fish baits around the edge of mudflats and channel drops has been the most consistent method, with baits of mullet, salmon, trevally and mackerel all working very well. Customer Anel and mates have been catching both gummies and elephants from the shore around Corinella and Lang Lang on oily baits like pilchard and salmon. Fishing after dark has been the best, with the fish moving right in close to the channel drops.


The south end of Port Phillip has been fishing well for autumn gummies for local anglers also. Customer Petar has been catching quite a few fish out from Rye in both the Rye and south channels. Petar has been averaging a few fish around a metre most trips, with some larger toothies earning their freedom also. Freshly caught yakka and squid have been the most effective baits.


If you're going to put some time into targeting these gummies, it's well worth stocking up with smaller hooks and sabiki rigs, along with a good amount of berley - as freshly caught bait is simply the most effective on these sharks. The scent that a fresh bait puts out is irresistible to any nearby shark. Petar has been catching yakkas not far from where he is fishing, with some berley and small lures. Jigging small slow jigs in the deeper water has been very effective when the mackerel come through the berley trail, which is keeping him busy and providing him with quality fresh baits.