If you're not out chasing kingfish or they haven't been kind to you, the southern part of the bay has been producing some nice flathead, whiting and gummies.The good thing is that all of these species can be caught in fairly close proximity, with the flathead and whiting along the shallow banks and weed patches, and the gummies along the channel edges. Customer Yianni Damanakis landed this thuper flathead out from Portsea on pilly, and lost a similar size one at the boat also. There are some serious flathead in the southern parts of the bay!


The whiting have been patchy through southern PPB, but there are plenty around if you really target them and move about to find the active schools. Dromana through to Blairgowrie has been best in 3 - 7m of water out from the ledges and moorings. If you move too deep you will find yourself pestered by undersized pinkies, which will quickly decimate your bait supply. Fresh squid, pipi and mussle has been the go for the whiting. 


If all else fails or you want to get away from the jetskis which are prevalent throughout the shallows at this time of year, move out towards south channel or one of the adjacent smaller channels or gutters and you could find yourself tangling with some serious gummies. Fish to 20kg aren't uncommon throughout this area, and fresh fish baits such as salmon, trevally or mackerel will normally see you lure one in. Customer Chris has caught some nice eating size fish recently fishing the south channel with salmon out as bait.

 

Well the story the past week on the whiting front from MOST people is that they have been fairly slow. The consistent reports of inconsistent fishing have been the word, but this should improve over the next week as we pass the moon. There have been anglers putting together bags of fish from their normal marks but the standout seems to have been the larger fish coming from the deeper water around the smaller tides. The quality of the fish coming from the deeper is generally always much better, and the bonus can come in the form of snapper and gummies, as most of the reports show.

Gawaine Blake has been getting some ripper whiting from the deep water around Cowes during the week, with genuine 50cm fish hitting the deck. The first hour of run in tide has been the most productive time, with squid strips the deadly bait.


Customers Zoran and Tony have been putting together numbers of whiting, in amongst pinkies, trevally, flathead and gummies by fishing deeper water. Generally you can get away with slightly larger hook and bait sizes in the deeper water as the whiting have less time to worry about picking at the baits as there are bigger mouths lurking around.

Customer Bart has been fishing up around Hastings for the whiting and has done ok considering the slower fishing. Bart has been working his way along the middle spit and tyabb banks to catch some nice whiting on pipi, with good numbers of squid coming from the same areas, following hooked whiting up to the boat. A fresh squid tentacle or strip has also helped bag the odd whiting too.

 

 

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.

 


Westernport's gummy action has been consistent most of winter with school sized fish. All of the normal areas have been fishing well, with most channel edge 'highways' producing fish at the right stage of the tide. There has been plenty of salmon and trevally along the banks so using these as fresh baits are the best.

Customer Jacques fished with friend Herve last week in search of a gummy. The guys fished along the western channel edge just south of Sandy Point, and using fresh salmon they managed a nice 5kg fish. Further north around Hastings customer Justin has been catching a few similar sized gummies as well.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

As usual, Westernport has turned on it's normal mixed bag fishing leading into Autumn. Customer John took youngsters Frankie and Lara out on the port recently and had a hot session on the King George whiting fishing around Tortoise Head and Tankerton. Fishing in 4m of water with Whiting Snatcher type rigs and pieces of pipi/squid combo the guys had a ball on school sized whiting.

 

Staff member Don got into the whiting during the week out from the Middle Spit using pipi and fresh squid. Fishing slightly deeper off the banks, Don managed some nice size fish. Pre-mixed frozen scallop mix berley also did the job of keeping the feeding fish around the boat. Customer Robin fished from the shore of the port during the week. Robin did well on some nice chunky whiting and also trevally around first light, with pipi and californian squid cocktail baits doing the damage. Robin fished KL 1/0 circle hooks on his droppers to ensure the hooked fish stayed hooked.

Out in the shallows of the port, customer Zach has been doing well on nice size garfish. Some of the larger models have been trickier to catch, but a fine grit 'Pier and Jetty' berley mix has ensured that they hang around for a bit longer.

Customer Andrew has been doing well on the pinkies and school sized snapper over near Corinella recently. Andrew has been fishing small potholes and drop offs using fresh baits of trevally and squid heads, where he has landed fish to 2.5kg.

 

The typical Westernport size gummies have been on the bite recently, as James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been finding out. James has been getting good numbers of table sized fish for customers, with lots in the 6 - 8kg size. Small baits of squid, trevally and salmon have been the best when presented along the bottom of the banks out from Stony Point and Hastings.

 

 

Westernport always produces a good amount of variety for anglers, and recently it hasn't disappointed. Good fishing for gummies has been had by most anglers up the top of the port, with plenty of solid table fish around. Young Rachael fished with her Dad recently where she landed a nice 3kg gummy in amongst a hot bite of them up the top end of the port during the run out tide. This gummy along with most of the other took rings of freshly caught squid. Customer Lee also got amongst a few similar size table fish out from Hastings just recently in beautiful conditions. 

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has had a few happy customers out on Westernport recently with plenty of good gummies coming aboard. This fish were taken out from Hastings on squid, yakka and salmon.

 

Staff member Don fished with customer Sam just recently in search of some whiting, and after a bit of moving around and positioning, the boys got a bag of nice fish. Plenty of fish were in the 40cm size range and fresh squid and pipi did the trick on the start of the run out tide. Don said it was good to get out for a fish in amongst auditioning for one of MC Hammer's new music videos. Customer Lee took his son Ben out for a fish in lovely conditions in search of some KGW out from Hastings, and young Ben loved it.

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been having some fun with customers on the squid recently. Red base jigs have been killing it for James, and young Charlie even celebrated his 8th birthday by smashing the squid while on charter with James.

 

Customer Daniel fished out from Hastings recently in search of table sized pinkies and he wasn't disappointed. Daniel fished in 16m of water along the edge of the North Arm and did well on fish to 1.5kg. The best method was to fish a small piece of squid or pilchard on an Icon Snatcher and just wait for the fish to hook themselves. Out the front of Westernport there have been a few kingies hanging around, with a few anglers out chasing them. Customer Ben went out the front and found a few nice fish in the 80cm size range using both livies and also Maria lures. 

 

 

Westernport Bay has started picking up for gummy reports which is normally the case over the warmer months of the year. This time of year is also good for larger toothy sharks like school sharks and various whalers and threshers. Customer Tim from Yaringa Fishing Club sent in a report from the weekend where he landed a nice size bronzie from the top end of the port. Tim was fishing out from Lysaughts when he hooked the shark, and managed to land it solo. The shark weighed 22.9kg and a fresh garfish head early Saturday morning.

On the gummy front, there have been a few nice fish starting to get caught throughout the western entrance, from Flinders bank up to Stony Point. A fair percentage of the larger gummies moving into the port are breeding females and if they are in pup there no point killing them, as the smaller males provide better table fare and are much more common.

 

Customer Mark managed to land a ripper female gummy landbased just recently and he sent a photo of it in. Mark was fishing from the shore near Point Leo and targeting a large gummy when he landed this fish of around 18kg.