Westernport's whiting fishing has been excellent recently, with the fish going from strength to strength. The average size of the fish is very good at present but will drop off with more small school fish into the start of Summer. There have been some exceptional fish caught down the bottom end of the port around the deeper sand holes and section of reef out from Somers and Shoreham, but there have also been good numbers of solid fish up the top of the port.


Customer Nigel has been catching good numbers of fish from the edges of the middle spit lately, with most falling to mussel. Staff member Don has also been catching whiting from the spit, along with the Gentle Annie and Warneet channels. Fish to 42cm have been taken on both pipi and softened squid cut into small worm like strips. water depths have varied as the fish move on and off the banks but the out going tide has been when the fish have been more active.


Customers from the Keysborough Angling Club have been doing well on the whiting on Westernport of late also. Customers Norm and Dave have been fishing out from Hastings and Stony Point and most of their fish have come from around the middle spit. Both pipi and squid have been the best baits, with 'snapper magnet' berley pellets doing a good job at keeping the fish nearby. Pilchard oil mixed in has attracted plenty of whiting and other bait species like yakkas and trevally, especially when the tide has starting waining.

 


Westernport is still leading the charge when it comes to snapper action. There are fish scattered all around the port, but the solid action coming from the North arm has been very consistent and producing fish for many anglers. Customer Thao fished the top of the 'runway' leading towards Eagle rock and landed 2 nice fish last week, with a nice table sized gummy shark mixing things up. Fresh calamari cut into strips and rings worked on all of the fish.


Customer Gordon also fished a similar area of the port just recently. Gordon was fishing with his young son up in the north arm in 7m of water where they landed snapper up to 6.5kg. Gordon found that whole silver whiting were the bait of choice in the shallower water. These can be fished 'swimming' into the current if the backbone is broken to liven the action up, with can trigger otherwise unresponsive fish.


Customers Johnny and David also fished out from Hastings to land snapper to 6kg. The larger fish seem to have been preferring the slightly shallower water throughout the Lysaughts region, with depths of 7 - 12m producing better quality fish. Fishing deeper through to 20m will still see fish caught, with more school fish to 3 or 4kg coming aboard. Baits of fresh squid, couta and salmon have been excellent - especially if caught from the area adjacent. 

 


With the rain we've had around Melbourne the local estuaries and rivers have fired up and the bream have been feeding quite voraciously. Normally timid and subtle feeders, the black bream in the local rivers have fired up a bit as conditions have been prime for them. The mixture of warming water temperatures and an influx of freshwater and food sources, coupled with a post-spawn hunger has made the fishing for them quite good recently.


Customer Tony saw the forecast coming and made sure he had supply of live yabbies and he hit the Patto. Tony managed 10 fish in a short morning session, with fish from around 400g caught right through to some monsters up around 44cm. Tony fishes his live freshwater yabbies on very light line and little sinker, coupled with a fine gauge 'caddis' hook to keep them alive. Fishing them in the middle of the river was where the fish were roaming and once they ate the yabbies the fine gauge hook pinned them through the lip like it was nothing. Keeping these yabbies alive for as long as possible is paramount for tricking the larger fish.

 

 


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.

 


Westernport has been fishing better for snapper on the past month than Port Phillip bay, mainly due to water temperatures. The fish have been on the bite for a little bit longer here which is normal, and they have been fairly well spread out throughout the port. Customer Tony has caught some nice fish over the past week week and even a few while whiting fishing! Tony managed a lovely fish 4kg fish on a small fine wire worm hook around the corals while chasing whiting, and was lucky to land it! The parabolic nature of the rod Tony was using was ideal to keep the fine hook in and not bend it out.


Along the north arm a good run of  fish continues, and customer Zach has been in the midst of it. Zach has been fishing fresh baits, with couta, pike and calamari all producing fish. Some of the better fish have been taken during the night and have been pushing the 7kg mark.


The same region of the port has been producing snapper for customer Manny. Manny headed out for his first snapper session in the port and managed a couple of nice fish around the 3.5kg mark. Manny had been fishing outside Eagle rock in 17m of water and found paternoster rigs tipped with strips of fresh squid were the only rig that got bites.

 


Port Phillip bay has been producing some good school snapper from about Mordialloc north around the shallow reef ledges. While the bay hasn't been producing as many fish as westernport, there has still been some fish about to be caught. Most of these fish have been caught in relatively close during bouts of average weather.  Customer Advan has caught some nice snapper to 3.5kg in close of Black Rock. Advan has been fishing around 8m of water and using pillies for the best result.


Customer Bashir fished out from Sandringham in search of snapper and has landed fish to around 4kg. Bashir has been fishing around isolated reef patches and pinnacles and has found pilchard to be the best. Staff member Dylan fished around Mordialloc in search of some snapper over the weekend, but with only small fish caught. Dylan concentrated on shallow reef outcrops with deep running hardbodied lures and deeper reef patches using flutter style jigs, with around 30 fish caught - but only up to 45cm. Many of the fish caught were between 35 - 45cm and perfect pan size.


Looking like snapper but silver are some of the bream that customer Minh has been catching. Minh has been fishing the Patterson River and using scrubworm to land multiple fish a session. Minh has caught fish to 44cm using worm in the river. The bream have been moving about the river quite freely, with fish caught from the bar at the river mouth right up to the rockwall towards the Frankston freeway end of the river. These fish will only get more active from now on and feed more aggressively around many areas of the river, and nearby metro rivers.

 


The past week has brought the snapper on the chew a bit better in Port Phillip. Water temperatures have risen to between 15-16C and when this stabilizes the fish will bite even better. Earlier in the week the fish went well off Carrum over the mud, while plenty were also caught up around Black Rock and south around Mornington.


Customers Mark and Daniel fished out from Frankston in 16m and found some nice fish, which ate on the first set of baits. Pilchard and fresh calamari caught the fish, with 5 landed between 4kg and 7.5kg. Out in the same area customer Ben also got into some nice fish. Ben fished the 17m line to land fish to around 5kg in weight.


Further south around Mornington customers Taki and Wilson landed some nice fish from the rocks. The boys have been fishing some pretty heavy weather but are geared up to suit and they have been getting into the fish. Using pillies the boys have had fish to 7kg, with Saturdays sloppy weather producing a good number of fish to around 4kg.


Up around Ricketts point customer Gareth has been out in the kayak landing pinkies to around 50cm on lures. Gareth has caught fish trolling hardbodies and also on soft swimbaits and 'neko' rigged plastics. Gareth has been trying a few different methods and has been catching fish on many when others using bait aren't getting bites.

 


Flinders pier is still producing serious squid for persistent anglers. The squid fishing around the southern end of Westernport and Port Phillip bays has been good, with many anglers landing some big squid. This week customer Angelo has been catching some solid specimens but on some different jigs and colour schemes. Angelo has been experimenting with UV whites and also bright UV 'aggressive' colours with all of them working.


Sometimes these aggressive attention-seeking colours can work when nothing else does as they scream 'over here, eat me!' Especially in the clear oceanic water in the south of the bays, these colours really stand out. Angelo is normally a fan of passive and natural colours from Flinders pier but his gamble on some other colour patterns has paid off, so it's worth a shot!

 


While the snapper action hasn't been red hot, there are more fish caught every week - with the really good fishing coming over the next week or so. That said, keen anglers out there fishing for the reds are catching them, just not with red hot sessions. Customer Mario has been catching a few decent fish from the piers and rocks in Port Phillip, and hasn't been seeing too many others doing it. Preparation in collecting fresh bait and long hours of persistence have been the fruits of the labor and red rewards have been coming his way.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been finding the snapper fishing a bit tough at the moment, but time on the water has been getting him results for his customers. When James has been fishing Port Phillip he has been looking around the northern end of the bay from Williamstown to Brighton and Altona. James and clients have landed fish to around the 5kg mark on fresh squid and local pilchards either early morning or late into the evening.


Across in Westernport the snapper fishing has still been holding more consistent. There have been reports of fish coming from most of the port but the top of the north arm has been the best area (and potentially the busiest) to target these fish. Customers Christian and Damien fished deep around Crawfish rock to land a couple of fish to around 3kg. Fresh squid was the best bait to have, along with sinkers up around 20oz for this deep tidal scour.


Not far away in the same region of the port customer Dorian has been landing a few nice snapper. Dorian has been fishing from Tyabb through to Joes for fish like this one up around 7kg. Fresh local baits of squid, yakka and couta have been excellent up the top end of the port.

 


The squid fishing has been excellent over the past week or so, with some proper quality Spring squid coming in. Both bays have been producing lots of squid, with most but not all of the largest squid being caught from the boat. Customers Michael and Chris have both been catching quality squid from the lower end of Westernport throughout the week. 'Red whiting' Hayabusa jigs in size 3.5 have been the dominant jig for Chris this week.


Customer Callum also got a nice feed of squid from a session during the week. Callum launched at Hastings and fished the banks pushing up towards Tyabb where he managed 7 nice squid. Callum found the 4m area the best around the top of the tide, with a handful of different jigs all working well.


Southern Port Phillip has also been excellent for squid this week. From Mornington south the squid fishing has been very consistent. Customer Danny fished from the rocks around Mt Martha during nice conditions and landed a nice 40cm hood length squid. Danny was fishing a solid pink Yamashita jig in size 3.0, as pink is his favourite colour.


Down around Rye and Rosebud the squid haven't been as big, but big in numbers. Customer Thao and mate both got their bag fishing water from 4 - 8m around both Rye and Rosebud. Drifting over the reef patches from different angles was the key to filtering through the productive areas, and constant jig cloth colour changes also worked well. UV whites and rainbow oranges can work well in this part of the bay.