If there was ever a season to be making the most of the salmon around the beaches and inshore land based spots then this year has been it. The salmon have been unstoppable this winter and by normal accounts should stay strong until the water temperature starts warming up - so around the start of October or so. While there are still days when conditions aren't favourable and the fishing is hard work, the fish have been cooperating more often than not.


Speaking of unfavourable conditions the wind recently has been typical of late winter winds, constantly strong but also with a fair bit of north to it. Northerly winds make beach fishing somewhat easier, generally better than anything with south in it, so although the forecast might be strong there's still enough fishing to be had.

Customer Mark has been down at Venus Bay making the most of the salmon run, with more fish to around 2kg caught on lures over the weekend. While strong winds have meant constant gutter and bar movement, the fish are still around and hungry. Customer Dimitri got down to Gunnamatta beach and got into some nice fish on bluebait and surf poppers over the weekend also.


Speaking of Gunnamatta, it has been the best performing local beach with most anglers getting into good numbers of salmon. Staff member Don spent an afternoon on the beach last week armed with a light and long spin rod and some Yakamito 'Angry bait' metals to land some nice salmon to around 900g. Constantly moving along the beach in search of holding gutters and small pockets of fish was the key, as when one was caught there were generally a lot more around.

Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished Gunnamatta last weekend for their surf competition with 9 anglers fishing the beach. Overall 25 salmon were caught, which was good considering the rough conditions and strong winds present. The largest fish caught was just over 1.5kg which is excellent fun on any gear - so even if the conditions are less than ideal there are still plenty of salmon to be caught.


For the bayside angler, the rough conditions have meant that there have been plenty of salmon about along the shore of the bay. Areas to try of late have been around Sandringham, Mordialloc, Patterson rivermouth, Frankston and Mornington. Further south Mt Martha, Blairgowrie and Sorrento have all been worth fishing depending on how far you want to drive. The fish have been somewhat larger further south, with some well over 2kg coming from piers like Sorrento. Lure fishing for these landbased salmon is the go as the schools are constantly on the move in search of baitfish. If you're unsure of which lures to try on light gear for long landbased-casting come in and talk to the team, as there are quite a few options.

 

 

 


Many land based anglers have been making the most of the pinkies lately with no shortage of excellent eating size fish about. Just about any pier, beach or rockwall along the eastern side of the bay with some reef nearby is worth having a look at, especially after a few days of strong westerly winds. Customer Steve has been getting a few around the traps with fish to 45cm pretty common place, and ideal for the plate!


Customer Kien has been making the most of the large numbers of pinkies that have been about over the winter. Kien has been fishing Victoria Harbour or the 'Docklands' for his fish, with many fish around 40cm landed and some larger up to 2.5kg. The most effective bait has been the humble pilchard, fished on a running rig. Heavier leader has been useful when fishing the harbour as there are many barnacle encrusted posts and objects for the fish to break off against.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been having some fun on the school sized pinkies out in the bay. James has found the numbers of nice table fish to be very good, with plenty of happy customers taking home a feed of fish. Most of the larger fish have been found out from the reef a bit further, as the big schools normally hold tight to the reef for cover. Having a quality sounder to locate the small patches of fish is vital, and once found smaller baits of pilchard and squid on 2/0 sized hooks have been deadly.

While it may not seem it yet, snapper season is just around the corner. There have already been some scattered reports of solid fish around towards the southern end of the bay. Most of the southern land based spots - Mornington Pier, Mt Martha Rocks will be worth fishing from now on - especially for a 'trophy' fish. Regardless the fish aren't far away, so it's the time to get your gear organized for the season.

 


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 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!

 


The river around the bay have been fishing well for bream and mullet over the week. Conditions in the rivers have cleared up somewhat compared to what they were earlier in the week, and subsequently the bream should become a touch more fickle, but they can still be caught. The mullet have been responding very well to fine mist berley if you're fishing Patterson river or Mordialloc creek, and a little bit of surface chop will definitely help as well.


Customer Ryan has been fishing the Maribyrnong river during the week where he has landed some nice bream up to 35cm. Ryan has been finding the most productive method for him is very slowly 'grubbing' a small soft plastic along the bottom. Scent has helped turning small bites and knocks into solid hook up on shy fish also.


In the Patto customer Jake has been catching some excellent bream on lures. Jake has been fishing a mixture of lures and recently tried out some Yakamito sinking stickbaits with great success. Jake managed some quality fish on the 2 different colours that he used  with most fish eating the lure as it fell slowly towards the bottom. Fishing these stickbaits on a tight line will ensure that any subtle bites are detected as soon as the fish knock them.


Small freshwater yabbies have accounted for good numbers of fish from the Patto recently, especially when fished with  as little sinker weight as possible. For a lure to imitate small yabbies the Megabass bottle shrimp have been very effective when fished on 1/32oz beat roller jigheads.

 

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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.

 


Not that many people realize, but the snapper in the bay have been worth fishing for whether you're landbased or from the boat. Winter sees some snapper hang around, but many angler associate Spring with snapper fishing. At the moment there aren't as many fish about as in Spring, but they are generally good size and there to be caught in you're willing to target them. Many of the piers along the Eastern side of the bay have been worth a shot, with customer Kong claiming a nice 4kg fish for himself just a few nights ago from Mordi.


The piers with heavy reef nearby have been the go, as the fish will graze over the reef and onto the sand and mud nearby during rougher weather, especially during the night or low light periods. Piers worth a look at the moment have been; Mordialloc, Beaumaris, Black Rock, Brighton, Kerford Road and the multiple structures at Williamstown and right up into the Yarra itself. If boat fishing is more your thing, the extensive reef from Ricketts through to Brighton has been good, along with Victoria Harbour, or better known as 'Docklands'.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has recently been having a ball on school sized snapper and pinkies from Black Rock all the way north to the docks. James has gotten stuck into the schools of fish that have been hanging about in the harbour, with fish to 4kg coming out. Baits of fresh squid or small pilchards have been excellent when fished on smaller 2/0 suicide style hooks and very little weight.

 


While conditions have been favourable earlier during the week the squid fishing has been very good. Calm Autumn afternoons coupled with very good water clarity have had the squid going well around most of the local land based haunts. This time of the year the shallow mid-northern reef sections of Port Phillip tend to start firing as the water temperature cools down from it's Summer heat and that's where a few reports have been coming from. Most of these areas are quite shallow and littered with heavy coffee rock and reef, so picking the correct jig to suit is as important as having your rod with you.


Customer Ismail has been catching some nice squid from both Beaumaris and Black Rock jetties. Ismail has been fishing the Daiwa size 1.8 squid jigs and having success with them in these spots. These smaller more finesse jigs work well in shallow reefy areas because they tend to sink a bit slower than most small jigs, and their small profile can accurately represent the many small shrimp and baitfish on the reef. Just make sure to run a bit lighter leader strength when using these small jigs, as heavy leader can kill their 'dart' and action, and make the squid a lot less interested in them.


Staff member Dylan has been catching some squid from the shore of the bay. Dylan has been fishing around Brighton and has found some decent sized squid for the area. Dylan has been finding the late afternoon bite has been sporadic, but best around the top of the tide. Otherwise into the night the squid have been foraging over the shallow reef and sand, with one particular squid caught after casting to spraying baitfish almost right on the beach! The more productive jigs have been luminous or '490' glow Yamashita models with coloured overcloth, in size 2.5. Shallow sinking size 3.0 jigs have also caught a few the slightly smaller profile has been good when the bite is a bit slow.


From around the same area staff member George has been getting a few squid also. George has been using some larger jigs with good success but keeping them above the harsh reef can be tricky, especially if they sink a bit too fast for the area. Red foil and also natural yakka and baitfish patterns have been getting the bites, with a few larger models coming off the sand patches close by to the reef. A common theme with this form of rock squid fishing is changing jigs very often, so having them in an easy to reach squid bag is a must, along with quick-change spiral clips for effortless jig swapping in the dark.

 


While the reports haven't been coming in thick and fast, the land based action at this time of year can be excellent. Depending what you want to catch and how far you wish to travel, there are normally plenty of options.

Down along the shores of Westernport customers Matt and Brendan have been having fun with some nice table sized gummies. The areas such as Stockyard point and Tenby point have been good as has the Somers region. Freshly caught salmon, pike, yakka or squid has been excellent, otherwise pillies and frozen squid or cuttlefish have also been doing well with fish averaging around 4kg. Tides will depend on location you choose, as you won't be able to access some areas on high tides, others you will want to fish as the tide reaches it's peak.


The surf beaches have started producing some numbers of salmon, with no huge schools present at the moment but as always the larger fish seem to come through before the smaller school fish do. Peninsula beaches such as Gunnamatta and St Andrews have had some solid fish to just shy of 2kg, with early morning or late afternoon high tides the hot times. Bluebait and squid have been the best baits, but there have been a good number of fish caught on unbaited 'flasher' style rigs and surf poppers. Remember whenever you fish the beaches these types of rigs will stand out to the fish much easier than a normal rig, and increase your chances of a bite.

Customers Mark and Darren fished the beach down towards Venus bay, which has been producing better numbers of smaller school fish. The guys fished beach no.5 where they caught salmon to just under a kilo, and a couple of flatties to around 35cm. The guys found that bluebait and pipi were the best baits, with a number of fish taking the red surf popper also.


The pinkies have been fishing very well from most of the shore based locations around Port Phillip bay recently. The many rock groynes and points, along with the piers have had schools of fish anywhere from 25cm through to around 3kg. Fishing first or last light is the prime time to catch a few, but right through the night they have also been fairly active. First light has seen some better sized fish come through, with customer Sergio catching some lovely fish to nearly 2kg during the morning.


Sergio has been fishing a few different locations around the top end of the bay, with nearly all of them producing fish. He has been finding pilchard or salted mackerel fillets to be the best baits lately, with pinkies, flathead and small gummies all taking the same baits.

 

 

 

It seems squid fishing has been very popular over the last week, with people either catching them for quality baits or keeping them for a quality feed! Customer Tony fished out in Westernport recently for a mixed bag session but also did well on larger squid. Tony found that the killer jig for the day was a size 3.5 Yamashita in colour R35, which nailed most of his squid including some rippers well over 1kg.


Customer Ismail has been fishing with a few mates landbased around the bay as has been doing well on the squid. The guys have been concentrating around the Mordi - Black Rock area with good numbers of squid hitting the planks of the piers. The calm conditions have seen smaller jigs working best, with size 1.8's killing it at the moment. Most of the squid around this region tend to fish a bit better from Autumn into Winter so we should expect some good fishing yet still.


Customer Brendan has been doing well on the squid the past few weeks, but also managed some thumper cuttlefish. Over the last week there have been quite a few cuttlefish and octopus caught by anglers fishing deeper or over the thicker kelp beds in the southern areas of both bays. Brendan managed the big cuttlefish in 30m of water out from Flinders with heavily weighted jigs fished just above the reef and kelp. The most effective colour on these cuttlefish was a blue back/rainbow belly jig.


Another deepwater cephalopod capture this week was a great big octopus from customer Dennis. Dennis 'the menace' was fishing around the heavy kelp beds and reef around Portsea when his float rig went under. Fishing a normal bait, Dennis thought it was a fish of some sorts, but apon retrieval a great big octopus came up from the depths. After a few tense moments, the occy was in the boat and the story was revealed, a crab had tangled itself in the leader and the octopus grabbed it and hooked itself also!