While not the same rush as the months of October and November, Port Phillip has been producing a wave of snapper as they feed up and move out of the bay. There will continue to be some resident fish in the bay all year, but good sized schools have been found in the Mornington region at present. These fish have been caught in depths of 17 -21m out to the edge of the spoil ground. First light bites are consistent with fish at this time of year, and well worth the effort. Bill from Mornington recently landed fish to around 5.5kg on pilchard and silver whiting.


Among the larger fish there have been plenty of pinkie schools, both out on the mud and around the reef patches. While wading through the smaller fish can be painstaking there have been enough fish to just over a kilo if you are changing up baits and rigs to suit. The reefy areas of Mornington and Black Rock have been holding large numbers of fish but also larger numbers of undersize fish. Moving to the mud just off the reef and berleying lightly has been a good method of luring better fish to your baits. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been landing heaps of plate sized pinkies for customers by fishing just outside the reef areas with fresh squid and pilchard. If the smaller fish are getting the better of you, switching to harder baits such as whiting or yakka can drag out some bigger fish for you.

 


The 'everyday' species on offer around the bay have been providing whether you're in the boat or fishing from the shore. Squid fishing of late has been productive all around the bay as customer Peter has been finding out. Peter fished with a mate out from Rye over the weekend to land a nice bag of squid. Most productive jigs were size 3.0 Yakamitos in the 'ribena' colour.


Customer Tony fished with mate over near Queenscliff on the weekend to land some nice squid and cuttelfish. Tony found that the stand out jig was a fluoro yellow 'lemon meringue' coloured jig. The bright coloured jig out-performed all others in the area, and has a good track record in the Queenscliff region.


The local piers and sandy spits and coves have been holding some nice garfish lately also. The 'normal' piers such as Frankston and Mordialloc have been producing but they have been better during the day rather than at night. If you are able to get out on the water and berley up the size of the gars has been better. Customer Edly has been making the most of these tasty fish over the past few weeks, with some good numbers of fish to 35cm being swung aboard. Silverfish and maggots have been the best baits of late, with a light trickle of berley enough to keep the fish nearby.

 


Squid fishing around both bays has been pretty good recently, as we've had no rain until just the last 24hrs. Some of the northern regions of both bays will be discoloured and will need a good few days to clean up - but these areas have been a tad too warm for numbers of squid recently anyway. While you will catch squid right up in the warmer water of the bays, the larger squid tend to prefer the cooler oceanic water coming in from the bottom of the bays.


While it's not mayhem yet - it won't be far away. Mornington pier has been starting to produce a few more squid, and in a month or so there should be large numbers of small squid in the harbour. Stock up on small jigs in the 1.75 & 1.8 size while they're in stock! Customer Connor fished the pier recently and caught a few squid to 25cm hood length. Connor found 2 different were effective over 2 days - bright orange and pilchard patterns in size 2.2.


The southern end of the bay has had lots of squid in the 200g size especially around Rye and Rosebud. Customer Jason was out stocking up for a kingfish session recently and found no shortage of squid in around 5m of water off Rye - with darker coloured jigs working the best. Blacks, dark reds and dark greens were the most effective.


Across in Westernport bay the squid fishing has been good further south also. While not known for producing huge numbers, the Flinders area has seen some bigger size as per usual. Customer Ryan caught a couple of nice specimens from the pier in between all the mackerel floats. With all the mackerel around Ryan found the natural mackerel pattern Yamashita worked the best. Just out from the pier customer Justin caught some really solid squid. Fishing the area out from the pier in the boat can be effective with size 3.5 fast sink jigs, as there is some undercurrent that will keep lighter jigs from reaching the 'kill zone'.


Customer Brendan also found some nice squid out in Westernport over the weekend. Brendan found a UV orange belly/brown back Yamashita jig did the damage. Brendan was targeting the edge of the grass beds in 6m of water to catch his squid.

 


The gummy shark fishing has been over the past few weeks, for both table sized fish in both bays along with the larger females that move into the bays to pup over this time of year. The smaller table fish have been caught frequently from Tenby and Stockyard Point in Westernport especially during the nights. Customer Anel caught 5 nice fish with some mates over the weekend on the run out tide. Anel found that pilchard and squid were the better baits.


Southern Port Phillip has been producing some super solid fish for anglers persisting and using fresh baits. Customer Josh has been fishing with mates in the channels around the Rye and Sorrento region and he has been catching some good fish. Josh fished the south channel over the weekend to land a ripper female fish of 18kg. Josh fished the run out tide and found fresh slimey mackerel was the successful bait.


Customer Ryan has also been catching quite a few small gummies from the Mornington region. Ryan has caught fish from 18m through to 21m, using fresh baits of yakka, slimey and squid. These smaller gummies have been present in the area, and also to the north around Brighton and Altona. Fresh baits have been the key in attracting the gummies in rather than berley also.

 


Port Phillip has still been producing similar bread and butter species as Westernport,with whiting and gummies the main targets to the south of the bay. Customer Mario and mate fished out from Mt Martha in search of KGW recently and he found a nice bag of fish from 35 - 46cm. Mario found that fresh squid and cuttlefish were the gun baits


Out wide from Mt Martha customer Josh tried his luck on the gummies again. Josh worked his way into the south channel where he picked up 2 nice table sized gummies of about 7kg each. Josh found strips of freshly caught squid were effective, as he couldn't find any salmon for bait. Josh found the top of the tide the most productive time.


While many anglers have been battling to find much in the way of size pinkies, there have been patches of fish to around 1kg about. Customer Ryan fished the inshore reef south of Mornington to take home some nice fish up to 44cm. The larger fish have been hanging in schools away from the smaller fish, so if you find yourself stuck catching undersize a simple move a bit deeper might put you on to some better fish. Larger baits and hooks have been weeding out the small fish, with harder baits like yakka performing well. Soft plastics in 3 - 4 inch have been good at minimizing smaller fish as well, especially if they are a TPR style plastic. Mornington and also Black Rock have been holding some decent fish among the small fish.

 


Port Phillip has still been busy with holiday boaties over the past week, and most of the reports have been bread and butter fishing for pinkies, whiting and squid. The rip has seen some kingfish caught but this week has been a bit patchy. For the persistent anglers some of the pinkies have been reasonable, but you'll have to fish through the smaller ones until a few larger fish come through. Customer Darcy slogged away from the rocks recently in search of a better fish, and managed a nice fish of around 3kg from near Mt Martha. Pilchard was the go for him, and most of the better fish have been taken late into the night.


While the whiting fishing has been patchy around the full moon, there have still been plenty of anglers getting into a few of them. Customers Bashir and Danny have been doing alright on the whiting fishing out from Altona. Fishing the broken ground between 4 - 6m has been the go, with pipi and mussel being the most effective baits.


Most of the whiting have come on the bite before dark, which has been when a bit of the water traffic has slowed down. It pays to have multiple rods rigged and plenty of baits prepped around this time, as the small pinkies have also been ravenous around last light.


The other hots area for the whiting at present has been around Sorrento. Customer Josh fished out from here during the week and found some nice fish over 40cm. The best bait was pipi, but fresh cuttlefish is also very good in this southern section of the bay. Fishing the broken ground wide of the moorings and around the broken patches of the 'south sand' has been effective, especially when fishing in depths of 5 - 7m.


The squid fishing around the bay has been good, without being red hot. Most of the piers and everyday areas have been producing some solid squid, but no real monsters this week. Staff member Dylan has found that red and orange jigs have been super effective this week, moreso than most other colours. Dylan has been fishing the piers between Mornington and Sorrento, with size 3.0 being the most 'universal' size.


Customer Noel fished from the pier at Sorrento during the week where he managed a nice cuttlefish. Noel caught the cuttlefish on a red  foil jig, while conditions were cloudy and overcast. Fishing your jigs very close to the bottom and almost dragging them above the sand is a very good way to land cuttlefish, as they seem to prefer the jig 'hovering' just above the bottom. Fishing this method 'tip run' style is the best way to keep contact with the jig, and be ready to strike or move it from the weed as soon as you feel the drift change.

 


While reports have thinned off a little from Port Phillip, there is still plenty going on! The snapper have slowed off a little with their usual pre-xmas spawning movements, but there are still plenty of patches of fish to catch. The southern end of the bay seems to be the go at the moment, as the water temp is slightly lower and more conducive to a snapper bite.


Out from Mornington, customers aboard 'Relax, Go Fishing' charters have been getting some solid fish to around the 6kg mark throughout the week. Baits of silver whiting have been very effective along with squid, and a few fish taking the usual pilchard as well. The productive areas have been from Mt Eliza through to Mornington in 16-17-18m of water.


Out from Black Rock customer Adrian has been catching some nice fish to around 4.5kg on pillies. Adrian has been fishing around the reef edge in 9m and fishing pilchards. Using a strong berley trail of pilchard cubes has been the best way to keep the nearby fish interested, with a handful of cubes going in every 40 minutes or so. Customer Michael has been getting a few fish still out from Carrum also. Michael has been fishing nearby to the outer artificial reef in 18m and finding the odd fish around sunrise. Fresh squid has been Michael's preferred bait.


Customer Mick came into the store recently to set up some Port Phillip 'specific' gear. After realizing that some of his stuff was more suited to Western port Mick purchased a lighter outfit to tackle the finicky nature of Port Phillip's snapper. Very next session Mick was out and into fish to about 3.5kg, with long octopus tentacles getting the bites.

Down along the Peninsula there have been some squid caught from some of the piers. Dirtier water and winds have slowed things a bit but persistence and constant jig changes has been the way to piece a bag together. Staff member Don got down to Mornington and although conditions weren't super favourable he still managed a decent haul. Switching between rattle and non rattle 2.5 size jigs was the go, with UV colours and rattles getting bites before the other jigs.


At the bottom of the peninsula there has been some movement from the schooling kingfish. While not 'on fire' yet, there are fish around - and they are worth targeting. Friend of the shop Bruce fished around the heads and offshore towards Barwon over the weekend to get into a few school sized fish. Bruce's best tactic was to run a 'Fanasty squid' hardbody behind the boat and pin a long squid strip on a dropper behind the lure. The lure works to get the king's attention and the squid strip seals the deal.



 


At present, the snapper bite has been good but has also had some inconsistency over the last week or so. As water temperatures heat up more in about 2 weeks the fish should go off the bite as they spawn. At the moment though they are still being caught. Customer Sylvio has caught fish to 5kg fishing in close from Black Rock. Pilchards have been the best bait for him.


Customers Robbie and Matej have been fishing out from Mornington recently. The guys have been fishing in the 16m area and have been catching snapper to around the 4kg mark. Fishing with multiple baits, the best bite for them has been between 7:30 and 9:00 am. Hard baits have been fishing better, with silver whiting the standout.


Again around the 16m line customer Aaron has landed snapper to 4kg. Aaron has been fishing the Frankston/Mt Eliza region and has been using freshly caught squid to land his fish.


The Frankston area has been fishing quite well over the past week or so, with good numbers of fish holding in water between 15 - 18m. Customer Steve recently caught a few nice fish to 4.5kg out towards 18m. Customer Paul fished 16m off Frankston to land some crackers to around 6.5kg on silver whiting and pilchard, with the morning tide change more productive than dawn.


Friend of the shop Bruce and mates fished the arvo whiting bite at Queenscliff. Some thumping whiting were caught, with the best baits being pipi and squid. The key for these bigger whiting has been to present bigger baits which works best on slightly bigger hooks like Shogun black baitholders in size 2, on a Paternoster style rig.

 


Previous to whiting fishing, Bruce headed just offshore from Queenscliff in search of a kingfish. Large numbers of school snapper have been around and plaguing baits, but there have been some small kingfish caught around the rubble grounds. Fresh squid has been the go if you can get through the snapper. Gawaine Blake also headed out in search of a kingfish around the heads, and he wasn't disappointed with a couple of lovely fish landed. The time has come!


 


The squid fishing has been good during the spell of warm weather we've had lately. The warm and clear conditions have kept the water clarity very good and the bait has been plentiful in the shallows around the reefs. The better areas continue to be the southern end of the bay but there have been some good catches coming from the top end around Black Rock and Beaumaris. The best areas to head before the big deluge of freshwater are from Mornington or Mt Eliza further south.


Customer Ryan fished from the shore up around Beaumaris during the week to land a good bag of squid and a couple of pinkies. Ryan was fishing with a newly purchased 'Black Water' squid rod and felt that the rod performed exceptionally with all jigs sizes. Ryan found that gold base jigs in size 2.5 were the most effective for him fished in the darkness. A second rod with fresh squid strips accounted for the pinkies, which came from no more than 2.5m of water around the broken reef.


Around Mt Martha the squid fishing has been good, with customer Bryan catching some nice squid and cuttlefish out from Martha Point. Bryan was fishing out of the kayak and found that larger jigs were more successful, especially in natural colours. Whiting and yakka patterns with silver foils were the best. 


Customer Tas has been catching some nice squid around Mornington and Mt Martha recently. Tas has been catching squid to around 1kg on a variety of jigs and has just started using the EZ change clips, letting him change through jig colours/size very quick and making the most of the bite.

 


Port Phillip has still been seeing most of the snapper action of late, with some afternoon bites during the week along side the normal early morning feeding routine. The best bet is still to be out before light and  mark up some fish before setting anchor and berley, but if you're into fishing gentlemen's hours then you can still score a fish or two.

Captain Jack fished out from Patto recently to score a nice table sized snapper using a 'snapper snatcher'. Jack fished in 18m and baited up the snatcher with chunks of yakka.


Fishing out wider has been more effective the past week, with the bulk of the reports coming from 16m and deeper. Out from Mornington Captain Bill has been picking up fish to 5kg on pilly and silver whiting. Customer Zoran has also been landing fish early morning out wide from Seaford in 19m. Zoran has been finding silver whiting to be effective at the moment, and he has been berleying with 'snapper magnet' pellets to get the bite going.


Customer Damien has been marking a few fish up out in 19m also. Fishing out from Patto, Damien has been looking for active on the sounder just above the bottom, and sitting around these fish. Squid, pilchard and silver whiting have all been effective on fish to about 4kg.


Out from Seaford customer Mark has been finding some quality fish. Mark has landed fish to better than 6.5kg just earlier in the week, with silver whiting being the best bait. Just make sure to upsize your hooks if fishing larger, harder baits as the snapper's jaw power can roll smaller hooks back into the bait which will foul the hookup. 5/0 and 6/0 are minimum for baits like medium sized whiting and other baitfish.


There have been plenty of school sized fish about recently too, with pinky numbers fairly thick around the inshore and channel reefs. Customers Benny and Ryan fished out from Frankston during the week to land some nice table pinkies on pilchard. If smaller fish are present, pilchard halves or cubes on smaller 2/0 hooks are a much better way to hook up than using whole baits. Customer Dennis has also been finding good school sized fish this week. Dennies has been fishing out from Patto where the average fish has been around 3.5 - 4kg.


Dennis has been fishing with a few mates and has landed fish to 6.7kg, with the most productive depths still out from 16 - 18m. Marking fish on the sounder is fairly crucial as it can show you the mood and size of the fish, and whether to stop on them or not.