Snapper reports have been pretty good considering it's late June. The snapper in the bay have fired up somewhat since Melbourne copped some ugly weather a little while back, so if you're a snapper freak then now's just as good a time as any to go out and try pin a good sized fish. The best part is that the snapper action hasn't been too confined to any certain areas of the bay; there have been fish caught from Geelong to Port Melbourne and Brighton to Mount Martha. Customer Vic made use of some ugly weather earlier in the week and perched himself along the rocks down towards Mornington. Vic was targeting snapper and lost a couple of fish, but the fish that he did land was a beast. Fishing with a whole pillie on 60lb leader Vic managed to land a thumping fish of 10.2kg - not bad for landbased in June hey...meanwhile across near Williamstown in only 8m of water customer Reece caught this nice 7kg fish on pilchard while drifting along a small dropoff with flatties in mind. That's the shoreline and city in the background.

Along pretty much every reef patch in the bay the pinkies have been in plague proportions. While there have been heaps of fish to attack a bait, a lot of them have been on the small side. A lot of the fish have been around the 30cm size, with a few bigger models mixed in. Larger baits and bigger hooks are a good idea if you're after a few bigger fish for the table. Soft plastics are a good option when chasing pinkies, and brands like Zman are excellent when the smaller fish are chewing other plastics to bits. If you're lucky you might even get some by-catch like customer Shane did. Shane was fishing out around Mordi with a 4" plastic when he landed a rare catch. This strange fish is an Australian Angel shark, which can reach around 1.5m in length.

For the squidding enthusiasts, the calmer weather we have had has been perfect for hitting some of the piers and rock ledges in search of a few. The southern end of the bay has been the best recently, especially along Mornington, Blairgowrie and Portsea. Staff member Don headed down to Portsea pier during the week and found some nice squid and cuttlefish. Don found that size 3.5 Yakamito's in gold foil were the best on this occasion, with all squid and cuttlefish caught on similar jigs. Customer Ryan has also been catching a few squid from the rocks around Mornington recently. Ryan has had to work hard and hop around in search of a few but he has been getting good numbers in the end. Size 3.0 and 3.5 Gancraft and Yamashita jigs have been the best, with green/gold tones/grass whiting patterns working the best. Most of Ryan's squid have been in the 300g size lately. 

 

Autumn around the bay can be good for the landbased angler, with a few different options to test your luck on. Mullet, bream, mulloway, squid, pinkies and whiting can all be caught from the shore if you are in the right areas and have the correct gear. There have been a few mulloway caught from the areas around the docklands and some of the local rivers over the last few weeks, and while these fish are never easy to catch - patience and persistence definitely pays off. Customer Michael got onto a good fish just last week using live baits, which pulled the scales down to around 15kg. All Michael said about his fish is that it was captured around the 'wall'. Staff member Don has also had some luck on the smaller school sized mulloway locally, with a few fish in the 60 -80cm mark eating soft plastics. Don tested some of his light gear out on the fish and came out on top, quality gear goes a long way when you're targeting fish like mulloway.

The pinkies have been fairly ravenous lately, with loads of anglers catching fish from many shore based areas of the bay. Any rock platform or pier has been worth a shot lately, just be ready to fight through the schools of smaller fish. Customer Dennis fished from the shore at he mouth of the Patterson River just recently where he landed some nice pan sized fish. Fresh squid was the gun bait on these fish.

Squid reports are good around the bay, with most of the piers fishing well. Southern piers like Mornington and Blairgowrie have been good, especially for anglers fishing smaller sized jigs. Staff member Don took his young twins down to the pier just recently, where they had a ball catching squid on 2.5 sized red and gold foil jigs.

 

The snapper reports have been a bit quiet this week out in the bay, but they are there for dedicated snapper anglers. While the weather is usually the determining factor, most of the fish have been caught in around 18m of water out from the Mornington area, which isn't too far from shore. This area right out to 24m has been producing snapper to 4.5kg on pilchard and squid. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching snapper to around the 4kg mark with customers during recent trips, and he has also found a few silver whiting out in the same areas. The whiting have been making excellent snapper bait in the same area as well.

 

In closer to shore around Mornington and Mt Eliza James has been catching good numbers or squid with customers, with most of them being excellent size for the area. James has found some of his old faithful size 3.0 jigs in natural/red foil and greens have been working very well.

Port Phillip experienced a shorter than normal snapper season for most anglers this year, and overall numbers were down. Late November saw hardly any action for a lot of anglers, with some nice fish here and there caught by the guys following the fish around. During the last 10 days, there has been a small run of fish around the southern end of the bay. Customer Jacques had been looking around out wide from Mornington where he managed some good sized fish in a few trips. Jacques found most of the fish around the 4kg mark, and they were all taken on pillies in 21m.

 

Most of the snapper action recently has taken place between Mornington and Mt Martha, and the best depths have been 18 - 23m. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been getting in to quite a few nice sized fish with customers, with Mt Eliza and Mornington fishing well. James has had some sessions recently that have been hotter than earlier in October. Big groups of these fish will normally hang around this area until about March, where they can be caught on pillies and fresh baits of squid or yakka.

 

 

Squid reports from the bay have been consistent recently - no real standouts in terms of location, but all the usual haunts fishing well. The Southern end of the bay from Mt Martha down has been good for average specimens from the piers, with a few bigger ones thrown in the mix down at Portsea. Deep running jigs in red foil and also dark greens have been the most effective after dark.

Staff members Dylan and Kozi both fished around Mt Eilza - Mornington during the week, from boat and pier. Dylan found average size squid around Mornington that were happy to attack the Haramitsu 'Albino' colour in size 2.5, while Kozi did well out in the boat close to shore. Haramitsu size 2.5 in EWC and AR did the damage around the shallow reef areas.

 

The snapper reports from out in Port Phillip have been very slow the last few weeks and while there are still anglers getting amongst them, most people aren't. The majority of fish being caught have come from out wide in 20 - 23m of water. The shallows have been very quiet with only the odd fish caught.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has really been putting in the hard yards to get some snapper for his customers, and while the fishing hasn't been easy he has managed to get a few nice fish. James has had to move around a lot to find his fish and as a result he has burnt a lot of fuel. In covering a lot of water he has found small patches of fish and normally once a bit of berley has gone in a few have come on the bite. He has found most of the better fish out deep at the moment - with a lot of smaller pinkies in the mix.

 

The squid fishing has been fairly quiet recently around the bay but numbers of squid have still been good for anglers chasing them. The more consistent spots have been Mornington through to Mt Martha and around Portsea also.

Staff member Kozi has been catching a few squid from the shoreline of the bay between Frankston and Mt Martha, from both the piers and also the rocks. Squid in the 20cm size have been common, with size 2.5 jigs working best. Most colours have been good, with a quick change between a bright 'aggressive' colour to a more neutral 'natural' tone normally turning lookers into eaters.

 

One thing most anglers have noticed over the last year or so has been the lack of garfish being caught from the piers and rockwalls. A lot of regular pier fisherman have pretty much given up on fishing for them, as numbers just didn't seem to be around. Good news though, as the last month has seen some reasonable numbers of gars starting to come back. While they are not thick around the piers yet, many snapper anglers have reported catching large gars in their berley trails while targeting snapper - with some of the gars have been 40cm or bigger. Fine grit berley and size 12 - 14 narrow gaped hooks have been their undoing, with small pieces of squid or pilchard.

 

Staff member Kozi has been out giving the gars and other bait species a hiding from the shore between Frankston and Mornington. Kozi has caught garfish, tommy rough, salmon, scad and couta recently using a fine berley trail and small baits of pilchard, squid, silverfish and whitebait. The most effective berley has been the 'Pier and Jetty mix' from Zealcol - which is fine enough to attract all species but not feed them, so that they are still attracted to your baits. The rocks at Mornington and Mt Eliza have been good for Kozi.

 

Port Phillip Bay is still producing some quality snapper for most anglers, however the fish have been a little bit fickle over the last week. A few more reports have come from the deeper areas, with the Frankston - Mt Martha area starting to fire up as well.Customer Edly has been have mixed success while out on the bay, with the fish going off on one day and the next not even a touch. The inconsistent weather/barometer levels at the moment will be the main effect. Customer Marco fished with his son Lucas out from Seaford recently where the landed snapper up to 6kg using silver whiting.

Customer Jun fished aboard a charter out from Mornington recently where some lovely snapper were caught. The 2 pictured weighed in at 7kg and 5.9kg and were caught not far out from Mornington harbour on pilchard.

Customer Ivan fished out from Chelsea on the weekend where he caught some nice fish to 5kg in 16m of water. Ivan found silver whiting to be the best. Customer Damien fished with some mates out towards Aspendale in 14m of water just recently where reds to 4kg were landed. Damien found unweighted pillies to work the best, and he also said that you unless you have a rack full of Stellas you'll never be a snapper master!

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has still been getting a few decent snapper for customers recently. James has found a few more fish out from Mornington - Frankston recently, with some good action out wide. Areas that have been holding good numbers of fish like 17m have produced up to 10 way hookups for customers at times! Most of the fish in these big schools have been in the 2.5 - 4.5kg size range, with the odd fish over 6kg coming aboard also. Pillies, squid and yakka have been working well in conjunction with pilchard/scallop/squid based berley.

Port Phillip Bay has really hit it's straps over the last few weeks on the snapper front. The temperature of the bay has risen to the hover around the same as bass strait and this is the trigger that really sets the snapper off. Over the last few weeks there have been fish caught all over the bay, from 10m through to 21m. At present the more consistent areas seem to be the 17 - 20m ground out from Mornington - Mordialloc, with the deeper parts out towards P2 in the north of the bay producing fish as well.

Baits of all sorts have been working with scad, whiting, saucy, cuttlefish, gar, salmon, couta, pilchard and squid all producing fish  - but that being said it is very wise to take a selection and definitely make sure there are some pillies and squid in that mix, along with pilchard and squid scented berley pellets. There have been too many fish caught to list each and every one, so from here on we will let the pictures do the talking.