Although the last thing some people might about during the winter months of the year is landbased fishing - some of the best fishing from the shore can be had at this time of the year. The winter months can be interesting while fishing from the shore with some species preferring calm, stable weather and others fishing best during the roughest weather that we get. With the recent rough onshore weather that Melbourne has experienced there will be some snapper roaming about close to shore. Of course standing on the pier or rocks when it's 8C and facing a 20 knot westerly wind isn't always easy - but these are the sort of conditions when your chances are the best. Customer Tony fished recently after a big front and was successful in catching a ripper snapper from the shore. Needless to say the location isn't really rocket science, but it is more about picking the conditions to target these fish. Tony managed this ripper fish on some freshly caught squid pinned to a 5/0 Owner SSW hook, on 60lb leader.

If you'd prefer to fish from the pier when the conditions are a bit more friendly - then garfish are for you. These fish prefer less rough weather and have been pretty good this season from all of the normal haunts including Beaumaris, Mordi, Frankston, Seaford and Frankston piers. Customer Kozi fished Frankston pier recently and caught a few during the run in tide. Zealcol fine grit berley and silverfish worked the best for him. Staff member Don also got a good haul of gars recently further down towards Blairgowrie. Don found that maggots and silverfish both worked well but the key was definitely setting up a good quality berley trail to bring the fish in and keep them around.

Further down towards the bottom end of the bay the squid fishing has been good. Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea piers have been producing quality squid both during the day and after dark. A good selection of jigs in the 3.0 - 3.5 size range is crucial down here, as colour/foil and running depth will determine whether you have a good day or a quiet day. Customer Kozi fished Portsea pier just recently and did well during the run out tide on size 3.0 Keimura jigs with red foil. Staff member Don also fished from the pier and caught some nice sized squid on red foil Haramitsu jigs in size 3.0 and 3.5.

 

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 top end of he bay has been overrun with small pinkies at present, from Williamstown through to Frankston. Virtually every section of reef has got loads of these ferocious fish on it. The main trouble has been getting through the small fish to the better size models underneath. The larger fish have been around 1 - 1.5kg and have been taking baits of pilchard, squid and saury. Customer Ryan fished for the pinkies from the piers over near Williamstown recently to land a heap using small soft plastics. Ryan found crab and worm imitations were the best when fished lightly weighted around the structure.

Further down around Seaford and Frankston there have been a few garfish caught from the shore. While numbers haven't been super, anglers specifically targeting them using maggots and silverfish have been getting a few. Fine grain berley has also been the key.

 

Down along the Peninsula the squid fishing has been good, with the piers and rocks both producing. Mornington, Blairgowrie and Sorrento piers have been fishing well for average sized squid. Mornington and Blairgowrie piers have been much better with small jigs in the 1.8 - 2.5 size range, with Sorrento fishing best on Yamashita 3.5D jigs in red foil and dark greens. Staff member Dylan fished from the rocks down near Mt Martha recently where squid to 1kg were caught using a mixture of 3.5 shallow and standard sink rates. Glow belly and dark green/black jigs were the best on the day.

 

The estuaries running into the bay have also been coughing up a few school sized mulloway for anglers putting in the time and effort recently. Most of the fish have been from 60 - 80cm, with a few bigger fish mixed in also. Live mullet, squid and even saury have been effective baits, along with soft plastics in the 3 - 5" size. Patterson River, Yarra and Maribyrnong have all seen some action of late. Customer John has been catching a few around the traps using mainly mullet for bait late during the night.

Down around the entrance/rip area the kingfish have been running hot. Anglers fishing live and dead baits, jigs, soft plastics and also trolled hardbodies have all caught fish - with the fish deciding on what they want on the day. Most of the fish caught have been around the legal size, with a few here and there pushing 10kg and some real thumpers at 12kg+ caught by persistent anglers trying all methods. Customer Edly went out and got into a few good fish out the front on a mixture of squid and also on the jigs just recently.  

Port Phillip has been fishing well for anglers who can get a break in the weather with snapper, squid and bream being caught by the patient anglers. Customer Dave has brushed up on his luring skills and has been getting stuck into some quality bream down at Patto. Dave has found the fish keen on small hardbodies recently, with SX40's doing the damage on some nice fish.

Staff member Dylan fished with a few mates out from Mt Martha during the week to get stuck into some squid. Fishing from Martha cove through to Mt Martha village nice squid up to 1kg were caught. With a strong wind present, 3.5 size jigs proved the most effective, with ghost/white/shrimp patterns by far the deadliest.

 

Customer Jarrad fished the southern end of the bay in search of some squid over the weekend, and he wasn't let down. Fishing the area from Rye through to Sorrento, Jarrad caught good size squid in around 3m of water. The most productive colours on the day were reds and oranges in the Shimano Keimura jigs. Both static and worked jigs got the results in the area. Just over the other side of the south channel, James from Unreel Fishing Charters has caught some quality snapper. While numbers aren't huge, the average size of the fish is quality - most being 3 - 6kg. The deep water 20 - 23m has been the go to area, with baits of whiting, yakka, squid and pilchard doing the job. 

 

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.

 

 

Port Phillip Bay has really started to slow in terms of snapper reports over the last few weeks, and while there are still some quality fish being caught - a lot of anglers are finding the fishing hard for small results. For anglers still wanting to try and land a few more snapper before the year is out, the best bet is to head out deep (19-22m) and try to locate a big school, then get the berley happening.

Customer Matt headed out recently in the bay in search of a snapper or two, and he managed a nice fish of around 3.5kg. Customer John took 9 year old Frankie out from Mt Martha over the weekend to see if a snapper or two was around. The boys fished in 21m of water and used snapper snatchers to get amongst a couple of nice fish.

 

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.