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 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 remains the number 1 choice for many anglers when it comes to catching snapper. It can be less daunting for anglers who haven't done as much snapper fishing as others, but can also get quite rough when strong winds rip up. This week we have had plenty of strong winds and rainfall which has kept all but the keenest anglers off the water, but it has really knocked the snapper bite up another gear.


Early in the week as the Southwesterly blow backed off the fish bit very well, with good numbers moving about and right up into the shallower murky water to feed. Customer Phil made the most of the bite and scored fish around the 6kg mark fishing out from Chelsea. Baits of squid and silver whiting were the most effective for him. Customer Bashir has also been capitalizing on the good bite since the rain with fish to 5kg coming from 13m of water out from Black Rock. Pilchard and gars have been the best baits for him.


Customer Dominic and mate Gary fished out wide from Mt Martha over early during the week to land some nice fish. The largest fish weighed just over 8.5kg and took silver whiting. The hard baits have been a definite preference for the snapper over the last few weeks, with silver whiting deadly. Other hard baits worth fishing have been small salmon or yakkas, with the pickers normally leaving these alone. Customer Sylvio fished out from Black Rock using silver whiting and pilchard over the weekend and reports fish to 5kg biting well around the 12m area.


Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished Port Phillip recently and most anglers reported snapper back at the weigh in. The largest fish weighed around 4.5kg, with plenty more caught between the 1-4kg mark.


While the snapper are the main focus at the moment, there have been some nice King George Whiting caught around the southern end of the bay. Customer Michael fished around Tootgarook with mate Dominic and some nice solid were caught. Fishing around 6m of water was best, as the pinkies would take over in the deeper water. Pipi and fresh squid was also very successful, with the squid giving some substance to the bait when the pinkies were hassling eh whiting off the baits. The whiting should only improve from now on, with the Mt Martha-Rye-Blairgowrie region a good place to focus on.

 


The land based fishing for snapper has been exceptional over the past few weeks. The normal run of land based reds occurs from late July onward but the shore based fishing has really heated up the past fortnight, both locally and out of town. Customer Taki has been chasing the reds from the rocks around the bay and his last session down towards Mt Martha yielded 2 nice fish up to 4kg. Pillies fished on 4/0 circle hooks did the job.


Customer Shibu has also been catching some nice school snapper from the shore. Shibu and friends have been from the beach along the Mordialloc - Black Rock region where fish to 2.5kg are not uncommon. Running sinker style rigs have been letting the bait move about naturally and have been attracting more bites. Pilchard has been the most effective bait along the area.


While there have been plenty of fish caught along the shoreline of the bay, there have been plenty from along the rocky ocean platforms out of town. Ocean ledges like Punchbowl have been producing snapper for the anglers out there in search of them. A bit further down the road around Wilson's Prom Customer Abdul has caught some nice fish to around 80cm. Abdul came in to store to prepare for a snapper session from the rocks and his organization led to success.


Abdul took a light rod and heavier shore rod for snapper, and caught some salmon using pilchards as bait - which were used for the snapper. The fresh fillets of salmon accounted for all of the snapper and a nice gummy which broke off at the rocks. Carrying minimal gear and catching fresh bait can be the huge advantage to catching quality fish.

 


Squid reports have been good over the past week even with the rain that has washed into the bays. Westernport has seemed to be consistent with the squid fishing and there have been some big squid caught. Customer Justin caught some nice models around the 1kg size up along the shallower banks of the top end.


Customer Chau and his brother fished out from Hastings recently to land some thumping squid on the banks. The guys managed squid to 2kg on a mixture of jigs, with blacks and greens working - along with jigs baited with silver whiting. 


Customers Stan and Stephan fished the Sorrento and Blairgowrie area of Port Phillip recently with some big squid landed. Covering ground from 4m to 10m in depth they found some good patches of squid. Size 3.0 jigs were most effective when fished with small chin weights to get down faster, with red, UV clear and UV black the best performers.


The rocky sections of the bay's shoreline have been producing average sized squid as per normal. Ledges such as Mornington and Mt Martha have had squid in the 20cm size range caught on size 2.5 and 3.0 jigs. Some anglers fishing slow sinking 3.5 jigs have also been luring in larger squid with the extra distance on the cast, so if you haven't used a jig like this it may just land you that big one from your favourite land based location.


The run of large squid has lasted around Mornington of late, with local angler Mario landing a good bag of big squid from the area. Again size 3.0 and 3.5 jigs have been the go, covering the water more effectively and catching the attention of the bigger squid. Customer Jo also caught some nice ones at Mornington and also Beaumaris. The Beaumaris region is very shallow and rocky so size 2.5 or 3.0 shallow jigs are the go.