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.  

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

If you're wanting to catch a snapper in Port Phillip bay, now is pretty much the best time to get out there! In the last couple of weeks the water temperature has risen to around the same temperature as Bass Strait, and that is when the snapper feed a lot more actively. The peak times are still generally the early morning bite, with the first few hours of daylight being the best. However in saying that, with current temperatures the fish are also feeding more throughout the day with midday and afternoon bite windows as well. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been smashing the snapper with customers, with some thumpers coming aboard. James has found fish anywhere from 16 - 22m out from Frankston and Carrum, with big schools of fish out deep. James sent in a pic of his Furuno screen lighting up on a massive school of fish, with hookups of up to 10 fish at a time off schools similar to the one in the photo. If you can find them and present baits to them more than likely they will go off!

Customer Zoran went out off Carrum on the weekend where he fished in 17m of water. Zoran had some prime quality WA pilchards out and by the time the 4th rod was in the water the first one went off. Zoran kept 3 fish in the 3 - 4kg mark for a feed and headed in. Customer Be fished out wide of Black Rock just recently, where he got on the sounder and looked for a few better sized fish than the school fish in close to the reef. Be got out to about 17m of water when he marked a few nice fish, and bagged a good one at around 4kg on fresh squid head. 

Customer Bill had a look around Black Rock last weekend in the 16m area and grabbed two nice fish around the 6kg mark on fresh squid heads. The 15-17m area wide of Black Rock has been consistent over the last week. Customer Mana caught some salmon in close from Oliver's Hill last Saturday and then ventured out around Wooleys' reef in search of a red. After berleying up with cubed pilchards, Mana threw out a few rods with pilchard rigged on 6/0 circles and managed a couple of nice fish.

Compleat Angler Ringwood staff member Steve went out with a mate just recently in Port Phillip looking for a snapper, and out from Black Rock was a good area for them. Fish to 6kg came aboard using pilchard, cuttlefish and squid. Neil from Noble Park Angling Club took his son Nelson out on the bay last weekend to see if he could catch him a snapper. After a bit of cubing, a couple of the rods went off and resulted in Nelson's first snapper at 3kg. The fish were caught out in 17m off Chelsea and took pillies.