You'd have to be keeping your head in the sand if you haven't heard any talk of kingfish around Melbourne and the rest of the state at the moment! Summer time equals kingfish, and with water temperatures at about their peak these fish have been active. While they can still be hit and miss like every other form of fishing, there are plenty of these hard fighting blue water brutes about at the moment.


There has been kingfish action all round the state, but reports from around Portland and also the 'rip' have been quite solid. Portland has been the pick if you're able to cover a few kilometres, as fish numbers are good at the moment, with fish being caught as close as the Lee breakwater and most methods are doing well on them. Customer Daniel fished the Portland area last week to land fish to about 8kg on lures. Smaller 130mm hardbodied trolling lures and surface poppers were the standout for him.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching a few kingfish down around Portland also. James has been finding quality kingfish on 'sluggo' or 'slapstix' style plastics in white and also clear, along with smaller stickbaits in the 80 - 130mm size range. These work exceptionally well when the fish are high in the water column. When the fish are sitting down 15 - 20m+ this is the time for jigs or livebaits.


Customers Ben and Aaron fished out from Westernport around some of the offshore marks recently to land some nice kingies. Fish to 14kg were landed on a mixture of stickbaits and live baits. The wash zone and secondary points and drop offs were where the fish were active. Slimey mackerel were the best choice of live baits, and the Shimano Ocea stickbaits were dynamite when cast to midwater holding fish.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whiting reports have slowly started increasing over the last number of weeks as most anglers get their fill of snapper. While the whiting fishing has been good since the end of winter, most of the schools of fish are carrying better numbers at the moment compared to the cooler months. Fish to 40cm are relatively common along the banks, with larger fish to just shy of 50cm hanging about in deeper water.

Customer Sam fishes for the whiting fairly regularly, and he has been finding the fishing quite good overall over the last month or so. Staff member Don has also found the whiting fishing quite good, with the usual small movements around an area necessary to stay on top of the school. Generally speaking, the depth areas between 2 - 5m are the best starting point, with bigger fish normally caught in anything from 10m+ of water. The areas around Redbill and Fairhaven have been good over the last week, along with far southern end of Tyabb bank. Pipi, squid, cuttlefish and red devil worm have been the baits to use, with cocktail mixtures of these baits proving more effective. 

 



There has been a decent winter run of snapper in Westernport Bay since Melbourne had some proper rough winter weather a few weeks back. Not long had this weather started and snapper were being caught from a few land based spots as well as by anglers in boats. The fish have also been fairly well spread out, with reports coming from the top end of the port, right down to the fast eastern sections. Customers Chez and Adrian got out on the port recently and did well catching some nice winter fish to 7kg. The boys were fishing over in the eastern arm and using fresh squid to tempt these reds.

 

Customers Andrew and Ben have also had some success on the good sized winter fish in the port as well. Andrew was fishing towards Corinella when he landed fish between 5kg and 8kg. Squid heads and strips were the most effective baits. Customer Ben fished the shallows of the top end of the port during the night recently to land snapper to 7kg. Ben found that fresh squid was the gun bait.

 

On the squid scene, reports have been good during slightly calmer weather. The shallow areas along Tyabb, Quail and Stony banks fished well during low wind and low light times. Rough, churned up banks have forced the squid a bit deeper off the edges, and they can still be caught in depths of 5 - 7m. Customer Jarrad fished the Tyabb area between 2 - 5m of water to catch some good squid on the drift. Early morning produced some on baited jigs, and once the sun got up red foil size 3.5 Yamashita jigs did well. The biggest hood length measured 40cm which took the Yamashita jig. Customer Ben also fished in the Tyabb area for a good bag of squid taken on size 3.5 jigs during the week.

Whiting reports have slowed right down, with the odd angler catching some respectable fish but definitely not in the summer numbers. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been putting together some nice bags of fish for customers, with whiting averaging the 38cm size taking fresh squid and pipi. Along some of the deeper, more reefy sections that James has been fishing he has also pulled up the odd nice size cray.

 

Westernport bay has been producing lots of elephants and pinkies recently, along with a few table sized gummies. The elephant fish have been fairly thick throughout the 'triangle' over the last few weeks, with fish to 5kg being caught. Customer Shane fished out from Tortoise Head recently and caught a couple of good sized fish in 8m of water. The most effective bait on them was fresh squid.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching a few elephants with customers out between Tortoise Head and Rhyll, with baits of pilchard, squid and pipi being the most effective when fished on a sliding sinker rig. Depths of 7 - 14m over mud and broken ground have been good for the elephants, with the odd gummy finding a bait as well. Some customers have even been catching the odd elephant from the pier at Rhyll.

On the pinky front, most of the 'normal' areas where anglers would target snapper and pinkies have been loaded with fish in the 25 - 35cm size. There have however been some much better fish getting close to 2kg mixed in with the smaller fish. The trick has been to fish a larger, tougher bait that the smaller fish can't rip off the hook in 5 seconds flat, which will give the bigger fish a chance to get to it, and also fit it in their mouth. Baits of squid, salmon and couta have been good when targeting these larger school sized fish. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has caught some nice ones mixed in with smaller fish and elephants recently, which none of his customers have been complaining about!

 

 

The Aussie salmon are starting to make their presence felt along most of the beaches at the moment, along with good numbers of them in both bays. While numbers aren't huge just yet, the size of some of the fish has been impressive - with fish to around 4kg confirmed. Customer Ben fished down at Gunnamatta recently to land a cracker of around 2kg from one of the close in gutters. Fish to 2kg are generally a bit more common early in the salmon season, so if you're after a bigger fish now is your time! Once the winter really kicks in larger numbers of fish in the 400g - 1kg size range will be more commonplace. Baitfishing and spinning has gotten results on the fish, with bluebait still a favourite. 

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also found some solid salmon recently while fishing the southern end of the bay. James has found good schools working dense baitballs, with a lot of the fish in the school up around 2kg, and a handful of bigger fish to just under 4kg. These are good sized fish in anyone's book, and they really test the limits on the light gear. Small Yamashita Golden Bait skirts have been good, along with Pakula Micro Uzi's when trolled along the edge of the schools. Soft plastics, metal jigs and flies all thrown into the path of feeding fish will also get a look in. 

 

 

While the local kingfish have pretty much just about finished, there have been scattered reports of a few here and there moving about. Customer Darren was out from Westernport before Easter where he had a crack for the kingies amongst some bottom bouncing. Darren fished cocktail baits of squid and pipi to land some nice whiting and trevally, and then worked some bommies and ledges for a kingie. Darren ended up trolling a pink Williamson squid skirt around and found a nice looking patch in 25m of water when bang off it went. Darren ended up with a good sized kingfish in the boat, a good way to top off the day.

 

Tuna reports from the West coast have started to filter through, and should only get better over the next month. Good numbers of fish have been spread out from around the 40m area right out to the shelf. Most anglers have been working the areas close to the Horseshoe and bagging out fairly easily. Average size at the moment is good, with plenty of 15 - 25kg fish, and a few larger thrown in. Hardbodied lures and skirts have been about equal in effectiveness at the moment. Customer Shane fished out near the shelf just recently to land a couple of nice 20kg fish on Pakula skirts, while customer Miraz also got into a few nice tuna. Miraz fished over the Easter break and caught fish to 18kg out wide from Portland. A mixture of Billmark UV enhanced skirts and also the Zerek Pelagic hardbody in Bonito did the trick.

 

 

Westernport always produces a good amount of variety for anglers, and recently it hasn't disappointed. Good fishing for gummies has been had by most anglers up the top of the port, with plenty of solid table fish around. Young Rachael fished with her Dad recently where she landed a nice 3kg gummy in amongst a hot bite of them up the top end of the port during the run out tide. This gummy along with most of the other took rings of freshly caught squid. Customer Lee also got amongst a few similar size table fish out from Hastings just recently in beautiful conditions. 

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has had a few happy customers out on Westernport recently with plenty of good gummies coming aboard. This fish were taken out from Hastings on squid, yakka and salmon.

 

Staff member Don fished with customer Sam just recently in search of some whiting, and after a bit of moving around and positioning, the boys got a bag of nice fish. Plenty of fish were in the 40cm size range and fresh squid and pipi did the trick on the start of the run out tide. Don said it was good to get out for a fish in amongst auditioning for one of MC Hammer's new music videos. Customer Lee took his son Ben out for a fish in lovely conditions in search of some KGW out from Hastings, and young Ben loved it.

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been having some fun with customers on the squid recently. Red base jigs have been killing it for James, and young Charlie even celebrated his 8th birthday by smashing the squid while on charter with James.

 

Customer Daniel fished out from Hastings recently in search of table sized pinkies and he wasn't disappointed. Daniel fished in 16m of water along the edge of the North Arm and did well on fish to 1.5kg. The best method was to fish a small piece of squid or pilchard on an Icon Snatcher and just wait for the fish to hook themselves. Out the front of Westernport there have been a few kingies hanging around, with a few anglers out chasing them. Customer Ben went out the front and found a few nice fish in the 80cm size range using both livies and also Maria lures. 

 

 

While Westernport Bay is generally easier to fish from a boat, there are still plenty of options for anglers without boats. The variety of fish on offer from the shore is almost as plentiful as fishing from a kayak or boat, without all the extra expenses. Fishing from the shores of the port does require a little bit more planning and preparation to be successful, but any angler can do it. Recently customer Andrew has been fishing from the shoreline of the northern section of the, where he has had success on a few school sized mulloway. Andrew has found that fillet baits of freshly caught salmon have been working well on fish to around 5kg. Staff member Dylan has also had some shore-based success with mini mulloway around 2kg taking medium sized hardbodies cast and retrieved. The cover of darkness has been the key to catching these shy fish.

Further south in the port the squid have been fishing well from most of the main piers, with Flinders and Stony Point doing well. Customer Tony is a Flinders pier regular who normally does well when he fishes for squid off the pier. Tony was down at the pier recently, and again he managed to get some good sized squid on his favoured Gancraft jigs. Tony's colours of choice recently have been dark silvers and also green.

Down on Phillip Island, customer Pat was holidaying with family when he snuck out for a fish. Being a keen fisherman Pat couldn't spend the whole time by the water and not fish, I think we all know about that problem...Pat decided squid was the target, and with an area in mind he set off with a few jigs to try his luck. Pat ended up catching some lovely sized squid from the shore which kept himself and the family happy. Customer Shawn fished after dark from the pier at Cowes recently in search of a few shark and snapper baits. Shawn fished with a mixture of baits and lures to land some good sized yakkas and also couta.

 

 

The whiting in Westernport bay have been going well recently. Since Christmas the fish have been thicker in numbers around all the usual areas of the port. Customer Johnny went out from Hastings recently where he got onto a school of nice sized fish. Pipi/squid cocktail baits were the most effective along the edge of the middle spit. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also had some good success on quality fish with customers, from Tyabb right down to Cat Bay. 

Most whiting around are school sized fish in the 35 - 39cm range, with a good number of 40cm+ fish around also. A small move away from school fish into deeper water can result in a bite from larger fish also. Baits of pipi, squid and mussel have been the best lately. James has been searching around some deeper areas for the whiting recently close to the entrance of Westernport Bay, and in amongst a whiting bite he also managed to land a nice kingfish which found a small shogun mutsu circle hook in the corner of it's jaw.

 

 

 

Westernport Bay has been producing a few good size pinkies during the week. While snapper reports from the Port have slowed right down, most of the fish still caught by everyday anglers have been in the 1.5 - 2.5kg mark. Most of the fish have been found in the bottom end of the Port at present where the water has been cooler. Areas to look have been around Rhyll, Cowes, Tortoise bank and across near Elizabeth Island.

Staff member George fished with a few mates out from Corinella during the week where they managed a heap of fish up to 2kg, along with trevally and bycatch of smaller sharks. The pinkies came on during the tide and preferred squid over any other bait.