Well we're right in the thick of the beach fishing season here and many anglers are experiencing the best salmon fishing that they've seen for at least the last 2 or 3 years. Numbers of fish have been good and average size has also been good - with good sized schools of bigger fish hanging about as well. As for the hot beaches, close to home the best have been Gunnamatta and Kilcunda, with Venus Bay/Walkerville excellent and the 90 mile has been very good also.

A hot tip if you're heading out to the beach - check the conditions of your chosen location from aerial maps or satellites first if possible.


When you're looking at a satellite view of your location the giveaway of deep water 'gutters' and 'holes' is easily picked up in the above photo. Gunnamatta beach has a few nice gutters which are easily distinguished by the red stars marking them. The darker water usually means deeper water or weed and rock - but in this case you can see that it is deep clear water. From the satellite view you can see the breaking water and the direction which the gutters move along the beach - just bear in mind the satellites aren't updated every day so they are a 'guide' for you, when you get to the beach a 10 minute scout from the dunes or high vantage point will confirm deeper water for you.


Customer Mark has been putting his beach knowledge to good use down at Venus Bay this week with some great salmon landed. During his last few sessions Mark has been spinning the fish up using metal stickbaits in 40g and 60g weights. Mark has caught more than his share of fish, with some models topping 3kg on the lures. Leaving them biting and having some much bigger fish shake the trebles out, Mark will be back with a vengeance after upgrading to assist hook set ups on his lures.


Customers from the store and members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished the section of the 90 mile beach in Gippsland at Woodside beach and had some excellent results. With all members landing salmon it was an excellent trip, and the largest salmon weighed in at 1.5kg which was caught by Mark Watson. Over all just over 150 salmon were weighed in over the two days, which shows excellent numbers of fish.


Happy anglers with their salmon! The salmon along the 90 mile have really been hitting bluebait, with blue and red surf poppers also claiming lost of fish. Some anglers fishing small 'bungee grubs' on the back of their poppers have been catching just as many fish as anglers who are fishing bait. The best part about these plastics is that they're crab-proof!

 

 

 


The surf beaches around the region have really been producing some quality salmon of late. With some nice calm winter weather and moderate swell it has made for good beach fishing conditions, and salmon to over 1.5kg just top it off. While there have been fish along most of the beaches, Gunnamatta and St Andrews have been the pick along the peninsula, with Kilcunda and Venus Bay providing plenty of fish heading down into South Gippsland.


Staff member Don fished Gunnamatta for an afternoon during the week to land a few nice sized fish. While Don wasn't fishing for 8 hours, fish around the kilo mark were around and responded to his berley. With other anglers on the beach reporting no fish, and no berley it really is the key. Don berleyed up enough in the gutters to bring some fish in and keep them there. Bluebait and soft plastics got the bites on the paternoster rig but the key is getting the fish in to your area.


Customer Mark fished Venus Bay beach number 1 with friends over the weekend where they did really well on the salmon. Bluebait and pilchard were the best baits but again the key was to create a berley trail to bring the fish into the small holes and troughs just out from the shoreline. When making your beach berley you have to ensure that you have enough smell and consistency to create a trail for the fish to hone in on, but it also has to be fine enough to not feed the salmon and send them away full and no longer hungry. A normal beach session will see around 20 litres used so make sure you pack your gear adequately and don't cart too much heavy and unneeded gear with you. 

 

 


With intermittent rain and wind, the squid fishing has been sporadic - good when conditions clear but then put off for a few days while the water becomes stained and murky. The good news is that even when conditions are like this the southern end of Port Phillip is still worth a shot and much more consistent.

Customer Romello fished from Sorrento pier over the weekend where he landed a few. Romello cycled through a few jigs and found the Yamashita Q Lives were the best, with deep models working while the tide was pumping and shallow models doing the job when the tide stopped. Romello also landed a small cuttlefish from the pier using a Yakamito size 3.0 jig.


Customers Dale and Lochie fished out from Rye during the week in search of some calamari and they weren't left hanging with an excellent bag of squid making it home. The guys found that UV whites were the most successful in 4 - 6m of water straight out from Rye.


Customer Steve has also been getting into both the squid and whiting recently. Steve has found that both can be caught while fishing the same marks, with the squid often chasing the whiting around and attacking hooked fish. KGW patterned squid jigs can be very effective in these conditions, and the Hayabusa Aussie limited whiting colour has been excellent at tricking these squid. If you're able to keep the larger squid at bay good numbers of whiting can still be had, with areas like the southern section of middle spit and Tankerton fishing well - along with further south around Point Leo and Cat Bay.


The southern end of Port Phillip has been fishing well for whiting also. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been experiencing good bags of fish from around Rye to Sorrento, with mussel and squid standout baits. While there can be a bit of moving about to stay on these fish at this time of year, once you put together a bag of these tasty fish it will all be worth it!


For the land based guys the whiting have been a bit harder work. The odd fish has been caught shore based, with Mornington and Portsea piers probably the best two to be trying from. A bit further down the road there have been some nice school sized fish from around Lorne. Customer Jim fished Lorne pier over the weekend with a few mates and they weren't let down with a few nice fish to take home. Prawn and squid were effective baits from the pier, and accounted for King George when cast over the sand towards the weed - and grass whiting when dropped into the thick weed beds.

 


The bread and butter species like gummy shark are an excellent option during the winter months, as you are able to catch them shore based in the bays, from the surf beaches, boat fishing the bays and also offshore. The best part about this style of fishing is you don't have to go overboard, for a landbased session a surf outfit of your choice is the way to go, along with a sturdy rod holder and enough tackle for the session. 

Staff member Dylan did just this last week, took to the the ocean beaches in search of a gummy or two. A nice gummy of around 7kg hit the sand during the first hour of the run in tide, and took a fillet of freshly caught grass whiting on a single 8/0 circle hook. Picking your preferred beach during the day can give you the advantage in spotting the more likely gutters and rips, and taking the guesswork out of your fishing.  Programs like Google earth can also help you identify similar features from the palm of your hand, but just be mindful that these conditions can change subtly between aerial shots.


If the boat fishing for gummies is more your thing, then the offshore fishing at the moment has been worth getting in to. The gummy fishing just offshore from Western Port has been exceptional, with much better average sized fish coming in. Among the gummy sharks, you will also have other species like snapper and flathead to keep you busy offshore, so you can really bring back a mixed bag at times.


Frogleys Offshore Victorian Rep Gerry took his new boat out for a spin last week in search of a gummy or two while offshore conditions were good and he wasn't disappointed. Gerry landed 2 lovely fish destined for the table using the lightweight Atomic Arrowz offshore model rods.

Customer Steve also got out offshore in the same region to land a nice fish just under 11kg. Steve fished a patch of reef that he normally tries for gummies and found multiple fish around it. Locally caught couta was the best bait for the day, which were thick mid water and easily catchable on small sabiki style rigs.

 


Australian salmon have really been on the go this past week, with heaps of anglers getting amongst them - whether it's been on the surf beaches or from many of the local piers and rocks. With the more recent weather the fish have slowed off a bit locally, but a big blow and rain band will see them return within many angler's shore based reaches soon enough. For the pier fisherman Mornington has been one worth looking at, especially early morning or later in the afternoon.


Customer Patrick has been enjoying the sporting aspect of the salmon from Mornington pier recently, with small metal jigs getting the bites when conditions are quiet. 'Shore jigging' is fairly under utilized here in Victoria, but fish like salmon can be absolute suckers for small falling jigs when a normal fast retrieve doesn't get spark their interest.


The ocean beaches have been producing good bags of fish for anglers persisting. While the lure casting has been a bit hit and miss, there still have been some nice fish landed. The real key for turning the odds in your favour on the beach is to fish a quality berley. Berley will bring the salmon from a good distance away on the beach and hold them in your area for long enough to capitalize.


Staff member Don experienced just this at Gunnamatta over the weekend, with only a few fish seen along the beach. After setting a good berley trail, and knowing at which stage of the tide to deploy it, Don ended up with a bag of fish to around a kilo.


Customer Mark fished Venus bay beach number 4 with his kids over the weekend to land some ripper salmon. Mark landed fish 2kg + on both pilchard and bluebait, and also surf poppers in blue/white combination.


Staff member Dylan lure fished a few of the surf beaches along the west coast over the weekend. While not every beach produced fish, many were only fished for a few hours and not on 'ideal' tides. Most beaches around Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay were holding numbers of smaller fish to 30cm. Further west past Cape Otway the beaches were producing larger fish around 1kg. Dylan and mate Jordan walked the gutters spinning metal lures and stickbaits and caught over 20 fish per session, with assist hooks the trick to keeping fish hooked in the shorebreak. The salmon were coughing up medium sized pilchards so the stickbaits were the ideal imitation. Sub minnows and bungy casts were the most successful.


 


The Australian salmon have turned up this autumn and were quite prevalent throughout the rip and lower end of the bay over early autumn, but are now making their presence felt around the rest of the bay. Good schools of fish have been moving about and can be found around most prominent points and estuary mouths, especially during some rougher onshore winds and rain. The eastern side of the bay has seen good numbers of fish around Frankston and Mornington piers and Mt Martha rocks during westerly winds, with the average fish varying from just under a kilo to about 1.5kg.

Frogleys Offshore representative Gerry has been catching some big fat salmon down around the southern end of the bay, with larger fish to 3kg having no problems inhaling 100mm stickbaits, plastics and hardbodies. The larger fish seem to stay down the bottom end of the bay and if you're lucky they have been turning up around Blairgowrie and Portsea during the flood tide.


The salmon pier along the local piers has seemed to be more consistent around first and last light, so if you're at one of your local piers during these times, it's worth having something rigged up and ready to go. During high winds and rough water metal slugs and slow jigs have been good, but without hardware alterations you stand the chance at losing fish. Calmer conditions call for small subtle soft plastics so it pays to keep both on you.

Staff member Dylan has been catching fish to around a kilo from Morinington and Mordialloc piers, and along the rivermouth at Patterson river. During rougher conditions metal lures like the Yakamito 'angry baits' have been excellent, with small but strong assist hooks fitted to prevent shake offs. So far Dylan has not lost a single fish, so with the assist hook set up hook up rate is the very best it can be at 100%.


The beaches both locally and further afield have been producing good numbers and size salmon also. The producers at the moment have mainly been down the east coast with Gunnamatta, Kilcunda, Venus Bay and further around Lakes Entrance the pick. Customers Mark and Darren fished Venus Bay beach no.1 last week to land a swag of fish with some pushing 2kg. The boys found that once the berley got the school in they went off, with the fish biting like crazy right into the night on whole pillies.

 


The nice Autumn weather that we have had recently had made for some pleasant bottom fishing for gummies, both in the bays and offshore. The autumn period sees some large females moving into the bays to lay their pups, and historically has been the best time of year to chase them. There has been plenty of fresh bait about to collect and use for the gummies, and the fishing will continue on through Winter, the only thing that may stop anglers is the weather!

Customer Steve has been making the most of the conditions and recently caught a lovely gummy from just outside the eastern entrance of Westernport. Steve normally collects fresh bait on his way out in the form of yakkas, salmon, pike and trevally and rarely misses on these tasty sharks once offshore.


It's fair to say that most anglers are aware that Gawaine Blake enjoys his gummy fishing. Gawaine has been doing his thing and catching some ripper gummies, both offshore and also inside the bays. Gawaine has found that the offshore fishing for gummies has been very consistent throughout the Winter months and is a viable option for anglers during the cooler months of the year when they make think about packing the boat away. With double and triple hookups on fish over 10kg in nice conditions, why would you want to put the boat away!

 


While the reports haven't been coming in thick and fast, the land based action at this time of year can be excellent. Depending what you want to catch and how far you wish to travel, there are normally plenty of options.

Down along the shores of Westernport customers Matt and Brendan have been having fun with some nice table sized gummies. The areas such as Stockyard point and Tenby point have been good as has the Somers region. Freshly caught salmon, pike, yakka or squid has been excellent, otherwise pillies and frozen squid or cuttlefish have also been doing well with fish averaging around 4kg. Tides will depend on location you choose, as you won't be able to access some areas on high tides, others you will want to fish as the tide reaches it's peak.


The surf beaches have started producing some numbers of salmon, with no huge schools present at the moment but as always the larger fish seem to come through before the smaller school fish do. Peninsula beaches such as Gunnamatta and St Andrews have had some solid fish to just shy of 2kg, with early morning or late afternoon high tides the hot times. Bluebait and squid have been the best baits, but there have been a good number of fish caught on unbaited 'flasher' style rigs and surf poppers. Remember whenever you fish the beaches these types of rigs will stand out to the fish much easier than a normal rig, and increase your chances of a bite.

Customers Mark and Darren fished the beach down towards Venus bay, which has been producing better numbers of smaller school fish. The guys fished beach no.5 where they caught salmon to just under a kilo, and a couple of flatties to around 35cm. The guys found that bluebait and pipi were the best baits, with a number of fish taking the red surf popper also.


The pinkies have been fishing very well from most of the shore based locations around Port Phillip bay recently. The many rock groynes and points, along with the piers have had schools of fish anywhere from 25cm through to around 3kg. Fishing first or last light is the prime time to catch a few, but right through the night they have also been fairly active. First light has seen some better sized fish come through, with customer Sergio catching some lovely fish to nearly 2kg during the morning.


Sergio has been fishing a few different locations around the top end of the bay, with nearly all of them producing fish. He has been finding pilchard or salted mackerel fillets to be the best baits lately, with pinkies, flathead and small gummies all taking the same baits.

 

 

 

There have been a few anglers making the most of the perfect autumn conditions out on the bays during the week, and even more so with a public holiday thrown in there too. While there hasn't been an endless supply of fish, there's plenty happening if you're out there giving it a crack. There has been a small run of excellent size Autumn snapper hanging around the bottom end of the port, and they've biting fairly well so that has had some guys out there hunting.


Customer Igor fished the port over the weekend and managed one of these lovely reds. Igor fished south of Stony Point and landed a ripper fish of 5.6kg on pilchard. An excellent fish caught in exceptional conditions!


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also bumped into a few similar sized snapper while fishing the southern half of the port. James has been fishing around some of the shallower mud beds in search of elephant sharks for his customers, and has hooked some big snapper as by-catch. Pilchards and fresh squid on smaller than usual hooks have caught snapper to over 6kg in water as shallow as 5m. The area around Elizabeth Island and 'The Corals' are good areas to look for these fish.


 

The offshore grounds have been producing fish for anglers making the most of breaks in the weather with kingfish still about along with the odd mako. In between there have been plenty of species to keep angler busy, and fed. Customer Cam fished out from the rip last week to land some nice school kingies on baits and jigs. Cam said that the boat traffic in the rip was crazy and the fishing was better outside, with boats able to find their own patches of fish. The kingfish should hang around locally for a little while yet, so don't be discouraged as the weather starts to get a bit cooler.


Customer Mark has been making the most of the quieter mid week water traffic, catching kingies like this in the rip and also offshore. Mark has been reefed by some much bigger fish but has also landed fish to 10kg. Fish like this one have been about average for him, with fresh squid and jigs both working. This fish took a 150g jig earlier in the morning.


Customer Brendan has been making the most of the offshore fishing recently, trying for a mako. While during his latest session no makos were seen or hooked, Brendan had plenty of fish to keep himself busy. While drifting for a shark with berley trail going, a good mixed bag was caught. Brendan managed to bag a nice eating size gummy, some tiger flathead, salmon, silver whiting, yakkas, slimies, couta and silver trevally. Some good eating fish and excellent baits for the next few sessions. Brendan was fishing offshore from Phillip Island, starting in around 60m.