There have been plenty of gummies caught by angler over the past week. Many fish to 9kg or so have been making their way into the catch, with both bays producing the goods. The hot area has been the southern end of Port Phillip, with the channels from Safety Beach across to Swan Bay holding good numbers of moving fish. Many of these smaller channels are all excellent to fish but will produce better on the correct stage of the tides. Sitting a tide out in a particular spot can be the best way of working out when the fish move through the area.


Customer Josh fishes for gummies regularly around the southern end of the bay and over the weekend he got into a couple of quality table fish around 12kg out from Portsea. Josh was fishing some of the feeder channels around Mud Island and found that chunks of freshly caught salmon were the most effective baits.


Customer Andy also fished the southern region of the bay over the weekend, with his 2 gummies coming from the channels around Rye. Freshly caught squid was the gun bait for the gummies, which were all caught on red foil Hayabusa jigs. The couple of fish that Andy caught were perfect eating sized males around 7kg each.


Over in Westernport, gummies of the same size have been a common catch during the week. Customer Bart has been landing fish to 10kg fishing out from Rhyll in 19m of water. Bart has been finding pilchards the most consistent bait but also needing to be replaced as pinkies and other fish constantly pick them off the hook.


In the same area customer Michael and mate landed 3 nice fish to 6kg over the weekend. The guys were fishing the area for some larger toothy sharks with heavier gear, but also had some gummy baits out, and took some flake home for their efforts. Baits of freshly caught mullet, salmon and squid all did the job, with the fish running along the mudflat edge on the run out tide. 

 


Some choice conditions over the past week or so have allowed for offshore stints for local anglers in search of kingfish, both offshore from the bays and also down the coast. The weekends weather condition were good enough to turn many anglers to offshore and the rewards were there to be had.

Customer Frank made a big run from the top end of Westernport out through the western entrance in search of kingfish. With numbers of boats in close Frank decided to look out a bit wider where he found some small schooling kingfish on the surface. Small stickbaits cast at the school resulted in hook ups, and so the technique went on. After finding a patch of nervous water out in 30m the stickbaits were on again but this time with some school sized bluefin tuna. Frank said that there were good numbers of fish about, but that they were full of very small baitfish. His 90mm stickbaits were perfect size for these fish to hunt.


The rip has been producing kingies for anglers doing the hard work but has also been somewhat patchy this season. During the week Reel Time Fishing Charters had a blinder of a session in the rip with around 20 good size kingfish landed by customers. Customer Damien has been working aboard the boat and reports that the fish have been taking live slimies and squid and also jigs between 150 - 200g. Jig colour hasn't mattered, more of correct rigging and technique to get the fish to bite.


Around the rocky shorelines and islands of Bass Strait the kingfish have been solid. The smaller fish have been prolific in numbers but moving until bigger fish are found has been the go. Customer Jason has been out chasing these fish around Welshpool and finding fish to around 15kg. Jason has been catching fish predominately on subsurface stickbaits, with some impossible to tempt falling to live slimy mackerel around the submerged reef points and swell zones.

 


While the weather this week hasn't been conducive to fishing the bay let alone offshore, there still has been some action outside. If bluewater is your thing, kingfish, tuna and sharks have been the reward. Outside the bays the kingies have been hanging around the main promontories and points - with Cape Schank, Seal Rock and Pyramid rock all good starting points to name a few. Out wider from these areas there have been makos to 100kg or so. Customers Anthony and Mark fished out from Cape Schank last week where they scored a nice little mako of around 30kg. The amount of bait offshore at present is half the reason these predators are about.


Other bluewater predators that have been lurking both locally and out of town have been good sized bluefin tuna. There have been patches of tuna out from the bays but they have been flighty and fussy in what they will eat. Along the west coast they have been in a similar mood, but in better numbers. Customer Edly got down to Portland recently to try and catch one of these large school fish. Edly caught fish to around 30kg trolling small skirts, and that has been the main key - SMALL lures. These fish have been gorging themselves on small whitebait and anchovies, and quickly show shy away from large offerings, unless you find a patch of fish on the prowl.

 


Westernport has been fishing well for all bread and butter species with plenty on offer. The squid fishing around the southern end of the port has been good for numbers and size of late. Customer Igor fished around Cat bay and Vetnor in search of some bigger squid recently and found some quality models fishing Egi Oh K Yamashita jigs around the reef and heavy weed. The 'K' series jigs have a different body buoyancy and will 'hoer' on the bottom a bit more than a regular jig, and will soft hands they can be walked through heavy structure without hanging up.

Customer Trent also did well on the squid in a similar area of the port down close to Phillip Island. Trent fished with a few mates and caught squid to 1kg on a variety of jigs, with size 3.0 and 3.5 getting down to the bottom easier in the current. Red foil and black jigs were the most productive on the day.


Some of the piers in the port have fishing well for squid, with Flinders the standout.  Customers Angelo and Ryan have fished the pier recently and found the daytime fishing better than after dark. The nights here have seen the pier packed with anglers chasing the yakkas, so the days have been much quieter. Angelo has been finding the colour 17 and 'White cow' clicks jigs have been go-tos in size 3.0 recently. Ryan has been finding red foil jigs in size 3.5 and also dark greens have been the best for him, especially late in the afternoon.


The large summer garfish have pricked many anglers attention recently, with some exceptional size fish about in decent numbers also. Many of the shallow banks have been holding the fish but the middle spit has also been an excellent place to start a berley trail. Customer Edly stopped at the spit recently after looking for the kingfish and got a great feed of gars. Edly found good numbers of gars in 2.5m of water and boated them on small sabiki rigs under a float.


On the kingfish front, there have been fish caught from West head and the 'Knobbies' around to Cape Woolamai and back to Cape Schank. A good sounder is your best friend is locating these fish, as their position will change depending on tides and current. Customer Andrew came past the store for some terminal tackle to hit up the kingfish and he managed a lovely fish out in the Western entrance. Andrew found live yakkas trolled slowly were the gun bait.

 


While the keen salmon anglers don't fish the beaches over the warmer months normally, there has been been some nice salmon about. The numbers of fish haven't been huge but the size has been good with fish over a kilo. The beaches have been sporadic with where the salmon will turn up, but if you're fishing a good deep gutter or hole near a bay or inlet entrance your chances are increased. Customer Robin has been fishing the beaches around Phillip Island over the past few weeks, where he has caught some nice salmon. Robin's most effective bait lately has been salted mullet gut, which he has caught from the beaches himself.


The beaches along the 90 mile have been holding big numbers of mullet, and by fishing finesse surf gear in the shorebreak and shore gutters you can catch plenty of them. With loads of mullet about the bigger predators like flathead and toothy sharks have hanging by too. Flathead to 60cm haven't been uncommon from Golden beach and Woodside beach, with bluebait a good bait choice. Even better have been 'TPR' style plastics like the 'Bungy Baits' - which are crab proof and attract the attention of the fish.

A bit closer to home around Phillip Island there have been some bigger predators taking advantage of the available food also. Customer Seb had a night fish from one of the ocean beaches and snagged a ripper school shark of around 20kg on a salmon head. During the session him and a mate also got bitten off another 4 times, potentially by other 'schoolies'.

 


The bluewater and offshore action has been good around Bass Strait locally and a bit further afield, with tuna and kingfish the main targets. The water temperature has risen over the past few weeks, and also the water hasn't been the 'cobalt blue' that many anglers prefer there have still been fish around in it. The West coast down around Portland has been been producing loads of 'rat' kingfish along the north shore reef and also out to the island, with some nice bluefin tuna mixed in as well. Customer Edly was down at Portland recently and managed a nice chunky tuna of around 25kg.


While there have been plenty of fish about, the warmer months bring lots of baitfish so they aren't a shoe-in. Small bluebait-like imitations have been the best, as this best represents the current food. Poppers and stickbaits up to 140mm have been the go on the kingfish, with the tuna responding even better to smaller offerings. There are a few small but heavy zinc stickbaits in store that have been deadly when cast to cruising fish.


Back around the bays the kingfish have made their presence felt lately, with most of the main rocky promontories and points holding fish, along with areas such as the rip. Around the entrance to Westernport some of the smaller fish have been so thick that they have been hitting smaller flasher rigs sent down for catching slimies and yakkas. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has caught a few smaller fish on the 'sabiki' rigs of late, with some larger fish to 85cm taking the live slimies. Customer Jason fished the rip during the week in search of a kingfish and managed fish to around 6kg. Tandem hook rigs with small live squid were the most effective when fished on a modified 'Westernport' rig.


While there has been kingfish caught offshore around areas like Cape Schank, out a bit wider some anglers have reports of bluefin tuna. Customers Justin and Mick ventured out on Monday to see what was happening, with some rat kingies caught in close on squid. Out a bit further the boys managed a solid tuna of around 20kg. Small lures have been the go at present, with clear water and small food making the fish harder to trick than winter models.

 


Westernport has seen fewer snapper reports of recent compared to Port Phillip but there have still been some nice fish moving about. The snapper have been found along the 'plateaus' of the North Arm, between Stony Point and Yaringa, and also in reasonable numbers out from Rhyll. Customer Steve caught some nice fish to around 4kg out from Rhyll in 17m of water recently, with fresh squid and salmon working the best. Customer Thao fished the North Arm in search of some snapper and got a nice bag of fish to 4kg on freshly caught squid.


The gummies of the port have been the unsung heroes of late, and while they are always a possibility when fishing Westernport, there have been some nice fish about - with many large breeding females starting to move in. Customer Justin has landed gummies to 16kg during the week fishing around the Western Entrance with chunks of fresh salmon.


Customer Steve has been landing some nice gummies in amongst the snapper out from Rhyll. Steve has found the table sized gummies have been fond of pillies and trevally, and normally coming through and the tide reallys starts picking up. Around the Corinella region customer Mark has had a hard time finding a snapper through the gummies. Mark has been fishing fresh squid in depths of around 6m and has had no shortage picking up gummies in the 5kg size.

Customer Steve has been catching a few nice gummies around the Rhyll area. Some of the gummies Steve has been landing have been up to 15kg, with fresh chunk baits doing the job. Salmon, trevally and wrasse have been effective when fished on BKK 'glow' gummy circle hooks. A few bite offs from larger toothy sharks have been common in the region also, which are normally school shark and bronze whalers.


On the whiting front, things have been good for anglers moving about to stay on top of the fish. Customer Cashir fished with a mate along Tankerton and Tortoise head to land their bag of fish. Staying in the shallows of around 3m of water was the go, with pipi, squid and mussel cocktail baits working well.  Customer Tu fished the middle spit using pipi and strips of fresh squid to land some solid fish to 44cm. Tu found the 6m line was the better ground to stay in, while moving along to keep on top of the school.

 


While Western Port has been fishing well for good variety, it seems a fair bulk of anglers out doing most of their snapper fishing have been out in Port Phillip so reports are less than normal. There have been decent reports of snapper coming from around the port, but the main hotspots are the 'Lysaughts' region, Rhyll and Cowes deep, and through the 'corals' area. The bait preference for the Western Bay has been pilchard, or fresh baits of locally caught species like squid, salmon, couta and yakkas.

Customer Bart had a good session with some mates out from Rhyll. The guys managed 3 table sized gummies and a good bag of snapper to around 3kg fishing in 17.5m of water. Bart said that pilchard was by far the most effective bait, and the fish bit best around the last stage of the run out tide.


On the whiting front, many customers have been remarking "Have the whiting have started already?" The short answer is yes. The Whiting normally start around September in the port but number catches are patchy, with larger fish making up the bags. Currently at present there are good numbers along the banks throughout the top end, with some quality amongst them. As the heat of Summer approaches the school fish will make up the bulk of the catch up along the banks, but right now there are some good ones about.

Staff member Don has been out on the 'tings' again which is no shock to us, with fish to around the 40cm marking up his recent bag. Fishing deep in Bagge Harbour towards 'Crawfish' Don and mate managed 30 fish with lots around the 37cm size. Usual baits of pipi worked well but long thin strips of fresh squid were also very effective on 'worm' style hooks in the current.

 


Snapper reports have slowed up a little from the port as anglers flock to Port Phillip - but the fish are still there to be caught. They are spread around the port fairly well at present, and you can find a quiet pocket to target them in easily enough. Customer Frank fished out from Corinella and landed snapper up to 6kg on pillies recently. Further south around Rhyll the fish have been going fairly well out from Observation Point and across on the Corals. Customer Bart fished out off Observation in 17.5m during the week and landed fish to 4kg on pilchards.


The gummies have been turning up on snapper bait as usual for anglers in the port. Customer Chris landed 2 table sized sharks during a snapper session recently up around Joe's Island. The myriad of smaller feeder channels and gutter in this region of the port are home to a large amount of smaller gummies, and they can easily be intercepted by sitting along the gutter edges on a run out tide as they move back through the channels. Fresh squid and yakka are very effective baits in the murkier water.


On the gummy front, customer Tony caught a nice one while out on the snapper over some shallow reef not far from the corals. The nice gummy weighed around 9kg and took fresh squid. For anglers out on the banks in the same area, the whiting have been biting quite well. The shallows of Coronet Bay have been producing school fish to 32cm, while the top end banks have been holding better sized fish. The deeper water off the banks has been the holding ground for the big fish, but is hard to fish unless you're fishing smaller tides.


On the squid front Flinders had been producing some nice models up until the heavy rain. Customer Angelo has been caught some nice squid to around 1.5kg on his last outings to the pier. Angelo has caught on a mixture of silver whiting baited jigs and the Clicks 'Black Opal' in size 3.0.

 


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.