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.

 

It seems that some of the kingfish 'crowd' has died off somewhat with the weather over recent weeks, but make no mistake there are still heaps of kingies about. There are no real 'hot spots' but in saying that a little bit of local insight on gear and rigging can pay off. The Rip has been producing fish, along with most of the usual headlands and offshore reefs, and the average size of the fish around is really at present - with plenty of 7 - 11kg fish and a good spread of bigger 'hoodlums' up to 15 or so kg.


Friend of the shop and Victorian EJ Todds representative Mitch fished out from Welshpool just recent in a 'product testing' day trialing some new jig designs and it is fair to say that the jigs did the job. Multiple smokings and fish upward of 10kg along with flat seas made for an awesome session. One of the standouts of the day were 'slow fall' style jigs - and these normally get overlooked by kingfish anglers. The slow fall advantage really comes in to it's own when the fish are a bit unsure or not super aggressive. Slow fall style jigs 'flutter' their way to the bottom like an injured baitfish and spend more time in the strike zone to tempt otherwise uninterested fish. If you are unsure about this style of jig or interested in trying them on the local fish then talk to the guys in store, as there are some good options that are worth a look.

Customer Marty also had another good session on the local kingies, with fish to 8kg out from Phillip Island. Marty fished out around the eastern entrance and got these fish on a mixture of baits and lures, with slow fall jigs working well. The ever faithful squid and yakka baits also got a few fish too.


There have also been some serious salmon moving about amongst the kingfish school as well. Some of the fish have been as large as 4kg, which will have you calling them for a kingfish. The average sized fish have been around a kilo, and have been smashing smaller live baits along with stickbaits and plastics. Customer Frank got into these nice fish that were moving around the rip recently on small metal lures and stickbaits.

 

 


The local kingfish have been good! Maybe not so much in crazy crazy numbers, but in size there have been plenty of great fish about. Plenty of fish to 10kg on the local headlands like Cape Schank, Woolamai and Pyramid Rock. The rip has also been producing similar quality fish for anglers who are persistent and able to try different techniques. A mixture of options have been working lately, with stickbaits, jigs and baits all getting fish. Customer George fished with some mates over the weekend in the rip where some nice fish were landed. Live squid were the pick of the day, with a jig always present in the water to attract fish up from the depths, and occasionally hook one. Jig weights vary for this part of the world as the depth also does, but having a mixture between 100-200g will see you getting down to the fish.


If you want to pick up on all the 'small things' that will make you a more successful bluewater angler then make sure YOU BOOK in for Gawaine Blake's Local Kingfish and Tuna info night. THIS THURSDAY 8th Feb at 7pm. You must book through the store to secure numbers, which you can do on 03 9794 9397.


George with the best kingie for the day taken on a large live squid.

 


There has been some quality fishing out around the entrances to both bays and in Bass Strait over the last week or so. Reports of acres of Bluefin tuna hanging around, kingfish in good numbers off the headlands and reasonable shark fishing as well. While the tuna have been getting caught, most anglers aren't keeping their eyes peeled for signs that these fish are about. Water temperature and colour changes, seabirds hovering or shimmering 'slicks' of baitfish can be enough of an indication that the larger predators are around, so it's not just a matter of throwing a lure out and driving around until you hook up. Smaller lures have been working better than larger offerings lately as well, as most of the baitfish in the area are small pilchards and whitebait.


Customer Justin got outside over the weekend and went around towards Cape Schank where he managed 2 nice kingies. Justin caught one of the fish on a fresh squid head near the bottom and the other on a 'Slither' jig in 165g.

Customer Marty has been catching both tuna and kings down at King Island recently. Marty has found casting to be the most productive method on both fish, with soft plastics like 'sluggos' working well rigged on a jighead, and small surface stickbaits like the nomad 'madscad' also doing the job. Natural, baitfish colours are tricking the fish when conidtions are calm.


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There has been plenty of talk of bluefin tuna over the last week or so, which is good as most anglers only assume tuna season is May-June. Yes they are certainly about during late autumn and winter, but some of the best tuna fishing can be had right now no matter where you're fishing for them. While many anglers may find the thoughts of finding tuna locally quite daunting, there are normally fish around within reach of offshore anglers during the summer months. These fish can be very flighty however, and trolling straight through bait schools with big lures very rarely cuts it. A lot of these fish are feeding on schools of small whitebait and pilchards or similar sized prey, so scaling down your gear and lure choices is the way to go.


James Roger from Unreel Fishing Charters has spent some time last week down fishing around Portland where he has caught some nice bluefin tuna with his sons. The tuna have been around in small numbers along the west coast, with the inshore reefs and contours holding fish.

A fair bit closer to home the tuna have been making their presence felt, with a ripper bluefin caught by James' son Dylan amongst some nice kingies just earlier this week. This nice fish was caught on a small pilchard patterned stickbait on a 3000 sized stradic reel, and took nearly 2hrs to land! The best part was this fish was caught just out from Flinders, where a few fish have been hooked - even by locals fishing from the pier.

 

With the weather heating up and a warm front staying over us, the kingfish action has been good and should stay good. Most of the action has been in 'the rip' but there have also been fish caught offshore along most of the promontories. Livebaiting and jigging have been the standout methods, but tackle prep has been key. A lot of anglers aren't arming themselves with enough jigs, as quite a lot get snagged around the the rip. Make sure you have a good selection of weights and drop actions, along with enough assist hooks to re-rig if need be.


Customer Damien was out during the week around the rip where there were a lot of boats but a lot of people drifting off the fish. Damien managed to land this nice fish on a squid hood fished down deep after getting smoked a couple of times of his lighter jigging outfit.


Customer Sinisa came into the store to stock up on jigs and kingie essentials, and his first trip out afterwards resulted in this nice fish. Sinisa grabbed a few different colours in the 'slither' jigs in 165g and 210g and we rigged them up with the BKK ultraflash assist hooks, and they did the job!

 

Well the story the past week on the whiting front from MOST people is that they have been fairly slow. The consistent reports of inconsistent fishing have been the word, but this should improve over the next week as we pass the moon. There have been anglers putting together bags of fish from their normal marks but the standout seems to have been the larger fish coming from the deeper water around the smaller tides. The quality of the fish coming from the deeper is generally always much better, and the bonus can come in the form of snapper and gummies, as most of the reports show.

Gawaine Blake has been getting some ripper whiting from the deep water around Cowes during the week, with genuine 50cm fish hitting the deck. The first hour of run in tide has been the most productive time, with squid strips the deadly bait.


Customers Zoran and Tony have been putting together numbers of whiting, in amongst pinkies, trevally, flathead and gummies by fishing deeper water. Generally you can get away with slightly larger hook and bait sizes in the deeper water as the whiting have less time to worry about picking at the baits as there are bigger mouths lurking around.

Customer Bart has been fishing up around Hastings for the whiting and has done ok considering the slower fishing. Bart has been working his way along the middle spit and tyabb banks to catch some nice whiting on pipi, with good numbers of squid coming from the same areas, following hooked whiting up to the boat. A fresh squid tentacle or strip has also helped bag the odd whiting too.