Well it's been a fairly slow start to the snapper season in Port Phillip Bay, as most would agree. The fish have been scattered and the bulk of the catches have been coming from the northern end of the bay between Altona deep and Brighton. Over the last week or so the fish have pushed a bit further south and the mud out off Carrum is starting to see a few more reports. As we reach the peak of the warm weather over the next week the reports should get better and better.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been following the fish around a bit and while the top of the bay around P is still producing fish, there are more and more fish between Carrum - Black Rock every day. Most of James' captures over the last few days have been in the Aspendale 14 - 18m area through to 16m off Black Rock. Pilchards are proving ever reliable.


Customer Mark has also been finding the fish out from Carrum. Mark has had fish to 5kg over the past week, with depths of 12 - 18m all holding fish. Some of these groups haven't been feeding but once you find the right patch of fish pretty soon you'll know that they're feeding. Pillies again have been the go-to.

 

 

 

 


While the weather can be starting to get a little cold for some, land based fishing around Melbourne has it's options at the moment. In some cases you don't have to travel any more than about half an hour from the suburbs to get into some good fishing. Up towards the top end of the bay there have been some nice bream and pinkies moving about, with customer Robin having some good success in the city itself. Robin found plenty of small bream willing to attack baits along with some nice chunky an sized pinkies. Robin had a bit of fun on these fish on the light gear and in the 'upside down' river. 


Further down towards Black Rock customer Steve got a pleasant surprise when he hooked up to this ripper flathead from the beach. This beauty measured 63cm, not bad for from the shore! Around the piers on the Eastern seaboard there has been some good salmon fishing on the rougher days, with fish to 1kg reasonably common. Small soft plastics in natural whites and blues have been getting there attention, along with metal slugs in the same colours and occasionally bluebait and whitebait under a float. When the salmon haven't been around, there have also been reasonable numbers of garfish hanging about. Generally the calmer conditions have been more favourable for the gars, and once you have established a good quality fine berley trail you can normally pick up a few. Silverfish, prawn and maggots have been the go recently, with finely balanced floats ensuring that you can see any slight touch from the fish.

 


As the days slowly start to get longer here in Melbourne the one thing that is on many angler's minds in the crimson tide of snapper that have slowly started to infiltrate the bays. The fish that enter Port Phillip at this stage of the season are generally larger than that of typical school fish which appear a bit later in Spring. These fish are subtle feeders generally, and this coupled with colder water temperatures - especially compared to this time last year, can make them a bit more challenging to catch. At this stage of the season the fish generally don't eat as often compared to when the water is warmer, so that fish you've marked off Frankston might only eat every couple of days. In saying this, there will be another fish close by that will eat sooner - especially if your bait is A1 and you have paid attention to your rigging.  


James from Unreel Fishing Charters and mate Daniel have both been doing some early work out on the bay in search of a few reds and a couple of areas have held feeding fish. The Carrum area has been holding a few fish that have been responding to quality pilchards and also squid.


Customers Zoran and Ned have also been doing some early recon on the Port Phillip reds. The guys have been fishing the Chelsea/Carrum area and so far have found fish to around 4.5kg. Pilchards and squid have been good at the moment.


There have also been plenty of smaller pinkies hovering around many of the inshore reef areas lately as well. While a lot of the fish can be either undersize or smaller than 30cm there have also been pockets of better fish amongst them. The bigger fish tend to move about a bit more and not station themselves in one area of reef, but patrol the edges more frequently - and this is where to look for them. Small cut baits of pilchard and squid are deadly, but soft plastics also claim their fair share of fish. Small minnow patterns have been effective lately, especially when fished on reasonably light jigheads - for pinkies even in relatively deep water 1/4oz is the heaviest you'll need. Arm yourself with some 3'' minnow and curl tail/worm patterns and fish them around reef structure and you'll most likely come into contact with some fish like this.   

 

 

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. 

 

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!

 

 

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.

 

 

As usual, Westernport has turned on it's normal mixed bag fishing leading into Autumn. Customer John took youngsters Frankie and Lara out on the port recently and had a hot session on the King George whiting fishing around Tortoise Head and Tankerton. Fishing in 4m of water with Whiting Snatcher type rigs and pieces of pipi/squid combo the guys had a ball on school sized whiting.

 

Staff member Don got into the whiting during the week out from the Middle Spit using pipi and fresh squid. Fishing slightly deeper off the banks, Don managed some nice size fish. Pre-mixed frozen scallop mix berley also did the job of keeping the feeding fish around the boat. Customer Robin fished from the shore of the port during the week. Robin did well on some nice chunky whiting and also trevally around first light, with pipi and californian squid cocktail baits doing the damage. Robin fished KL 1/0 circle hooks on his droppers to ensure the hooked fish stayed hooked.

Out in the shallows of the port, customer Zach has been doing well on nice size garfish. Some of the larger models have been trickier to catch, but a fine grit 'Pier and Jetty' berley mix has ensured that they hang around for a bit longer.

Customer Andrew has been doing well on the pinkies and school sized snapper over near Corinella recently. Andrew has been fishing small potholes and drop offs using fresh baits of trevally and squid heads, where he has landed fish to 2.5kg.

 

The typical Westernport size gummies have been on the bite recently, as James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been finding out. James has been getting good numbers of table sized fish for customers, with lots in the 6 - 8kg size. Small baits of squid, trevally and salmon have been the best when presented along the bottom of the banks out from Stony Point and Hastings.

 

 

Port Phillip Bay can provide a bit of variety in terms of fish species but generally you have to target a specific species to have the best results on it. Lately there has been a bit to offer boat based anglers with whiting, squid, cuttlefish, snapper, flathead, salmon and trevally to name a few.  Customer Ryan fished with his mum and dad out in the boat targeting a few different fish with soft plastics. Pinkies, trevally, red mullet, salmon and pike all attacked the plastics in around the shallow reefy areas. Ryan's mum Marianne got stuck into some nice sized pinkie snapper on small soft plastics which soon found the esky. Customer Carlo also had some mixed bag fishing across near Queenscliff with whiting, flathead and squid all coming to the party. Carlo had a bit of moving about to get decent numbers of the whiting, but after a few drops they started coming aboard. Size 6 Shogun Wide Gap or Mutsu Light + SA pippies = a deadly whiting combo!

Customers Dan and Cam had a leisurely session out around Sorrento over the weekend with some nice sized squid caught. Cam and Dan landed squid to around 1.5kg on a mixture of fast sinking jigs around 'The Sisters' with a couple more further back towards Rye. Customer Steve also fished in the area over the weekend, with some nice squid around 1kg taking the Albino coloured Harimitsu near Rye. Steve also landed some nice flathead to 50cm in the same area using Zman 4" Paddlerz and Squidgy Fish rigged on 1/2oz jigheads. Customer Ryan went out in search of silver trevally recently over towards queenscliff. Ryan had some good success on 1/8oz rigged stickbaits on the run in tide, hopping the plastics around small sand holes and weedbeds.

 

 

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. 

 

 

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.