Even though conditions haven't been ideal for many during the week, there have been some keen anglers making the most of the decreased boat traffic offshore and tangling with some good size bluefin tuna. With some better weather forecast for the weekend and early into the week there should be more tuna reports coming from outside both bays. The water offshore from Port Phillip heads has been teaming with life, including bluefin tuna to 30kgs. While these fish can be aggressive and hit with speed and anger, they will also shy away from lots of different lure offerings if they aren't interested. Most anglers having regular success on them have been incorporating some form of teaser, be it a flasher style rig or soft surface squid 'flippy floppy'.

Customer Johnny fished with mate Will during the week where they shot outside from Sorrento. The boys found success in slow trolling 150mm poppers around the edge of the schools giving them the occasional bloop to entice an enquiry.

Customer Zak also boated a couple of lovely tuna during the week, and offshore from Port Phillip also. Zak found that small skirts in the 4 - 5'' range were the most effective when run in conjunction with a flippy floppy teaser. Small bullet style heads running off the teaser also provide straight predictable tracking to help the fish line the lure up.

Customer Billy fished with mates out from the heads and landed some nice fish in the 20kg mark on skirts up to 6 inches in length. Running polished bullet heads behind flasher rigs was the most effective method, and in water around 50m deep.


 


The whiting reports from both Westernport and Port Phillip have continued to be excellent. While the height of Summer can provide numbers of smaller fish, there have still been some excellent fish caught if you can weed through the smaller school fish. Customer Trent has been fishing a bit deeper for whiting in Western port during his last few sessions and has been racking up bags of very solid fish out from Newhaven. Larger strips of squid fished as hang baits in the current have been the best baits to filter away all but the bigger fish.


Customer Dale took his young fella out and had some fun on the whiting recently. The boys have done best when fishing around the middle spit in 8m during the start of the start of the run in tide. Pipi and squid have been the best with more numbers going to pipi. 


Customers Mark and Cip have been doing well on the whiting fishing out from Warneet. The guys have been catching good numbers of school fish from 32 to 41cm during the rougher conditions when there haven't been many others out. These conditions while less pleasant have had the fish biting much harder and good quantities of fish have been coming over the side in a short amount of time. Pipi and mussel have been the best two baits when fished on 'dropshot' style hooks. 


Customer Domenic has been doing well on the whiting fishing out from Tootgarook. Domenic has been fishing some of the shallow weed beds and has found smaller patches of nice size fish. Pipi has been the most effective bait for him when in the shallower water. 


Customer Ryan has also been catching some nice bags of fish out from the southern peninsula. Ryan has been fishing in close around Dromana and Safety Beach in 6m of water. Fishing the same area he has found squid and flathead, with small tenderised strips of squid being his favoured bait, especially once pre-cut and soaked in aniseed oil.  

 


The rivers running into Port Phillip have been producing good winter bream and some large mullet. If you're planning on fishing your local river, the Werribee, Yarra and Patterson rivers have all been good. The odd mulloway has been caught especially in the Yarra and Patto. On the bream front, the Patto has been producing fish over a kilo along with mullet similar size.

Young gun Mike caught this nice fish and others fishing in his backyard on the Patto. Mike has been using yabbies to land the better size fish, with some bigger fish busting him off on light line around the pylons. Live freshwater yabbies or frozen shrimp have been the best baits.


Lure fishing the Patto has been effective for quality bream also if you're putting in the time. Customer Jordan has been fishing small shrimp imitation plastics and sinking hardbodies with slow 'flicks' of the rod tip, making them move as natural as possible. Using these styles of lures coated in gel scent he has been landing some nice fish up around the 40cm mark, fishing to small ledges and mud bank drop offs in the main river. 


While you've got a bait in the water you've got a shot! Customer Aujin was fishing the river near the first floodgate in search of bream when he landed a nice pinkie snapper of 57cm. Fishing small baits of prawn he got the shock of his life when his 'bream' appeared red in colour. While these fish aren't generally expected in the river, after a big clean spell of clear salty water they push into the rivers and coves in search of food. The rockwall section of the river produces smaller fish during these times, and further up the road the Yarra river is a real chance of fish like this or even larger at present.

Winter 'snapper' up to 4kg or so venture up the Yarra from Hobsons Bay and can be caught almost up to Church Street when the river is salty. Fishing from around the Bolte down to the warmies gives you a real shot at a quality fish, and even mulloway - especially when using fresh bait.  

 


Wether you're boat or shore based, there's been no hiding from the plague numbers of garfish all along the eastern side of the bay. If you're fishing anywhere from Brighton down to Mt Martha the gars have been thick and giving anglers plenty of action. Brighton rock walls have been producing the fish if you're located in the top end of the bay, as are Mordialloc and Beaumaris piers. South of Frankston customer Josh and mates had a crack at the fish and smashed them. Fishing from the boat around Mt Eliza in 4m of water Josh had the gars going nuts for about 2 hours. Fine 'pollard' mix berley and maggots did the job. 


Mornington and surrounds has been a real hot spot for many trying their luck on the gars, with both staff Don and George getting their bag of fish from around the pier after work this week. As usual constant depth changes and keeping a keen eye on subtle float movements are half the battle, but keeping ahead of the fish will make sure you're constantly catching them. Baits on silverfish, frozen shrimp and maggots have all been excellent, when fed through a very fine 'wet sand' berley.

Ensure you don't berley with bread!! 

If it's garfish you're after, we have everything you need in store from hook choices, bulk berley and 1000's of floats! 

 


These tasty little fish have been about serious numbers for a little bit, with the last few weeks being awesome. After the last bit of rain and wind the gars have come on again and have been making their way into angler's buckets along most of the bayside piers and rockwalls.

Customer Ryan has been catching a few around the piers along the peninsula, with Mornington being one of the 'hotspots'. While the pier here has been busy, there are plenty of other locations suitable for catching these fish without breaking social distancing rules.


Between Mornington and Frankston the gars have been on fire. The small jetties in the area and hidden coves and bays have been holding gars without the crowds. Customer Jason got into a bag of fish in the boat, fishing water less than 2m deep. Berley as always has been the key, with a fine grain mix the standout. Customer Izzy also got into the gars fishing from the shore at Frankston. Maggots were the key bait, with heavily weighted floats showing the subtle bites. If you're unsure of how to rig for gars, come in and talk to us as the correct rigging can be the difference between a fishes or successful session. 


Further north in the bay customer Angelo has been also catching gars. Angelo has been fishing Beaumaris and Mordialloc with gars at both locations. Angelo has been fishing cut silverfish and maggots amongst the berley trail and keeping a keen eye on the float as many bites have simply been sideways dips or slides of it. Knowing how to correctly ballast your float and tell when it is acting unnatural will catch you a lot more fish. 

 


The local land based fishing around the bays has been good considering the nice weather we've had of late. Wether you'd enjoy a feed of flathead, garfish, whiting or squid they are all readily available. One of the more popular species on offer at present are the tasty garfish - which have been active at most of the piers around Port Phillip. Some of the hot spots worth a look have been Mordialloc, Black Rock, Seaford, Frankston and down the peninsula at Dromana and Mornington. Baits of chopped silverfish, banana prawn and maggots have all been good. Getting your float setup correctly ballasted and having a steady trail of fine berley are also some of the finer points to successful gar fishing. 

Staff member Don fished Frankston pier during the week and bagged a nice feed of gars. Tiny pieces of banana prawn fished on narrow gape fly hooks were the most effective when lightly weighted around the edge of the berley trail. 


The northern end of the bay has been fishing well for good table sized flathead and whiting. The shallows have been producing sand flathead to 50cm around any rockfall, gutter or reef ledge. Fishing soft plastics has been the most effective way to snag a flathead, but ensure that you're using a plastic that gives off natural vibration to help the fish hone in on the lure. St Kilda through to Mentone has been the are to try. 


The same areas of the bay down to around Olivers Hill have been producing whiting after dark. Customer Jordan has landed some nice flathead and whiting over the last week around Brighton. The flathead have been caught on 3 inch mullet patterned plastics and the whiting have been liking banana prawn and pipi. Customer Serge also got a nice bag of whiting from the shore around Sandringham on a mixture of squid, banana prawn and pipi. 

The same inshore reef and sand patches have been producing some nice squid after dark. Staff member Dylan fished from the shore from Brighton through to Black Rock last week and landed squid every session, with the quickest 10 squid bag taking about 40 minutes. Size 2.5 jigs are the most consistent in this area, with virtually every colour tried eventually producing a squid or two. 

Down along the bottom of the peninsula over in Westernport, customer Angelo has been catching squid and grass whiting like they're going out of fashion. Angelo has been fishing Flinders pier and has found the squid around 25cm hood length on average. Size 3.5 jigs in natural grass whiting patterns along with blacks and UV whites have been the best for him. The grass whiting have also been active around the pier pylons and grass beds and have been taking a liking to small paternoster rigs baited with either trout worms or small pieces of banana prawn.  

 


Port Phillip's autumn snapper bite continues with fish to nearly 8kg being landed by persistent anglers. The fish have been a bit more widespread this autumn, as they were over the spring period but there are enough about to be targeting them. Customer Rohan again fished out from Mornington with mates where they landed some lovely fish to just over 7kg. Fishing the early dawn bite got them their fish - with both pilchard and squid doing the job.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been finding some nice snapper in the bay over the past week or so. James has been concentrating around the Mornington and Mount Martha areas but has also been landing some cracker autumn reds over 6kg from around Black Rock and Brighton. Fishing a bit wider out in 19m or so seems to have been the most consistent ground, although there has been the odd solid fish caught right in close in the 7 - 10m area. Freshly caught squid, pilchard and yakka has all been good but silver whiting cubes and heads fished on 'Reedy's Rigs' have been excellent when left to dangle just above the seabed.

 


Many anglers feel that snapper fishing is 'off the table' in Port Phillip, the truth is there are some quality fish still in the bay and they are there to be caught. Fishing the southern end of the bay around the Mornington region is the best bet by far, with water depths of 19 - 20m a very good starting point. These fish generally are best fished for just before first light, with this being the prime bite time. Berleying has been advantageous in getting the fish started, and it is well worth having multiple 'flasher' style rigs down to get the attention of mooching fish into your trail.


Customer Rohan and mate have been fishing out from Mornington over the past week or so and landing some nice fish. Fishing 21m of water straight out from Mornington has been the go, with the fish biting around first light like clockwork. Pillies and squid both took fish to around 4kg.

 


While the focus hasn't been on the gummies or snapper in particular in both bays - there have been a few caught, especially pinkies and snapper. The small pinkies from 20cm to 1.5kg or so are thick especially in Port Phillip, no matter which area you're fishing. While they can be frustrating - there have been plenty of better size fish amongst them. Staff member Dylan got out for a quick arvo fish recently and was kept busy on fish from 20cm to around 45cm on lures. 4'' jerkbait style plastics caught their share but 100 - 120mm hardbodies were the most effective once the wind got up. Trolling these lures around the isolated reef patches around Brighton resulted in more than 50 fish landed, and a handful of 500g kept for the pan.


The larger fish have also been found in the same areas in the top of the bay - but the real hot spot for the next little while is the Mt Eliza - Mt Martha region. Fish like these held by customer Sam from around Mt Eliza will be worth targeting the deeper we get into Autumn. Early morning bites from dawn to around 9am are the norm, with KGW heads deadly when fished on 'dangle' rigs over the boat's side.


Out in Western port there have been some nice snapper caught amongst the smaller pinkies. While the pinkies have been thick through the whiting grounds and grass beds, fishing the 'barren' mud and rubble beds has seen red to over 4kg landed. The main region producing the quality fish has been between Rhyll and Corinella. Customers Tony and Allan have caught fish in the area to nearly 6kg. There have also been quality fish on the reef just outside both entrances, with some super solid gummies providing some quality bycatch at the same time.


While most of the larger gummies have been coming from outside the port, there have been some big fish caught throughout the Western Entrance along the deeper ledges and channel scours. Fishing these areas during the latter part of the ebb tide or start of the flood is generally the more productive time. Customer Izzy has been landing gummies to around 15kg once the sun goes down, with baits of freshly caught yakka, slimey or trevally among the best.

For the land based anglers the weekend's calmer weather should make shore-bashing a bit more enjoyable. Customer Pete has just started chasing gummies from the shore and landed his first fish during the week. Pete was fishing from the shore at Grantville and after missing and losing a few fish he changed rigs and tactics and landed this one on a circle hook baited with fresh mackerel. Fishing water no more than 1m deep in this area is very effective - but it's all very tide dependent!

 


The run of tuna local to Melbourne has continued and is gaining more and more momentum each day. With huge schools of fish to 40kg just offshore from the bays and along the coast many are taking advantage and getting amongst them when conditions allow. The schools have been isolated and as widespread as Cape Woolamai across to Portland and further west, with good numbers of fish hanging about between Cape Schank and Torquay. Vic EJ Todds Representative Mitch has been landed some sizable fish out from Barwon on stickbaits and poppers. While many anglers have been trolling lures, with increased boat traffic and pressure the fish are liable to spook - and this is where cast lures can have their advantages. Don't forget to pack popppers, stickbaits and various soft plastics!


Customer Josh came into the store after an outfit to tackle the tuna with and let us set something up for him. After gearing up Josh and some mates headed out and gave the fish a crack. The boys found the tuna just outside of the heads in quite shallow water heading towards Barwon bluff and landed a few on different hardbodies and also small skirts. Needless to say Josh is hooked will probably be doing more of it asap.


There have been plenty of anglers scoring catches of nice bluefin. The Melbourne Tuna Crumbs have been amongst the fish over the past weeks, with to just shy of 40kg coming aboard. Some of the original crumbs Michael and Pino have had fun on the fish from just outside the heads across to Angelsea. Various tactics have been working with deep running hardbodies and bibless minnows in short doing a good job at bringing the fish in. When the fish have been shy small skirts as minute as 3'' have been getting the bites, especially when fished a long way back.


The boys from Bucci Cabinets have been serving up fresh tuna with good numbers of fish in the 15 - 20kg size range being caught. The fish have again been caught along the surf coast, with the Barwon - Torquay area holding good schools. Working the 20 - 35m depth areas have been where most of the boys have been finding the numbers. Skirted lures have been the favoured method, with 5'' being about the most productive size. Some skirts as large as 10'' have been catching fish - and a good option to put in the spread as a teaser to entice the school to come up. Even if you have any huge marlin sized skirts, running them or a large popper or daisy chain of large soft plastics as an attractor has been well worth the effort.