Whiting season is apon us! While not the norm for many at the time of year, the whiting fishing has been excellent for the past 5 weeks or so. At the moment there are plenty of whiting about to be caught, and while they are still a bit of work in the cooler water the quality has been excellent - whether you're fishing in Westernport or southern Port Phillip. If you think big squid grounds - think big whiting also. Customer Thomas has been fishing around the bottom end of the middle spit and Tortoise head for fish up to 41cm. The outgoing tide has been the most productive time for him.


The region around Tortoise head has been excellent for customer John. John has fished the area for the past few weeks and has consistently found good bags of fish, especially when fishing late in the afternoons. Many of John's fish have been either side of 40cm and have been taken on pipi and mussel.


Southern Port Phillip has been excellent for whiting also. The southern end from around Rye through to Portsea and Queenscliff has been the area to target. Fishing water from 2 - 7m has been where most of the bites have been coming from. Customer Josh has been catching some good bags of fish around Rye and again just wide of Portsea pier in about 6m. Pipi and fresh squid have been the baits of choice.

Customer Aaron also fished southern Port Phillip recently around the Sorrento area and further back to Blairgowrie and landed a good haul of fish. Pipi and mussel have been the better baits, with some better size fish coming through just on or after dark. Small amounts of berley have been a good way of turning a couple of fish into a solid bag. Small size whiting nuts have been excellent berley for whiting, mixed in with a small amount of mashed pilchard or fish oil to create a small slick. Just don't over-do the berley down here and schools of salmon and trevally will overrun your whiting school.

 


The 'everyday' species on offer around the bay have been providing whether you're in the boat or fishing from the shore. Squid fishing of late has been productive all around the bay as customer Peter has been finding out. Peter fished with a mate out from Rye over the weekend to land a nice bag of squid. Most productive jigs were size 3.0 Yakamitos in the 'ribena' colour.


Customer Tony fished with mate over near Queenscliff on the weekend to land some nice squid and cuttelfish. Tony found that the stand out jig was a fluoro yellow 'lemon meringue' coloured jig. The bright coloured jig out-performed all others in the area, and has a good track record in the Queenscliff region.


The local piers and sandy spits and coves have been holding some nice garfish lately also. The 'normal' piers such as Frankston and Mordialloc have been producing but they have been better during the day rather than at night. If you are able to get out on the water and berley up the size of the gars has been better. Customer Edly has been making the most of these tasty fish over the past few weeks, with some good numbers of fish to 35cm being swung aboard. Silverfish and maggots have been the best baits of late, with a light trickle of berley enough to keep the fish nearby.

 


At present, the snapper bite has been good but has also had some inconsistency over the last week or so. As water temperatures heat up more in about 2 weeks the fish should go off the bite as they spawn. At the moment though they are still being caught. Customer Sylvio has caught fish to 5kg fishing in close from Black Rock. Pilchards have been the best bait for him.


Customers Robbie and Matej have been fishing out from Mornington recently. The guys have been fishing in the 16m area and have been catching snapper to around the 4kg mark. Fishing with multiple baits, the best bite for them has been between 7:30 and 9:00 am. Hard baits have been fishing better, with silver whiting the standout.


Again around the 16m line customer Aaron has landed snapper to 4kg. Aaron has been fishing the Frankston/Mt Eliza region and has been using freshly caught squid to land his fish.


The Frankston area has been fishing quite well over the past week or so, with good numbers of fish holding in water between 15 - 18m. Customer Steve recently caught a few nice fish to 4.5kg out towards 18m. Customer Paul fished 16m off Frankston to land some crackers to around 6.5kg on silver whiting and pilchard, with the morning tide change more productive than dawn.


Friend of the shop Bruce and mates fished the arvo whiting bite at Queenscliff. Some thumping whiting were caught, with the best baits being pipi and squid. The key for these bigger whiting has been to present bigger baits which works best on slightly bigger hooks like Shogun black baitholders in size 2, on a Paternoster style rig.

 


Previous to whiting fishing, Bruce headed just offshore from Queenscliff in search of a kingfish. Large numbers of school snapper have been around and plaguing baits, but there have been some small kingfish caught around the rubble grounds. Fresh squid has been the go if you can get through the snapper. Gawaine Blake also headed out in search of a kingfish around the heads, and he wasn't disappointed with a couple of lovely fish landed. The time has come!


 


Port Phillip's snapper bite has picked up over the last few weeks, and even moreso this week. The fish have been more active and bites have been occurring around first light and also in the afternoon. The northern section of the bay has been more productive with Patto - north the real better section. Customer Harry and mate Stephen fished around the reef off Black Rock in 7m during the week to land a couple of nice table fish on silver whiting. Silver whiting has picked up dramatically over the last week as a bait also.


Customer Sam got out on Thursday morning and scored a nice fish in 15m off Frankston in flat conditions. The Frankston - Seaford area has been holding smaller patches of fish but certainly not as much boat traffic as further north around Black Rock. Customer Danny has been bagging fish to 3.7kg off Black Rock himself with both pilchard and garfish working well.


Staff members George and Chris fished out from Black Rock on Sunday afternoon. With sloppy southwest conditions and a late tide change the fish were going to bite. The guys found some small reef ledges in 13m that were holding fish nearby so started berleying. After about 15 minutes a few rods went off and the guys had a decent bite for about 2 hours, with 8 fish to around 4kg coming aboard. The smaller fish were around 40cm but still happy to nail a whole silver whiting on tandem 5/0 and 6/0's.


Out from Carrum on the mud there have been fish to be caught. With a lot more moving about to find active fish and a bit of intuition as to which direction to head in, there hasn't been as many boats. The areas that seem to be holding numbers of fish seem to be around the 15m line from Carrum, 13m off Seaford and again 15m out from Mordialloc. Customer Zoran got out with his Dad a couple of times over the weekend and scored some nice fish to 4kg out in 15m from Carrum. Silver whiting and pilchard worked equally on these fish.


There have still been some quality squid on offer in the bay, especially from Frankston south. Around Mornington there have been some better than average squid about, so upsizing to bigger jigs is a very good idea. Around Sorrento and Portsea the large squid have been about, with slack water producing more for anglers the shallower water. Across at Queenscliff the big squid have still be about, as staff member George found out. George fished with mate of the store Bruce and AFL footballer Bachar Houli. The boys fished just outside Queenscliff harbour over the grass beds in 3m of water to land over 20 big squid. Hayabusa and Shimano jigs were the best performers of the session.


After cleaning up on the squid the guys targeted whiting just north of Queenscliff. Fishing the tide around last light in 3 - 6m of water some nice whiting were caught on pipi and fresh squid. With the bite a bit slower than normal changing to lighter leader and smaller hooks converted a few extra fish.

 


The squid fishing around Port Phillip has been good over the past week or so, and there has been some quality squid on offer. After presenting an information talk on squid fishing at the store, Eisuke Kawakami from Yamashita got out and did some fishing with Kosta from 'Hooked Up' magazine and Victorian Yamashita representative Mitch. Fishing the southern end of Port Phillip the guys managed some serious size squid, on a mixture of jigs and techniques. 


Some of the best action was had fishing deep in 15+ metres of water using the 'tip run' method. Many anglers would not even contemplate fishing this depth for squid but years of squid fishing knowledge led Eisuke to suggest this technique. If you missed out on the Yamashita squid talk or want to get in on some of the deep water squidding, pop in store and talk to the guys about the 'tip run' method.


Staff member Dylan got out into the bay during the week and fished around Frankston and Olivers Hill for squid. After getting some aggressive bites on smaller jigs, Dylan changed to size 3.5 and 4.0 jigs and proceeded to land some serious squid, for the area. 10 squid was no problem as the bite was aggressive in 4m of water, with many of the squid around or over 1kg in weight. A mixture of colours were successful but the Yamashita 'K' series in red mullet and DTD in the same colour pattern were the standouts.


Continuing on the theme of big squid, customer Mario has been catching some thumper squid from the Mornington area. The size of the squid along the Frankston - Mornington area has been excellent over the past week, with some of larger models topping 1.5kg which isn't common for the area. Many different coloured size 3.0 jigs have been working well, as the larger squid seem to be more aggressive.


Meanwhile the King George whiting have been going very well for anglers fishing the Portsea - Queenscliff area again this week. The Lonsdale bight through to Queenscliff has been the hot spot, with Portsea shallow producing some quality fish also. Friend of the shop Bruce fished out from Queenscliff over the weekend to land a bag of quality fish on freshly caught and pipi.


The whiting have been going well in Westernport also, with the top end starting to produce good numbers of fish. Tyabb and Quail banks have been producing fish to 40cm on pipi, and staff member Don has been getting amongst them. Don fished out from Yaringa over the weekend and found some nice fish to around the 40cm. Fresh squid was the most productive bait and the fish bit best during the top half of the run in tide.

 


There have been good amounts of squid about for those interested in collecting fresh snapper baits or for a tasty meal, with both bays running as clear as ever and going well.


Friend of the shop and Victorian sale rep Bruce fished with mate Bachar Houli out from Queenscliff to get stuck into some quality squid and whiting. Fishing close inshore around Queenscliff around 'Cottage by the sea' was the hot spot for all the squid and whiting, with the Lonsdale Bight being a popular area for both large squid and quality whiting.


The whiting reports have started to go in the port, with the 'normal' banks producing fish. Quali, Tyabb and the spit have all been fishing well, with a few moves the norm, but some quality fish about. Customer Barry fished with his father over the weekend to land a nice bag of fish from the middle spit. Barry found the run in tide productive and when the fish wanted to feed, with pipi and squid cocktail baits getting the job done. Not far from the same area staff member Don also caught some nice whiting with mate Sam. The middle spit and Tyabb bank fished well in about 12ft of water for fish to 42cm on elongated strips of squid and pipi.


Not far from the same area customer Steve has been catching some nice squid. Steve has been fishing the Tyabb-Quail banks and just working different depths until the squid are found. Steve has also been trying a good number of jigs, with Yamashita UV whites a favourite, and some of the new Owner draw 4 jigs also producing well. Steve picked up on some handy hints regarding jigs cloth and foil colour from our last Yamashita info night which has been earning him a few extra in the boat!


Down at Flinders customer Angelo has been catching some good squid and plenty of grass whiting. Angelo has been copying the jigs patterns with the grass whiting and catching well, with a few other black jig patterns also working well in the mix. The size 4.0 and 3.5 'Black Opal' colour has been producing some big squid around the outgoing tide from the pier.

 

The Spring squid fishing has been good with some excellent sized squid about. While Westernport has been producing it's usual large squid, Port Phillip has been even better. The northern end of the bay has been a bit quieter than usual but with less anglers fishing the area it's no surprise. The southern Mornington Peninsula has been the go, with Rye onwards to the heads producing excellent squid.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching some very nice squid in between snapper trips lately, with most of his squid coming from the Mt Martha area. James has been finding solid white jigs to be productive during bright sunny conditions. Staff member Dylan also caught some smaller squid around the Mornington area over the weekend, with bright orange jigs working the best in around 3m of water.


Around the southern end of the bay, customers Benny and Christian have been catching some good squid. The boys have been working the Portsea - Queenscliff area and have found the better squid in the deeper water. Using 'tiprun' style jigs the boys have been able to get down fast and deep to the larger squid, with purple cloth killing it down deep. Tip run style jigs are designed to be held down in depth and current and respond to the slightest movement which helps lure the big squid to them.


Reports of big squid would be incomplete with mentioning Flinders. The pier has seen some nice squid hitting the planks over the last few weeks. With some of the big spawning models coming inshore to breed in Spring, Flinders is always a good chance for a true monster. While not super consistent with wind and swell taking affect, this time of year you have got a real shot. Fishing big jigs like 3.5 or even size 4.0 you are getting the attention of the biggest squid.

Having a baited jig out under a float is also a good way to increase your chances. Silver whiting or grass whiting are excellent bait for the big squid, but tommy rough and salmon are also good. Customer Tuan has been landing some proper squid on the baited jigs of late, with some of them hitting the 50cm mark!

 

 

 


Squid reports have been good over the past week, with clean water in both bays. The southern end of both bays has been the most productive with both numbers and size, with the rye – Portsea are very good, along with Flinders and Shoreham in Westernport.



Customers Damien, Carlo and Thao have been fishing around Portsea and Queenscliff. Some of the better squid from the area have been up to 50cm in hood length, which are proper calamari! The jigs that have been producing have been size 3.5 Haramitsu and Yamashita in blacks, greens and also natural green baitfish patterns.



Customer Angelo regularly fishes Flinders pier and this week he has done exceptionally well. Angelo has been catching a load of grass whiting from the weedbeds under the pier, with pipi and trout worms being the most effective when suspended just above the weed. The best way to rig these up is by using a paternoster rig with long sinker dropper and small size 6 circle hook. Amongst the grass whiting the squid that Angelo has been catching have been quality, with many over a kilo. The most successful jigs for him have been the size 3.5 and 4.0 Black/red Clicks jigs.

 


There have been quality squid around for anglers in search of them. Spring is traditionally known as a good time for big squid, as they come into the shallows to spawn. Both bays have good numbers of squid moving around to spawn and as with squid fishing, moving about to find the numbers is part of the game. Staff member Dylan noticed big numbers of 'paired' squid up around Black Rock, with many well over a kilo - and no one fishing for them. With no jigs on board things were always going to be tricky, but they are there to be caught! 


Customer Carlo fished out around Queenscliff to land some nice half kilo models on the shallow grass beds. Natural coloured jigs and UV whites were the most consistent on the day.Customer Ryan has also been catching some nice squid in a few areas. Ryan has found the Rye/Sorrento area has been good for numbers but the better sized models have been coming from Portsea - Queenscliff in the deeper water. To fish this deeper water effectively, 'deep' sinking jigs must be used, or the addition of a nose or chin weight to get the jig down in the current.


Customer Josh fished with mates out around Queenscliff recently and scored a good bag of squid. The clear and calm conditions were ideal for squid fishing with size 3.0 Hayabusa V3 jigs doing the best. Bright colours with inbuilt abalone flash were excellent at getting the attention of the squid in the clear water.

HOT SPOT: Flinders has always been the 'big squid' location but with ocean and southern port temperatures still cool now is the time to search for that big one. Fishing from the pier you want size 3.5 standard sink rate jigs, and 3.5 deep models if in the boat or kayak. Constantly changing colours and patterns and keeping an eye out for large numbers of bait is a good way to increase your odds with many anglers around.

 


While many angler may not the King George whiting on their mind for a good few months yet, the start of spring and initial snapper run normally signals the 'unofficial' start of the whiting season. While large bags of fish aren't as common, the much larger 'winter' condition fish are worth targeting while there's generally few people on them. The fish aren't generally up on the banks and flats like in summer - more often residing in the deeper, colder waters closer to Bass Strait. Moving about like you would on a normal whiting session is again the key to putting a bag of solid fish together. The areas of Westernport worth looking around at the moment are from Flinders to Balnarring and around Vetnor, and the southern end of the middle spit around Tankerton and Stony Point. In Port Phillip the Queenscliff - St Leonards region and Portsea to Mt Martha have been the go/


Customer Carlo and mate fished across near St Leonards recently where they found some nice sized fish. After a few moves the guys had a decent bag of fish, with averaging just shy of 40cm and nice and fat. Pipi and fresh squid were the best baits when fished on number 4 worm style hooks. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been catching some quality whiting around southern Port Phillip bay, with plenty of fish over 40cm present. The larger fish have been moving in smaller schools and have to be made the most of when they come through. Having enough baits at the ready and a small amount of organized berley, along with extra pre-tied rigs will make sure you make the most of the hot 10 minute bite windows.


Not far away customer Josh and friends got some nice fish around Queenscliff. Fishing around 7m of water saw them with a nice bag of fish, with pipi the standout. Along the same ground there were some quality squid which all hammered a size 3.0 'abalone white' Hayabusa jig.