There has been a decent winter run of snapper in Westernport Bay since Melbourne had some proper rough winter weather a few weeks back. Not long had this weather started and snapper were being caught from a few land based spots as well as by anglers in boats. The fish have also been fairly well spread out, with reports coming from the top end of the port, right down to the fast eastern sections. Customers Chez and Adrian got out on the port recently and did well catching some nice winter fish to 7kg. The boys were fishing over in the eastern arm and using fresh squid to tempt these reds.

 

Customers Andrew and Ben have also had some success on the good sized winter fish in the port as well. Andrew was fishing towards Corinella when he landed fish between 5kg and 8kg. Squid heads and strips were the most effective baits. Customer Ben fished the shallows of the top end of the port during the night recently to land snapper to 7kg. Ben found that fresh squid was the gun bait.

 

On the squid scene, reports have been good during slightly calmer weather. The shallow areas along Tyabb, Quail and Stony banks fished well during low wind and low light times. Rough, churned up banks have forced the squid a bit deeper off the edges, and they can still be caught in depths of 5 - 7m. Customer Jarrad fished the Tyabb area between 2 - 5m of water to catch some good squid on the drift. Early morning produced some on baited jigs, and once the sun got up red foil size 3.5 Yamashita jigs did well. The biggest hood length measured 40cm which took the Yamashita jig. Customer Ben also fished in the Tyabb area for a good bag of squid taken on size 3.5 jigs during the week.

Whiting reports have slowed right down, with the odd angler catching some respectable fish but definitely not in the summer numbers. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been putting together some nice bags of fish for customers, with whiting averaging the 38cm size taking fresh squid and pipi. Along some of the deeper, more reefy sections that James has been fishing he has also pulled up the odd nice size cray.

 

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!

 

 

Westernport Bay has experienced a normal Autumn run of elephant fish and although they have been relatively quiet last year, numbers are better so far this season. Many anglers crossing over between whiting and gummy water have found the elephants, as this is prime territory for them. Water in the 5 - 10m depth along the edge of grassbeds seems to be a very good place to start. If in doubt, head to the 'elephant triangle' which is the open water section triangulating from Rhyll to Tortoise Head to Settlement Point at Corinella. This area is generally silt and sand mixed with small patches of grass and rubble, and is thought to be the main spawning ground.

James from Unreel FIshing Charters has been taking clients out in search of some elephant fish in the port, and he has been saying that the fishing for them has been good. James has been moving around the 'triangle' to finds the schools, and has found baits of fresh squid and pipi have been the best. Anglers fishing whiting type gear and rigs with a heavier 30lb fluorocarbon leader and 2/0 circle pattern hook have been the most successful. The heavier leader is to prevent the elephants' sharp dorsal spike from busting the lighter line as they thrash around. Customers Jarrod and Andrew fished from the shores of the port just recently in search of a gummy. The boys fished around the Lang Lang area and while no gummies were caught they did get amongst a few elephants, along with most other anglers. The most successful baits for the guys were small chunks of pilchard.

On the gummy front, calm Autumn conditions have had anglers making the most of the weather and good fishing. Gummies in the 5 - 8kg table size have been common along most of the channel edges and potholes, with a few larger fish further south towards the western entrance. Baits of fresh trevally, yakka, squid and salmon have been the most effective. Customer Will from the Hard Yards Fishing Club fished in search of a gummy recently and caught this nice table fish on a fillet of fresh couta.

 

 

Westernport's gummies have been playing ball over the last few weeks for anglers, with lots of good table sized sharks coming aboard. Customers aboard Unreel Fishing Charters have been having a ball on gummies to 8kg all throughout the port. Baits of fresh trevally and yakka have been the most productive lately.

Customer John fished out from Hastings in search of a few gummies just recently where he landed some nice fish along the channel edge in 13m. John caught gummies to 10kg using rings of freshly caught squid on a 5/0 circle hook, with the last 2 hours of the run out tide being the most productive.

Customer Andrew was fishing out from Corinella recently in search of a few table sized gummies when he landed this ripper. This female shark was heavy full of pups and released after a quick photo. Freshly caught squid head was the effective bait.

 

 

Westernport Bay has been producing a few good size pinkies during the week. While snapper reports from the Port have slowed right down, most of the fish still caught by everyday anglers have been in the 1.5 - 2.5kg mark. Most of the fish have been found in the bottom end of the Port at present where the water has been cooler. Areas to look have been around Rhyll, Cowes, Tortoise bank and across near Elizabeth Island.

Staff member George fished with a few mates out from Corinella during the week where they managed a heap of fish up to 2kg, along with trevally and bycatch of smaller sharks. The pinkies came on during the tide and preferred squid over any other bait.

 

 

Westernport continues to produce quality snapper for anglers getting out there. The whole bay is producing fish at the moment, from around Stony Point up to Crawfish, and around through Corinella to the Corals and off Rhyll. Customer Aaron got out recently and landed some nice fish up to 5kg out from Rhyll. Aaron had a morning session off silverleaves around the slack stage of the tide where he caught these nice fish on pillies and silver whiting. Customer Andrew has been fishing the top end of the port to land snapper to around the 4.5kg mark amongst some other school sized fish. Andrew has found the Gentle Annie channel productive recently, with the odd gummy or whiting as bycatch. 

Customers Jarrad, Michael and Marcel fished out in the port recently where they had some mixed results on the snapper. Out of a couple of days on the water the guys caught fish to 4.6kg from around Lysaughts, and also Corinella/Elizabeth Island. Best success came on chunks of fresh yakka and squid, during the last stages of the run in tide.

 

Customer Daniel fished with a few friends out from Hastings recently to land snapper to 6kg. The Long Reef/Lysaughts area was good, with fish from 3.5kg through to around 6kg taking baits of yakka or pilchard tipped with a strip of fresh squid.

Customer Rohan fished with a mate out from Corinella during the week where they landed a ripper fish of 9.1kg or 20lb. The fish took a super pilchard along the edge of the channel.

 

It may come as bad news for some anglers and love them or hate them - the Elephant fish are starting to show up in Westernport Bay. These fish normally start to turn up around the start of Autumn each year, where they move into the bays and larger tidal estuaries to spawn. While they are deemed a nuisance by anglers targeting other species, they can provide a bit of fun on the right gear. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has noticed a few of these fish turning up along deeper whiting marks in the port. Some of the elephants James' customers have been catching have been decent - up to around 3kg. The 'Elephant Triangle' is normally as good a place to target them as you could find - a large relatively open sand and mud flat towards the start of the East arm. Baits of pipi, pilchard and squid all work quite well when fished on 2/0 circle hooks and whiting gear. Just beef up your fluorocarbon leader to around 15- 20lb as they can break lighter leaders when their dorsal spike wraps in the line. 

Customer John found a decent patch of elephants across near Newhaven during the week. John was initially targeting whiting around a small sand hole when a school of elephants came through. After catching 13 and keeping 1 smaller fish he left to find his whiting. John said 8m of water was the depth, and whiting gear baited with mussel and squid got their attention. 

 

 

The depths of the East arm from Tortoise Head across to Newhaven have been fishing well for anglers chasing snapper and gummies. Customer Jacob fished with Gawaine Blake during the week where the guys had a ripper session. Snapper to 5kg were landed, along with gummies to 16kg, seven gill sharks to 80kg, and also a decent bag of King George whiting. The lesson for the days fishing, catching and using fresh baits that were in the area.

Customer Mick also fished deep off Cowes to land some good snapper to 6kg, along with a few smaller gummies in the 5kg range.

 

 

The bottom end of Westernport Bay is now holding some good schools of snapper, with usual areas around Rhyll, Cowes and across towards the corals fishing well.

Customer Mick got onto some nice fish on Tuesday afternoon out from Cowes. Snapper to 6kg took super pillies, along with a nice gummy of around the same weight. Mick was fishing in 15m out from the pier at Cowes.

Customers Simon fished Sunday morning to land fish around the 4kg mark in 18m of water using his custom snapper snatchers. Simon found that cut pilchards fished on the snatchers did the trick on the fish.