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.


The local Melbourne rivers and estuaries are fishing well for bream at the moment with the warm weather and intermittent rain. The Patterson and Maribyrnong rivers are producing some nice bream for bait and lure anglers, with the lure fishing really turning it on recently. Customers fishing bait in the main river channels of both rivers have caught bream to 42cm, with freshwater yabbies, scrubworm and frozen prawn doing the job. When fishing the main flow try and mix up rigs between unweighted baits through to heavier sinker rigs to see which method is working on the fish. The main section of the Patterson river has also produced the odd flathead before the rain, with staff member Dylan landing a 51cm fish over the weekend on a lure.


Staff member Dylan has also fished the lakes in his kayak over the weekend and has caught some school sized fish on a mixture of lures. Hardbodied lures like Ecogear SX40's and atomic cranks have been good when cast alongside floating pontoons and rockwalls and let sit around the structure. A few fish have also taken smaller subsurface offerings as well, with plenty of small mullet around the system for the bream to prey on.

 

Reports coming from Port Phillip Bay have been a bit quiet recently. There has been a run of snapper hanging around since the start of the rough 'winter' weather which has gotten a few anglers excited, but action close to home has been a bit quiet. The salmon have been showing up around some of the local piers like Frankston, Seaford and Mordi during a bit of onshore southwesterly chop. Baits of bluebait or whitebait have been good, along with small plastics and metal slugs.

Around the estuaries the bream have been touch and go with the recent rain and average weather. Baits of prawn and scrubworm have been tempting a few fish out of the Patterson River. The 'Patto' has also seen a couple of mulloway caught recently as well. Customer Ben managed 2 in a session recently using plastics, with the bigger fish measuring 80cm.

Over towards Altona customer Tony reports of some reasonable squid fishing in close, with size 3.0 jigs doing the damage. Tony also caught some nice sized flatties on strips of freshly caught squid out deep.

 

Reports from Port Phillip Bay have been quieter recently, and with the average Melbourne is now having it doesn't seem like much will change. The rough onshore weather has brought schools of salmon along the eastern side of the bay however, with Seaford, Frankston and Mordialloc piers all producing fish. Staff member Don went for a landbased session hopping between the piers and managed to get a heap of salmon and also couta on a mixture of lures including Yakamito Angry Baits and Squidgy plastics. The strong southwesterly winds make the fishing a bit difficult but the fish are there.

Down the bottom end of the bay the squid have been going well up until the recent rough weather. Mornington pier has been good fos amaller squid if you have the right jigs, and Portsea and Sorrento have also been good for larger squid. Customer Shane fished down the southern end of the bay recently to find some nice squid using green grass whiting pattern Yamashita jigs in size 3.5.

 

The bay has been fishing hot and cold for a mixture of species recently. Winter species like gars and salmon have started making an appearance, along with runs of mullet and the odd mulloway in the rivers. Customer Michael had another successful outing on the mulloway during the week, with a school sized fish taking a bait of fresh squid. Around the river mouths of the Patterson and Yarra there have also been schools of smaller sized salmon which are providing fun for anglers of all skill levels. Most of the salmon have been around 400g but there has been a few much bigger fish of 1.5kg+ caught from the same areas, along with the foreshore of Frankston and Mornington. Baits of bluebait and whitebait fished under a float have been effective, along with small metal lures and soft plastics. Customer Michael recently fished the mouth of the Patterson river with pearl white coloured Squidgy Flickbaits to land a heap.

 

The squid have still been active in the bay recently with some calmer weather. The southern end of the bay has still been where most of the action is, and the northern section of the bay should start to improve the further we get into winter. From Mornington south towards Portsea the fishing has been the best, with Sorrento and Portsea being hotspots at the moment. Customer Damien fished out from Sorrento around the 'Sisters' in 8m of water where good numbers of solid squid were caught on larger 3.5 size jigs. Aggressive colours like 'nemo' worked the best. Down at Portsea pier on the weekend, customer Nigel caught some nice squid on red foil based 3.5 and 3.0 sized jigs.

 

The Aussie salmon are starting to make their presence felt along most of the beaches at the moment, along with good numbers of them in both bays. While numbers aren't huge just yet, the size of some of the fish has been impressive - with fish to around 4kg confirmed. Customer Ben fished down at Gunnamatta recently to land a cracker of around 2kg from one of the close in gutters. Fish to 2kg are generally a bit more common early in the salmon season, so if you're after a bigger fish now is your time! Once the winter really kicks in larger numbers of fish in the 400g - 1kg size range will be more commonplace. Baitfishing and spinning has gotten results on the fish, with bluebait still a favourite. 

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also found some solid salmon recently while fishing the southern end of the bay. James has found good schools working dense baitballs, with a lot of the fish in the school up around 2kg, and a handful of bigger fish to just under 4kg. These are good sized fish in anyone's book, and they really test the limits on the light gear. Small Yamashita Golden Bait skirts have been good, along with Pakula Micro Uzi's when trolled along the edge of the schools. Soft plastics, metal jigs and flies all thrown into the path of feeding fish will also get a look in. 

 

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.

 

There are plenty of light line options for family anglers fishing from the shoreline and piers over the Christmas break, not all fishing needs to be done out of an expensive boat. For anglers wanting to head out somewhere close to home, most of the piers along the Eastern side of Port Phillip have been producing a few different species. Provided you take some light outfits and berley along, you can have a bit of fun.

The main species on offer using these methods will be; squid, bream, trevally, salmon, yakkas, garfish and couta. The bream fishing in the Patterson and Maribyrnong Rivers has been good over the last week with some nice fish being caught. Customer Peter fished the Patto using yabbies and scrubworms to catch a few bream to 32cm. Small 'shiner' style hooks fished on 4lb fluorocarbon and a split shot have been a very effective way to catch these fish.

Down at Mornington pier there have been a few light line options for anglers, with mullet, salmon, yakkas and couta all on the go. A slow release berley mix like the pier and jetty mix is vital for targeting these fish, if you want to catch more that just the odd one. Staff member Dylan fished from the pier during the week to collect some baits and caught yakkas, garfish, tommy rough and couta using this berley mixture, along with delicately weighted float set ups.

 

One thing most anglers have noticed over the last year or so has been the lack of garfish being caught from the piers and rockwalls. A lot of regular pier fisherman have pretty much given up on fishing for them, as numbers just didn't seem to be around. Good news though, as the last month has seen some reasonable numbers of gars starting to come back. While they are not thick around the piers yet, many snapper anglers have reported catching large gars in their berley trails while targeting snapper - with some of the gars have been 40cm or bigger. Fine grit berley and size 12 - 14 narrow gaped hooks have been their undoing, with small pieces of squid or pilchard.

 

Staff member Kozi has been out giving the gars and other bait species a hiding from the shore between Frankston and Mornington. Kozi has caught garfish, tommy rough, salmon, scad and couta recently using a fine berley trail and small baits of pilchard, squid, silverfish and whitebait. The most effective berley has been the 'Pier and Jetty mix' from Zealcol - which is fine enough to attract all species but not feed them, so that they are still attracted to your baits. The rocks at Mornington and Mt Eliza have been good for Kozi.

While most anglers in Melbourne have turned their attention towards the sea of red - 'snapper' there are also other light line options for anglers both boat and shore based. Customer Mana was out off Frankston recently where he found a school of good sized salmon. He decided to throw some small soft plastics around and the salmon were climbing all over each other to eat a smelt coloured twitch tail minnow. Mana found most of the salmon hanging around the point at Oliver's Hill. 

Staff member Kozi has been out collecting snapper and gummy baits from the piers during the week, and most of the piers in southern Westernport have had good amounts of yakkas and pike hanging around. Kozi caught a heap of yakkas from Flinders on baits and small soft plastics, once they were berleyed up. The most effective berley for the yakkas was the Zealcol 'Pier & Jetty' fine grit mix, which kept the fish going for long enough to catch a heap. 

Further up Port Phillip Bay around Williamstown, customer Ryan has been out in his kayak throwing small soft plastics and sinking lures around. Ryan has been catching pinkies up to 1.5kg on these lures, along with some nice size bream. One of the more effective soft plastics for Ryan at the moment has been the Damiki Ripper, a 4'' worm style plastic. The new Berkley 4'' Nemesis has also been good in the natural colours when fished slowly along the bottom.