While this season wasn't the greatest for many bay anglers, there are still some decent snapper holding in the bay. Most anglers have hung up the snapper gear for the meanwhile but there are still fish there to catch. The main areas to concentrate your efforts on have been between Frankston and Mt Martha, in depths between 16m and 19m. Outside of this region there have been a few nice fish holding out from St Leonards and Queenscliff. Customer Mario caught some nice fish to 8kg fishing around the Prince George Light out from Portarlington recently. Mario found freshly caught calamari was the best bait and he found the fish in 7m of water.


Young gun Harry went out with on a trip with Reel Time Fishing Charters recently and landed his first snapper. Harry landed the fish on a small chunk of pilchard in 18m of water out from Frankston. The area off Frankston has also been fishing well with snatcher style rigs suspended just off the seabed and baited with chunks of whiting or squid.


Fishing out from Carrum customer Nahin landed a nice snapper recently also. Nahin was fishing with friends Grant, Himel and Chan and they all landed some nice pinkies and flathead along with the decent snapper. The guys were fishing in 18m of water and using pilchard and squid. These fish should come on the bite heavily over the next 5 or so weeks and run right through to mid Autumn.

 


Western Port's whiting fishing has still been excellent. The fish have been firing all around the port, but most of the reports have been coming from the area between Stony Point and Tooradin. The grassy banks of this region hold a lot of the substrate to protect the whiting and also give them plenty of food. If you're a novice or struggle to get yourself a feed of these fish, start the vicinity of these shallow areas. Fishing the falling tide along where the shallow grass beds drop into a main channel or gutter is a great way of intercepting them.

Staff member Don has been doing this throughout the feeder channels in the top end of the port with good success. Mixing up baits has been a must-do as the fish may have a preference for a particular bait on the day. Freshly caught squid is right up there with one of the better options, along with pipi and mussel. If you start fishing a bit deeper around the lumps and holes small pieces of pilchard is also excellent.


Customer Aaron has been fishing the top end of the port and also along the middle spit and has been doing well on the whiting. Aaron has been fishing baits of pipi and mussel and has been finding the top of the tide to be the most productive. Along the middle spit the 'cut' has been a very good section to fish lately, as this small channel is between two large shallow spits that the fish move between.


Up the top end customer Mark has also been catching his share of whiting. Mark has been fishing along the banks near the end of Tooradin channel along with Tyabb bank. Mark has been finding pipi the best performer with squid a close second. When the bite drops off a bit a small amount of aniseed and prawn mixture berley pellet gets the fish going again. Fine gauge hooks like the Gamakatsu C10U are also an excellent choice for these conditions.

 


The wild west coast is producing it's Summer time inshore speedsters with tuna and kingfish on the cards. The best part about this form of fishing at this time of year is that the fish aren't out as far as normal Winter fishing. Targeting the bluefin tuna this time of year revolves highly around casting to surface feeding schools of fish that are hunting whitebait and anchovy. The kingfish can be found operating in the same method, but generally sticking to the inshore reef that runs from Portland harbour along the coast past Narrawong is your best best of locating them.

Vic Representative from EJ Todds was down on the tuna last week and found schools of fish will to eat stickbaits worked at high speeds. Mitch found a Molix stickbait in 120mm the most productive on the fish.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been down along the west coast fishing with his sons. James and the boys have been finding kingfish in close, and ending up sidetracked by the tuna schools. The boys had some good fishing just recently on bluefin to around the 25kg mark in close. Sticking under the 50m line and vigorously keeping an eye out for any bait schools and surface fish in the best method of locating them. Make sure you have a variety of stickbaits and casting lures also, as these fish can become picky when switched on to particular prey items. Lures from 75 - 150mm are needed, with the sweet spot seeming to be around the 115mm size. Cubing with pilchards in the deeper water is also a good way of connecting with a few solid Summer speedsters.

 


The summertime gummy fishing has been excellent in Westernport Bay. Many anglers have been making the most of the good fishing, with large gummies on offer around most parts of the port. Customer Zoran has caught a couple of nice sharks in the 12kg mark fishing the western entrance of the port. Chunk baits of freshly caught slimey mackerel and salmon have been the most productive.


Customer Justin has also been catching some solid gummies while out on the port. Justin had a session on the whiting lately and managed to collect some fresh bait in the form of trevally, so he sat for a gummy in the western channel. He landed a nice fish around the 13kg mark on fresh trevally. The last hour of the run out tide was the productive time for the gummy, with the fish coming from a secondary channel ledge.


Further back up the port customer George had a successful session out for gummies. George fished out from Rhyll and sat along a 10m ledge, and landed a nice gummy around 8kg. The successful bait was fresh squid head, fished on a circle hook paternoster rig. Customer Izzy has also been successfully landing some nice gummies fishing similar style 'reedy's rigs'. 6/0 circle hooks on these rigs have made for easy jaw hookups and easy to remove on smaller fish.


Up along the eastern side of the port there have been plenty of gummies between 65 - 90cm roaming around the feeder channels, and these have been plenty eager enough to scoff baits of banana prawn, squid or flesh baits. These fish are best targeted around the top of the tide, as they race up the channels and feed over the mudflats. As they race back off the flats they can be intersected along these same channel ledges. There have also been reports of some bronze whalers in the same area, with the hot 'zone' between Reef Island, Elizabeth Island and Spit Point. Customer Brendan fished from Tenby Point last week chasing gummies, and landed a small bronzie of a couple kilos.

 


The clear water of both bays has meant that the squid fishing has been good, whether you're shore or boat based. Staff member Dylan has been fishing from the rocks and beaches along the top end of Port Phillip to land squid to around 1kg. In some areas the most productive time has been just after sunset, others have been an hour or so after last light. Jig sizes have varied between locations, with shallow reef flats calling for 2.5's whereas rocky or beach drop offs size 3.0 or 3.5 can be used. It is best to work out your location before selecting jigs as sizes and colours can be very dependent on area.


The southern end of PPB is squid mecca, and while it is also tourist mecca over the January holiday timeframe, there are still excellent to be caught. Customer Izzy fished down the bottom of the peninsula and landed some nice squid, after having a swim to cool off. Staff member Dylan has also fished the same areas and has been finding natural baitfish coloured jigs to be most effective, with near zero results on the standard UV whites, red foils and bright colours. Size 3.5 is generally the go in the area, as even the shallower grounds around the boat moorings are affected by the tidal pull.


Customer Connor has been getting amongst the quality squid down along the southern peninsula also. Connor has been fishing Sorrento and Portsea and has been having sessions with 7 or 8 squid landed on average, up to nearly 40cm hood length. Connor has been finding sunset red/golds have been the most effective for him during times of low light.


Over in Westernport, the squid fishing has been good for those out enjoying it. Flinders pier local Angelo has been catching a few here and there, up to 1kg or so in size. Angelo has been liking 'keimura' UV whites and lumo whites from the Yamashita range, along with shrimp and grass whiting patterns including black/green and red underfoils. Further up the beach customer Adam has caught squid around 35cm hood length on baited jigs during the night. Small silver and grass whiting have been best when under the float, but they must be fished up off the bottom to ensure the thick weed and kelp in the area doesn't snag them up.

 


Well it's no secret that the whiting fishing has been 'the go' for many anglers at present. Both bays are fishing well for the tasty and slimy fish, but Westernport has been the go if you want these guys. For the guys fishing Port Philip, they have been caught all round the bay but in much patchier numbers. The southern end of the bay from Rye across to Queenscliff is the best bet if you're after them.


The top end of the Port has seen numbers of KGW increase over the warmer weather but average size has dropped from what the fish were through late spring, with plenty more fish in the 30 - 35cm mark making their way into the scaler bags. Customer Colin fished the top end around Tooradin and Gentle Annie and pieced together a bag of fish, actively moving about when the fish went off the chew and re-locating. Mussel and pipi were best.


Customer Rocky has been getting amongst the whiting but around the middle spit and it's channels. Rocky fished with mate Nick around the spit and managed a feed of lovely whiting, with most of the fish taken during the run out tide. Fishing the main edge during the stronger part of the tide was good, while the slightly deeper 'bumps' and holes were able to be fished once the run slowed off. Customer Steve also had some good whiting fishing with a few mates, launching from Hastings and fishing similar areas. Steve found that pipis were the most effective bait, with fresh squid getting a few larger fish as well. The bottom of the ebb tide was when most of the fish were taken.


Along the middle spit customer Aaron has been catching the whiting also. Aaron has found the most effective baits to be evenly spread across mussel, pipi and squid. The larger fish have seemed to have a slight preference towards strips of fresh squid, especially when fished out towards the 10m+ holes and ledges. Good snapper frequent this same area, so they are still worth a shot even while having whiting gear out during the slacker stages of the tide.

 


The fishing for KGW at the minute is excellent, and many many anglers are making the most of it. With many corners of both bays producing fish both boat and landbased they are well worth targeting. Westernport has been the main targeting grounds of late, with the whole port virtually producing fish. The hot areas that have been worth fishing have been all the banks in the north of the port and their channels and gutters. Positioning yourself so that you can fish a shallow bait on the bank, and one off the edge is a good way of finding where the fish are moving through.

Customers Damien and Sarkis both managed bags of good fish fishing out from Hastings. The guys both found that the start of the run was when the bite really picked up and got moving, and with some fine pellet berley in the mix the fish were hitting hard. Baits of pipi and pilchard fillet were best.


The region around Hastings has been excellent for numbers of fish as has the middle spit. Both locations have been fishing well up along the bank edges and into the deeper water of 10 - 15m or so. If fishing these deeper areas make sure you present your baits in long strip form as they will spin much less in the current. Choosing a suitable rod should also be brought into the equation, as your normal whiting rods might not like the 4 - 6oz of lead they need in order to catch these fish. Generally the deeper water holds numbers of larger fish, with fish in the 40 - 45cm size range not uncommon.


if you're interested in targeting the KGW from the shore there still is some quality fishing to be had. Staff member George fished from the beach down along the peninsula during the week and landed 7 nice fish to around the 40cm mark. George fished around the top of the tide and mixed between banana prawn, pipi and mussel to land his fish.

 


East Gippsland has been ravaged badly from recent fire activity in the region and still under some threat, but well worth a trip back to to region once it recovers. Just prior to the bushfires the lakes region was fishing excellent for many species. The region needs help from tourism over the warmer months to survive and the fishing is well worth the drive. If you're chasing big flathead Lake Tyers and to a lesser extent the Gippsland Lakes have been producing. The 'swimbait' craze is slowly starting to filter into the estuaries and is very much a technique worth using.


Megabass Australia Representative Nick and staff member Dylan have both fished Tyers over the pre fire warm up, and have found good success. Flathead to 86cm have been landed on both 's' style baits and glidebaits, along with larger soft swimbaits up to 20cm long The larger profile of these lures really trigger the predatory instinct of the larger fish and generate explosive strikes. When the area is all clear this style of fishing is well worth the effort for the weekend.


The bream fishing in the lake and also in the 'big 3' rivers of the lakes has also been good - both on bait and lures. Fishing baits of prawn, shrimp and crab has been the best way to land a few better fish, while sandworm has been accounting for a few more smaller fish. The Mitchell river around the 'cut' has been a good area to target larger fish as they move in and out of the river. Customer Ryan has been catching some nice fish by going simple in his lure choice, a small single tailed soft plastic grub in the 2inch size. Small shrimp and prawn colours having been catching him bream to around 38cm in all 3 rivers recently.


The other species on offer for a return trip to Lakes Entrance are King George whiting and Eastern King prawns. During the months of February and March both of these species are very good options if you're boat or landbased in and around the lakes. The whiting have been red hot from Metung through to lakes itself, with mussel, pipi and whiting worm all very effective on number of school fish. Many fish have been caught throughout the channels and have ranged in size from 30 - 43cm. On the prawn front things should only get better over the next few moon cycles, but there have still been enough around for a feed. Customer Thao had a dip around Metung while down around New Years and managed a dozen or so in an hour before hitting the hay.

 


The fishing in Westernport and it's offshore surrounds has been where many anglers are concentrating their efforts at the moment, with plenty of good fishing for bread and butter species like the humble gummy. If you can get offshore or towards the port's entrances the fish have been larger, with gummies under the 12kg mark usually uncommon. There have been some solid school shark floating about also, as customer Steve reports. Steve caught a nice schoolie recently while anchored up just outside the eastern entrance of the port. Fresh chunks of salmon and slimey were the most effective baits for him.


If you're after a table sized shark the port has been holding loads of gummies from small pups through to around 10kg. The top of the port around it's many feeder channels along with the Corinella mudflats has been producing many of these smaller sharks. Staff member Dylan fished some of the shallow mudflats recently in search of some table flake and in a short few hour session 4 were landed up to around 7kg. The last 90 minutes of the run in produced the results, with the fish coming from a small channel ledge in 2m of water. Banana prawn was the most effective bait when fished on the edge of the flats.


The rest of the port and especially the region pushing towards the waters of Bass Strait has been worth fishing for larger gummies. Amongst the large females a few smaller sharks normally make their presence felt. Customers Vito and Simon have both done well on lovely eating size gummies over the past weeks. Baits of fresh squid, trevally and wrasse have gotten the job done when pinned as hangbaits on single oversized circle hooks. The last bit of the run out tide or fish hour of the flood has been the best time to snare one of these fish pushing in.

 


The by catch  while fishing for both whiting and snapper in the port is enough in itself to keep many anglers content, with some being better eating that the main target themselves! Changing tactic slightly to target the fish like garfish or trevally while in the shallows can provide some fun, great bait and good fare on the table.


Customer Sam has been fishing with staff member Don out on the whiting and the silver trevally have been plentiful in between whiting bites. The trevally normally make their presence known during the slackest stage of the tides and respond very well to oily berley that has some sort of pilchard or baitfish in the mix. They are best caught using softer whiting rods and fine gauge hooks, as their soft mouths can have hooks easily torn out. Don and Sam have been finding plenty along the channel edges up the top end of the port.

The same areas have also been holding good sized garfish, and they have been coming up the berley trail and can be caught on small pieces of pipi under finely weighted floats. Some of the gars have been between 40 and 50cm.


The gummy fishing has been keeping anglers happy as many are caught as snapper by catch as much a target species. Fishing the run off channel edges especially over the mudbeds has been the best way of finding one for a feed. Some of the anglers from the Keysborough Angling Club have been catching gummies along the main channel edge out from Hastings, along with whiting salmon and mackerel.

Customers Graeme and Mick have also been catching some nice table sized sharks over on the Corals. The corals area is good foraging ground for both snapper and medium sized gummies, but also gets some solid school shark and bronze whalers over the warmer months of the year. Fresh chunk or strip baits are excellent ways to connect to one.


Some large female gummies have also been making their way into the port in preparation to pup. Customers Izzy and Bruno fished the western entrance and landed 2 big female gummies. Fishing 4/0 Reedy's Rigs with californian squid got the job done, and both were caught in around 30m of water on the tide change.


Not too far away the squid fishing has been good for the land based anglers. The extensive weed and reef from Balnarring to Flinders hold some large calamari and can be fished from the shore - you just need to select your jig sink rates accordingly. Customer Travis fished from the beach at Somers and landed a couple of nice big squid on size 3.5 jigs, with gold foils doing the best. Down at Flinders pier there have been a good number of squid caught during the day, with customer Angelo getting amongst them. Angelo caught 4 nice squid in his recent session, with a mixture of UV white, lumo glow and red foil jigs doing the damage.