There have been some winter pinkies and school snapper about in the bay for anglers to catch. While many don't fish for them in winter, it can be the best time to chase them, especially with calm sunny conditions. If you're landbased there have good numbers of fish hanging around in the northern region of the bay, with Port Melbourne and Williamstown holding some solid fish. Customer Ryan has been fishing the top end of the bay from the piers and has been catching fish to around 1.5kg. Ryan has done a couple of bait sessions at night but has found the afternoons have been fishing well with plastics. Small minnow and worm pattern plastics in 3 - 4inch have been the standouts, and even deadlier smeared in gel scent if the bite is slow.


The pinkies hanging around the inshore reefs have been touch and go, with a bit of sounding required to locate a patch of fish. When found however the fish have been pretty aggressive towards baits and lures especially late in the day. Customer Bashir and his wife Alexandra have been catching some nice table sized pinkies around Black Rock. Late afternoon has been the most productive time to fish for them, with cut pilchard being the best bait.

Further down in the southern end of the bay customer Petar landed a lovely winter fish of around 2.5kg during the week. Petar has been chasing the gummies around the south channel and surrounding channels, but was pleasantly suprised when he landed a nice red. Fishing baits of freshly caught squid and yakka has been the go for him, and with good quality baits you do have a good shot at catching these fish if they are around.


With some calm winter weather mixed in the offshore gummy fishing continues to be productive. While there haven't been any real 'hot spots' the areas around Cape Schank and Pyramid Rock have been good places to start. There have been two main methods to catching these fish, with both drifting and anchoring popular. Anchoring nearby to an isolated patch of reef and berleying to bring the gummies to you has been one method, while drifting 'wider' has also been a good way to intercept a cruising fish. Customer Jon fished recently out towards the Schank and landed some nice fish to around the 15kg mark. Baits of freshly caught wrasse and parrotfish from the accompanying reef are excellent options when targeting these fish.

 


Winter time is known as time to chase mulloway by many local anglers around Victoria. The fact that is these fish are chased by 'crazy' keen diehards during the coldest of winter nights all along the coast of NSW right up to the Gold Coast or so. Customer Hendrik gets up to the South West rocks region of northern NSW regularly enough to have had a good taste of what these fish are like up here. Fishing the area this week while on holiday he landed a ripper fish of 1.23m. The fish weighed 30+ lb and took a small 'mullet' sized soft plastic. The soft plastic style was a split tail minnow, which can be worked very erratically to perfectly imitate a panicked mullet.


On the subject of panicked mullet, customer Edly caught a nice bag of dusky flathead while on holiday recently. Edly was holidaying in Brisbane and caught some nice table sized fish in the Brisbane river and in the port. Edly trolled some small mullet profile hardbodies in the 80mm size range along the mudflat edges to find where the fish were sitting, and once a few were found it was a matter of honing in and fishing slower with plastics. Shad shaped plastics in the same size as the mullet were the most effective and snapped up as soon as they touched down on the bottom. While this action happened interstate not enough make the most of similar bread and butter fishing locally.

 

 


The local landbased has been producing a few different species for anglers getting out there and having a crack. The squid fishing has been hot and cold but with recent clear water the water clarity is good in most areas. Customer Angelo has been fishing the peninsula after the squid and has been catching some to just under a kilo. Angelo has been favouring early morning sessions when fishing piers like Flinders. Angelo has been preferring size 3.5 Clicks jigs  in squid ink and hot green colours. Some other large squid have been taken from the pier, again with early morning or late afternoon light changes the prime time. Bright colours or dark greens and black have been good.


Fishing the same sort of piers like Flinders, Sorrento and Portsea gives a chance of a few other species also. With cold ocean water pushing in from Bass Strait species like Barracouta and snotty trevally are starting to show up. Customer Angelo has been finding good numbers of couta from the pier at Flinders and they have been attaching small soft plastics. Soft plastics between 1.5 and 3 inches have been the most effective when matching the small baitfish that hang under the pier.

On the peninsula piers, there have scattered garfish reports. The main areas have been Dromana, Mornington and Seaford piers. The calmer weather has brought the fish in and once berleyed up they have been hanging around. The rougher weather sends the garfish off as the larger salmon have moved in and spooked the garfish off. Staff member Don fished Mornington pier during the week and caught a small bag of gars. Don found multiple float changes crucial along with very fine mix berley. The bites from the gars were timid, and lightly balanced floats were only just 'tipping' instead of bobbing under. Tiny pieces of silverfish were also the best bait on number 14 hooks.


The beach fishing has been good lately as well. Local beaches like St Andrews, Gunnamatta and Rye ocean beach have all been producing salmon, along with Kilcunda and Williamsons. The numbers of fish have been good, but without berleying up and holding fish to your area you may only get a couple. Lure anglers spinning 40g slim profile metals and stickbaits have been landing larger fish to 1.5kg or so, as they cover more beach. Staff member Don has been out on the beach at Gunnamatta and has landed salmon to pretty much bang on a kilo. Spinning and bait fishing has been productive for him,with the last 2 hours of lead up to the high tide the most productive time. Bluebait has been his most productive bait, but a few smaller fish have taken pipi as well.


Fishing the beaches with bait and paternoster style rigs has been effective as always, but even more effective when you rig a popper or soft plastic on your bottom hook. White and blue poppers have been good lately, along with 'bungy baits' in natural baitfish colours. If you fish either popper or plastic make sure you to smear some gel style scent on them. Gel type scents stay on much easier and trickle small amounts of smell out to roaming fish - so you are almost berleying at the same time when fishing like this.

 


The whiting and squid fishing in both bays has been good recently during some nice calm weather, and will continue on through the rest of winter. The squid fishing in particular has been excellent and given good water clarity will stay very good right through. At present most of Port Phillip's northern locations are a bit murkier but are cleaning up. Staff member George and mate Cip were out during the week and stopped off at Mordialloc pier for a quick squid session. Natural gold foil jigs in size 2.5 were deadly, and a good bag of squid came on to the pier planks in only 20 minutes or so.


Westernport has been the real standout for squid lately though, especially if you're in the boat. Customer Aaron took the family out for a run recently and found the motherload of squid around the banks of the top end. Aaron smashed the squid and stocked up on early season snapper baits as well as a good feed with the family. Size 3.0 and 3.5 jigs were the go, with nearly all colours working well on this particular day.


Customer Edly has been focusing on the southern end of the port, with large squid on his mind. Edly fished the western entrance during the week and found some cracker calamari to around 1.5kg. Size 3.5 jigs with chin weights were able to get down deep and stay there where the larger squid were. Customer John also fished the port during the week and got some nice squid also. John was fishing out from Hastings were squid to around 1.2kg were caught on both baited jigs and 3.5's on the cast. The southern region of Tyabb bank was productive as were the grass beds just south of Hastings.


On the whiting front, both bays have still been producing fish. They are a bit harder work at the moment, but if you focus on them and actively change up baits and small location moves then there have been some nice fish worth catching. The average size for the fish at the moment has been around the 38cm mark, which has also been in very solid condition. The hot spots for Port Phillip bay have been the Rye - Sorrento area and across at Queenscliff, while the bottom end of the middle spit and tortoise head have been worth stopping on in the port.


Customers Mario and John fished the port during the week and collected a nice feed of whiting.The guys fished out from Hastings and worked the middle spit and tortoise head areas, and found some nice fish to just over 40cm. The tortoise head area produced more fish, with various banks around the point holding the fish and they moved during teh run out tide. Fresh squid and pipi did the job, with a few more fish falling to the squid than the pipi.

 

The tuna fishing has still been going well along the states West, especially out from Portland. There have been plenty of school fish from 40m right out to beyond the 'horse shoe' and across the shelf. Customer Gem sent us a photo from a Portland trip just recently where a good brace of school tuna were caught on trolled hardbodies. Over the past week or so there has been reports of schools of whitebait around, which normally turns the fish more selective. If you're planning a trip during the next bout of calm weather make sure you pack some of your smallest skirts and offerings to cover all bases.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been making the most of the tuna season down along the west coast also, with excellent numbers of fish being caught between Port Fairy and Portland. James has been focusing on getting fish for customers and says that there is no shortage of school fish about. James has been finding a few different lure options have been working, from 'medium' sized skirts right down to tiny salmon sized skirts and hardbodies. Colour-wise many options have been worth trolling, with lumo, redbait, pilchard, saury and red squid patterns all good starting points.

 


The calm weather recently has really been good for anglers out on the gummies, and the gummy fishing has been excellent. The real hot spots at present have been the entrance channels on both bays and offshore, with a keen eye on the tides and fresh baits the real keys. Customer Paul fished with mate Jarrad out in the south channel on the gummies after chasing squid up on the banks and wasn't disappointed with a lovely 12kg fish on dark. Fish at this size are excellent for the table and normally quite common when fishing these southern channels.


Customer Petar has also done a few trips out around the southern end of Port Phillip with good results. Petar has averaged roughly 1 - 2 gummies per trip, with a 'normal' fish around 7kg. Petar has landed fish to just under 10kg during the week on fresh squid and yakka in the main channel just after dark. On the offshore gummy front, customer Edly has put fish to around 18kg in the boat during the week - with calm conditions ideal for it. Edly has been fishing small reef ledges out in 30m of water, and has found that the best baits have been parrotfish and pike.


Customer Damien got into the gummies during the week offshore also. Damien fished out from the western entrance in 40m of water and landed a brace of nice fish up to 15kg. Freshly caught wrasse and red mullet were the dynamite baits on the fish offshore.

 

 


Although the weather has been bitterly cold and average wind wise over the past few days , there is some decent weather with light winds on it's way. While the weather may not have been the most helpful for the fisherman there has still been a bit happening locally for rugged up anglers. The garfish have been around on the piers along the eastern seaboard of the bay, with Mornington, Seaford, Frankston and Sandringham all good places to start. Staff member Don has been catching a few around Mornington over the past week, with some good sized fish in the schools. Small silverfish and maggots have been the best, but as usual a fine grit berley and properly balanced floats are a must.


Customer Nathan has also been catching the gars from Seaford pier. Nathan has been finding that the fish are most active around the last bit of daylight into the first hour or so of night. Nathan has been berleying and fishing silverfish back in the berley trail but also paying attention to which direction the berley is being carried.


Nathan has also been catching some nice bream from Patterson river. Maximizing his fishing time after work hours Nathan has landed bream up to 42cm recently from the river. During his latest session Nathan caught 2 nice fish both around a kilo, and both on mussel. The bream were most active just after sunset and will still bite well with the dirty water conditions. Customer Cip has also caught a couple of nice fish recently from the Patto, but on lures. Cip has been using small sinking stickbaits and plastics but has found the stickbaits have been getting the bite more often. Letting these lures slowly sink and flutter down to the bottom has been when most fish are grabbing them.


In westernport there has been plenty on offer from the local piers, with a heap of pike, mackerel and flathead to be caught over the reef and weedbeds, and barracouta mid water. Customer Nath has landed rock flathead to 45cm fishing from the piers and has found soft plastics the best way to jag a few. Small 3 inch paddletail plastics have been the best performers especially in small whiting or wrasse colours. Customer Angelo has been catching a heap of big pike and couta from the pier down at Flinders on soft plastics also. Flinders is an excellent location to fish plastics for fish like pike as they patrol the thick kelp beds. Angelo has slowly gotten into the lure fishing and is having a ball catching lots of variety of the finesse plastic techniques.

 


With milder weather than Melbourne during winter the northern NSW coastline from Coffs Harbour to the border can be an excellent place to holiday - and for the keen angler it is also where a lot of northern and southern species cross over. Southern species like snapper are met with northern species like cobia and various trevally and tuna species so it's a real lucky dip of fish variety. Customer Gary has moved up to this part of the coast and has been enjoying the variety of fish about. His latest catch from a small tidal lagoon was this massive giant trevally or 'GT' of around 30kg taken on a live bait. The huge fish took a live whiting and fought for over 90 minutes, and took over 400m of line from the outfit. Gary managed to land it on only 20lb line, which is a huge feat for a GT - let alone one of these size!


Staff member Chris has also been fishing the northern NSW coastline while on holiday recently. Chris has been fishing the Yamba region and while conditions weren't ideal for offshore runs he still managed a few fish. Chris caught multiple frigate tuna out wide over some reefy ground offshore - with live yakkas being the most productive baits when dropped down deep.


Amongst some of the other offshore species Chris landed were fish like snapper and tuskfish. Chris fished multiple wrecks and patches of reef and found these species hanging around the structure. The venus tuskfish were happy to eat full pilchards while small Yakamito slow jigs were productive on snapper up to 3.5kg. The slow, fluttering action of these jigs works well on reef dwelling species like snapper and is also productive in tidal water here in Victoria.

 


With some calmer weather on it's way there some ripper gummy shark fishing to be had just inside the entrances to both bays and also offshore. With the last lot of calm weather anglers ventured out and and found the rewards in form of some lovely fresh flake. The hot areas to be fishing have been the western entrance from around Sandy point south, or in Port Phillip the Blairgowrie end of the south channel. Just outside both entrances the fishing has been excellent also, with small patches of reef from 25 - 40m productive.

Keen fisherman Ashie went out in westernport with dad Steve last week and managed a couple of nice table sized gummies from down in the western entrance. The area around cat bay was productive with chunks and fillets of freshly caught salmon and pike providing the ideal scent trail for the gummies. Fishing the small outcrops of reef along these channel edges has been productive for Steve with an average size fish being around 7 - 10kg.


Once you get offshore proper the average gummy size seems to increase, with fish around 15kg being about standard - and a 25kg+ fish a real chance. Customer Edly fished outside in 40m of water recently to land 3 solid sharks all around the 14kg size. Freshly caught baits can be the difference between fish and no fish and gummies are no different - with plenty of bait options cruising about offshore near or on your fishing grounds. Parrotfish and wrasse are excellent, along with barracouta, pike and salmon or mackerel - which can all be collected with some prior preparation to your gummy fishing. Fishing large chunk baits on heavy gauge 8/0 circle hooks will ensure a solid jaw corner hookup and get your gummies to the boat. 

 


When conditions allow, there have still been a few good snapper floating about both bays and they can still be caught. With rough conditions the landbased fisherman have an excellent chance of landing fish to 3kg from the rocks and piers. Port Phillip bay has been the better option for landbased snapper fishing, with Mt Martha, Brighton and Port Melbourne the shore based hot spots. Boat based anglers have a bit more freedom but sticking to these same areas has been the go, with pinkies from size to around 2kg feeding aggressively during and after rough onshore weather.

Customer Chris took his boat out for run during some recent calm weather, and had a fish straight out from Carrum. Chris managed a couple of bites and landed a nice winter snapper of around 3kg on pilchard. Chris also marked a few others nearby when he pulled up to anchor.


Across in westernport bay there are some nice winter reds around, especially if you're fishing the north-eastern section of the port. Probably the highest chance of a quality winter snapper would be this area from now until early August. The region between Joe's island and Corinella holds some excellent sized fish and is a far better chance for these fish than the rest of the port. Fishing baits of fresh squid or fish baits like mackerel or pike will give you a good chance. Customer Jamie landed a nice fish from the top end of he port just recently in some magic conditions. Fresh squid and a run off feeder channel led to the capture of the quality snapper.