The Mornington Peninsula has been fishing well for squid for land based anglers over the past week or so. Even with all the strong wind and rain that has been about the fishing is still good. There trick has been to fish the areas affected by the weather the least. The southern end of the peninsula around Sorrento and Portsea have been good for larger squid but not so much large numbers, with larger quantities taken from Rye and Mornington - with Mornington the real stand out. 

Small jigs in the 1.8 - 2.5 size range are the go at Mornington while the massive numbers of small squid are about. Colour wise for jigs has not mattered as much, but as usual the use of a sinker and paternoster rig does. Many anglers adopt this technique for casting distance, but this really doesn't let the jig work to it's fun potential. 


Customer Damien has been getting down to the pier for some bait collection and reports that 10 squid can be easily caught in most sessions without too much trouble. Small 1.8 jigs are the most effective when the fishing is a bit quieter, while 2.5's are working when the squid are a bit more fired up. 


While the pier has been busy, many anglers are getting their kids involved with the action. Young gun Marko managed his first catch at the pier recently - a nice squid, using his dad's outfit. The prime bite time for these squid here has been the hour or around last light, with most caught during this period compared to the rest of the night or day. 

 

 

 

 

 

Many anglers would know of the kingfish action that is happening around the state, especially locally around Melbourne. The action around the rip has been hard to miss, with a heap of quality fish coming aboard for those fishing amongst the aquatic traffic. There have been fish from 55cm through to around 12kg with plenty of 65 - 75cm fish about, and they have been willing to take jigs, live baits and dead baits. Getting fish towards the surface and casting stickbaits and plastics has been a good way to land them too. 

Customers Steve, Jason and Mick fished the rip over the weekend and had an excellent session on fish to around 7kg. The guys managed a few fish on live squid but found the jigs to be the most effective. Working jigs from 100g through to 210g worked in the various depths that the fish were holding in. 


Customers Will, Thao and Johnny also fished the area over the weekend and got into some nice kings. Jigging and dropping live baits both worked, with the occasional dead bait going off as well. 


The kingfish have been so prevalent that they are even making their presence found by anglers quietly minding their business in search of other species. Among the small fish working the whiting ground along Westernport's top end, there have also been fish spread further around the port. Customer Dan was fishing land based near Corinella targeting a feed of whiting with strips of squid when one of his KGW baits screamed off. He was pleasantly surprised when a legal kingfish was finally subdued and on the beach.  


Further down the coast the kingies have been running as hot with the offshore ground from Port Welshpool really producing some nice fish. Young gun Mike ventured out from Welshpool and got amongst some nice fish up to 8kg or so. The fish around the inner islands have been responding well to smaller kings and plastics, along with live squid and slimey mackerel. Yakkas have been catching also if the other baits are hard to find. 

 


With some good weather forecast over the weekend, many will be trying their luck offshore for the bluefin tuna. These fish have been holding in good numbers from around Barwon through to Pyramid Rock, and in water from 15m out to 70m or so. While there have been some nice fish pushing 30kg, many of the fish have averaged around 13 - 20kg. There have been schools further east towards Inverloch and further but many anglers will be targeting the fish closer to Melbourne.  

Customer Rick went out during the week and had a shot at putting some fish in his boat with some guidance from Gawaine Blake. Rick and Gawaine managed a nice brace of fish in the 20kg out from Port Phillip Heads. 


While fish have been caught on all methods, the standout techniques of late have been trolling skirts behind 'flippy floppy' or strip style teasers. Skirts in the 3 - 5 inch size have been best when run around 5ft from the back of the teasers, with small bullet heads the most effective. The other effective technique is either slow trolling or casting poppers around the edge of the schools, which creates a similar sound wave and surface disturbance to entice the fish towards the top. Poppers in the 150 - 230mm size range have worked, with around 160mm about ideal to create enough attraction and be easy enough to eat. 


EJ Todds Representative Mitch has landed a few nice fish out from Barwon in the week, with 160mm Maria poppers doing the trick when worked subtle around the schools. Popping for tuna is less aggressive than many think, with a 'GT' style rip often too much and sending the fish turning away. The 60m area off Barwon was the best fish holding zone during the week. 

 


For those anglers keen on the bluewater billfish action, the south coast of NSW has been producing a red hot marlin bite from Jervis Bay back down to the Bermagui area. With warm currents pushing in close to the coast the marlin fishing has been excellent with many anglers reporting dozen fish days. There have been some small black marlin caught in close but most of the fish are striped marlin ranging from 80 - 120kg. The good thing about these fish is that have been caught in fairly close, as they roam the front edge of the current hunting bait. 


Customers Damien, Christian and Steve ventured up the coast for a quick weekend on the fish and they weren't disappointed. The guys shot straight to Jervis Bay and got out into the 150m area and looked for bait. The largest slimey mackerel were the best when bridled and run off the outriggers with around 3kg of tension. Very slow trolled slimies account for all their fish which ranged up to around 120kg. The larger sharks have been a problem around the marlin and bait however, as one of their fish couldn't be released after an attack from a bronze whaler. 

 

 

 

 

 


Now is a great time of year to be fishing locally, especially in Western Port. The large gummies on offer around the Western entrance and inside the port are excellent with some seriously-sized females moving in to pup. Fishing fresh baits along the bottom curve of a channel or gutter will generally lead to tangling with one of these fish, it just comes down to timing the stage of the tide. 

Customer Trent landed a ripper gummy fishing along the edge of the main western channel near Vetnor. Fishing chunks of freshly caught yakka and trevally provided Trent with the opportunity to release this 25kg fish. 


Customer Dan also landed a ripper gummy fishing with mate Seb. The guys were fishing around the Western entrance where they found some nice patches of reef and fresh bait in the form of wrasse and parrotfish. Fishing nearby to the reef resulted in a lovely shark of around 20kgs. Large chunk baits tend to ward most small pickers away in this environment, and leave plenty for the larger gummies to hone in on. 


There have been some nice school snapper caught in the port by anglers fishing the cunjie ground and rubble through areas like the north arm out from Hastings, and across towards the corals in similar bottom terrain. Fresh squid, pilchard and yakka have been the best-chance baits. 


Customer Nigel has been fishing the North arm in Western port where he has consistently been landing snapper up to 70cm. Nigel has been fishing small patches of cunjie in 10 - 13m of water. Most of the school fish have been sized from 55 - 65cm and have been taken on pilchard. 

 

Even though conditions haven't been ideal for many during the week, there have been some keen anglers making the most of the decreased boat traffic offshore and tangling with some good size bluefin tuna. With some better weather forecast for the weekend and early into the week there should be more tuna reports coming from outside both bays. The water offshore from Port Phillip heads has been teaming with life, including bluefin tuna to 30kgs. While these fish can be aggressive and hit with speed and anger, they will also shy away from lots of different lure offerings if they aren't interested. Most anglers having regular success on them have been incorporating some form of teaser, be it a flasher style rig or soft surface squid 'flippy floppy'.

Customer Johnny fished with mate Will during the week where they shot outside from Sorrento. The boys found success in slow trolling 150mm poppers around the edge of the schools giving them the occasional bloop to entice an enquiry.

Customer Zak also boated a couple of lovely tuna during the week, and offshore from Port Phillip also. Zak found that small skirts in the 4 - 5'' range were the most effective when run in conjunction with a flippy floppy teaser. Small bullet style heads running off the teaser also provide straight predictable tracking to help the fish line the lure up.

Customer Billy fished with mates out from the heads and landed some nice fish in the 20kg mark on skirts up to 6 inches in length. Running polished bullet heads behind flasher rigs was the most effective method, and in water around 50m deep.


 


The whiting reports from both Westernport and Port Phillip have continued to be excellent. While the height of Summer can provide numbers of smaller fish, there have still been some excellent fish caught if you can weed through the smaller school fish. Customer Trent has been fishing a bit deeper for whiting in Western port during his last few sessions and has been racking up bags of very solid fish out from Newhaven. Larger strips of squid fished as hang baits in the current have been the best baits to filter away all but the bigger fish.


Customer Dale took his young fella out and had some fun on the whiting recently. The boys have done best when fishing around the middle spit in 8m during the start of the start of the run in tide. Pipi and squid have been the best with more numbers going to pipi. 


Customers Mark and Cip have been doing well on the whiting fishing out from Warneet. The guys have been catching good numbers of school fish from 32 to 41cm during the rougher conditions when there haven't been many others out. These conditions while less pleasant have had the fish biting much harder and good quantities of fish have been coming over the side in a short amount of time. Pipi and mussel have been the best two baits when fished on 'dropshot' style hooks. 


Customer Domenic has been doing well on the whiting fishing out from Tootgarook. Domenic has been fishing some of the shallow weed beds and has found smaller patches of nice size fish. Pipi has been the most effective bait for him when in the shallower water. 


Customer Ryan has also been catching some nice bags of fish out from the southern peninsula. Ryan has been fishing in close around Dromana and Safety Beach in 6m of water. Fishing the same area he has found squid and flathead, with small tenderised strips of squid being his favoured bait, especially once pre-cut and soaked in aniseed oil.  

 


While there have only been small breaks in the weather the past week, there have been some anglers able to get amongst some nice pelagics down along the west coast. Portland bay has been holding good numbers of school bluefin and kingfish from water as shallow as 10m. These fish have been fairly finicky but there are always patches of feeding fish to catch. 


Customers Benny and Damien stayed down at Portland for a few days and had some relaxed fishing, with kings and tuna on the list. While the kingfish were either playing fussy or slamming lures in super shallow water and breaking them off, the tuna were a bit more cooperative. Some patches of fish weren't interested while others would belt the teaser lines and any lure in the spread. Amongst that, the most productive lures were small 4 inch skirts run behind floppy floppy teasers. 


When the weather turns a bit average or chasing flighty tuna and kings about gets old, there are plenty of other options in close to Portland harbour. During a recent trip there customer Mick nailed some thumper whiting like this solid fish. Fishing in close to the harbour and along the scattered North shore reef can see some supersized whiting caught, with fish pushing 50cm not uncommon. Strips of squid are one of the gun baits here too, and while fishing these whiting grounds there are excellent chances that kingfish and even tuna could turn up.

 


With the weather allowing many anglers offshore access recently the main focus for many have either been tuna or kingfish - and why not, they've both been about in good numbers and are tackle testing speedsters ready to hit baits and lures.

The rip has been producing a few fish here and there for persistent anglers but overall has been lacking the numbers that offshore has seen. In saying that there have been fish about and ready for combat on the right tides. Customers Jason, Steve and Ashie fished the rip over the weekend and managed a few fish on live and dead baits. 


The best fish went to young gun Ashie who spotted the rod moving before the fish was on. A small live squid did the damage when fished on a 'western port' style rig on the drift. The fish were all caught during the ebb tide and were holding in one small area. 


Offshore around the Point Lonsdale and Barwon Bluff region there have been plenty of small kings to tackle. EJ Todd representative Mitch and mate Paul ventured out over the weekend and found numbers of small kingfish to around 70cm that were happy to hit small slim profiled stickbaits and slow pitch style jigs.


Amongst the kingfish action there were good numbers of tuna cruising but most fish were very finicky and not interested in any lures. The boys landed a couple of tuna to around the 15kg mark on surface poppers. Many of the fish were holding out wide in the 55-60m line, with very few in close. 


Customer Jade fished with a few mates out from the Western entrance over the weekend and had some fish on the tuna. A bit of water was covered and the fish were found around the Cape Schank area in 25m of water. Small Pakula skirts were the best when run behind a soft squid teaser. 


Customer Jamie ventured out from the Western entrance in search of bluefin over the weekend after a quick lure top up in the store. Jamie picked up a soft teaser setup and even though the conditions and boat traffic made things hard he boated 3 tuna all on lumo skirts run behind the teaser setup. Fishing lighter spin gear really got the best out of the fish and was even capable when the smaller teaser setup was attached. 


Down along the West Coast the kingfish action was nothing short of insane over the weekend. Customers Izzy and Bruno spent the weekend down at Portland and had no issues catching plenty of kingfish up to 95cm or so. Most of the fish were holding up over the broken reef along the north shore, with a few found deeper out from Julia reef. 


The successful tactics were many, with live and dead squid accounting for a lot of fish, but fish also caught on surface stickbaits and poppers and slim profiled soft plastics like large jerk shads and sluggos. Amongst the kingfish in the shallower water there were schools of tuna to around 15kg which were very flighty but occasionally catchable with small lures run behind a teaser setup. 

 

 


The rivers running into Port Phillip have been producing good winter bream and some large mullet. If you're planning on fishing your local river, the Werribee, Yarra and Patterson rivers have all been good. The odd mulloway has been caught especially in the Yarra and Patto. On the bream front, the Patto has been producing fish over a kilo along with mullet similar size.

Young gun Mike caught this nice fish and others fishing in his backyard on the Patto. Mike has been using yabbies to land the better size fish, with some bigger fish busting him off on light line around the pylons. Live freshwater yabbies or frozen shrimp have been the best baits.


Lure fishing the Patto has been effective for quality bream also if you're putting in the time. Customer Jordan has been fishing small shrimp imitation plastics and sinking hardbodies with slow 'flicks' of the rod tip, making them move as natural as possible. Using these styles of lures coated in gel scent he has been landing some nice fish up around the 40cm mark, fishing to small ledges and mud bank drop offs in the main river. 


While you've got a bait in the water you've got a shot! Customer Aujin was fishing the river near the first floodgate in search of bream when he landed a nice pinkie snapper of 57cm. Fishing small baits of prawn he got the shock of his life when his 'bream' appeared red in colour. While these fish aren't generally expected in the river, after a big clean spell of clear salty water they push into the rivers and coves in search of food. The rockwall section of the river produces smaller fish during these times, and further up the road the Yarra river is a real chance of fish like this or even larger at present.

Winter 'snapper' up to 4kg or so venture up the Yarra from Hobsons Bay and can be caught almost up to Church Street when the river is salty. Fishing from around the Bolte down to the warmies gives you a real shot at a quality fish, and even mulloway - especially when using fresh bait.