Whiting reports have slowly started increasing over the last number of weeks as most anglers get their fill of snapper. While the whiting fishing has been good since the end of winter, most of the schools of fish are carrying better numbers at the moment compared to the cooler months. Fish to 40cm are relatively common along the banks, with larger fish to just shy of 50cm hanging about in deeper water.

Customer Sam fishes for the whiting fairly regularly, and he has been finding the fishing quite good overall over the last month or so. Staff member Don has also found the whiting fishing quite good, with the usual small movements around an area necessary to stay on top of the school. Generally speaking, the depth areas between 2 - 5m are the best starting point, with bigger fish normally caught in anything from 10m+ of water. The areas around Redbill and Fairhaven have been good over the last week, along with far southern end of Tyabb bank. Pipi, squid, cuttlefish and red devil worm have been the baits to use, with cocktail mixtures of these baits proving more effective. 

 

The top end of Westernport Bay has been producing some quality snapper for anglers persisting with the area. While this area normally fires up earlier than Port Phillip for instance - the fish are never sure fire and still require patience and persistence. These early season top end fish are generally between 5 - 8kg but more often than not are quite timid in how they bite. Very rarely will a heavy Westernport-type rod buckle on one of these fish. Soft tipped rods are the go for early season fish, as they are much better at detecting subtle takes from the fish. Fresh baits of squid, pike, yakka and couta are excellent starting points for the top end as well a subtle berley trail of cubed pilchards to entice them.

Customer Tony recently purchased a swag of Westernport outfits and got to christen them just earlier this week while fishing with a friend near Joe's Island. Tony was using freshly caught squid cut into 'onion ring' style baits pinned on 5/0 Owner hooks when he pinned this nice fish. Tony did mention that the bite from this fish was very subtle and not noticeable unless using a rod with a fairly soft tip.


Customer Michael also had a look around the top end of the port in search of an early season red, and he wasn't disappointed with the fish that he found. Michael fished around the Corinella region and got onto 2 nice snapper along a channel edge. Baits of fresh squid did the job, and also tempted a nice table sized gummy as well.

 

 

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.

 

 

The whiting fishing in Westernport Bay has been good for most anglers out chasing these tasty fish. The average size of the fish this season has been better than the last, with plenty of large school fish in the 40cm+ size. There have still been lots of smaller school fish from legal size to 35cm, but the majority of the fish caught by anglers has been 35cm+. The fish have been caught all through the north arm, right around to almost Joe's Island - with the hotspots still being around the Middle Spit.

The inside channel from Fairhaven right down to Tortoise Head has been good in the 5 - 8m area just along the ledges. Berleying and moving about in short hops has been the key to building up a bag of fish, with 'whiting nuts' mixed with pipi shells being one of the best berleys to attract whiting and not so much rubbish fish. Customer Jason caught a bag of nice fish up the top end out from Warneet just recently, fishing the edges of the Quali Bank. Customer Ben also fished for the whiting recently, taking his kids along for a bit of fun. Ben fished out from Stony Point along the edges and over near Tankerton to collect some nice fish.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has had some good success fishing for whiting this week in the Yaringa - Hasting area, along Tyabb Bank. James has found plenty of good sized whiting in the area, with many of them over 40cm in length. James has found fish in various areas along here, but his last session saw many fish caught in around 1m of water, using fresh squid and also pipi.

 

 

While Westernport Bay is generally easier to fish from a boat, there are still plenty of options for anglers without boats. The variety of fish on offer from the shore is almost as plentiful as fishing from a kayak or boat, without all the extra expenses. Fishing from the shores of the port does require a little bit more planning and preparation to be successful, but any angler can do it. Recently customer Andrew has been fishing from the shoreline of the northern section of the, where he has had success on a few school sized mulloway. Andrew has found that fillet baits of freshly caught salmon have been working well on fish to around 5kg. Staff member Dylan has also had some shore-based success with mini mulloway around 2kg taking medium sized hardbodies cast and retrieved. The cover of darkness has been the key to catching these shy fish.

Further south in the port the squid have been fishing well from most of the main piers, with Flinders and Stony Point doing well. Customer Tony is a Flinders pier regular who normally does well when he fishes for squid off the pier. Tony was down at the pier recently, and again he managed to get some good sized squid on his favoured Gancraft jigs. Tony's colours of choice recently have been dark silvers and also green.

Down on Phillip Island, customer Pat was holidaying with family when he snuck out for a fish. Being a keen fisherman Pat couldn't spend the whole time by the water and not fish, I think we all know about that problem...Pat decided squid was the target, and with an area in mind he set off with a few jigs to try his luck. Pat ended up catching some lovely sized squid from the shore which kept himself and the family happy. Customer Shawn fished after dark from the pier at Cowes recently in search of a few shark and snapper baits. Shawn fished with a mixture of baits and lures to land some good sized yakkas and also couta.

 

 

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.

 

Westernport Bay has been producing a few nice early winter snapper for anglers targeting them, along with a good amount of gummies. Most of the gummies have been table sized fish in the 4 - 8kg range, with a few biggers models kicking about. Good numbers of yakka and couta have been around in the port lately which provide excellent fresh baits. Customer Jarrad and his mate Marcel went out in the port over the weekend targeting a few gummies, and Marcel landed this nice fish of around 5kg on a chunk of fresh yakka. The boys fished out around Balnarring in 10m of water on Sunday night.

Customer Rick also fished south of Stony Point along the main channel edge over the weekend where he managed 2 nice fish in the 6 - 7kg range, in amongst a few banjos and other bits of bycatch. Rick said the run out tide fished best using baits of salmon and couta. 

On the snapper front, most of the fish have either been caught around Corinella across the top of the bay through to Hastings. Fishing shallower water in the 8m mark has been the place to start. Customer Roland has been getting amongst some quality fish up the top end of the port, with his last two sessions seeing snapper to 8kg in the boat. On the weekend Roland landed a fish around the 8kg mark again, right on the bottom of the tide. The big red was so hungry it took two separate baits of super pilchard. 

 

The good thing about Westernport Bay is the variety it offers, and the fact that you don't have to zoom all over the bay to catch a few different species of fish, and most of the year round a few different fish can be caught. The whiting have been good out in the port at the minute, with not as many school fish about but some quality fish none the less. There are certainly less anglers fishing for them at the moment, but the keen fisherman who are targeting them are doing well. Customer Johnny fished out along the spit last week where he caught some lovely whiting up to 46cm. Pipi did the job on these fish, which fired up during the last hour of the run out tide.

Customer John fished around Tortoise Head on the weekend where he planned to catch some whiting and also see what else was around. John fished just south of the point where he caught a mixed bag of whiting, yakkas, flatties and an elephant fish. John found pipi and pilchard the most effective along with a berley bomb sitting on the bottom. 

Around Stony point there have also been a few decent pinkies and snapper caught this week. Customer Hendrik fished from the pier earlier in the week to catch pinkies to 2.5kg on pilchard. Hendrik said that berley was the key as well.  

Customer Daniel went out from Tooradin last week and fished the channel to see what was around during the run in tide. A few small flathead and salmon were around but at the top of the tide Daniel landed a ripper flathead of around 65cm on pilchard. 

There have still been plenty of gummies getting about in the port to keep anglers happy. There have been plenty getting caught around the top end of the port from Stony Point right around the top to Corinella. Customer Godfrey went out around Stony Point where he landed a nice table sized shark along the channel edge. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has found a few smaller gummies while out on the whiting in the port, with the majority of them measuring about 1m. At this size they fight well on light gear and will provide some nice size flake fillets for the family. Baits of squid, yakka and salmon have been the best on them. Customer Roland had a ripper session up in the top end of the port during the week where he caught snapper to around 7kg and 6 nice size gummies all in the one spot. Squid was the gun bait in the dirty water.

 

Westernport has still been the place to go for a feed of whiting. The fishing has been sporadic lately, with one day being slow while the next might produce a good whiting bite. The motto of the story is to head out if possible and see how the fish are on the day. Customers Renato and Trudee headed out from Tooradin to fish the channel for whiting during the week, where they found small patches of fish. The incoming tide produced a better bite and amongst the whiting there were a few smaller pinkies around 30cm. The whiting ranged from 31 – 38cm and bit best on pipis and small pieces of fresh squid.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been putting some clients on to some chunky whiting during the week. He has found some nice fish around Hastings, up along Tyabb bank and also through the Eastern channel. A lot of whiting are around the 35cm size, which are nice - with a few bigger fish up to 47cm mixed in for good measure. The better baits have been mussel and pipis, along with bass yabbies. The main issue with the bass yabbies is how easily they get ripped off the hook.

If you’re a whiting angler who doesn’t use bass yabbies for this reason, try some of the Storm ‘Twitching Nippers’. These soft plastics are so close to the real thing you’ll be watching out for the claws! The best way to rig these nippers for the whiting is to rig them as if they were a natural bait. By rigging a small circle hook like the Black Magic KL 1/0 so that it comes out in the ‘head’ of the nipper, your strike rate will be quite good. Just don’t forget to add some SAX scent to the plastic to really get the whiting going.

 

 

Customer James has really been doing well on the squid using natural reds and greens lately. With water conditions fairly clear these natural colours really work well because they aren't too bright and aggressive towards the squid. 

Haramitsu jigs in natural killer colours - $12.90 each! Japanese quality jigs at an awesome price.

Haramitsu jigs, size 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 in colours EMC, ERC, EGG. Special ends 12th of Feb 2014 or while stocks last. Sizes and colours may vary in store.

Customer Mick had a good mixed bag session during the week with whiting, pinkies and gummies all in the mix. Mick caught most of his fish out from Warneet in 11m of water. Customer Renato also fished up the top end of the bay out from Tooradin where he has been catching some nice whiting and mullet. His son had a bag catching mullet up to 29cm on small pieces of pipi during the run out tide.

If you're looking a light duty Westernport reel that won't break the bank - consider the Shimano Alivio 6000FA, it has a nice big aluminum spool so that you can load it up with some decent line for snapper and small gummies, and a tough graphite body so that the kids can use it and you won't be too stressed about the odd bump on the side of the boat. They're a steal at just $55 - but hurry there's only 10 available at this price!

Shimano Alivio 6000FA model, on special until Feb 12th 2014 or until sold out. Total number on special limited to 10 store wide.