Most anglers don't realize but the winter fishing for both pinkies and snapper can be excellent. While numbers of fish aren't as thick as say October, the rewards are certainly there for anglers braving the cold conditions. There have been fish scattered all over the bays bu the real hot spot for numbers of fish has been the top end of Port Phillip. The reefy areas from Black Rock further north right up into the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers have been the better spots to focus on.  Most of the fish have been from 35 - 50cm but ththere have been much larger fish about.

Customer Maresi caught a ripper fish from Lagoon pier recently under the cover of darkness. Not much details are known about the capture but either way landing a big snapper sure beats staying at home!


The typical schooling size fish from the Docklands region have been on the chew lately, with both bait and lures getting bites. Productive baits have been pilchard and salmon fillets, fished on twin snelled 1/0 hooks. If you are able to cast baits like this unweighted you will be much more successful, as the fish will aggressively take the bait as it slowly wafts down. The same can be said with soft plastics - heavily weighted jigheads might gain extra casting distance but they all snag up much quicker and don't attract as many bites on 'the drop' like lighter weights do. Small 3 inch grub and paddletail style plastics are proving very effective at the moment, especially through the afternoon into night.


Customer Ryan has been catching plenty of fish in the 40cm size range from the Docklands and nearby piers, on both lure and bait. Ryan's more successful bait lately has been small strips and fillets of Australian salmon, which have also been plentiful.

Customer Jake has also been catching quite a few good sized pinkies while chasing bream in the metro rivers on lures. The lower sections of the Maribyrnong and Yarra have been holding good sized schools which have been responding well to worm style soft plastics. As these schools have been moving with the tide, having a depth sounder capable of locating them without too much fuss s the best way to maximize your fishing time.

 


Not that many people realize, but the snapper in the bay have been worth fishing for whether you're landbased or from the boat. Winter sees some snapper hang around, but many angler associate Spring with snapper fishing. At the moment there aren't as many fish about as in Spring, but they are generally good size and there to be caught in you're willing to target them. Many of the piers along the Eastern side of the bay have been worth a shot, with customer Kong claiming a nice 4kg fish for himself just a few nights ago from Mordi.


The piers with heavy reef nearby have been the go, as the fish will graze over the reef and onto the sand and mud nearby during rougher weather, especially during the night or low light periods. Piers worth a look at the moment have been; Mordialloc, Beaumaris, Black Rock, Brighton, Kerford Road and the multiple structures at Williamstown and right up into the Yarra itself. If boat fishing is more your thing, the extensive reef from Ricketts through to Brighton has been good, along with Victoria Harbour, or better known as 'Docklands'.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has recently been having a ball on school sized snapper and pinkies from Black Rock all the way north to the docks. James has gotten stuck into the schools of fish that have been hanging about in the harbour, with fish to 4kg coming out. Baits of fresh squid or small pilchards have been excellent when fished on smaller 2/0 suicide style hooks and very little weight.

 

While a lot of anglers wouldn't think it, many 'swamps' in and around the outer metro suburbs can produce an array of fish, if you know how to look for them. In any given system you can catch redfin, rainbow trout, brown trout, carp, roach, tench, eels, blackfish, silver perch, yellowbelly and murray cod. Not all locations hold these fish, but some most certainly do. The main culprits you'll come across are of course carp, redfin and eels - especially if you're bait fishing.

In a local wetland customer Daniel has been throwing the newest Aussie colour 'bent minnows' to attract the attention of some XL redfin. Daniel has been catching some chunky fish, with 40cm+ the norm in some systems. Because of the reeds and shallow weed Daniel has been fishing the shallow surface lures and spending less time fouled up and more time hooked up!


A typical series of 'wetland' or swamp lakes is somewhere like Berwick Springs. Now anyone can simply open up their default mapping app on phone, or a melways if you're old school and find these sort of locations. Many are overlooked because of their proximity to housing estates or 'un-glamorous' look, but virtually all of them will hold freshwater fish of some sort. With many interconnected lakes and drains, Berwick Springs is a large habitat for these fish to move around in, and plenty of vegetation to support food for these fish. With carp to over 10kg in here, some of these systems can hold some serious fish!


Speaking of carp, customer Jordan has been catching school sized fish on the fly rod in these sorts of lakes. Jordan knows that there carp in almost all of them, and they are a very good fish to hone your lure and fly fishing skills on. Jordan has found plenty of carp sunning themselves and cruising just under the surface in search of food, and a well executed cast and presentation of fly has gotten the interest of a few. If you're more a bait fisherman then these fish will still test your skills - but you certainly need to rig and gear up for them accordingly. No 4/0 snapper hooks and heavy lines here, most of the time fishing without any finesse will see you go home without a bite. If you're interested in fine tuning your fishing on these readily available species talk to the guys in the shop to make sure you're gearing up correctly, and giving yourself a good chance at catching something.

 

 

Snapper reports have been pretty good considering it's late June. The snapper in the bay have fired up somewhat since Melbourne copped some ugly weather a little while back, so if you're a snapper freak then now's just as good a time as any to go out and try pin a good sized fish. The best part is that the snapper action hasn't been too confined to any certain areas of the bay; there have been fish caught from Geelong to Port Melbourne and Brighton to Mount Martha. Customer Vic made use of some ugly weather earlier in the week and perched himself along the rocks down towards Mornington. Vic was targeting snapper and lost a couple of fish, but the fish that he did land was a beast. Fishing with a whole pillie on 60lb leader Vic managed to land a thumping fish of 10.2kg - not bad for landbased in June hey...meanwhile across near Williamstown in only 8m of water customer Reece caught this nice 7kg fish on pilchard while drifting along a small dropoff with flatties in mind. That's the shoreline and city in the background.

Along pretty much every reef patch in the bay the pinkies have been in plague proportions. While there have been heaps of fish to attack a bait, a lot of them have been on the small side. A lot of the fish have been around the 30cm size, with a few bigger models mixed in. Larger baits and bigger hooks are a good idea if you're after a few bigger fish for the table. Soft plastics are a good option when chasing pinkies, and brands like Zman are excellent when the smaller fish are chewing other plastics to bits. If you're lucky you might even get some by-catch like customer Shane did. Shane was fishing out around Mordi with a 4" plastic when he landed a rare catch. This strange fish is an Australian Angel shark, which can reach around 1.5m in length.

For the squidding enthusiasts, the calmer weather we have had has been perfect for hitting some of the piers and rock ledges in search of a few. The southern end of the bay has been the best recently, especially along Mornington, Blairgowrie and Portsea. Staff member Don headed down to Portsea pier during the week and found some nice squid and cuttlefish. Don found that size 3.5 Yakamito's in gold foil were the best on this occasion, with all squid and cuttlefish caught on similar jigs. Customer Ryan has also been catching a few squid from the rocks around Mornington recently. Ryan has had to work hard and hop around in search of a few but he has been getting good numbers in the end. Size 3.0 and 3.5 Gancraft and Yamashita jigs have been the best, with green/gold tones/grass whiting patterns working the best. Most of Ryan's squid have been in the 300g size lately. 

 

 

The bream fishing around Melbourne has been good over the last week or so, with some nice fish being caught. The Patterson, Werribee and Yarra rivers have been fishing well with some nice fish coming from around the docks as well. Customer Jayden has been fishing the Patto again in his backyard using baits on light gear, with some thumping bream to 43cm coming in. Jayden took his brother out for a fish as well and his brother caught a nice 32cm fish, and Jayden landed a 42cm fish which were both released. Customer Andrew fished the Patto over the weekend using small lures to land bream to 34cm. Most of the fish were around 30 - 31cm and the best lure of the day was the small Strike Pro Micro Vibe in black. Andrew coated the lure in scent first which seemed to help.

Customer Ryan fished for the bream over the weekend in his kayak around the Yarra and docks and he caught some very nice fish. Ryan found small soft plastics were the most effective when fished on lightly weighted jigheads. A couple of Ryan's better fish were around 40cm in length, which took some persuading to get out from under structure. Light leader no heavier than 6lb also helped trick the bigger fish. 

 

 

The top end of he bay has been overrun with small pinkies at present, from Williamstown through to Frankston. Virtually every section of reef has got loads of these ferocious fish on it. The main trouble has been getting through the small fish to the better size models underneath. The larger fish have been around 1 - 1.5kg and have been taking baits of pilchard, squid and saury. Customer Ryan fished for the pinkies from the piers over near Williamstown recently to land a heap using small soft plastics. Ryan found crab and worm imitations were the best when fished lightly weighted around the structure.

Further down around Seaford and Frankston there have been a few garfish caught from the shore. While numbers haven't been super, anglers specifically targeting them using maggots and silverfish have been getting a few. Fine grain berley has also been the key.

 

Down along the Peninsula the squid fishing has been good, with the piers and rocks both producing. Mornington, Blairgowrie and Sorrento piers have been fishing well for average sized squid. Mornington and Blairgowrie piers have been much better with small jigs in the 1.8 - 2.5 size range, with Sorrento fishing best on Yamashita 3.5D jigs in red foil and dark greens. Staff member Dylan fished from the rocks down near Mt Martha recently where squid to 1kg were caught using a mixture of 3.5 shallow and standard sink rates. Glow belly and dark green/black jigs were the best on the day.

 

The estuaries running into the bay have also been coughing up a few school sized mulloway for anglers putting in the time and effort recently. Most of the fish have been from 60 - 80cm, with a few bigger fish mixed in also. Live mullet, squid and even saury have been effective baits, along with soft plastics in the 3 - 5" size. Patterson River, Yarra and Maribyrnong have all seen some action of late. Customer John has been catching a few around the traps using mainly mullet for bait late during the night.

Down around the entrance/rip area the kingfish have been running hot. Anglers fishing live and dead baits, jigs, soft plastics and also trolled hardbodies have all caught fish - with the fish deciding on what they want on the day. Most of the fish caught have been around the legal size, with a few here and there pushing 10kg and some real thumpers at 12kg+ caught by persistent anglers trying all methods. Customer Edly went out and got into a few good fish out the front on a mixture of squid and also on the jigs just recently.  

 

With some calmer conditions recently, Port Phillip has fished well for squid. The areas from Frankston south have been the best, as the more northeastern sections of inshore reef have been churned up with onshore winds, which has made the water a bit milkier and the fishing a bit tougher. Not to say that the squid aren't there, but the most effective method for the northern section of the bay is to use a baited jig under a float or a bright coloured UV or luminous jig, smothered in scent like Egimax spray. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been out chasing squid on charter with customers, and while the numbers of squid have been hard to pick through, there have still been some quality sized specimens coming aboard. James has been using jigs with strong silhouette or bright cloth colours to get his bags out from Altona and Williamstown. 

 

Squid fishing around the bay continues to be pretty good, up until the rough weather we've had at least. The rough winds will shut the squid off for a few days while the water cleans and settles again. Plenty of squid reports from the shore and boat-based anglers, with Frankston-Mt Eliza producing a few, along with Sorrento and Blairgowrie. Customer Tony was fishing from the shore along the Bay's north during the night earlier in the week when he managed some nice squid. Tony wasn't fishing for squid at the time, but he caught an eye on a lone squid with his headlight so he decided to rig up a light rod with a Shimano Keimura jig. After working the surrounding area for while Tony caught 4 nice squid on the same jig. These squid were fairly aggressive and really hit the white jig hard in the shallows.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching some quality squid before the rough weather came through. James has been fishing the southern end of Port Phillip bay from Mt Martha through to Portsea, where he has seen some quality squid. Many customers have been wanting to go out and learn how to catch squid properly for food and also for snapper and whiting baits. James has been fishing the shallow water around weedbeds and moorings, and when the shallows are quiet he is getting his squid from out along the deeper channels and drop offs. One of James' best jigs recently has also been the Shimano Keimura in 14T and 61T, which are both UV white. 

 

While the weather around Melbourne has been very rough over the last week, there are still fish to be caught - if you can get out. Landbased options have been difficult, with most of the Eastern side of Port Phillip getting smashed by waves and wind during the week. Even the keenest anglers have found it too hard to fish in these conditions, with most of the piers and rock walls taking breaking waves right over the top. 

Customer Ferdi went out in a lull in extreme weather activity and had a shot for some table sized pinkies from the shore. Ferdi fished around the rock groynes around Black Rock and Sandringham where he caught some nice pinkies 30 - 40cm. Ferdi used half cut pillies and found that long casts into deeper water got the fish to bite, with plenty more undersize fish in closer. 

As soon as the rough weather drops down a bit the pinkies will go nuts in around the reefy sections of the bay, in particular areas like Mordialloc, Black Rock and around Willamstown. Customer Jake fished from the shore around Williamstown on the weekend to land plenty of pinkies to 45cm on both soft plastics and bait. Jake said he started with 2 rods and ended up just fishing with 1 because the action was hot. He said that small baits of pilchard and squid were the best, with 3 inch Gulp minnows catching a few as well. 

 

Port Phillip has produced some nice snapper this Winter for anglers out targeting them, and there should still her a few more caught right through until Spring. While they are not as common during the colder months, groups of fish make their way in and out of the bay all year long, and there are also smaller patches of fish that stay in the bay for most of the year. 

Customer Danny went for a fish with a few mates last week in search of some nice pinkies to take home for a feed. Danny and mates fished from the rocks down around Mt Martha, and had some action after starting up with some berley. The guys caught some smaller pinkies but Danny well and truly took the cake when he landed this lovely snapper of around 5kg. The solid fish took a whole bluebait at around 1pm in the afternoon. Danny said the tide was just starting to move back in when the snapper hit. 


Pinkies have been good around all the inshore reef areas in the bay, with Black Rock and further north around Williamstown producing some nice fish. Customer Paul has been catching fish to around 40cm out from Black Rock on half pillies, with the most productive depths ranging from 5 - 8m of water. Paul has also been moving around regularly to find the active schools of fish.

Customer Peter has been having fun recently with the pinkies up around Williamstown and in the Docklands. Large schools of fish have been moving around and Peter has been catching up to 20 fish in a session. Peter has been using various lures, with small metal blades working well after dark.

In the Docklands the bream fishing has been good for active anglers working the area. Baits of prawn and freshwater yabbies have been working well when fished unweighted along with small sinking lures. Small soft plastics, vibes and stickbaits have been the go in the docks. Customer Brett has been catching both bream and pinkies on his small sinking stickbaits recently, with bream to 35cm and pinkies to around the same size taking the same lures.