Although the last thing some people might about during the winter months of the year is landbased fishing - some of the best fishing from the shore can be had at this time of the year. The winter months can be interesting while fishing from the shore with some species preferring calm, stable weather and others fishing best during the roughest weather that we get. With the recent rough onshore weather that Melbourne has experienced there will be some snapper roaming about close to shore. Of course standing on the pier or rocks when it's 8C and facing a 20 knot westerly wind isn't always easy - but these are the sort of conditions when your chances are the best. Customer Tony fished recently after a big front and was successful in catching a ripper snapper from the shore. Needless to say the location isn't really rocket science, but it is more about picking the conditions to target these fish. Tony managed this ripper fish on some freshly caught squid pinned to a 5/0 Owner SSW hook, on 60lb leader.

If you'd prefer to fish from the pier when the conditions are a bit more friendly - then garfish are for you. These fish prefer less rough weather and have been pretty good this season from all of the normal haunts including Beaumaris, Mordi, Frankston, Seaford and Frankston piers. Customer Kozi fished Frankston pier recently and caught a few during the run in tide. Zealcol fine grit berley and silverfish worked the best for him. Staff member Don also got a good haul of gars recently further down towards Blairgowrie. Don found that maggots and silverfish both worked well but the key was definitely setting up a good quality berley trail to bring the fish in and keep them around.

Further down towards the bottom end of the bay the squid fishing has been good. Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea piers have been producing quality squid both during the day and after dark. A good selection of jigs in the 3.0 - 3.5 size range is crucial down here, as colour/foil and running depth will determine whether you have a good day or a quiet day. Customer Kozi fished Portsea pier just recently and did well during the run out tide on size 3.0 Keimura jigs with red foil. Staff member Don also fished from the pier and caught some nice sized squid on red foil Haramitsu jigs in size 3.0 and 3.5.

 

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. 

 

Reports from Port Phillip Bay have been quieter recently, and with the average Melbourne is now having it doesn't seem like much will change. The rough onshore weather has brought schools of salmon along the eastern side of the bay however, with Seaford, Frankston and Mordialloc piers all producing fish. Staff member Don went for a landbased session hopping between the piers and managed to get a heap of salmon and also couta on a mixture of lures including Yakamito Angry Baits and Squidgy plastics. The strong southwesterly winds make the fishing a bit difficult but the fish are there.

Down the bottom end of the bay the squid have been going well up until the recent rough weather. Mornington pier has been good fos amaller squid if you have the right jigs, and Portsea and Sorrento have also been good for larger squid. Customer Shane fished down the southern end of the bay recently to find some nice squid using green grass whiting pattern Yamashita jigs in size 3.5.

Port Phillip has had mixed fishing recently. With on and off weather, the reports have also been the same. Most of the late afternoons have been calm and cool, which has been perfect for some squid fishing. Customer Stefan fished down near Blairgowrie recently to land some nice squid from the shore. Gold based/orange cloth jigs worked the best for him, and he was lucky to bring a landing net as the squid were larger than he was expecting. Customer Cass fished for squid recently out near Werribee during the week to land a good bag of big squid. Cass fished in 3 - 4m of water and found that Keimura jigs in UV white and purple/gold were the best of the bunch for him. The hottest bite occurred about an hour before sunset.

While the squid reports have been good, the larger predators around the bay have also been active recently. There have been a few nice mulloway floating about in the bay and also areas like the Yarra, Werribee and Patterson rivers. Most of the fish have been in the 65 - 85cm size, with a few larger fish around a metre/10kg to be caught. Live mullet and freshly caught squid have been the most effective, with the odd fish taking pilchard and saury. Lure anglers fishing soft plastics and hardbodies have also been catching the odd fish as well. Customer Tuan was fishing the Yarra river last week when he hooked this nice mulloway on pilchard. This fish of 75cm is about average size for school fish around Melbourne at the minute.

 

Autumn around the bay can be good for the landbased angler, with a few different options to test your luck on. Mullet, bream, mulloway, squid, pinkies and whiting can all be caught from the shore if you are in the right areas and have the correct gear. There have been a few mulloway caught from the areas around the docklands and some of the local rivers over the last few weeks, and while these fish are never easy to catch - patience and persistence definitely pays off. Customer Michael got onto a good fish just last week using live baits, which pulled the scales down to around 15kg. All Michael said about his fish is that it was captured around the 'wall'. Staff member Don has also had some luck on the smaller school sized mulloway locally, with a few fish in the 60 -80cm mark eating soft plastics. Don tested some of his light gear out on the fish and came out on top, quality gear goes a long way when you're targeting fish like mulloway.

The pinkies have been fairly ravenous lately, with loads of anglers catching fish from many shore based areas of the bay. Any rock platform or pier has been worth a shot lately, just be ready to fight through the schools of smaller fish. Customer Dennis fished from the shore at he mouth of the Patterson River just recently where he landed some nice pan sized fish. Fresh squid was the gun bait on these fish.

Squid reports are good around the bay, with most of the piers fishing well. Southern piers like Mornington and Blairgowrie have been good, especially for anglers fishing smaller sized jigs. Staff member Don took his young twins down to the pier just recently, where they had a ball catching squid on 2.5 sized red and gold foil jigs.

 

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.  

While most anglers haven't really started fishing for snapper in Port Phillip Bay just yet, now is a good time to get out and start collecting your fresh baits. The squid fishing in Port Phillip has been good recently, with the only main factors being the wind and rain. While squid can still be caught in murky, choppy water - they certainly prefer 'cleaner' water with less fresh in it. In saying this, the southern end of the Bay has been more consistent for catching squid. Anywhere from around Mornington and further south has been the pick of areas to be. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been fishing around Mt Martha with customers in search of squid and he has been doing well on them lately. A few brighter coloured jigs like pinks and oranges have been working on dull days, with red foil naturals also getting the job done. While squid fishing James has also picked up a few King George whiting on baits of fresh squid in the same area.

Customer Nick had a look around the southern end of the bay recently, and while he found the squid fishing a bit tough on the day, he found some new areas to try next time. Nick worked around Sorrento and found that the squid he caught were found in slightly deeper water. White jigs have been working well in the area. Speaking of white jigs, we have just received more stock of Haramitsu's 2 new 'white' colours. There are 2 variations in these colours; 'Albino' is full glow white with bright red eyes, while the 'Wigasaki' pattern has a half glow white and half UV white body. If you know your white jigs then you know that colours like these won't last long - so make sure you grab a couple!

Port Phillip has been pretty good over recent weeks for squid, pinkies and also bream in the rivers. The Patto and Maribyrnong have been the pick of the bunch with bream to 1kg about for the angler paying attention to detail with rigs and baits. Lightly weighted baits have been the killer on some of the better sized bream, with shrimp, scrubworm and freshwater yabbies all being very productive.

Customer Matt fished inside the Patterson Lakes last week where he landed he personal best black bream at 42cm. Matthew said the bream took a small piece of bread fished around one of the jetties. 

Customer Cam also fished the Patto recently where he landed bream to 37cm using small soft plastics. Naturally coloured single tailed grubs fished on a 1/20th jighead did the damage for him. 


On the squid front there have still been good numbers caught all around the bay, with the southern end producing better sized models, up to 2kg. 

Customers Zach and Rhian fished around Rye recently to bag and release some good squid to a kilogram. Zach said it was a good session, with plenty of ink on the boat.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been getting amongst the squid with customers during the week, with the area off Mornington producing the goods. Small jigs in the 2.0 and 2.5 sizes have been working the best, with red and gold foils along with dark greens and blacks doing the trick. 

For anglers chasing the pinkies, areas like Black Rock and Mornington are hard to go past at the moment. Depths of 6 - 10m are good areas to start, with baits of pilchard and squid being the most productive. 

The squid fishing around bay has been excellent lately, as the rougher weather has stirred a lot of food up for them and as winds have backed off the water clarity has gotten better and given anglers the chance to get out and catch a few. Pretty much most of the general squidding areas have been good with Brighton, Black Rock, Frankston, Mornington, Mt Martha and further down towards Blairgowrie through to Portsea all fishing well. Customer Evan got out during the week and got into a few crackers up to 2kg. Evan is a real squidaholic and loves to get into the bigger units when they're around - and now seems to be that time.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has had some awesome squid fishing with customers over the past week, with no shortage of cephalopods hitting the deck for excited anglers. James has found the Frankston - Mornington and Mt Martha areas really producing the goods lately, with plenty of smaller squid around the 300g mark right through to a few 2kg thumpers. James and natural coloured jigs go well, and recently dark greens, blacks and red foils have gotten the job done in mostly size 3.0's.

The squid fishing has been good in the bay at the moment, with most areas staying reasonably clean. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has found the squid fishing good around Olivers Hill and Mornington, with natural coloured jigs doing well along with baited jigs. There have been plenty of salmon and tommy rough for baited jigs for the squid. Orange and red shrimp patterns along with silver and blue foils. The area around Blairgowrie has had a lot of smaller squid around which have been taking smaller jigs in the 1.8 - 2.5 size. 

For all the keen squid fisherman out there, you will be pleased to know that Shimano's keimura 14T UV colour is finally back in stock, in 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 sizes - stock up on them before they all go!