You'd have to be keeping your head in the sand if you haven't heard any talk of kingfish around Melbourne and the rest of the state at the moment! Summer time equals kingfish, and with water temperatures at about their peak these fish have been active. While they can still be hit and miss like every other form of fishing, there are plenty of these hard fighting blue water brutes about at the moment.


There has been kingfish action all round the state, but reports from around Portland and also the 'rip' have been quite solid. Portland has been the pick if you're able to cover a few kilometres, as fish numbers are good at the moment, with fish being caught as close as the Lee breakwater and most methods are doing well on them. Customer Daniel fished the Portland area last week to land fish to about 8kg on lures. Smaller 130mm hardbodied trolling lures and surface poppers were the standout for him.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching a few kingfish down around Portland also. James has been finding quality kingfish on 'sluggo' or 'slapstix' style plastics in white and also clear, along with smaller stickbaits in the 80 - 130mm size range. These work exceptionally well when the fish are high in the water column. When the fish are sitting down 15 - 20m+ this is the time for jigs or livebaits.


Customers Ben and Aaron fished out from Westernport around some of the offshore marks recently to land some nice kingies. Fish to 14kg were landed on a mixture of stickbaits and live baits. The wash zone and secondary points and drop offs were where the fish were active. Slimey mackerel were the best choice of live baits, and the Shimano Ocea stickbaits were dynamite when cast to midwater holding fish.

 

 


 

While the local kingfish have pretty much just about finished, there have been scattered reports of a few here and there moving about. Customer Darren was out from Westernport before Easter where he had a crack for the kingies amongst some bottom bouncing. Darren fished cocktail baits of squid and pipi to land some nice whiting and trevally, and then worked some bommies and ledges for a kingie. Darren ended up trolling a pink Williamson squid skirt around and found a nice looking patch in 25m of water when bang off it went. Darren ended up with a good sized kingfish in the boat, a good way to top off the day.

 

Tuna reports from the West coast have started to filter through, and should only get better over the next month. Good numbers of fish have been spread out from around the 40m area right out to the shelf. Most anglers have been working the areas close to the Horseshoe and bagging out fairly easily. Average size at the moment is good, with plenty of 15 - 25kg fish, and a few larger thrown in. Hardbodied lures and skirts have been about equal in effectiveness at the moment. Customer Shane fished out near the shelf just recently to land a couple of nice 20kg fish on Pakula skirts, while customer Miraz also got into a few nice tuna. Miraz fished over the Easter break and caught fish to 18kg out wide from Portland. A mixture of Billmark UV enhanced skirts and also the Zerek Pelagic hardbody in Bonito did the trick.

 

Westernport always produces a good amount of variety for anglers, and recently it hasn't disappointed. Good fishing for gummies has been had by most anglers up the top of the port, with plenty of solid table fish around. Young Rachael fished with her Dad recently where she landed a nice 3kg gummy in amongst a hot bite of them up the top end of the port during the run out tide. This gummy along with most of the other took rings of freshly caught squid. Customer Lee also got amongst a few similar size table fish out from Hastings just recently in beautiful conditions. 

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has had a few happy customers out on Westernport recently with plenty of good gummies coming aboard. This fish were taken out from Hastings on squid, yakka and salmon.

 

Staff member Don fished with customer Sam just recently in search of some whiting, and after a bit of moving around and positioning, the boys got a bag of nice fish. Plenty of fish were in the 40cm size range and fresh squid and pipi did the trick on the start of the run out tide. Don said it was good to get out for a fish in amongst auditioning for one of MC Hammer's new music videos. Customer Lee took his son Ben out for a fish in lovely conditions in search of some KGW out from Hastings, and young Ben loved it.

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been having some fun with customers on the squid recently. Red base jigs have been killing it for James, and young Charlie even celebrated his 8th birthday by smashing the squid while on charter with James.

 

Customer Daniel fished out from Hastings recently in search of table sized pinkies and he wasn't disappointed. Daniel fished in 16m of water along the edge of the North Arm and did well on fish to 1.5kg. The best method was to fish a small piece of squid or pilchard on an Icon Snatcher and just wait for the fish to hook themselves. Out the front of Westernport there have been a few kingies hanging around, with a few anglers out chasing them. Customer Ben went out the front and found a few nice fish in the 80cm size range using both livies and also Maria lures. 

 

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 there are plenty of kingfish being caught in local waters, reports one end of the state to the other have been of yellow-tailed missiles along inshore headlands and reef systems. Customer Tony did a quick trip down West with a couple of mates in search of a few inshore kingies on baits and artificials. Tony managed to catch a few around some of the shallow bay structure mixed in with couta and pinkies. Out a little bit deeper from Portland there have also been patches of Southern Bluefin Tuna hanging around large bait schools, with most of the fish being quality school fish in the 15 - 22kg mark. These fish have responded to jigs, poppers, stickbaits and also the odd trolled lure.

Customer Romelo spent a few days up along the southern coastline of NSW at Eden with some mates. The guys fished wide where they experienced a marlin bite but didn't manage to land them, then went back in close to target kingies around the headlands and points. Romelo managed to catch a few school sized fish in amongst a thick school of pinkies, with most of the kingies around the 70cm mark. It was Romelo's first tangle with a kingfish and he is now hooked on fishing for them!

 

With some warm weather forecast the Summer species should be fairly active over the weekend, especially fish like yellowtail kingfish. Customer Simon fished down at Mallacoota recently where he got into a few kingies offshore. Simon found that most of the fish he caught were located in 15 to 30m of water hard against baitballs. Simon found the most productive method was to locate the school and feed a livebait or jig down and hook up then drop another jig down once the hooked fish was nearing the surface. This tactic resulted in multiple hookups on these fish. If you are planning on targeting the kingies locally over the weekend, make sure you drop by and stock up on an assortment of jigs. Shimano's Butterfly Flat-falls are an excellent option for local fish as the are compact in size and drop fast in deep or fast moving water, while maintaining an enticing slide and flutter as they fall.

Down in South Gippsland customer Shannon fished from the shore in around Port Albert targeting flatties. She fished from Rutter's jetty with her outfit that was purchased from the shore only a week earlier. Using a small size 1 circle hook baited with squid, she managed to land this lovely flathead of 54cm. She also made sure to mention that this fish was 10cm bigger than her Dad's biggest flattie.

Also in the same area, customer Anthony chased a few flathead in the estuary. Anthony found some nice water for chasing flathead and he anchored up and started using bluebait. Anthony managed to get a nice bag of flatties from the area and all on the bluebait, with most of the fish coming on the run out tide.

 

With some of the spells of warm weather we have had over the past few weeks, a few switched on anglers have been out and about in search of Victorian Yellowtail Kingfish. While these hard pulling brutes aren't as prolific as in other states, there are good numbers of fish around for anglers putting in the effort to track them down. This often means a decent drive in the car only to launch the boat and spend time searching around to locate them on the water. Customer Damien is one such angler who has been out on the water trying to find them, and just last week he was fishing with a couple of mates when they struck paydirt. Kingies to around the 10kg mark were caught slow trolling live yakkas and slimies on modified 'Westernport' rigs. These rigs are used to keep the livies down in the strike zone around rocks and ledges. Damien was fishing some points and bommies in Gippsland for these fish.

 

The whiting in Westernport bay have been going well recently. Since Christmas the fish have been thicker in numbers around all the usual areas of the port. Customer Johnny went out from Hastings recently where he got onto a school of nice sized fish. Pipi/squid cocktail baits were the most effective along the edge of the middle spit. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also had some good success on quality fish with customers, from Tyabb right down to Cat Bay. 

Most whiting around are school sized fish in the 35 - 39cm range, with a good number of 40cm+ fish around also. A small move away from school fish into deeper water can result in a bite from larger fish also. Baits of pipi, squid and mussel have been the best lately. James has been searching around some deeper areas for the whiting recently close to the entrance of Westernport Bay, and in amongst a whiting bite he also managed to land a nice kingfish which found a small shogun mutsu circle hook in the corner of it's jaw.

 

The southern end of the bay has been buzzing with kingfish reports, and while they still a take a level of knowledge to target and successfully catch there have been plenty of reports of anglers catching them. The 'rip' area has been the main hangout for these fish, and most methods have been catching fish. Customer Danny fished the area recently to land fish to 87cm on fillets of slimey mackerel. 

Danny also had a crack at the Autumn snapper that are normally on the bite around this time of the year. Danny fished out from Frankston in 19m of water to land a couple of nice fish to 4.5kg on whole silver whiting. More of these snapper should come on the chew as the water temperature starts dropping a few more degrees, which should be soon. 

Yellowtail kingfish have been the flavour of the month for Melbourne anglers over Summer. There have been a few fish caught offshore, but to catch them inside the bays is better again. While the bay fish are generally 'rats' or small fish to about 4kg, there can also been some larger 10kg+ models lurking around in schools as well. 

Customers Tony, Hiep and Van went out and fished on charter to target the kingies around the rip last weekend. The guys found the area busy and had to search around to locate the schools, and once they found the fish they tried a few methods. Metal jigs in the 120g weight worked well, so long as they had a seductive 'flutter' on the drop. Shimano and River2Sea jigs worked best.

Fishing in 30 - 40m of water, live baits were also used once the fish went a bit quiet. Live slimies and yakkas were dynamite when bridle rigged and assent down. Customer Ryan also got stuck into the local kingfish over the weekend, with fish in the 3kg mark caught. Ryan found that deep trolled hardbodies got the kingies' attention, with Sebile Koolie Minnows and Rapala Taildancers doing the damage.