Some choice conditions over the past week or so have allowed for offshore stints for local anglers in search of kingfish, both offshore from the bays and also down the coast. The weekends weather condition were good enough to turn many anglers to offshore and the rewards were there to be had.

Customer Frank made a big run from the top end of Westernport out through the western entrance in search of kingfish. With numbers of boats in close Frank decided to look out a bit wider where he found some small schooling kingfish on the surface. Small stickbaits cast at the school resulted in hook ups, and so the technique went on. After finding a patch of nervous water out in 30m the stickbaits were on again but this time with some school sized bluefin tuna. Frank said that there were good numbers of fish about, but that they were full of very small baitfish. His 90mm stickbaits were perfect size for these fish to hunt.


The rip has been producing kingies for anglers doing the hard work but has also been somewhat patchy this season. During the week Reel Time Fishing Charters had a blinder of a session in the rip with around 20 good size kingfish landed by customers. Customer Damien has been working aboard the boat and reports that the fish have been taking live slimies and squid and also jigs between 150 - 200g. Jig colour hasn't mattered, more of correct rigging and technique to get the fish to bite.


Around the rocky shorelines and islands of Bass Strait the kingfish have been solid. The smaller fish have been prolific in numbers but moving until bigger fish are found has been the go. Customer Jason has been out chasing these fish around Welshpool and finding fish to around 15kg. Jason has been catching fish predominately on subsurface stickbaits, with some impossible to tempt falling to live slimy mackerel around the submerged reef points and swell zones.

 


While the weather this week hasn't been conducive to fishing the bay let alone offshore, there still has been some action outside. If bluewater is your thing, kingfish, tuna and sharks have been the reward. Outside the bays the kingies have been hanging around the main promontories and points - with Cape Schank, Seal Rock and Pyramid rock all good starting points to name a few. Out wider from these areas there have been makos to 100kg or so. Customers Anthony and Mark fished out from Cape Schank last week where they scored a nice little mako of around 30kg. The amount of bait offshore at present is half the reason these predators are about.


Other bluewater predators that have been lurking both locally and out of town have been good sized bluefin tuna. There have been patches of tuna out from the bays but they have been flighty and fussy in what they will eat. Along the west coast they have been in a similar mood, but in better numbers. Customer Edly got down to Portland recently to try and catch one of these large school fish. Edly caught fish to around 30kg trolling small skirts, and that has been the main key - SMALL lures. These fish have been gorging themselves on small whitebait and anchovies, and quickly show shy away from large offerings, unless you find a patch of fish on the prowl.

 


The kingfish have been the flavour of the month for anglers fishing all around the state over the past few weeks, with fish being caught from one end of the state to the other. While searching for the kingfish isn't for everyone, picking the weather and heading out offshore will see you in with a good chance of a hoodlum. Customer Jason loves chasing kingfish and recently headed out from Port Welshpool to tackle with some heavy hitters around the island and rocky promontories. Jason fished with live baits and lures and found fish to around 13kg. Live slimey mackerel and squid were effective along with poppers and stickbaits in the 140mm size range.


EJ Todd Victorian Representative Mitch also got out amongst the kingies in a similar area over the weekend, with a heap of smaller fish around but some around 6kg making their way to the boat. Mitch found a variety of lures worked but the poppers like the Maria 'pop queen' were effective in drawing fish from larger packs.


Around the rip the kingies have been going well, although the area can be trickier for many to fish. Customer Steve fished brother Michael and mate Jason over the weekend to hook up to some good fish on a variety of methods. Live squid, squid strips and jigs all accounted for fish. Steve landed fish to around 9kg on smaller jigs which gave him a workout - with the other boys getting stitched up in the reef by some bigger fish.

 


Westernport has been fishing well for all bread and butter species with plenty on offer. The squid fishing around the southern end of the port has been good for numbers and size of late. Customer Igor fished around Cat bay and Vetnor in search of some bigger squid recently and found some quality models fishing Egi Oh K Yamashita jigs around the reef and heavy weed. The 'K' series jigs have a different body buoyancy and will 'hoer' on the bottom a bit more than a regular jig, and will soft hands they can be walked through heavy structure without hanging up.

Customer Trent also did well on the squid in a similar area of the port down close to Phillip Island. Trent fished with a few mates and caught squid to 1kg on a variety of jigs, with size 3.0 and 3.5 getting down to the bottom easier in the current. Red foil and black jigs were the most productive on the day.


Some of the piers in the port have fishing well for squid, with Flinders the standout.  Customers Angelo and Ryan have fished the pier recently and found the daytime fishing better than after dark. The nights here have seen the pier packed with anglers chasing the yakkas, so the days have been much quieter. Angelo has been finding the colour 17 and 'White cow' clicks jigs have been go-tos in size 3.0 recently. Ryan has been finding red foil jigs in size 3.5 and also dark greens have been the best for him, especially late in the afternoon.


The large summer garfish have pricked many anglers attention recently, with some exceptional size fish about in decent numbers also. Many of the shallow banks have been holding the fish but the middle spit has also been an excellent place to start a berley trail. Customer Edly stopped at the spit recently after looking for the kingfish and got a great feed of gars. Edly found good numbers of gars in 2.5m of water and boated them on small sabiki rigs under a float.


On the kingfish front, there have been fish caught from West head and the 'Knobbies' around to Cape Woolamai and back to Cape Schank. A good sounder is your best friend is locating these fish, as their position will change depending on tides and current. Customer Andrew came past the store for some terminal tackle to hit up the kingfish and he managed a lovely fish out in the Western entrance. Andrew found live yakkas trolled slowly were the gun bait.

 


The west coast of the state is fishing well for a multitude of species at present, with the offshore scene really on fire. The Port Fairy and Portland region has been red hot for kingfish and tuna with loads of bait around. There have also been some big sharks lurking out wider for the anglers chasing them. Customer Tony popped in to the store to pick up some supplies and lure variety before hitting the North shore, and Tony and mate had a ball on the kingfish. While most of the fish have been 'rats' the guys did hook up to larger fish in the 10kg range that blitzed them on the shallow reef. Tony found squid strips and white 'Bungy Baits' in the 5 inch model the most productive of the lot.


The bluefin tuna have been found by anglers fishing for the kingfish in as shallow as 10m of water. While the tuna have been caught amongst the kingfish there have been better numbers of fish out to around 50m of water. These fish can be very fussy however and many are seen simply 'cruising' or sunning themselves. With the abundance of small baitfish, small lures are the go. The odd fish will take a normal 5 - 6 inch lure, but a lot of the summer food are small whitebait so lures as small as 2 inches have been catching fish. Customer Aaron fished out from Portland over the weekend to land some thumper bluefin to around 30kg. Aaron found trolling smaller skirts was the best method of hooking these fish.


Customer Bruno was down at Portland recently and found himself a nice little mako shark. With the amount of food about, the sharks have been active - with bronzies, schoolies, threshers and makos all making an appearance. There has been plenty of larger bait out wider with slimies and salmon providing good fresh shark baits. A bit further back towards Melbourne customer Anel spent the weekend catching heaps of salmon from the beaches and rocks. Anel found some lovely salmon to 1.5kg hanging around the deeper gutters back towards the Great Ocean Road.

 


The kingfish have definitely turned a few heads out at Portland. While a normal summer theme down along the West coast, there are very good numbers of fish around the inshore reef and structure all along the North shore, all the way to Port Fairy.

Customer Abdul got down to Portland and fished in close in his kayak chasing kingfish. Abdul noticed lots of bait and smaller kingfish out to about 20m of water. Abdul caught smaller fish on strips of squid, with a few larger fish around 10kg taken on live slimies. There have been a lot of boats in the area, so locating isolated patches of bait or structure has been a good way to get away from the crowds. Smaller poppers, stickbaits and fizzers have been good to get the attention of the fish and lure a school up to baits or other lures also.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been down along the West coast, fishing with his sons. James and the boys have been experiencing some red hot kingfish sessions, with live and dead baits, poppers, stickbaits and soft plastics all working. Lures in the 80 - 150mm size have been the best suited to the fish, with lures as small as 5cm getting eating, or as big as 25cm.


Many of the kingfish have been smaller school sized fish around 3kg or so, with fish to just under 10kg not uncommon. There have been some proper 15kg + models around, which normally earn their freedom back amongst the reef in a short blistering run. Having decent terminal tackle has still been important even on the smaller fish, as heavy drag presure can bend or break thinner gauge hooks and split rings.

 


The bluewater and offshore action has been good around Bass Strait locally and a bit further afield, with tuna and kingfish the main targets. The water temperature has risen over the past few weeks, and also the water hasn't been the 'cobalt blue' that many anglers prefer there have still been fish around in it. The West coast down around Portland has been been producing loads of 'rat' kingfish along the north shore reef and also out to the island, with some nice bluefin tuna mixed in as well. Customer Edly was down at Portland recently and managed a nice chunky tuna of around 25kg.


While there have been plenty of fish about, the warmer months bring lots of baitfish so they aren't a shoe-in. Small bluebait-like imitations have been the best, as this best represents the current food. Poppers and stickbaits up to 140mm have been the go on the kingfish, with the tuna responding even better to smaller offerings. There are a few small but heavy zinc stickbaits in store that have been deadly when cast to cruising fish.


Back around the bays the kingfish have made their presence felt lately, with most of the main rocky promontories and points holding fish, along with areas such as the rip. Around the entrance to Westernport some of the smaller fish have been so thick that they have been hitting smaller flasher rigs sent down for catching slimies and yakkas. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has caught a few smaller fish on the 'sabiki' rigs of late, with some larger fish to 85cm taking the live slimies. Customer Jason fished the rip during the week in search of a kingfish and managed fish to around 6kg. Tandem hook rigs with small live squid were the most effective when fished on a modified 'Westernport' rig.


While there has been kingfish caught offshore around areas like Cape Schank, out a bit wider some anglers have reports of bluefin tuna. Customers Justin and Mick ventured out on Monday to see what was happening, with some rat kingies caught in close on squid. Out a bit further the boys managed a solid tuna of around 20kg. Small lures have been the go at present, with clear water and small food making the fish harder to trick than winter models.

 


Port Phillip has been producing a bit of mixed bag fishing recently. While the snapper have all but gone quiet, there have been patches of fish around that have been eating. If you were to target them the southern region around Mt Martha has been the area to look around, in depths of 18 - 20m. Customer Simon got out recently after purchasing a new outfit for the bay and christened it nicely with a couple of nice fish at 6.5 and 5.2kg. Simon caught both fish on squid, in 17m off Mt Martha.


There have been some whiting reports floating around the bay, but not as many as Western port. Many anglers don't fish for the whiting as much in the bay but they are there to be caught. Friend of the store Bruce fished with mates out from Queenscliff to land a bag of nice whiting to 41cm. Run out tide was the better time with fresh squid and pipi doing the damage on size 2 long shank hooks. During the whiting fishing some nice squid also found themselves on a 'sleeper' jig behind the boat as they chased the hooked whiting in. The area between here and St Leonards has been more consistent for KGW lately.


There have been whiting caught up the top end by anglers persisting. Customer Bashir and mate fished out from Black Rock to land a nice bag of fish around the reef. Fishing pipi and prawn was the go on these fish, and constantly moving from the schools of pinkies. The area between Black Rock and Brighton has been producing whiting around the shallow broken ground.


The large gummies have showed up in the southern channels of the bay recently for anglers after them. Fishing the south channel has been the go for these larger fish, but many of the neighboring channels have been producing smaller table fish. Customer Josh fished the south channel and Rye channel recently to land a couple of quality gummies. Josh found that salmon and squid were the productive baits for the session.


Around the head and the 'rip' the kingies are starting to show up. While not red hot just yet they are about to go. Customer Damien has been helping out aboard 'Reel Time' Fishing Charters and over the weekend they landed their first solid king for the season at 13kg. The fish was caught in shallow water around the rip and gave some real heat when hooked. This is just a taste of things to come, so the time to get prepared is now!

 


While reports have thinned off a little from Port Phillip, there is still plenty going on! The snapper have slowed off a little with their usual pre-xmas spawning movements, but there are still plenty of patches of fish to catch. The southern end of the bay seems to be the go at the moment, as the water temp is slightly lower and more conducive to a snapper bite.


Out from Mornington, customers aboard 'Relax, Go Fishing' charters have been getting some solid fish to around the 6kg mark throughout the week. Baits of silver whiting have been very effective along with squid, and a few fish taking the usual pilchard as well. The productive areas have been from Mt Eliza through to Mornington in 16-17-18m of water.


Out from Black Rock customer Adrian has been catching some nice fish to around 4.5kg on pillies. Adrian has been fishing around the reef edge in 9m and fishing pilchards. Using a strong berley trail of pilchard cubes has been the best way to keep the nearby fish interested, with a handful of cubes going in every 40 minutes or so. Customer Michael has been getting a few fish still out from Carrum also. Michael has been fishing nearby to the outer artificial reef in 18m and finding the odd fish around sunrise. Fresh squid has been Michael's preferred bait.


Customer Mick came into the store recently to set up some Port Phillip 'specific' gear. After realizing that some of his stuff was more suited to Western port Mick purchased a lighter outfit to tackle the finicky nature of Port Phillip's snapper. Very next session Mick was out and into fish to about 3.5kg, with long octopus tentacles getting the bites.

Down along the Peninsula there have been some squid caught from some of the piers. Dirtier water and winds have slowed things a bit but persistence and constant jig changes has been the way to piece a bag together. Staff member Don got down to Mornington and although conditions weren't super favourable he still managed a decent haul. Switching between rattle and non rattle 2.5 size jigs was the go, with UV colours and rattles getting bites before the other jigs.


At the bottom of the peninsula there has been some movement from the schooling kingfish. While not 'on fire' yet, there are fish around - and they are worth targeting. Friend of the shop Bruce fished around the heads and offshore towards Barwon over the weekend to get into a few school sized fish. Bruce's best tactic was to run a 'Fanasty squid' hardbody behind the boat and pin a long squid strip on a dropper behind the lure. The lure works to get the king's attention and the squid strip seals the deal.



 


At present, the snapper bite has been good but has also had some inconsistency over the last week or so. As water temperatures heat up more in about 2 weeks the fish should go off the bite as they spawn. At the moment though they are still being caught. Customer Sylvio has caught fish to 5kg fishing in close from Black Rock. Pilchards have been the best bait for him.


Customers Robbie and Matej have been fishing out from Mornington recently. The guys have been fishing in the 16m area and have been catching snapper to around the 4kg mark. Fishing with multiple baits, the best bite for them has been between 7:30 and 9:00 am. Hard baits have been fishing better, with silver whiting the standout.


Again around the 16m line customer Aaron has landed snapper to 4kg. Aaron has been fishing the Frankston/Mt Eliza region and has been using freshly caught squid to land his fish.


The Frankston area has been fishing quite well over the past week or so, with good numbers of fish holding in water between 15 - 18m. Customer Steve recently caught a few nice fish to 4.5kg out towards 18m. Customer Paul fished 16m off Frankston to land some crackers to around 6.5kg on silver whiting and pilchard, with the morning tide change more productive than dawn.


Friend of the shop Bruce and mates fished the arvo whiting bite at Queenscliff. Some thumping whiting were caught, with the best baits being pipi and squid. The key for these bigger whiting has been to present bigger baits which works best on slightly bigger hooks like Shogun black baitholders in size 2, on a Paternoster style rig.

 


Previous to whiting fishing, Bruce headed just offshore from Queenscliff in search of a kingfish. Large numbers of school snapper have been around and plaguing baits, but there have been some small kingfish caught around the rubble grounds. Fresh squid has been the go if you can get through the snapper. Gawaine Blake also headed out in search of a kingfish around the heads, and he wasn't disappointed with a couple of lovely fish landed. The time has come!