There have been some winter pinkies and school snapper about in the bay for anglers to catch. While many don't fish for them in winter, it can be the best time to chase them, especially with calm sunny conditions. If you're landbased there have good numbers of fish hanging around in the northern region of the bay, with Port Melbourne and Williamstown holding some solid fish. Customer Ryan has been fishing the top end of the bay from the piers and has been catching fish to around 1.5kg. Ryan has done a couple of bait sessions at night but has found the afternoons have been fishing well with plastics. Small minnow and worm pattern plastics in 3 - 4inch have been the standouts, and even deadlier smeared in gel scent if the bite is slow.


The pinkies hanging around the inshore reefs have been touch and go, with a bit of sounding required to locate a patch of fish. When found however the fish have been pretty aggressive towards baits and lures especially late in the day. Customer Bashir and his wife Alexandra have been catching some nice table sized pinkies around Black Rock. Late afternoon has been the most productive time to fish for them, with cut pilchard being the best bait.

Further down in the southern end of the bay customer Petar landed a lovely winter fish of around 2.5kg during the week. Petar has been chasing the gummies around the south channel and surrounding channels, but was pleasantly suprised when he landed a nice red. Fishing baits of freshly caught squid and yakka has been the go for him, and with good quality baits you do have a good shot at catching these fish if they are around.


With some calm winter weather mixed in the offshore gummy fishing continues to be productive. While there haven't been any real 'hot spots' the areas around Cape Schank and Pyramid Rock have been good places to start. There have been two main methods to catching these fish, with both drifting and anchoring popular. Anchoring nearby to an isolated patch of reef and berleying to bring the gummies to you has been one method, while drifting 'wider' has also been a good way to intercept a cruising fish. Customer Jon fished recently out towards the Schank and landed some nice fish to around the 15kg mark. Baits of freshly caught wrasse and parrotfish from the accompanying reef are excellent options when targeting these fish.

 

The tuna fishing has still been going well along the states West, especially out from Portland. There have been plenty of school fish from 40m right out to beyond the 'horse shoe' and across the shelf. Customer Gem sent us a photo from a Portland trip just recently where a good brace of school tuna were caught on trolled hardbodies. Over the past week or so there has been reports of schools of whitebait around, which normally turns the fish more selective. If you're planning a trip during the next bout of calm weather make sure you pack some of your smallest skirts and offerings to cover all bases.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been making the most of the tuna season down along the west coast also, with excellent numbers of fish being caught between Port Fairy and Portland. James has been focusing on getting fish for customers and says that there is no shortage of school fish about. James has been finding a few different lure options have been working, from 'medium' sized skirts right down to tiny salmon sized skirts and hardbodies. Colour-wise many options have been worth trolling, with lumo, redbait, pilchard, saury and red squid patterns all good starting points.

 


The calm weather recently has really been good for anglers out on the gummies, and the gummy fishing has been excellent. The real hot spots at present have been the entrance channels on both bays and offshore, with a keen eye on the tides and fresh baits the real keys. Customer Paul fished with mate Jarrad out in the south channel on the gummies after chasing squid up on the banks and wasn't disappointed with a lovely 12kg fish on dark. Fish at this size are excellent for the table and normally quite common when fishing these southern channels.


Customer Petar has also done a few trips out around the southern end of Port Phillip with good results. Petar has averaged roughly 1 - 2 gummies per trip, with a 'normal' fish around 7kg. Petar has landed fish to just under 10kg during the week on fresh squid and yakka in the main channel just after dark. On the offshore gummy front, customer Edly has put fish to around 18kg in the boat during the week - with calm conditions ideal for it. Edly has been fishing small reef ledges out in 30m of water, and has found that the best baits have been parrotfish and pike.


Customer Damien got into the gummies during the week offshore also. Damien fished out from the western entrance in 40m of water and landed a brace of nice fish up to 15kg. Freshly caught wrasse and red mullet were the dynamite baits on the fish offshore.

 

 


With milder weather than Melbourne during winter the northern NSW coastline from Coffs Harbour to the border can be an excellent place to holiday - and for the keen angler it is also where a lot of northern and southern species cross over. Southern species like snapper are met with northern species like cobia and various trevally and tuna species so it's a real lucky dip of fish variety. Customer Gary has moved up to this part of the coast and has been enjoying the variety of fish about. His latest catch from a small tidal lagoon was this massive giant trevally or 'GT' of around 30kg taken on a live bait. The huge fish took a live whiting and fought for over 90 minutes, and took over 400m of line from the outfit. Gary managed to land it on only 20lb line, which is a huge feat for a GT - let alone one of these size!


Staff member Chris has also been fishing the northern NSW coastline while on holiday recently. Chris has been fishing the Yamba region and while conditions weren't ideal for offshore runs he still managed a few fish. Chris caught multiple frigate tuna out wide over some reefy ground offshore - with live yakkas being the most productive baits when dropped down deep.


Amongst some of the other offshore species Chris landed were fish like snapper and tuskfish. Chris fished multiple wrecks and patches of reef and found these species hanging around the structure. The venus tuskfish were happy to eat full pilchards while small Yakamito slow jigs were productive on snapper up to 3.5kg. The slow, fluttering action of these jigs works well on reef dwelling species like snapper and is also productive in tidal water here in Victoria.

 


With some calmer weather on it's way there some ripper gummy shark fishing to be had just inside the entrances to both bays and also offshore. With the last lot of calm weather anglers ventured out and and found the rewards in form of some lovely fresh flake. The hot areas to be fishing have been the western entrance from around Sandy point south, or in Port Phillip the Blairgowrie end of the south channel. Just outside both entrances the fishing has been excellent also, with small patches of reef from 25 - 40m productive.

Keen fisherman Ashie went out in westernport with dad Steve last week and managed a couple of nice table sized gummies from down in the western entrance. The area around cat bay was productive with chunks and fillets of freshly caught salmon and pike providing the ideal scent trail for the gummies. Fishing the small outcrops of reef along these channel edges has been productive for Steve with an average size fish being around 7 - 10kg.


Once you get offshore proper the average gummy size seems to increase, with fish around 15kg being about standard - and a 25kg+ fish a real chance. Customer Edly fished outside in 40m of water recently to land 3 solid sharks all around the 14kg size. Freshly caught baits can be the difference between fish and no fish and gummies are no different - with plenty of bait options cruising about offshore near or on your fishing grounds. Parrotfish and wrasse are excellent, along with barracouta, pike and salmon or mackerel - which can all be collected with some prior preparation to your gummy fishing. Fishing large chunk baits on heavy gauge 8/0 circle hooks will ensure a solid jaw corner hookup and get your gummies to the boat. 

 


The west coast continues to produce tuna for the anglers out in search. While there has been no shortage of school fish there also has been a good number of 'barrels' about to keep the keen hunters keen. Customer Jason fished with mates recently and was involved in the capture of a barrel in the 150kg range out from Portland. Even though these big fish are normally actively hunting schools of redbait and pilchards, this fish had an undersized pinkie in it's stomach. Bright pink and red skirts have subsequently been productive out from Portland lately.


Customer Damien also headed down to Portland with mates in search of some more school fish, which he caught easily. While many anglers are venturing out towards the 'horseshoe' out along the shelf in search of these fish, there have been plenty in mush closer. Starting your search in around 50m has been good, and also puts you in with the chances of a 'barrel' - as they as normally frequently found in this 50 - 70m depth line. A mixture of lures did the job on fish to 12kg, with JB micro dingos and Bluewater classics the standouts. Colour variations between lumo, pilchard, bright pink and almost all others in between all did the job.


Customer Rocky came past the shop to grab some last minute lures suggestions and terminal gear before hitting the fish off Portland. Rocky and mates got stuck into the school fish with most weighing around 12 - 15kg. Trolling small skirts in the 4 - 6 inch range has been been the most productive, with a mix of dark and light colours going well. Rapala's new XRAP Extreme also caught fish as it can run truer at a more 'enticing' speed for the tuna.

 

 


The gummy shark fishing around the southern end of the bays and offshore has still been excellent lately. While the consistency inside the bays isn't 100% the fishing is good at present. Customer Josh regularly fishes the southern channels around Rye and Blairgowrie and has again recently with good results. Josh managed a nice gummy around 14kg from the south channel over the weekend. Fishing baits of fresh mackerel and salmon was the key, and presenting these baits directly along the channel ledge was also crucial.


When the conditions have allowed, the offshore fishing has been very good. The sections of reef outside both bays are a good starting point for solid gummies. Customer Thao fished outside the western entrance recently to land a few nice fish up to 18kg. Thao has been fishing 25m of water around small isolated patches of reef, with freshly caught baits from the area getting the bites. Parrotfish, wrasse and mackerel have all been deadly on 8/0 circle hooks when dropped around the reef.


Customer Joel has also had the same idea lately, targeting offshore gummies. Fishing towards Cape Schank Joel and mate landed 3 nice fish around the 12kg mark during their last session. Joel has been fishing in water around 40m deep and has found barber perch and salmon very effective on the fish.

 


The bluefin tuna have been thick around Portland and Port Fairy over the past few weeks, but the weather has been too inconsistent for anglers to be out chasing them. The fish have been found from 25m out to right across the shelf and everywhere in between. While the majority of the school fish have been the smaller 7 - 18kg fish there have been some 20kg+ schoolies hanging about. Customer Jack got down to Portland during a calm spell and got out and amongst them. Jack found the fish on skirts in the 6 inch size, with pilchard colours doing the best.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been catching plenty of school fish for customers, out from Port Fairy and Portland. James has been catching fish on both hardbodies and also skirts, with no real standouts, just mixing the lures up in the spread to suit the bite and preference on the day. The area out towards the shelf has been the most productive, from around 150m and deeper.


Customers Damien and Benny fished Portland with the rest of the gang during last week's calm weather and found heaps of fish. Amongst the action there were multiple hook ups and mayhem, with the majority of fish taking small skirts in the 4 - 6 inch size range. Colour preferences were towards 'evil angel' or pilchard patterns, redbait colours and also lumos in both green and pink. While one 'barrel' was hooked and lost, the majority of the fish were around the 10kg mark, with the largest landed at 12.1kg. The area out towards the shelf was holding the most fish, but some patches being found from around 80m and deeper.

 


The good thing about fishing is that you can catch something no matter where you go that has water! A few customers have been out and about lately and catching while on holiday which is good to see. Young gun Harry was on holiday with the family in Tasmania and just had to have a fish. Fishing from one of the jetties in Hobart Harry caught a chunky bluethroat wrasse. Harry landed the solid fish on squid, which gave him a good workout on light gear.


In the states' East customer Manny has been tangling with things with teeth. Manny has been out around Mallacooota with family and has done some fishing offshore. Among the tiger flathead and snapper caught bottom bashing a hook up was had short lived, bitten off. Manny saw the culprit near the surface and cast a bait rigged on wire out and  soon enough the fish was back on. A feisty mako shark of around 30kg was brought up to the boat and the culprit was caught.


Over the other side of the globe customer Jordan has been on honeymoon in Japan. While not a fishing trip, Jordan still managed to sneak in some fishing with a guide on famous Lake Biwa. Lake Biwa is known as the 'testing ground' for many successful lures that eventually make their way to us and is full of largemouth bass. Jordan fished for the bass on a quiet day with estimated at more than 500 boats fishing one area! Finesse soft plastic techniques will now have here were the go on the day, with wacky and texas rigged plastics proving successful on a slow day. Catching fish is the name of the name in Japan, and their hard work results in some techniques that make our fishing easier!


 


The gummies have been going off! If you're after some light tackle sport and a feed of fresh flake then now is the time to be amongst them. Both bays have been producing nice fish, and the offshore action has also been great.


Customers Johnny and Thao have had a few good sessions throughout the western entrance of Westernport with some solid sharks to around the 20kg mark, and a good amount of nice table fish to 13kg or so. Chunk baits of freshly caught salmon and yakka have been the goods when fished on heavy gauge 9/0 in-line circle hooks and 80lb leader. Fishing the bigger tides and deeper channel edges has required lead to 30oz and suitable rods coupled with fine diameter braid to help hold bottom.


Just outside the entrance the gummy fishing has been outstanding, with customers Christian and Jason catching some good fish. Fishing either behind Phillip Island or Cape Schank around the 20-25m line and deeper out between 40-50m has been the go especially when conditions along for a good drift. Finding small isolated patches of reef around these areas can be an excellent way of location both the gummies and suitable bait. The boys have been fishing fresh wrasse and slimies on similar westernport gear but without the needed extra lead. Paternoster rigs can be successful offshore also and they provide extra movement of the baits when held just off the bottom.


If venturing offshore or towards the entrance isn't your thing the gummy fishing has been good further up the bay. Customers Jamie and Brad landed 3 nice fish in a recent session while fishing out from Stony Point. The guys were sitting along a nice channel drop and using freshly caught baits of yakka. Finding a suitable drop to intercept the gummies is the key to prime location, and catching your own fresh bait helps immensely.


The southern end of Port Phillip has been excellent for large gummies also, with the south channel being the main hunting grounds. Customer Josh has been out over the past week and has been landing some ripper fish to around 20kg. Fishing the south channel itself with freshly caught squid and salmon has been the undoing of these fish. Fresh trevally have also been excellent when they have been around.