The bread and butter fishing around the bay has kept anglers busy with gars, pinkies, bream and whiting all on offer depending on which area you're fishing. Last week customer Nick sent us a report from himself and his young daughter and this week they're out again. Nick and Chantelle had a fish from the pontoons in Mordialloc creek and Chantelle is making catching fish part of her new weekend routine! Chantelle was chuffed to land a few small pinkies from the pontoon, all of which went back to fight another day.


On the bread and butter front, there have been plenty of garfish around the local piers and breakwalls and they are excellent to take the kids out to try their luck on. The fish haven't been restricted to any certain areas and have been caught all over the bay. Some of the better starting points have been Mornington, Seaford, Mordialloc, Beaumaris and Brighton. If you're in the boat many of the shallow sandy coves and bays have been holding good numbers as well.

Customer Pat caught a nice feed of gars in the shallows during the week, with a light berley trail of fine grit powder mixed in with tuna oil getting the fish in close to the boat. Small pieces of banana prawn and squid caught him his bag of fish. Staff member Don has also been catching some gars from the local piers, with Seaford and Frankston being the more productive. Don has been fishing small pieces of banana prawn in his berley trail and on most occasions has managed a goo bag of fish. Adjusting float and bait depth and buoyancy has also been a critical factor.

 


While the focus hasn't been on the gummies or snapper in particular in both bays - there have been a few caught, especially pinkies and snapper. The small pinkies from 20cm to 1.5kg or so are thick especially in Port Phillip, no matter which area you're fishing. While they can be frustrating - there have been plenty of better size fish amongst them. Staff member Dylan got out for a quick arvo fish recently and was kept busy on fish from 20cm to around 45cm on lures. 4'' jerkbait style plastics caught their share but 100 - 120mm hardbodies were the most effective once the wind got up. Trolling these lures around the isolated reef patches around Brighton resulted in more than 50 fish landed, and a handful of 500g kept for the pan.


The larger fish have also been found in the same areas in the top of the bay - but the real hot spot for the next little while is the Mt Eliza - Mt Martha region. Fish like these held by customer Sam from around Mt Eliza will be worth targeting the deeper we get into Autumn. Early morning bites from dawn to around 9am are the norm, with KGW heads deadly when fished on 'dangle' rigs over the boat's side.


Out in Western port there have been some nice snapper caught amongst the smaller pinkies. While the pinkies have been thick through the whiting grounds and grass beds, fishing the 'barren' mud and rubble beds has seen red to over 4kg landed. The main region producing the quality fish has been between Rhyll and Corinella. Customers Tony and Allan have caught fish in the area to nearly 6kg. There have also been quality fish on the reef just outside both entrances, with some super solid gummies providing some quality bycatch at the same time.


While most of the larger gummies have been coming from outside the port, there have been some big fish caught throughout the Western Entrance along the deeper ledges and channel scours. Fishing these areas during the latter part of the ebb tide or start of the flood is generally the more productive time. Customer Izzy has been landing gummies to around 15kg once the sun goes down, with baits of freshly caught yakka, slimey or trevally among the best.

For the land based anglers the weekend's calmer weather should make shore-bashing a bit more enjoyable. Customer Pete has just started chasing gummies from the shore and landed his first fish during the week. Pete was fishing from the shore at Grantville and after missing and losing a few fish he changed rigs and tactics and landed this one on a circle hook baited with fresh mackerel. Fishing water no more than 1m deep in this area is very effective - but it's all very tide dependent!

 


Land based options around the bay have been good over the past week or so, with garfish and whiting providing some good fun and better eating. Rye through to Brighton has been excellent for the gars, with the hot spots Mornington, Frankston and Seaford. There have been some larger gars about but most have been from 15 - 30cm. Staff member Dylan has been catching them from Seaford and also Sandringham, with maggots being the best bait. Constant depth adjustment and fresh baits was the key to landing a few. As usual fine grit berley is needed to get he fish going and keep them firing while you're catching them.


Staff member Don has been catching some gars from Frankston pier during the week. Don has found small pieces of prawn have been working well, with the main tip being constant adjustment of float and bait depth. The gars have been hanging around Frankston pier during slight winds - with any wind over 15 or so knots bringing the salmon in and scaring the gars off.


The whiting fishing around the bay has been good for the land based angler - all be it that most of the fish are caught around or after dark. There have been fish caught all over the bay from Brighton all the way down to Portsea. Any area of scattered reef around sand has is worth a look, with some satellite maps your best friend. Customer Adam has been catching whiting to 44cm from the shore around Black Rock, with the isolated reef patches producing fish after dark. Staff member Dylan has also been catching fish to 40cm from the shore from Sandringham and Frankston. Baits of pipi, mussel, banana prawn and squid have all been good when fished on the sand around the reef. Most of the fish seem to be more active well after dusk, especially around the top of the tide.

 


The clear water of both bays has meant that the squid fishing has been good, whether you're shore or boat based. Staff member Dylan has been fishing from the rocks and beaches along the top end of Port Phillip to land squid to around 1kg. In some areas the most productive time has been just after sunset, others have been an hour or so after last light. Jig sizes have varied between locations, with shallow reef flats calling for 2.5's whereas rocky or beach drop offs size 3.0 or 3.5 can be used. It is best to work out your location before selecting jigs as sizes and colours can be very dependent on area.


The southern end of PPB is squid mecca, and while it is also tourist mecca over the January holiday timeframe, there are still excellent to be caught. Customer Izzy fished down the bottom of the peninsula and landed some nice squid, after having a swim to cool off. Staff member Dylan has also fished the same areas and has been finding natural baitfish coloured jigs to be most effective, with near zero results on the standard UV whites, red foils and bright colours. Size 3.5 is generally the go in the area, as even the shallower grounds around the boat moorings are affected by the tidal pull.


Customer Connor has been getting amongst the quality squid down along the southern peninsula also. Connor has been fishing Sorrento and Portsea and has been having sessions with 7 or 8 squid landed on average, up to nearly 40cm hood length. Connor has been finding sunset red/golds have been the most effective for him during times of low light.


Over in Westernport, the squid fishing has been good for those out enjoying it. Flinders pier local Angelo has been catching a few here and there, up to 1kg or so in size. Angelo has been liking 'keimura' UV whites and lumo whites from the Yamashita range, along with shrimp and grass whiting patterns including black/green and red underfoils. Further up the beach customer Adam has caught squid around 35cm hood length on baited jigs during the night. Small silver and grass whiting have been best when under the float, but they must be fished up off the bottom to ensure the thick weed and kelp in the area doesn't snag them up.

 


While the phrase "it's still too early" is commonly being uttered among snapper fishing talk - we're now mid September and the fish have been hanging about for a while, and anglers have been catching them. Sure, water temperatures are not quiet at 'optimum' but the fish are still there and they have to eat. Many landbased locations have been producing fish and patches of both bays are also holding fish that are eating on more regular terms. Captain Bill from Mornington took a photo of a local angler fishing the pier and rockwall just a few days ago with a nice fish taken on fresh squid. During heavy onshore weather the pier has been holding some quality fish and is worth fishing straight after said weather.


While Mornington pier has been producing fish, Frankston, Mordialloc and Brighton have also been doing the same. The beaches in these same areas have been producing active fish also - so if the pier is packed head onto the beach nearby instead of casting into the same area as a heap of other anglers, this way you're giving yourself a better chance. Customer Ahmad has been looking around the piers and beaches over the past month and has landed snapper to around 7kg for his efforts, with fresh squid and pilchard still the better baits.


For the boat based anglers in Westernport the fish have come on a bit stronger - which is normal for this time of year. Water temperatures and rainfall play a big part in when the fish switch on and where. At the moment the more consistent areas to concentrate on are between Corinella north and Grantville and about Hastings. There have been numbers of fish moving around the 'finger' channels way up the North-Eastern corner of the port, where the low tide mudflats are warming up the surrounding water. Customer Anthony has been fishing this area with his daughter and together have caught her first snapper. The nice school fish took fresh squid.

Customer Zach has also been amongst the snapper. Zach has been fishing the water of the North arm and has managed a brace of nice fish in his first trip - with fresh squid and pike both doing the job. Searching for small pockets of slightly warmer water and bait nearby is a good way to locate some snapper at the moment.

 


There have been dome snapper, and plenty of pinkies coming into the reports around the bay over the past week or so. While the fish are still scattered and not thick in numbers, they are definitely out there and are being caught. Water temperatures around the bay have been hovering around 12C, and once jump above 13-14 and stay there the fish will come on the bite more frequently. While the top end of the bay from Hobsons Bay through to around Black Rock is the area worth looking in, there has been the odd fish further down the bay.

Customer Ngoc got a surprise fishing in the Patto river last week, with a solid 3.5kg snapper taking his bait up towards the last boat ramp. Ngoc managed to land the fish on light tackle and with a minuscule size 8 C10U hook set up for bream.


Around most of the inshore reef through the top end of the bay there has been stacks of pinkies, with plenty of size fish to around 2kg in the mix. Staff member Dylan has caught a few both on bait while chasing other fish and also on plastics from the shore over the past few weeks. Brighton, St Kilda and Mordialloc piers and the adjacent beaches have been providing fish to around 45cm on plastics when fished in the afternoons. Dylan has found 'weedless' jigs and buoyant plastics to be the most successful over the broken reef.

 

 


The peninsula has been the more consistent region for squid fishing recently with mixed clear and wet weather. The hot areas lately have been Rye, Blairgowrie and Flinders piers. Customer Jameel fished from Blairgowrie yacht squadron with his family and took home some ripper squid. The best performing jigs for Jameel were Yamashita Live and 490 search in UV and glow whites. The same bright whites have been very effective around Rye recently also.


On the other side of the peninsula customer Angelo has been catching squid and grass whiting from Flinders pier. Angelo took his father out to the pier and between them they manage some nice squid on size 3.0 Clicks and Yamashita jigs, with black and UV white, along with bright green being the standouts. Small pieces of prawn and trout worm fished on paternoster rigs around the pier pylons and kelp beds was the best method of catching the grass whiting.


The southern end of Port Phillip has been producing some fat condition winter whiting, with not many anglers making the most of them. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching awesome numbers of fish with customers from Rye to Portsea and across towards Queenscliff. Freshly caught squid cut into small strips has been dynamite, along with fresh mussel. A mixture of pellet berley with small amounts of crushed mussel has really helped keep the fish going also.

Customer Josh also fished the same areas last week for the whiting and did very well. Josh and mates found that the Sorrento area was best in around 8m of water, with some very nice fish caught. Josh found pipi and fresh squid to be the most effective baits, with squid strips 'wiggling' in the current on fine straight shank hooks dynamite.

 


Some clean weather has let anglers out for a break to catch some squid. The squid fishing hasn't been red hot but has been fairly consistent in both bays but the standout has been Port Phillip bay. Southern Port Phillip has been the go-to around Rye and Sorrento, but there have been good reports coming from Frankston and further south around Mornington. Customer Thao fished the Rye region recently with a mate and they found some nice squid for their efforts. Fishing the banks in 4m of water was the go, with multiple squid taken from single drifts. The killer jigs were the Hayabusa 'Aussie' specials in red whiting and black oil in size 3.0.


Customer Justin has also been making the most of the good quality squid about in southern Port Phillip. Justin has landed some nice squid to over 2kg from the Portsea - Rosebud region, with the bigger ones holding deeper in the fast tidal water. Justin has been fishing baited jigs in the shallows and 'tip run' deep jigs in the depths. Size 3.5 jigs in dark greens and purples have been good towards Portsea and UV white a standout back in the shallows off Rosebud.


Across Bass Strait customer Zach has been going hard on the squid. Zach has been fishing King Island from the rocks and piers and has been landing squid to around a kilo. Zach has been liking the white red head Shimano Sephia along with the Yakamito 'lemon' colour in size 3.0 and 3.5. The best time for Zach has been an hour or so around sunrise, with the light level change a real hot bite time.

 


Although the weather over the last week hasn't been very inviting for much fishing, let alone squid fishing, there have still been a fair few caught. The top end of Port Phillip was exceptionally clear before the rain and is now murkier than usual but a spell of good weather will have it cleared up and fishing better. From about Mornington south the bay has been better for squid, with some smaller ones still found around the pier and harbour. Staff member Don has caught some around the pier during breaks in the weather, with red foil jigs working well among cloudy and gloomy conditions.


As usual the southern end of Port Phillip bay has held the most consistent squid fishing. The area between Rye and Sorrento has been the best producing area, with a mixture of sizes from 15cm through to 40cm hoods. Customer Mark has been having some ripper sessions out from Rye recently, with most trips resulting in full bags of squid in an hour or so. Mark has been finding UV white and UV blue jigs the best performers recently.


Over in Westernport the squid action has been good, once you find some cleaner water and squid happy to hunt. Customer Jamie fished with a couple of mates during the week along the Eastern side of the port and found some solid squid. Jamie had been fishing the area between San Remo and Reef Island to land this bag of squid. Red foil jigs worked the best with the small amount of moonlight helping to reflect them to the squid.


Not far away customer Steve has still been catching some nice squid, even with the inclement weather. Steve found a pocket out of the average weather during the week and plucked a few decent squid, with his favourite gold/brown base jigs doing the damage. Customer Brendan also nailed a couple of monster squid while gummy fishing earlier in the week. Brendan was fishing around some scattered reef ledges and while waiting for a gummy to cruise by he caught a handful of good squid using the 'tip run' method. Tip run is especially suited to places like Westernport, as tip run jigs are designed to sink fast at the correct angle in deep water or current. If you haven't tried these style of jig then it's definitely something you're missing out on!

 


While the average weather hasn't been super motivating for many forms of fishing, it's probably the best time of year to focus on simple bread and butter species around the bay. The many species on offer for angler at the moment are bream, garfish, salmon, pinkies and flathead. The best part of fishing for these species is that most of it can be done from the shore, kayak or in close in the boat. The current amount of freshwater washed into the bay has dirtied the water up and although this makes the water look very uninviting, the fish can normally bite better.


The bayside rivers and creeks have had a real good flush out and this has fired the bream up a lot over the last few weeks. The Patterson and Maribyrnong rivers have been producing some nice bream as more food is flushed around for them, and they have decreased sensitivity due to murky water. Customer Robin fished the Patto just recently and found a few nice bream near the mouth. Robin landed fish to 38cm on scrubworms fished on small whiting 'flasher' style rigs in 90 minutes of fishing.


The same area around the mouth of the Patto has also been producing salmon as they move up and back along the Eastern side of the bay. While they sometimes don't hang about for long, if the conditions are good the fish shouldn't be far away. Onshore winds and dirty water lines are good signs, especially if there are any baitfish schools about. Mordialloc through to Frankston is the region to look around through, with bluebait and whitebait the best baits. For the lure anglers, slim profile stickbaits and metal 'angry baits' have been effective in long casts into the wind, while small minnow soft plastics have also been catching fish once a bit of scent is added. Youngster James has been enjoying the salmon on soft plastics and lures with dad Chris when they can find a break in the weather.

Once the weather backs off a bit the garfish will come back on the chew. The same areas mentioned for the salmon have also been producing some good size gars when the wind hasn't been too strong. Onshore winds of 10 knots or less are generally what to look for when chasing the gars, and make sure you have heavily weighted and buoyant floats like the strada sliding floats. These floats are able to carry lots of lead for casting weight but will stay upright and alert you of any small gar bites very well.


The top end of the bay has also been producing some nice flathead in the shallows. The region from Port Melbourne through to around Sandringham has been the most productive stretch, will Atona bay another good spot to try. Staff member Dylan caught a bucket load during the calm weather trolling hardbodied lures from 90 - 130mm in size, with the best depths being around 2.5 - 3.5m of water. The rougher weather has seen many caught in even closer with the breakwalls and piers producing fish to around 42cm most days. If you're going to target a feed of flatties, make sure you lure or bait has got plenty of natural attraction and scent. Baits of small squid or squid heads have lots of movement in the rough water and might even score you some pinkies also. Small 'flutter jigs' are excellent for casting good distance as are soft hybrid vibes. The best lure choices are ones that the fish can find the easiest in the murky water, and gel or aerosol scents will increase their effectiveness 5:1.