While most people assume that shore based fishing isn't any good around the bays, there's been a lot of variety caught at the moment. There are many piers, rockwalls and beaches around both bays where you can catch some fish - the trick is to try and target a particular species. While this can sometimes be fruitless (that's why it's called fishing and not catching) you will generally do better if you set yourself up in search of a particular fish, instead of setting up for everything and most likely not catching much.


Around most of the piers in southern Port Phillip and Westernport there have been good numbers of yakkas. While they turn up and disappear pretty quickly, they should hang around for a while now as the reports have only recently hotted up. Portsea, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Flinders are all worth a shot. Customer Angelo fished from Flinders pier during the week and while the squid were quiet for him, the mackerel made up for it. Small pieces of prawn fished on light gauge hooks off a paternoster rig were the go for him. Many anglers have also been catching good numbers of mackerel fishing under a float, as they tend to move about mid-water a lot. A fine grit, coarse-like berley mix is deadly when these fish are around, as it will keep the school actively feeding in your area. They can also be caught using small soft plastics fished on light weight and fine gauge jigheads.


While not normally known for whiting, fished from the shores of Port Phillip can produce some nice fish. Staff member Dylan has seen some good sized fish around Brighton and Black Rock during the week while swimming - with no one fishing for them. Fishing after dark around the top of the tide can be the most productive time, especially after a warm day. Customer Ange fished from the shore around Sandringham during the week where he caught some nice fish. Ange also found a patch of smaller pinkies, which came from a nearby reef to hammer his baits.

If you are chasing the whiting, try and target areas of sand with small patches of eelgrass or light reef nearby, and cast your baits around the edge of this structure, as the whiting will frequently patrol the edges looking for food. If it's pinkies your after, areas of heavier reef with broken sand patches are more productive, especially around last light. There are plenty of areas like around Brighton, Black Rock, Frankston and Mornington.


On the squid scene, things have been good. The warm afternoons have been good for squidding from the beaches and rocks, with Blairgowrie, Mornington and Mt Martha all producing. Customer Harry got out and fished from the beaches around Mt Martha and Mt Eliza, where he caught 8 nice squid using the Yakamito 'fluoro lemon' jig.


Around the same sort of ground off Mt Martha, customer Daniels and Jake fished in close to the shore in their kayak. A nice calm 5:30am start meant they caught prospect around the shallows without much chop and boat wake. The guys ended up with 9 squid in a few hours, on a variety of jigs in both size 2.5 and 3.0. Orange, green and purple colours worked on the day. Staff member Dylan fished in a similar area during the week to land 9 squid on size 2.5 Yamashita and Shimano jigs, with UV based blacks and pinks the standouts.

 

With the weather heating up and a warm front staying over us, the kingfish action has been good and should stay good. Most of the action has been in 'the rip' but there have also been fish caught offshore along most of the promontories. Livebaiting and jigging have been the standout methods, but tackle prep has been key. A lot of anglers aren't arming themselves with enough jigs, as quite a lot get snagged around the the rip. Make sure you have a good selection of weights and drop actions, along with enough assist hooks to re-rig if need be.


Customer Damien was out during the week around the rip where there were a lot of boats but a lot of people drifting off the fish. Damien managed to land this nice fish on a squid hood fished down deep after getting smoked a couple of times of his lighter jigging outfit.


Customer Sinisa came into the store to stock up on jigs and kingie essentials, and his first trip out afterwards resulted in this nice fish. Sinisa grabbed a few different colours in the 'slither' jigs in 165g and 210g and we rigged them up with the BKK ultraflash assist hooks, and they did the job!

 


If you're not out chasing kingfish or they haven't been kind to you, the southern part of the bay has been producing some nice flathead, whiting and gummies.The good thing is that all of these species can be caught in fairly close proximity, with the flathead and whiting along the shallow banks and weed patches, and the gummies along the channel edges. Customer Yianni Damanakis landed this thuper flathead out from Portsea on pilly, and lost a similar size one at the boat also. There are some serious flathead in the southern parts of the bay!


The whiting have been patchy through southern PPB, but there are plenty around if you really target them and move about to find the active schools. Dromana through to Blairgowrie has been best in 3 - 7m of water out from the ledges and moorings. If you move too deep you will find yourself pestered by undersized pinkies, which will quickly decimate your bait supply. Fresh squid, pipi and mussle has been the go for the whiting. 


If all else fails or you want to get away from the jetskis which are prevalent throughout the shallows at this time of year, move out towards south channel or one of the adjacent smaller channels or gutters and you could find yourself tangling with some serious gummies. Fish to 20kg aren't uncommon throughout this area, and fresh fish baits such as salmon, trevally or mackerel will normally see you lure one in. Customer Chris has caught some nice eating size fish recently fishing the south channel with salmon out as bait.

 


While normally slipping under the radar amongst all the other fishing to be done over the summer months, there have been some ripper gars about. While a lot of anglers overlook them as a target, the beauty of them is they can be caught land based or boat. Most of the shallow inshore areas of both bays and all of our other estuaries will hold gars, it's just a matter of getting numbers of them to hang around. A bit of berley normally gets them going and they are a brilliant eating fish to add to the day's bag.

Pier fishing for gars in the bay has been good around Brighton, Sandringham, Beaumaris, Frankston and Dromana, along with Stony point pier in Westernport. Gawaine Blake has been catching some real gars around Stony Point while out near the whiting grounds.


Don't be fooled, gars CAN be very tricky to catch consistently and the correct tackle and technique will soon separate the full buckets from the empty ones. Delicately balanced and weighted floats with mid length shank hooks are some of the tackle 'must-haves' but matching hook to bait selection and the correct consistency berley mixture is also vital. 


Customer Tim has been getting some good gars from Frankston pier recently. Tim used both maggots and silverfish in conjunction with his berley mix to secure a bag.


 

Kingfish are the talk of many anglers at the moment, and if you were wondering if it was the right time to be out chasing them then YES! While the kingies have been about for the last 8 weeks or so, the numbers of fish around at the moment are good, and there have been some good fish amongst them. Many or most anglers have been fishing the 'Rip' area in search of them, but local reports have been coming from Barwon Heads, Cape Schank, West Head and across to Cape Woolamai - with fish moving about inside both bays as well. There have also been scattered reports of bluefin tuna out in the same areas too, so it pays to keep your eyes peeled.

Customers Adam and Johnny fished the rip during the week to land some really nice fish. Jigs are squid were the go, with the larger fish taking a squid hook fished 'westernport syle' in the fast current. Twin livebait style hooks pinned in your squid have been good, but a single circle hook through the top of the hood also works well. If you're not super confident with the rigs or rigging involved chat to the boys in store and they will show you how it's done.


Customer Damien and the rest of the crew got out in the rip over the weekend and also got into some kings. The smaller fish took strips and whole baited squid, with a few better fish 'reefed' on the jig. The more productive jigs have been the Yakamito slither in 165g and 210g, with the BKK ultraflash assist hooks.

 

Amongst the holiday crowds, the piers dotted along the Mornington Peninsula have been producing squid for anglers fishing the correct methods. Depending on which pier you are fishing, this could be a size 3.0 fast sinking jig or a tiny slow sinking 1.8 in a natural baitfish pattern. Customer Dario has been catching some good numbers of squid from Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron, with sunset being the prime time. The most effective jigs for Dario lately have been size 2.5 Yamashita Live in natural pilchard and mackerel patterns (colours NAJK and NUMG).


Customer Rolly fished from Mornington pier during the week to land a few 'Mornington' sized squid. While the squid here and generally on the smaller side, there are good numbers that hang around the piers all night, to get your bag it's just a matter of changing jig colour and fall speed to see what pricks their interest. Adding specialized squid scents like 'Egimax' and 'Glowmax' can also change a timid look into much more interest.

 

 

There have been some nice squid of offer if you're able to find a break in the average winter weather we've had recently. Both bays have been fishing well for the calamari, the only real factors worth keeping an eye on are the wind and rain. Once the banks and shallows become stirred up and slightly cloudy the squid can be a bit of a struggle, but as soon as these areas clean up they will be back on the chew. Customer Justin got a few nice ones out in Westernport just recently, with the 'nemo' coloured jigs working the best up on the shallow banks. The area around Hastings produced the goods for him. 


Port Phillip has seen it's share of nice squid as well, from the top end around Brighton right the way down to Portsea. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been getting some large squid around Sorrento and Portsea with many over 1kg. Small but fast sinking jigs have been doing well when fished during the faster stages of the tide. Staff member Dylan fished out from Mornington during the last calm spell in search on some squid using fly gear. Armed with just one fly outfit and a handful of flies that he tied up, he found small patches of squid along the rocky drop offs just out from the shoreline. While there were no monsters caught or bag limit quantities, catching them on fly tackle proved to be a fair bit of fun in itself.

 


Squid reports for landbased anglers have been fairly good recently. The Mornington Peninsula has been producing squid from most of the usual spots with the pier itself at Mornington producing smaller size squid. Size 1.8 - 2.5 jigs are the only way to go here as the squid are small and so are the baitfish that they eat. Staff member George stopped by the pier during the week for some fresh whiting baits and he quickly caught 6 before he had lines being cast over his head. George found a size 2.0 mackerel pattern worked for him.

Over in Westernport the squid have been going well from Flinders pier. The pier has been producing good average size squid, with plenty around 1.5kg. Most of the squid reports from the pier have been from during the day, with the odd one being caught at night. Size 3.5 slow sinking jigs are always preferred when fishing over the heavy kelp beds here.


Customer Tony has been catching plenty from the pier using one of his favourite Yakamito size 3.5 jigs, in the Aussie Green & Gold colour. Tony has been finding that early morning sessions have been the most productive time for him here.

 

 


Squid reports from both bays have been fairly consistent over the last few weeks at least, and they have been especially prominent during spells of more stable weather. With snapper season lurking, many anglers have turned their attention to bait collecting, and the humble squid is one of the best for this purpose. Many anglers have been doing well on the squid along the banks in Westernport, with the usual Tyabb/Quail areas producing a few once they have been located. Darker coloured jigs seem to be the best for these areas, as they can sometimes dirty up fairly quickly.


Customer Jamie and his brother-in-law fished out along his normal areas of the North arm in search of some squid recently, where they ended up getting into a few nice sized ones. A mixture of baited and artificial jigs were the go when fished in around 3m of water. Down towards Flinders, there have been some crackers getting caught - but typically for this area not in really good numbers. Some of the squid getting caught have however been in the 2 - 3kg mark. Most of these larger squid will be spawning around the kelpbeds in the area and caught be caught by working size 3.5 and 4.0 fast sinking jigs.  

Squid reports from Port Phillip Bay have been good, with the most consistent areas being Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea. Further back up around Mornington there have also been a few caught by boat and kayak fisherman, with the area around Fisherman's Beach being one of the better locations recently. Size 3.0 jigs in red and silver foils are a good starting point in this area, as most of the ideal water is from 2 - 5m deep.


Customer Daniel tried his luck on the squid down near Blairgowrie after some advice in store regarding jig selection and outfit choice, and he was rapt in connecting to some nice squid from the breakwall. The 'Raspberry' coloured Yakamito jigs were dynamite for him in this area.   

 

 

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.