Whiting reports from Westernport this week have been a bit patchy, with quite a few anglers talking of hard fishing and sparse action. Many anglers who have been going out and 'staying put' in known areas have been struggling a bit, but the guys constantly moving about and trying different things are getting some nice fish. Fishing deep has been productive for anglers recently, with less fish coming aboard but much better quality in the fish that are. Just make sure you have suitable 'deep water' whiting rods, as many standard 'bank' whiting rods will be overloaded with the extra weight needed in the deeper water.

Customer Steve fished out from Warneet earlier this week and while the reports were grim, Steve and his mate managed 10 whiting between them - with only 2 fish measuring under 40cm. The boys worked hard and found the better fish a bit deeper in the 10m area, with the run out tide providing the action, and baits of pipi and mussel fishing the best for them.


Staff member Don fished around the top end as well over the weekend where him and mate Sam caught 17 fish. Fishing in around 5m of water, the bite started going as the run out tide started gaining momentum and the fish wouldn't look past a small pipi fished on a size 6 'worm. hook.

 

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.

 


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.


 

Well the story the past week on the whiting front from MOST people is that they have been fairly slow. The consistent reports of inconsistent fishing have been the word, but this should improve over the next week as we pass the moon. There have been anglers putting together bags of fish from their normal marks but the standout seems to have been the larger fish coming from the deeper water around the smaller tides. The quality of the fish coming from the deeper is generally always much better, and the bonus can come in the form of snapper and gummies, as most of the reports show.

Gawaine Blake has been getting some ripper whiting from the deep water around Cowes during the week, with genuine 50cm fish hitting the deck. The first hour of run in tide has been the most productive time, with squid strips the deadly bait.


Customers Zoran and Tony have been putting together numbers of whiting, in amongst pinkies, trevally, flathead and gummies by fishing deeper water. Generally you can get away with slightly larger hook and bait sizes in the deeper water as the whiting have less time to worry about picking at the baits as there are bigger mouths lurking around.

Customer Bart has been fishing up around Hastings for the whiting and has done ok considering the slower fishing. Bart has been working his way along the middle spit and tyabb banks to catch some nice whiting on pipi, with good numbers of squid coming from the same areas, following hooked whiting up to the boat. A fresh squid tentacle or strip has also helped bag the odd whiting too.

 

 


Westernport bay has been producing snapper this week for anglers. The fish have moved about a bit as the water temperature in the port shifts but there are still good numbers to be caught. The main areas to concentrate on have been from Stony Point through to around Rhyll with the deeper water holding good schools of fish. Customer Kevin went out and did a solo trip during the week to land fish to 3.2kg close to buoy 13 around the bottom of the tide. Squid heads were the most productive bait for him.


James Rogers from Unreel Fishing Charters has been taking customer out onto Westerport during the week in search of some of the more active snapper. James has been finding similar areas to be more productive, with the deeper water from Stony Point and Tortoise Head through to Silverleaves/Rhyll the go at the moment. Fresh squid has been hard to beat, but the deeper water off Rhyll has been doing quite well with silver whiting and pilchard also.

It is worth putting a bait down on a 9/0 or similar circle hook and 100lb leader at the moment as well, as there have been a number of school shark and smaller bronze whalers hooked in the area.

 


Flinders has been the go for squid lately, with plenty of anglers having success both boat and pier based. With cold oceanic swell constantly coming into Flinders bight, the large squid are generally always about. Customer Evan got a nice squid from the pier just recently using a Yamshita Egi Oh K jig.


Customer Steve has also been getting some cracker squid from the area. Steve has been fishing a few different jigs, with the size 4.0 Clicks 'black opal' having good success. The darker coloured jigs can imitate small shrimp and wrasse around the thick kelpbeds here so it is a good idea to always carry a couple of darker colours in case your regulars aren't working.

Steve Rabel has also been getting some nice squid earlier this week. Fishing the run in tide, and using again a dark/black jig from Gancraft Steve has caught some rippers from the pier. 

 


The King George whiting have been receiving more attention over the past month or so as many anglers put away their heavier gear and go in search of these tasty and hard fighting estuary dwelling fish. While Port Phillip has been producing fish also, Westernport bay certainly holds the trophy for being the better whiting fishery. Most of the normal haunts have been producing fish, from the top end banks and channels right through to the back beaches and exposed ocean swell points.

Many anglers are pleased with the size of the whiting coming in, with many fish over 40cm a reasonably common occurrence at the moment. There have been some bigger fish above 45cm taken from the deep channel marks also, so there are plenty of areas worth targeting at the moment.

Customer Torpy got out on the whiting during the week north of Corinella where he landed fish to 47cm in length. Run out tide over a sou'westerly wind made for hard conditions but the fish bit well. Pipi and banana prawns were the best baits. 

Staff member Don fished with mate Sam earlier in the week out from Blind Bight to land fish into the low 40cm mark amongst leatherjacket, yakkas and flathead. The run out tide fished best for them along the middle spit with pipi/squid cocktail baits along with cuttlefish doing the job.

 


A lot of anglers have turned their attention from the snapper across to King George whiting over the last few weeks. Generally the snapper will slow off around Xmas as they spawn, so these tasty (and slimy) spotted speedsters will give plenty of action over the break. The bulk of the anglers chasing them have been fishing Westernport Bay's vast channels and banks.

Frogleys representative Gerry fished with Gawaine Blake around the middle spit during a finicky nighttime bite recently to land a bag of fish on pipi. Subtle moves and bait maintainence were the key to staying with the fish.

Customer Damien had a quick session around the southern end of the middle spit and Tortoise head to land a nice bag of fish to 41cm on 'whiting wizard' style flasher rigs baited with pipi and fresh squid, with the runout tide providing most of the fish.

 


The snapper in Westernport Bay have moved about a bit and while the Corinella area has been quiet, reports coming from Stony Point through to the Corals have been good. The water temperature in this section of the port has become optimum for the snapper and they have been found in some larger schools.


Greg from Better Than Working charters has been having fun with clients out around the Corals area during the week. Most of the fish have been in the 3 - 5kg size range, and normally in good sized schools at this size. Full pilchard has been good in this area, with not as much tide to worry about over the large shallow mudflats and reef. 


Customer Daniel recently purchased a new Westernport snapper outfit and he has been out sorting out the snapper on it. Daniel has been pulling fish to 6kg fishing out from Stony Point using pilchard, squid and yakka. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been finding some nice fish in Westernport for his customers, with the deeper water around Rhyll holding good numbers of fish. Cut pilchards and cubes have been accounting for plenty of fish in the 2 - 4kg range in 17m of water. This area around Rhyll should fish well right through Christmas for this size fish.

 

Rain, hail or shine you can always try for a gummy! Unlike some other fish, gummies will hunt in murky tidal water with muddy rainwater mixed in. The gummy sharks' sense of smell is super sensitive also, so don't worry about how dirty the water is - a gummy will be able to find your bait, especially if it nice and oily. While most anglers have been wrapped up in snapper or whiting fishing of late, there have been plenty of nice table sized gummies to catch, especially in westernport.

Customer Barry was out earlier this week where had some mixed bag fishing, including this nice table sized fish from around the southern side of French Island. Fresh yakka and squid were the better baits in the milky water. Customer Daniel fished a bit further out around the Western Entrance in 30m where he landed a lovely eating size gummy on fresh salmon.