The nice Autumn weather that we have had recently had made for some pleasant bottom fishing for gummies, both in the bays and offshore. The autumn period sees some large females moving into the bays to lay their pups, and historically has been the best time of year to chase them. There has been plenty of fresh bait about to collect and use for the gummies, and the fishing will continue on through Winter, the only thing that may stop anglers is the weather!

Customer Steve has been making the most of the conditions and recently caught a lovely gummy from just outside the eastern entrance of Westernport. Steve normally collects fresh bait on his way out in the form of yakkas, salmon, pike and trevally and rarely misses on these tasty sharks once offshore.


It's fair to say that most anglers are aware that Gawaine Blake enjoys his gummy fishing. Gawaine has been doing his thing and catching some ripper gummies, both offshore and also inside the bays. Gawaine has found that the offshore fishing for gummies has been very consistent throughout the Winter months and is a viable option for anglers during the cooler months of the year when they make think about packing the boat away. With double and triple hookups on fish over 10kg in nice conditions, why would you want to put the boat away!

 

It seems squid fishing has been very popular over the last week, with people either catching them for quality baits or keeping them for a quality feed! Customer Tony fished out in Westernport recently for a mixed bag session but also did well on larger squid. Tony found that the killer jig for the day was a size 3.5 Yamashita in colour R35, which nailed most of his squid including some rippers well over 1kg.


Customer Ismail has been fishing with a few mates landbased around the bay as has been doing well on the squid. The guys have been concentrating around the Mordi - Black Rock area with good numbers of squid hitting the planks of the piers. The calm conditions have seen smaller jigs working best, with size 1.8's killing it at the moment. Most of the squid around this region tend to fish a bit better from Autumn into Winter so we should expect some good fishing yet still.


Customer Brendan has been doing well on the squid the past few weeks, but also managed some thumper cuttlefish. Over the last week there have been quite a few cuttlefish and octopus caught by anglers fishing deeper or over the thicker kelp beds in the southern areas of both bays. Brendan managed the big cuttlefish in 30m of water out from Flinders with heavily weighted jigs fished just above the reef and kelp. The most effective colour on these cuttlefish was a blue back/rainbow belly jig.


Another deepwater cephalopod capture this week was a great big octopus from customer Dennis. Dennis 'the menace' was fishing around the heavy kelp beds and reef around Portsea when his float rig went under. Fishing a normal bait, Dennis thought it was a fish of some sorts, but apon retrieval a great big octopus came up from the depths. After a few tense moments, the occy was in the boat and the story was revealed, a crab had tangled itself in the leader and the octopus grabbed it and hooked itself also!

 

While there haven't been too many reports posted on the kingfish front, there are still some numbers of good fish around. The rip is still holding fish, with some larger fish making their presence felt to anglers still out chasing them. The offshore fishing around Eden has been very good for the kingfish, and if conditions are similar to last year the fish could still hang around for another 6 weeks or so.


Gawaine Blake took a trip up to Eden over the Easter break in search of a few kingies, and he wasn't disappointed. Gawaine purchased a new Shimano Tranx 301 reel to try on these fish, and knocked them over with it easily. The Tranx is a 'low profile' style baitcaster but with serious grunt! Gawaine found most of the fish out along Mowarry Point and jigging was by far the most effective method on these fish, with some nice fish also caught on 2oz weighted soft plastics fished around the reef. Most of the fish that were caught were in the 10 - 13kg mark, which are excellent sized fish.

 

The offshore grounds have been producing fish for anglers making the most of breaks in the weather with kingfish still about along with the odd mako. In between there have been plenty of species to keep angler busy, and fed. Customer Cam fished out from the rip last week to land some nice school kingies on baits and jigs. Cam said that the boat traffic in the rip was crazy and the fishing was better outside, with boats able to find their own patches of fish. The kingfish should hang around locally for a little while yet, so don't be discouraged as the weather starts to get a bit cooler.


Customer Mark has been making the most of the quieter mid week water traffic, catching kingies like this in the rip and also offshore. Mark has been reefed by some much bigger fish but has also landed fish to 10kg. Fish like this one have been about average for him, with fresh squid and jigs both working. This fish took a 150g jig earlier in the morning.


Customer Brendan has been making the most of the offshore fishing recently, trying for a mako. While during his latest session no makos were seen or hooked, Brendan had plenty of fish to keep himself busy. While drifting for a shark with berley trail going, a good mixed bag was caught. Brendan managed to bag a nice eating size gummy, some tiger flathead, salmon, silver whiting, yakkas, slimies, couta and silver trevally. Some good eating fish and excellent baits for the next few sessions. Brendan was fishing offshore from Phillip Island, starting in around 60m.

 

It seems that some of the kingfish 'crowd' has died off somewhat with the weather over recent weeks, but make no mistake there are still heaps of kingies about. There are no real 'hot spots' but in saying that a little bit of local insight on gear and rigging can pay off. The Rip has been producing fish, along with most of the usual headlands and offshore reefs, and the average size of the fish around is really at present - with plenty of 7 - 11kg fish and a good spread of bigger 'hoodlums' up to 15 or so kg.


Friend of the shop and Victorian EJ Todds representative Mitch fished out from Welshpool just recent in a 'product testing' day trialing some new jig designs and it is fair to say that the jigs did the job. Multiple smokings and fish upward of 10kg along with flat seas made for an awesome session. One of the standouts of the day were 'slow fall' style jigs - and these normally get overlooked by kingfish anglers. The slow fall advantage really comes in to it's own when the fish are a bit unsure or not super aggressive. Slow fall style jigs 'flutter' their way to the bottom like an injured baitfish and spend more time in the strike zone to tempt otherwise uninterested fish. If you are unsure about this style of jig or interested in trying them on the local fish then talk to the guys in store, as there are some good options that are worth a look.

Customer Marty also had another good session on the local kingies, with fish to 8kg out from Phillip Island. Marty fished out around the eastern entrance and got these fish on a mixture of baits and lures, with slow fall jigs working well. The ever faithful squid and yakka baits also got a few fish too.


There have also been some serious salmon moving about amongst the kingfish school as well. Some of the fish have been as large as 4kg, which will have you calling them for a kingfish. The average sized fish have been around a kilo, and have been smashing smaller live baits along with stickbaits and plastics. Customer Frank got into these nice fish that were moving around the rip recently on small metal lures and stickbaits.

 

 


Port Phillip has really been providing a variety of fish for anglers recently. Pretty much every fish that one would want to catch in the bay can be caught right now. From pinkies, snapper, gars, salmon, kingfish, flathead and whiting the species choices are pretty widespread, it's just a matter of picking a fish and targeting it.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters reports of insane pinkie snapper action, with plenty of fish up to 2kg around the inshore reefs. During low light conditions these fish are going nuts, with multiple rods getting smashed on every bait that hits the water. The plastic fishing for these fish has been very good too, with all of the same areas like Black rock, Williamstown and Mornington all producing heaps of fish if you're fishing plastics.


Soft plastics in the 2 - 4'' size range have been the best of the pinkies, with 'stretchier' and tougher style plastics proving to be excellent value for money, with more than a dozen fish landed on a single plastic and no signs of damage. 'Bungee baits', Zman's and Squidgy 'Biotough' are all excellent options, just pick a natural and a bright colour to suit most conditions.


While fishing baits or scented plastics around the inshore reefs, fish like red mullet can be a common bycatch. Customers Ryan and Nick have been a heap amongst the pinkies, flathead and salmon along the eastern seaboard of the bay. Normally if you are over shallower heavy reef you will start catching the red mullet, and as you push deeper to where the reef steps down you will find less of these and more pinkie snapper.


There have also been some serious salmon in the bay for a while, with big schools spotted anywhere from Black Rock through to The Rip. Most of the fish have been around 1kg in size which makes them great fun on light spinning gear, or not bad on the table if they are looked after. Small metal lures up to 15g have been working well, along with tiny, whitebait imitation soft plastics. If you manage to get one of these lures to the bottom without a salmon intercepting it, there have been sand flathead to around 40cm keen on eating it.


Further north in the bay, there have been some decent bream mixed in with the schools of pinkies. While the pinkies have been much faster to get to the baits, the numbers of open water bream have been a surprise to a few anglers. The shallow sandflats around the top end of the bay have seen bream feeding around low light conditions where they have been taking baits and lures meant for flathead. This 43cm fish was caught by customer Michael, on a 4'' soft plastic aimed at a shallow water flathead at first light.

 


The local kingfish have been good! Maybe not so much in crazy crazy numbers, but in size there have been plenty of great fish about. Plenty of fish to 10kg on the local headlands like Cape Schank, Woolamai and Pyramid Rock. The rip has also been producing similar quality fish for anglers who are persistent and able to try different techniques. A mixture of options have been working lately, with stickbaits, jigs and baits all getting fish. Customer George fished with some mates over the weekend in the rip where some nice fish were landed. Live squid were the pick of the day, with a jig always present in the water to attract fish up from the depths, and occasionally hook one. Jig weights vary for this part of the world as the depth also does, but having a mixture between 100-200g will see you getting down to the fish.


If you want to pick up on all the 'small things' that will make you a more successful bluewater angler then make sure YOU BOOK in for Gawaine Blake's Local Kingfish and Tuna info night. THIS THURSDAY 8th Feb at 7pm. You must book through the store to secure numbers, which you can do on 03 9794 9397.


George with the best kingie for the day taken on a large live squid.

 


There has been some quality fishing out around the entrances to both bays and in Bass Strait over the last week or so. Reports of acres of Bluefin tuna hanging around, kingfish in good numbers off the headlands and reasonable shark fishing as well. While the tuna have been getting caught, most anglers aren't keeping their eyes peeled for signs that these fish are about. Water temperature and colour changes, seabirds hovering or shimmering 'slicks' of baitfish can be enough of an indication that the larger predators are around, so it's not just a matter of throwing a lure out and driving around until you hook up. Smaller lures have been working better than larger offerings lately as well, as most of the baitfish in the area are small pilchards and whitebait.


Customer Justin got outside over the weekend and went around towards Cape Schank where he managed 2 nice kingies. Justin caught one of the fish on a fresh squid head near the bottom and the other on a 'Slither' jig in 165g.

Customer Marty has been catching both tuna and kings down at King Island recently. Marty has found casting to be the most productive method on both fish, with soft plastics like 'sluggos' working well rigged on a jighead, and small surface stickbaits like the nomad 'madscad' also doing the job. Natural, baitfish colours are tricking the fish when conidtions are calm.


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There has been plenty of talk of bluefin tuna over the last week or so, which is good as most anglers only assume tuna season is May-June. Yes they are certainly about during late autumn and winter, but some of the best tuna fishing can be had right now no matter where you're fishing for them. While many anglers may find the thoughts of finding tuna locally quite daunting, there are normally fish around within reach of offshore anglers during the summer months. These fish can be very flighty however, and trolling straight through bait schools with big lures very rarely cuts it. A lot of these fish are feeding on schools of small whitebait and pilchards or similar sized prey, so scaling down your gear and lure choices is the way to go.


James Roger from Unreel Fishing Charters has spent some time last week down fishing around Portland where he has caught some nice bluefin tuna with his sons. The tuna have been around in small numbers along the west coast, with the inshore reefs and contours holding fish.

A fair bit closer to home the tuna have been making their presence felt, with a ripper bluefin caught by James' son Dylan amongst some nice kingies just earlier this week. This nice fish was caught on a small pilchard patterned stickbait on a 3000 sized stradic reel, and took nearly 2hrs to land! The best part was this fish was caught just out from Flinders, where a few fish have been hooked - even by locals fishing from the pier.

 

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!