The kingfish have been the flavour of the month for anglers fishing all around the state over the past few weeks, with fish being caught from one end of the state to the other. While searching for the kingfish isn't for everyone, picking the weather and heading out offshore will see you in with a good chance of a hoodlum. Customer Jason loves chasing kingfish and recently headed out from Port Welshpool to tackle with some heavy hitters around the island and rocky promontories. Jason fished with live baits and lures and found fish to around 13kg. Live slimey mackerel and squid were effective along with poppers and stickbaits in the 140mm size range.


EJ Todd Victorian Representative Mitch also got out amongst the kingies in a similar area over the weekend, with a heap of smaller fish around but some around 6kg making their way to the boat. Mitch found a variety of lures worked but the poppers like the Maria 'pop queen' were effective in drawing fish from larger packs.


Around the rip the kingies have been going well, although the area can be trickier for many to fish. Customer Steve fished brother Michael and mate Jason over the weekend to hook up to some good fish on a variety of methods. Live squid, squid strips and jigs all accounted for fish. Steve landed fish to around 9kg on smaller jigs which gave him a workout - with the other boys getting stitched up in the reef by some bigger fish.

 


The bluewater and offshore action has been good around Bass Strait locally and a bit further afield, with tuna and kingfish the main targets. The water temperature has risen over the past few weeks, and also the water hasn't been the 'cobalt blue' that many anglers prefer there have still been fish around in it. The West coast down around Portland has been been producing loads of 'rat' kingfish along the north shore reef and also out to the island, with some nice bluefin tuna mixed in as well. Customer Edly was down at Portland recently and managed a nice chunky tuna of around 25kg.


While there have been plenty of fish about, the warmer months bring lots of baitfish so they aren't a shoe-in. Small bluebait-like imitations have been the best, as this best represents the current food. Poppers and stickbaits up to 140mm have been the go on the kingfish, with the tuna responding even better to smaller offerings. There are a few small but heavy zinc stickbaits in store that have been deadly when cast to cruising fish.


Back around the bays the kingfish have made their presence felt lately, with most of the main rocky promontories and points holding fish, along with areas such as the rip. Around the entrance to Westernport some of the smaller fish have been so thick that they have been hitting smaller flasher rigs sent down for catching slimies and yakkas. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has caught a few smaller fish on the 'sabiki' rigs of late, with some larger fish to 85cm taking the live slimies. Customer Jason fished the rip during the week in search of a kingfish and managed fish to around 6kg. Tandem hook rigs with small live squid were the most effective when fished on a modified 'Westernport' rig.


While there has been kingfish caught offshore around areas like Cape Schank, out a bit wider some anglers have reports of bluefin tuna. Customers Justin and Mick ventured out on Monday to see what was happening, with some rat kingies caught in close on squid. Out a bit further the boys managed a solid tuna of around 20kg. Small lures have been the go at present, with clear water and small food making the fish harder to trick than winter models.

 


At present, the snapper bite has been good but has also had some inconsistency over the last week or so. As water temperatures heat up more in about 2 weeks the fish should go off the bite as they spawn. At the moment though they are still being caught. Customer Sylvio has caught fish to 5kg fishing in close from Black Rock. Pilchards have been the best bait for him.


Customers Robbie and Matej have been fishing out from Mornington recently. The guys have been fishing in the 16m area and have been catching snapper to around the 4kg mark. Fishing with multiple baits, the best bite for them has been between 7:30 and 9:00 am. Hard baits have been fishing better, with silver whiting the standout.


Again around the 16m line customer Aaron has landed snapper to 4kg. Aaron has been fishing the Frankston/Mt Eliza region and has been using freshly caught squid to land his fish.


The Frankston area has been fishing quite well over the past week or so, with good numbers of fish holding in water between 15 - 18m. Customer Steve recently caught a few nice fish to 4.5kg out towards 18m. Customer Paul fished 16m off Frankston to land some crackers to around 6.5kg on silver whiting and pilchard, with the morning tide change more productive than dawn.


Friend of the shop Bruce and mates fished the arvo whiting bite at Queenscliff. Some thumping whiting were caught, with the best baits being pipi and squid. The key for these bigger whiting has been to present bigger baits which works best on slightly bigger hooks like Shogun black baitholders in size 2, on a Paternoster style rig.

 


Previous to whiting fishing, Bruce headed just offshore from Queenscliff in search of a kingfish. Large numbers of school snapper have been around and plaguing baits, but there have been some small kingfish caught around the rubble grounds. Fresh squid has been the go if you can get through the snapper. Gawaine Blake also headed out in search of a kingfish around the heads, and he wasn't disappointed with a couple of lovely fish landed. The time has come!


 

The Spring squid fishing has been good with some excellent sized squid about. While Westernport has been producing it's usual large squid, Port Phillip has been even better. The northern end of the bay has been a bit quieter than usual but with less anglers fishing the area it's no surprise. The southern Mornington Peninsula has been the go, with Rye onwards to the heads producing excellent squid.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching some very nice squid in between snapper trips lately, with most of his squid coming from the Mt Martha area. James has been finding solid white jigs to be productive during bright sunny conditions. Staff member Dylan also caught some smaller squid around the Mornington area over the weekend, with bright orange jigs working the best in around 3m of water.


Around the southern end of the bay, customers Benny and Christian have been catching some good squid. The boys have been working the Portsea - Queenscliff area and have found the better squid in the deeper water. Using 'tiprun' style jigs the boys have been able to get down fast and deep to the larger squid, with purple cloth killing it down deep. Tip run style jigs are designed to be held down in depth and current and respond to the slightest movement which helps lure the big squid to them.


Reports of big squid would be incomplete with mentioning Flinders. The pier has seen some nice squid hitting the planks over the last few weeks. With some of the big spawning models coming inshore to breed in Spring, Flinders is always a good chance for a true monster. While not super consistent with wind and swell taking affect, this time of year you have got a real shot. Fishing big jigs like 3.5 or even size 4.0 you are getting the attention of the biggest squid.

Having a baited jig out under a float is also a good way to increase your chances. Silver whiting or grass whiting are excellent bait for the big squid, but tommy rough and salmon are also good. Customer Tuan has been landing some proper squid on the baited jigs of late, with some of them hitting the 50cm mark!

 

 

 


There have been quality squid around for anglers in search of them. Spring is traditionally known as a good time for big squid, as they come into the shallows to spawn. Both bays have good numbers of squid moving around to spawn and as with squid fishing, moving about to find the numbers is part of the game. Staff member Dylan noticed big numbers of 'paired' squid up around Black Rock, with many well over a kilo - and no one fishing for them. With no jigs on board things were always going to be tricky, but they are there to be caught! 


Customer Carlo fished out around Queenscliff to land some nice half kilo models on the shallow grass beds. Natural coloured jigs and UV whites were the most consistent on the day.Customer Ryan has also been catching some nice squid in a few areas. Ryan has found the Rye/Sorrento area has been good for numbers but the better sized models have been coming from Portsea - Queenscliff in the deeper water. To fish this deeper water effectively, 'deep' sinking jigs must be used, or the addition of a nose or chin weight to get the jig down in the current.


Customer Josh fished with mates out around Queenscliff recently and scored a good bag of squid. The clear and calm conditions were ideal for squid fishing with size 3.0 Hayabusa V3 jigs doing the best. Bright colours with inbuilt abalone flash were excellent at getting the attention of the squid in the clear water.

HOT SPOT: Flinders has always been the 'big squid' location but with ocean and southern port temperatures still cool now is the time to search for that big one. Fishing from the pier you want size 3.5 standard sink rate jigs, and 3.5 deep models if in the boat or kayak. Constantly changing colours and patterns and keeping an eye out for large numbers of bait is a good way to increase your odds with many anglers around.

 


The Australian salmon have turned up this autumn and were quite prevalent throughout the rip and lower end of the bay over early autumn, but are now making their presence felt around the rest of the bay. Good schools of fish have been moving about and can be found around most prominent points and estuary mouths, especially during some rougher onshore winds and rain. The eastern side of the bay has seen good numbers of fish around Frankston and Mornington piers and Mt Martha rocks during westerly winds, with the average fish varying from just under a kilo to about 1.5kg.

Frogleys Offshore representative Gerry has been catching some big fat salmon down around the southern end of the bay, with larger fish to 3kg having no problems inhaling 100mm stickbaits, plastics and hardbodies. The larger fish seem to stay down the bottom end of the bay and if you're lucky they have been turning up around Blairgowrie and Portsea during the flood tide.


The salmon pier along the local piers has seemed to be more consistent around first and last light, so if you're at one of your local piers during these times, it's worth having something rigged up and ready to go. During high winds and rough water metal slugs and slow jigs have been good, but without hardware alterations you stand the chance at losing fish. Calmer conditions call for small subtle soft plastics so it pays to keep both on you.

Staff member Dylan has been catching fish to around a kilo from Morinington and Mordialloc piers, and along the rivermouth at Patterson river. During rougher conditions metal lures like the Yakamito 'angry baits' have been excellent, with small but strong assist hooks fitted to prevent shake offs. So far Dylan has not lost a single fish, so with the assist hook set up hook up rate is the very best it can be at 100%.


The beaches both locally and further afield have been producing good numbers and size salmon also. The producers at the moment have mainly been down the east coast with Gunnamatta, Kilcunda, Venus Bay and further around Lakes Entrance the pick. Customers Mark and Darren fished Venus Bay beach no.1 last week to land a swag of fish with some pushing 2kg. The boys found that once the berley got the school in they went off, with the fish biting like crazy right into the night on whole pillies.

 


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.