While snapper are mostly on the cards for Westernport's angling community - the whiting fishing has been heating up over the past few weeks. While the whiting fishing isn't crazy hot for numbers of fish, the fish that are around have been excellent quality. The north arm has been fishing well for the whiting, with good bags of fish coming from the middle spit and around tortoise head, with a few more up the top around Warneet. Staff member Don fished on the whiting over the weekend with mate Sam and scored 18 fish. The guys fished the run out tide around Warneet and caught most of their fish on fresh squid.


The big squid have been worth a look for anglers fishing the southern end of the port again this week, with some proper spring monsters getting caught. Customer Justin fished the bottom end of the port around Newhaven and just offshore and caught some solid squid to around 2.5kg in water from 3 - 10m deep. Size 3.5 jigs in red foil and grass whiting green were the most productive. Cloudy light conditions helped the rainbow base in the grass whiting patterns reflect light and attract the squid.


Across the other side of the port customer Angelo has again been catching some nice squid from Flinders pier. Angelo fished the pier earlier during the week and did and afternoon session to land 2 nice squid up to 1kg. Angelo fished a couple of different jigs for his results, with Hayabusa 'red whiting' and Yakamito 'lemon' both being successful. Angelo noticed a few more anglers fishing size 2.5 jigs to no avail - with larger jigs getting the squids attention a lot easier here. Just be sure to select your sink rates correctly as jigs that sink too fast will simply snag up in the kelp with your first couple of casts. Standard or 'slow' sink rates are perfect for Flinders pier.

 


Whiting season is apon us! While not the norm for many at the time of year, the whiting fishing has been excellent for the past 5 weeks or so. At the moment there are plenty of whiting about to be caught, and while they are still a bit of work in the cooler water the quality has been excellent - whether you're fishing in Westernport or southern Port Phillip. If you think big squid grounds - think big whiting also. Customer Thomas has been fishing around the bottom end of the middle spit and Tortoise head for fish up to 41cm. The outgoing tide has been the most productive time for him.


The region around Tortoise head has been excellent for customer John. John has fished the area for the past few weeks and has consistently found good bags of fish, especially when fishing late in the afternoons. Many of John's fish have been either side of 40cm and have been taken on pipi and mussel.


Southern Port Phillip has been excellent for whiting also. The southern end from around Rye through to Portsea and Queenscliff has been the area to target. Fishing water from 2 - 7m has been where most of the bites have been coming from. Customer Josh has been catching some good bags of fish around Rye and again just wide of Portsea pier in about 6m. Pipi and fresh squid have been the baits of choice.

Customer Aaron also fished southern Port Phillip recently around the Sorrento area and further back to Blairgowrie and landed a good haul of fish. Pipi and mussel have been the better baits, with some better size fish coming through just on or after dark. Small amounts of berley have been a good way of turning a couple of fish into a solid bag. Small size whiting nuts have been excellent berley for whiting, mixed in with a small amount of mashed pilchard or fish oil to create a small slick. Just don't over-do the berley down here and schools of salmon and trevally will overrun your whiting school.

 


The bream fishing around the local haunts has been good, as is pretty consistent if you're heading out towards Gippsland. The local systems such as the Patto have been tricky as usual but there are some quality fish coming out. Customer Tony fished the canals earlier this week in search of some black bream and he was rewarded with fish to 41cm. Tony landed all of his fish on small live freshwater yabbies. The best method was to fish the yabbies pinned through the back of the shell on a snagproof 'wacky' hook. This method doesn't restrict the yabbies movement and also stops them from crawling around timber and rocks and getting stuck - but a crunch from a bream pops the snag guard off and the fish is hooked!


A bit further down on the Tambo customers Thao and Ange have both been getting into some bream land based. Thao has been fishing the lower river landbased and has landed fish to 38cm on yabbies, shrimp and small vibes. Ange has been using a finesse baitcater setup to cast small soft plastics around the edges and he has been landing plenty of fish to around 1kg on curl tail and creature patterned plastics. The numbers of fish active along the edges should only heat up over the next 5 weeks or so.


Customer Morgan has been out in the kayak getting amongst the bream in Gippsland also. Morgan has been catching fish in the mid 30cm size range on a few different lures, with slow twitched deep diving hardbodies one of the better methods. Small sinking stickbaits are excellent in the same scenario also, along with subtly hopped plastics, especially if they imitate small worms or shrimp.


In the same area customer Jordan and wife Hannah have been catching bream, tailor and flathead. With mainly flathead on the agenda for some fresh fish and chips, bigger lures were being used. Soft plastics in the 4 inch size were fished along the drop offs and resulted in some solid table sized fish. As soon as the shallow muddy bays were encountered the hardbodies came out.


Daiwa double clutch in 90mm were effective when slowly twitched through the mud, with duskies to around 55cm happy to eat the lures along with some large tailor. The tailor have been big in the Gippsland estuaries, with many fish getting close to 65cm and even bigger. At this size they are line burning fun, but if you're chasing them make sure sure bring more lures than you need!

 


The squid fishing again this week has been very good for anglers out there on both bays, especially down the southern end of these bays. This week again customer Angelo has done well from Flinders pier with mates. Angelo and mates have been catching some solid squid on both baited jigs under a float, and also artificial jigs under the same floats. If you fish a simple sliding spring float system you can chop and change between cast and static jigs by a simple pinch of a spring.


Silver whiting were responsible for the large squid from the pier, while the numbers of small squid were all taken on size 3.5 jigs in Haramitsu and Owner Draw 4 brands. In amongst the squid fishing there were good numbers of grass whiting taken on bait among the pier pylons. Fishing small pieces of prawn and scrubworm on a paternoster rig suspended just above the weedbeds is the best method of finding these fish. If they are reasonable size they make exceptional baits on for squid on the spike style jigs.


Not to be outdone customer Travis also fished Flinders with artificial jigs in size 3.5. Travis landed a couple of crackers around 45cm hood length. Not far from Flinders in deep waters of the entrance customer Steve has been landing some quality squid. Steve fishes offshore and regularly catches solid squid on large jigs. These squid grow large in the deep cold water and don't get fished for very much in these areas. Tip run style jigs are also very effective in the deeper water or heavier currents.


Jumping across to Port Phillip Bay and the southern end has been producing both numbers and size of squid. Customer Bashir has been fishing the Dromana area of the bay and has been doing best on size 3.5 Yamashita jigs. The better colours for this region have been the keimura or 'daytime UV'. Customer Josh has also been fishing the same areas between Dromana and Rosebud to land squid to around 1kg. Josh has been fishing the shallower banks and ledges into water around 5m and is finding the better squid in the same water. A multitude of colours from UV white through to natural whiting and wrasse colours have been the best in the region.


On the piers of the southern peninsula customer Kenny has been catching squid to around 1.5kg. Kenny has been fishing both Sorrento and Portsea piers for the best results, but has also caught some smaller squid from Blairgowrie at night. The squid from Blairgowrie have been more prolific but smaller in size, and have been liking aggressive colours and glow colours from Yamashita. Young gun Lewei has been nailing some nice squid from Sorrento pier recently too. Lewei has landed squid to 1.7kg during the day and has been using a few different jigs but his last couple of squid have come on size 3.0 gold foil jigs, especially with mixed cloud cover.

 


The annual snapper run is just about to kick along with warmer bay temperatures only a matter of weeks away. While Westernport has been producing a few more fish than Port Phillip that is generally the case earllier in the season. For those looking around in Port Phillip the areas to look are around Mornington or right up around Port Melbourne and Williamstown. Customer Will scored a lovely fish out wide from Mt Martha during the week. Will was cubing and fishing pilchards as bait and the big fish took a whole pillie on twin snelled 4/0's.


The top of Westernport has seen a bit more boat traffic due to the fact that the fish are 'on' a bit more. If you're fishing the 'finger' channels region or around Joe's Island you have a good shot at some lingering fish soaking up the warmth, while further around towards Hastings there has also been a few as well. Customer Chris fished Joe's last week and managed a few nice over a couple of sessions on the water. Chris has been making the most of the fresh bait in the area with couta, trevally and pike all making the baitboard and the snapper haven't rejected them.


The Hastings and Long Reef area has seen a few boats during the week with fish to around 6kg coming in. Customer Steve fished the area last week and landed a couple of nice fish to around 3kg with fresh squid being the most productive bait. Fishing the smaller tides along the reef here will normally see you land a few school fish, while moving up the banks and sitting shallower gives you a good shot at the larger fish.

 


While many anglers are starting to gear up and chase the snapper around the whiting fishing has been starting to pick up in both bays. There aren't as many anglers fishing for the whiting yet but the number is steadily growing each year, and especially during the 'off season'. While all the 'regular' areas are holding numbers of fish, the fish have seemed to be more concentrated in certain regions of the bays at the moment. Customer Aaron landed a nice bag of fish from the southern reaches of Port Phillip on pipi.


The southern end of the bay has been good for customer Josh also. Josh has been fishing the Rye/Rosebud area for the whiting and he has been having some good sessions lately. The water temperature around this part of the bay has remained a bit more consistent and has helped keep the fish on the chew. Josh has been fishing the shallow edges and has found pipi and freshly caught squid for the best results.


Westernport bay has also been fishing well for the whiting, in amongst the snapper fishing. The top end of the port hasn't quite started firing just yet but further south the fish have been on the chew. Fishing the middle spit and Tortoise head has been a very good place to start. Customer Thomas fished these two areas just recently to land a nice bag of fish in the dark, on the last of the run out tide. Mussel and pipi were the most successful baits.


The same area around Tortoise head has also been productive for customers John and VB. The guys have been fishing the inside of the head during the afternoons and have found that coinciding run out tides have been excellent. Using pipi and squid has been the go, especially when fished on number 4 circle hooks. Using a light amount of berley has been the key to getting the fish to fire up, especially a mixture of pilchard pieces and whiting nut pellets.

 


Estuary species have been fishing well over the past few weeks, with late winter rain really helping the fishing along. The main species being bream and mulloway throughout the Gippsland lakes and around the metro estuaries. The Gippsland rivers have been producing the bream throughout mainly the lower reaches as the salinity levels are more comfortable for the fish. Customer Peter was recently fishing from the shore of the lower Tambo with his wife where they landed some nice fish. Multiple bream up to 42cm were caught on sandworm and prawn.


Around the Melbourne metro rivers the bream have been found down a bit lower in the systems and semi schooled up in more open water. The lower Werribee river has seen a lot of the fish down in the lower river just up from the boat ramp, with crab and freshwater yabbies being the baits of choice. In the Patterson river the bream have been found towards the lower river and out into the mouth of the bay, and open waters of the river. Staff member Dylan has been fishing the river recently and finding good numbers of fish to around 41cm. The fish have been moving about and timid, but have been taking small crab and yabby pattern soft plastics on the open water mudflats and silt beds. There has also been the odd mulloways cruising the main river as well for anglers using heavier gear.


On the mulloway front, there have been fishing cruising the metro rivers and also in decent numbers in the western coastal estuaries. Staff member Dylan fished some of the western rivers with mates recently in search of the mulloway and after a lot of searching the fish were found. Among all the boats fishing nearby the fish were quite spooky and moving about a lot - but found with the use of side scan on the sounder.


All up 10 mulloway were landed, with the largest measuring around 90cm. The mulloway were hard to tempt and were only willing to eat a small selection of lures, with small heavily weighted vibes being the pick of the bunch - with a few picked up on soft plastic also. Subtle action in the lures was what the fish were after most, with light tail twitches on the plastics and soft lifts on the vibes getting the fishes' attention.

 


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.

 


This season's trout opener was a a ripper - especially if you were in the Eildon region. As many know, both Eildon pondage and the Goulburn river were stocked with a massive 7 tons of trout prior to the season's open. While it wasn't quite like shooting fish in a barrel many anglers managed to hook themselves a solid trout or two. Staff member Don and Dylan went up to the river to check out conditions and have a couple of casts in some quieter water they were rewarded with a nice rainbow of about 6lb. Heavier spoons were used to get down deep under the fast water where the fish were holding.


Customer Manny got out and hit the river opening weekend and while it was busy, he found some quieter water of his own and managed a smaller wild Goulburn brown on a paddle tailed soft plastic, along with a couple of solid rainbows up around 7lb. The larger rainbows preferred brighter coloured plastics, especially with the river quite coloured and dirty. Manny fished the 'pellet' style jigheads on his plastics and found they did the job.

Keen trout angler Anel also hit the river over the weekend and found that early morning Saturday was the best time. Anel focused more with hardbodied lures in the deeper runs around Thornton, and found that lures that got down a bit deeper were the go, like Double Clutch 90 and Shading-X. In the really deep pools sinking hardbodies were super effective, as they shimmied down to the fish. Colour patterns with a bit of flash to them or contrasting colours were the best at getting the fish to notice them in the dirty water.


Customer Cip also fished the Thornton section of the river, and managed to land rainbows to 8lb on a range of Megabass hardbodies. Among the successful lures were X80 Jr, Shading-X and X-70 lures - in a variety of colours. Cip simply picked the lure style to suit the river depth or current, as one lure is very limiting in a big river like the Goulburn.


Kosta from Hooked Up magazine also got out and scratched the trout itch on the Goulburn. Kosta had a look around the Thornton region and walked away from the crowds, and landed fish to around 7lb for his efforts. Kosta found small paddle tailed plastics were the most effective for him on the big fish.

If you're thinking of heading up to the region in search of a trout or two, check out this map for access points that best suit you, and come past the store to get the up to date info on river levels and what's working best.

 


Trout season opens up this weekend, with Saturday the first day of the 2019 season on the rivers, and there's going to be plenty of fish about for all! Victorian Fisheries have started stockings along the Goulburn River and Eildon pondage, with over 7 TONS of trout being released for anglers to catch. With this amount of fish going into the river it's an excellent chance for you to snag that trophy trout, which some are over 5kg - or get the kids hooked on fishing.

Some nice fish have already been caught from the pondage with customer John and his dad catching brown trout to around 4lb on a mixture of powerbait and dough.


Make sure you stop by the store on your way up to the region, as we've restocked MASSIVELY all things trout for the weekend! If you are heading up to the region over the weekend, and not sure of where to try your luck, click the following link to check out the map of where the 7 tons of trout have been stocked:  https://vfa.vic.gov.au/recreational-fishing/featured/goulburn-fishing-festival-event-schedule/biggest-ever-trout-opening-on-goulburn?fbclid=IwAR2wdXJr0CnPbsOlu0QoYRrS-uDUSJXOF7RyZcmegQOpnAD2bhUjoMkh3hk