Western Port's snapper fishing continues to provide some excitement for anglers around Melbourne, as the fish have stayed more consistent than that of PPB this season. There are snapper now in just about all pockets of the port, and you can target the fish without having to sit next to 500 other boats. Young gun Ashie Damelio is pretty excited with the nice fish he caught with dad Steve out towards Sandy Point recently.


Customers Graeme and Mick have been getting into heaps of big pinkies and school sized snapper both from the Corals and also further up the bay in the Lysaughts area. Both squid and pilchard have been the best baits, between either baits separate or mixing up both known as the 'squidbomb' and 'superchunk'. If you haven't seen or used these baits ask us in store how you can rig them up.


Towards the Eastern arm customer Justin has been landing some solid fish, with his best going just over 9kg or the magic 20lb mark. Just has been fishing chunk baits of freshly caught yakka, couta and pike to land the bigger fish.


In the same region over towards Ryhll customer Tony has been fishing with mates Shar and Troy. The boys have landed nice snapper to 6kg in 17m of water, with fresh squid and pike doing well. Strip baits have been more effective in the faster current, with chunks and rings providing more movement and attraction when the tides have either slowed or been smaller.

 


Some anglers are wasting no time with the 2019/2020 Murray cod season! While some are only just getting started anglers like Steve and Ryan have upped the bar already. Steve and Ryan fished the Delatite arm up on Lake Eildon over the weekend and landed a couple of cod up to 97cm. The successful bait were large yabbies fished unweighted on 6/0 hooks and 50lb leader. a couple of snagged fish and missed hookups were had also but to land a couple of crackers is the icing on the cake.


Up on lake Mulwala the crowds were quite busy with the Cod Classic attracting around 3000 keen anglers, but customer Vito managed to get away from the crowds and get a few fish. Vito fished both the river and the lake and landed fish to 70cm on a mixture of lures, with heavy spinnerbaits getting most of the fish around the timber.


Customers Andy and Zoe were also on the lake during the classic and managed a short session away from the traffic. During their quick fish only one fish was landed, with Zoe taking the cake on a nice 70cm caught casting a deep diving crankbait around the timber, on her second cast.

 


Well it's mid December and while many anglers are still trying to make the most of the snapper season that has been a bit sporadic, others have been giving the whiting a real hit in the port. The port has been producing some quality whiting fishing in all corners. Customer Steve fished in his annual whiting comp out from Corinella over the weekend and was out done by grandson William with his best fish weighing 887g, with Steve's best weighing 800g.


Plenty of quality fish were caught out from Corinella in the muddy water with 16 fish all measuring 42cm or bigger. Fresh squid fished in small strips and tipped with pipi or a small piece of prawn is excellent in discoloured water for these larger fish. The only negative to fishing in this terrain is that small gummy sharks can scatter the fish and take your baits on light gear.


Over on the other side of the port customer Edly has been doing well on the whiting out along the middle spit. Edly has been moving about but has been finding most of the fish in the 4 - 5m depth, and has been finding that the start of the run out tide has been the most productive for him. Fishing baits of pipi and mussel along with fresh squid has been the best, with the mussel and pipi getting the most bites but the squid taking the larger fish as the tide starts to pick up. Some pinkies and flathead have also been getting in on the act on the same baits when the whiting bite thins out.


Customer Travis and son Jax have also been catching some solid whiting out from Hastings. Many of the whiting have been around the 40cm mark and are prolific from the shallow banks in 30cm of water on the top of the tides, right through to water deeper than that of many snapper grounds. Knowing which tides to fish each area has been the key to locating the fish, and constant small bait and location movements has been the fine tuning needed to secure a good bag of fish.


Speaking of the deeper water, customer Tony has been successfully catching some nice whiting in water over 20m deep. Tony was in the store during the week picking up a slightly heavier rod for targeting the whiting in deeper water, and landed a dozen or so in his first session using it. Tony has been catching some super solid whiting in 21m of water while waiting for the snapper bite to liven up. Fishing baits of squid slivers and also pilchard fillet in this depth has seen chunky whiting to 45cm come into the bite in between snapper runs.

 

Murray cod season is back up and running around the state, with all rivers and lakes open to fishing again. While there hasn't been much in the way of early Summer weather to get the river activity running, there have still been some keen anglers out making the most of things. Many have been up on the Murray casting away looking for that trophy fish, while customer Jason took a more laid-back approach on the river around Mathoura. Jason was fishing with some mates and landed 3 cod up to 73cm bait fishing with bardi grubs. Just remember to check them every so often as will hollow out easily, with many anglers filling the grub with a gel scent to increase their effectiveness.


Closer to home customer Izzy kicked off her cod season straight away. Izzy headed down to her local section of the Yarra river and managed to land her first nice cod for the season. If you're going to fish the Yarra there is quite a lot of river to target, and much of it is deep. Concentrating around the heads of pools and around eddies formed by rock bars and timbered banks is a good place to start whether you're lure casting or bait fishing. Bait fishing the slower water with large yabbies is a good way to get the attention of a fish, especially while keeping your bait in clearer water and not snagged up.

 


Westernport's whiting fishing has been excellent recently, with the fish going from strength to strength. The average size of the fish is very good at present but will drop off with more small school fish into the start of Summer. There have been some exceptional fish caught down the bottom end of the port around the deeper sand holes and section of reef out from Somers and Shoreham, but there have also been good numbers of solid fish up the top of the port.


Customer Nigel has been catching good numbers of fish from the edges of the middle spit lately, with most falling to mussel. Staff member Don has also been catching whiting from the spit, along with the Gentle Annie and Warneet channels. Fish to 42cm have been taken on both pipi and softened squid cut into small worm like strips. water depths have varied as the fish move on and off the banks but the out going tide has been when the fish have been more active.


Customers from the Keysborough Angling Club have been doing well on the whiting on Westernport of late also. Customers Norm and Dave have been fishing out from Hastings and Stony Point and most of their fish have come from around the middle spit. Both pipi and squid have been the best baits, with 'snapper magnet' berley pellets doing a good job at keeping the fish nearby. Pilchard oil mixed in has attracted plenty of whiting and other bait species like yakkas and trevally, especially when the tide has starting waining.

 


Eildon has been fishing well over the long weekend for anglers in search of a few different species. The main lake has been fishing well for yellowbelly from around the Frasers region north. Most anglers have been catching the yellas on live yabbies and lures. Small vibe style lures and plastics have been worth packing. The cod fishing in the lake has also still been excellent in all parts of the lake. A few larger cod have been caught up in the northern end of the lake around the entrance to the Deletite arm. Customer John fished the lake further south around the Jews creek arm and inlets and landed a nice cod on lure. John's cod measured 66cm and fought hard.


The pondage and tailrace of the Goulburn river has also been fishing well for trout. The pondage has been fishing well for large trout to 4kg on specialist trout dough and 'captain america' powerbait. The Goulburn river around Taggerty has been excellent for trout with lower levels. Customers Dennis and Fredi have both fished the river in this region and have caught some solid trout. Both of these guys have been catching their fish on hardbodied lures, with mid-range divers being the most effective. Flashy gold, red and smelt patterns have been the colours that have worked best when worked very erratically with quick pauses.

 


The action in the estuaries out in gippsland is starting to warm up as the weather does. The warmth in the water has increased the activity level of the larger flathead and bream, and with this they have been on the prowl. The estuaries of lake tyers, marlo and bemm river have been fishing well for both, as has mallacoota inlet. Some of these estuaries will see a scattering of prawns in the backwaters and the fish will hunt these.


Staff member Dylan fished lake tyers on monday and landed a handful of bream on small shallow running hardbodies around the super shallow mudflats in the lake, in between searching for large flathead. Dylan fished 6 and 8 inch swimbaits around the likely haunts and had a few enquiries with one mid 70cm flathead staying connected to a Megabass magdraft swimbait.


Friend of the shop Trevor has also been getting in to some nice flathead from the lake. Trevor has been fishing the new SXC shads from Yakamito to land the bigger fish. The heavy tail kick and body roll of these plastics really gets the attention from the big flathead and gets them to pounce.

 


Flinders pier is still producing serious squid for persistent anglers. The squid fishing around the southern end of Westernport and Port Phillip bays has been good, with many anglers landing some big squid. This week customer Angelo has been catching some solid specimens but on some different jigs and colour schemes. Angelo has been experimenting with UV whites and also bright UV 'aggressive' colours with all of them working.


Sometimes these aggressive attention-seeking colours can work when nothing else does as they scream 'over here, eat me!' Especially in the clear oceanic water in the south of the bays, these colours really stand out. Angelo is normally a fan of passive and natural colours from Flinders pier but his gamble on some other colour patterns has paid off, so it's worth a shot!

 


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.