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.

 


Reports from Westernport have showed that all species are well and truly on offer at the moment. The next lull in weather should see plenty of anglers tangling with both snapper and whiting, with a few gummies thrown in to the mix also. The shallows of the top end have been producing plenty of small male gummies recently, with the average fish hovering around the 5kg mark. Customer Manny fished out from Warneet last week and landed a couple of nice table sized fish on 'reddy's rigz' with fresh chunk baits. Fishing run out tides along gutter and channel edge drops has been effective, while the top edge of the banks has been a good time to target these fish on a run in tide.


The snapper reports from the top end of the port have still been quite consistent, especially through the 'Lysaughts' area. The reefy bottom through this area has been holding good numbers of pinkies and school fish to around 4kg, with some larger fish coming from the shallower areas adjacent. Fishing depths of 12 - 16m has been a good way to maximise your chances for a red or two, with the larger fish frequenting the shallower 8 - 12m zones. Customer Mick was out on the port in the Tyabb region last week and landed a few nice snapper to 4kg in the area.


The whiting fishing is not to be missed in the port at the moment however.  While some of the whiting catches are holding school sized fish, there are excellent numbers around. The lower half of the port has been producing some solid fish for anglers persisting over reef and sand holes around Shoreham, with fish to nearly 50cm floating around. Squid strips and pilchard fillets have been working well on the larger fish. Up towards the top end of the port the fish have been more plentiful but slightly lacking in size - with plenty of small schooling fish around. Customer Tony and mate Shar fished the port last weekend and put together a nice bag of fish up to 42cm on a mixture of baits including pipi, mussel and squid. Fishing the bank edges in 4m of water was the hot zone for them.

 


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.

 


While many anglers have had their sights set on snapper out in Westernport, there has been plenty of by-catch to actively target. The gummies have been fishing well whether you're out along the offshore ledges or fishing some of the deep channels or contours well inside the port. Customer Ben fished out along the western entrance in search of a big gummy and landed a monster female in the 30kg range. This fish had been offshore for some time as it's colouration is well suited for clear oceanic waters. Fresh cutlets of mackerel and salmon were excellent on the gummies for Ben.


Customer Bart has also been landing a few gummies, in amongst some other bycatch fishing out near Rhyll. Fishing were the eastern channels drop into some deeper water, most of Bart's gummies have been in the 5 - 8kg mark. Super pilchards and whiting heads have been very effective when fished on Reedy's rigs paternoster rigs. Fishing the shallower edges along where the channels drop Bart has landed a heap of pinkies and quality baits like salmon, yakkas, mackerel, pike and trevally. A bit of berley consisting of pellets and pilchard oil logs has really helped ramped up the bite with these species around the slacker stages of the tide.


While targeting snapper customers Daniel and Vito landed some nice table sized gummies. Fishing fresh squid and yakka chunks the gummies came along and provided some quality by-catch in between snapper bites along the north arm. Customer Edly also found some tasty bycatch while whiting fishing around the middle spit in the form of quality garfish. Edly found them hard to tempt and hook at first, but ramping up the berley mix and changing to smaller, narrow gaped hooks the bites were soon converted. A fine grain berley trail set up over the shallow banks is normally a good method of finding some of these tasty fish.


On the whiting front the fish have been fairly good for a few weeks. While many are sidetracked by the snapper the whiting fishing has been worth the effort. The top end of the port around the many channels has been producing whiting up to the low 40cm mark. The abundance of smaller school fish hasn't quite infiltrated the estuary as yet, but as the water warms these fish will fill the catches. Staff member Don and mate Sam fished out from Warneet over the weekend and found a good bag of fish to 41cm. Small strips of fresh squid and pipi made for the best baits when fished on smaller hooks than usual - as the bites were quite timid. Changing hook pattern to suit baits and fish activity is paramount to keeping on top of the bite at times.

 


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.

 


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.

 


Westernport bay has been fishing well as we roll on into the start of Spring. The main species are on offer for anglers chasing them with whiting, squid and snapper all worth the effort. While the snapper fishing is far from red hot, there are fish in the port willing to eat if you are out there looking for them. The usual late Winter areas of the port are where the fish have been, with the Corinella region to Spit Point a good area to look, along with up the North arm out from Hastings. Customers Thao and Johnny have been out making the most of the weather windows in the port and have seen a couple of fish for their efforts. Snapper to 4.4kg have made their way into the boat with fresh squid being the successful bait. 14m of water and the early stage of the run out tide were the go.


The squid fishing has been good in the port also, even with some milky water up on some of the banks after the rain. The hot spots have been the Quail and Tyabb banks, with most coming from slightly deeper grassbeds in the cleaner water. Spring is normally a great time to be out in search of the larger squid as they spawn - and the southern end of the port has already seen some nice specimens caught. As usual a variety of jigs will give you be best results rather than 'putting all your eggs in one basket' with one colour. The best thing to pay attention to when selecting jigs colours is light level in the sky and water colour.


Staff member Don and mate Sam fished out on the port over the weekend in search of some squid and they caught some up to around a kilogram. Water conidtions in the morning were ideal but as the wind picked up they were forced to fish a bit deeper off the banks in 8m where they caught some larger squid. Red foil jigs worked well on the shallower banks, with UV blues and greens doing more damage in the deeper water. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been spending time out in the port with customers on the squid grounds - with plenty of happy anglers. James has been fishing a variety of colours and sizes with blacks, green, and bright UV yellow/orange all working - just depending on light and cloud conditions. The Tortoise head area and south of Sandy Point has been excellent for numbers of squid.


While many anglers aren't really thinking King George whiting, there have been enough out in the port to keep any KGW angler happy. Numbers of fish have been good, and average sizes around the high 30cm mark to low 40cm nothing to turn your nose up at. The middle spit and Tortoise head have been excellent areas to try and where most of the fish have been coming from. The region around Balnarring and Somers has also had some quality fish but much smaller numbers of fish. Customers like Long have been catching some respectable bags of fish to around 39cm from the area on both pipi and squid. Pipi has been the standout in the shallower water with the fish really firing up before dark.

 


The peninsula has been the more consistent region for squid fishing recently with mixed clear and wet weather. The hot areas lately have been Rye, Blairgowrie and Flinders piers. Customer Jameel fished from Blairgowrie yacht squadron with his family and took home some ripper squid. The best performing jigs for Jameel were Yamashita Live and 490 search in UV and glow whites. The same bright whites have been very effective around Rye recently also.


On the other side of the peninsula customer Angelo has been catching squid and grass whiting from Flinders pier. Angelo took his father out to the pier and between them they manage some nice squid on size 3.0 Clicks and Yamashita jigs, with black and UV white, along with bright green being the standouts. Small pieces of prawn and trout worm fished on paternoster rigs around the pier pylons and kelp beds was the best method of catching the grass whiting.


The southern end of Port Phillip has been producing some fat condition winter whiting, with not many anglers making the most of them. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching awesome numbers of fish with customers from Rye to Portsea and across towards Queenscliff. Freshly caught squid cut into small strips has been dynamite, along with fresh mussel. A mixture of pellet berley with small amounts of crushed mussel has really helped keep the fish going also.

Customer Josh also fished the same areas last week for the whiting and did very well. Josh and mates found that the Sorrento area was best in around 8m of water, with some very nice fish caught. Josh found pipi and fresh squid to be the most effective baits, with squid strips 'wiggling' in the current on fine straight shank hooks dynamite.

 


The whiting and squid fishing in both bays has been good recently during some nice calm weather, and will continue on through the rest of winter. The squid fishing in particular has been excellent and given good water clarity will stay very good right through. At present most of Port Phillip's northern locations are a bit murkier but are cleaning up. Staff member George and mate Cip were out during the week and stopped off at Mordialloc pier for a quick squid session. Natural gold foil jigs in size 2.5 were deadly, and a good bag of squid came on to the pier planks in only 20 minutes or so.


Westernport has been the real standout for squid lately though, especially if you're in the boat. Customer Aaron took the family out for a run recently and found the motherload of squid around the banks of the top end. Aaron smashed the squid and stocked up on early season snapper baits as well as a good feed with the family. Size 3.0 and 3.5 jigs were the go, with nearly all colours working well on this particular day.


Customer Edly has been focusing on the southern end of the port, with large squid on his mind. Edly fished the western entrance during the week and found some cracker calamari to around 1.5kg. Size 3.5 jigs with chin weights were able to get down deep and stay there where the larger squid were. Customer John also fished the port during the week and got some nice squid also. John was fishing out from Hastings were squid to around 1.2kg were caught on both baited jigs and 3.5's on the cast. The southern region of Tyabb bank was productive as were the grass beds just south of Hastings.


On the whiting front, both bays have still been producing fish. They are a bit harder work at the moment, but if you focus on them and actively change up baits and small location moves then there have been some nice fish worth catching. The average size for the fish at the moment has been around the 38cm mark, which has also been in very solid condition. The hot spots for Port Phillip bay have been the Rye - Sorrento area and across at Queenscliff, while the bottom end of the middle spit and tortoise head have been worth stopping on in the port.


Customers Mario and John fished the port during the week and collected a nice feed of whiting.The guys fished out from Hastings and worked the middle spit and tortoise head areas, and found some nice fish to just over 40cm. The tortoise head area produced more fish, with various banks around the point holding the fish and they moved during teh run out tide. Fresh squid and pipi did the job, with a few more fish falling to the squid than the pipi.