There have been good amounts of squid about for those interested in collecting fresh snapper baits or for a tasty meal, with both bays running as clear as ever and going well.


Friend of the shop and Victorian sale rep Bruce fished with mate Bachar Houli out from Queenscliff to get stuck into some quality squid and whiting. Fishing close inshore around Queenscliff around 'Cottage by the sea' was the hot spot for all the squid and whiting, with the Lonsdale Bight being a popular area for both large squid and quality whiting.


The whiting reports have started to go in the port, with the 'normal' banks producing fish. Quali, Tyabb and the spit have all been fishing well, with a few moves the norm, but some quality fish about. Customer Barry fished with his father over the weekend to land a nice bag of fish from the middle spit. Barry found the run in tide productive and when the fish wanted to feed, with pipi and squid cocktail baits getting the job done. Not far from the same area staff member Don also caught some nice whiting with mate Sam. The middle spit and Tyabb bank fished well in about 12ft of water for fish to 42cm on elongated strips of squid and pipi.


Not far from the same area customer Steve has been catching some nice squid. Steve has been fishing the Tyabb-Quail banks and just working different depths until the squid are found. Steve has also been trying a good number of jigs, with Yamashita UV whites a favourite, and some of the new Owner draw 4 jigs also producing well. Steve picked up on some handy hints regarding jigs cloth and foil colour from our last Yamashita info night which has been earning him a few extra in the boat!


Down at Flinders customer Angelo has been catching some good squid and plenty of grass whiting. Angelo has been copying the jigs patterns with the grass whiting and catching well, with a few other black jig patterns also working well in the mix. The size 4.0 and 3.5 'Black Opal' colour has been producing some big squid around the outgoing tide from the pier.

 


Squid reports have been good over the past week, with clean water in both bays. The southern end of both bays has been the most productive with both numbers and size, with the rye – Portsea are very good, along with Flinders and Shoreham in Westernport.



Customers Damien, Carlo and Thao have been fishing around Portsea and Queenscliff. Some of the better squid from the area have been up to 50cm in hood length, which are proper calamari! The jigs that have been producing have been size 3.5 Haramitsu and Yamashita in blacks, greens and also natural green baitfish patterns.



Customer Angelo regularly fishes Flinders pier and this week he has done exceptionally well. Angelo has been catching a load of grass whiting from the weedbeds under the pier, with pipi and trout worms being the most effective when suspended just above the weed. The best way to rig these up is by using a paternoster rig with long sinker dropper and small size 6 circle hook. Amongst the grass whiting the squid that Angelo has been catching have been quality, with many over a kilo. The most successful jigs for him have been the size 3.5 and 4.0 Black/red Clicks jigs.

 


While many angler may not the King George whiting on their mind for a good few months yet, the start of spring and initial snapper run normally signals the 'unofficial' start of the whiting season. While large bags of fish aren't as common, the much larger 'winter' condition fish are worth targeting while there's generally few people on them. The fish aren't generally up on the banks and flats like in summer - more often residing in the deeper, colder waters closer to Bass Strait. Moving about like you would on a normal whiting session is again the key to putting a bag of solid fish together. The areas of Westernport worth looking around at the moment are from Flinders to Balnarring and around Vetnor, and the southern end of the middle spit around Tankerton and Stony Point. In Port Phillip the Queenscliff - St Leonards region and Portsea to Mt Martha have been the go/


Customer Carlo and mate fished across near St Leonards recently where they found some nice sized fish. After a few moves the guys had a decent bag of fish, with averaging just shy of 40cm and nice and fat. Pipi and fresh squid were the best baits when fished on number 4 worm style hooks. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been catching some quality whiting around southern Port Phillip bay, with plenty of fish over 40cm present. The larger fish have been moving in smaller schools and have to be made the most of when they come through. Having enough baits at the ready and a small amount of organized berley, along with extra pre-tied rigs will make sure you make the most of the hot 10 minute bite windows.


Not far away customer Josh and friends got some nice fish around Queenscliff. Fishing around 7m of water saw them with a nice bag of fish, with pipi the standout. Along the same ground there were some quality squid which all hammered a size 3.0 'abalone white' Hayabusa jig.

 


With intermittent rain and wind, the squid fishing has been sporadic - good when conditions clear but then put off for a few days while the water becomes stained and murky. The good news is that even when conditions are like this the southern end of Port Phillip is still worth a shot and much more consistent.

Customer Romello fished from Sorrento pier over the weekend where he landed a few. Romello cycled through a few jigs and found the Yamashita Q Lives were the best, with deep models working while the tide was pumping and shallow models doing the job when the tide stopped. Romello also landed a small cuttlefish from the pier using a Yakamito size 3.0 jig.


Customers Dale and Lochie fished out from Rye during the week in search of some calamari and they weren't left hanging with an excellent bag of squid making it home. The guys found that UV whites were the most successful in 4 - 6m of water straight out from Rye.


Customer Steve has also been getting into both the squid and whiting recently. Steve has found that both can be caught while fishing the same marks, with the squid often chasing the whiting around and attacking hooked fish. KGW patterned squid jigs can be very effective in these conditions, and the Hayabusa Aussie limited whiting colour has been excellent at tricking these squid. If you're able to keep the larger squid at bay good numbers of whiting can still be had, with areas like the southern section of middle spit and Tankerton fishing well - along with further south around Point Leo and Cat Bay.


The southern end of Port Phillip has been fishing well for whiting also. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been experiencing good bags of fish from around Rye to Sorrento, with mussel and squid standout baits. While there can be a bit of moving about to stay on these fish at this time of year, once you put together a bag of these tasty fish it will all be worth it!


For the land based guys the whiting have been a bit harder work. The odd fish has been caught shore based, with Mornington and Portsea piers probably the best two to be trying from. A bit further down the road there have been some nice school sized fish from around Lorne. Customer Jim fished Lorne pier over the weekend with a few mates and they weren't let down with a few nice fish to take home. Prawn and squid were effective baits from the pier, and accounted for King George when cast over the sand towards the weed - and grass whiting when dropped into the thick weed beds.

 

The whiting fishing in Westernport has been slower for most anglers over the last week, with many people going donuts on them. The anglers catching KGW aren't all getting their bags, but they have been noticing better average size on the ones around. The deeper marks and channels have been worth a fish as these spots are normally where you have a good chance at finding some proper 'kidney slappers'. Just remember to get yourself organized as you won't get a massive bite window on these fish once the tide starts to get going in the deep. Preparation is the key.

Mario and John however did well just days ago on this bag of fish from the top end of Westernport. The usual constant small moves and changing baits over frequently was the key to stacking a bag together.


Customers Damien and Benny also got into some nice sized fish around Tankerton just recently. The boys found the fish actively feeding in 5m of water, and fresh squid was the gun bait on them. The larger fish didn't muck about when biting either, with a couple of them gut hooked on 'C10U' style fine gauge hooks.

 

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.

 


If you're planning a trip out towards Gippsland for the coming long weekend or maybe Easter you will be pleased to know that all of the estuaries along the coast are still producing some good fishing. The water temperature is hovering around perfect at moment and will remain good until about Easter when we normally get a couple of cold snaps. The bream will still be active in the cooler weather but fish like flathead will slowly start to shut down and reside into Winter mode.

Customer Peter just returned from a successful trip away to Mallacoota where he caught some nice bream and flathead. Peter persisted with some soft plastics under staff recommendation and caught flathead to 48cm using them. Fresh shrimp fished on fine gauge hooks worked well on the bream, with fish to 1.2kg coming aboard.


Customer Ange was down at Lakes Entrance recently. Ange spent a bit of time in locating the bream and working out the best way to target them, and after a bit of playing around he started getting fish. Ange found that live baits were the best way to go, with prawn and bass yabbies best - and fishing them unweighted was a must. Fishing tight to structure the fish were most active around the top of the tide early in the morning, with plenty of white knuckle battles around pier posts and pylons on 4lb line.


There were also plenty of other species active around Lakes for Ange. Loads of small salmon and tailor happy to eat a soft plastics like the Zman motor oil grubs, with some bigger fish in the gutters out on the beaches. Prawn numbers have been slower than around Christmas but there still have been enough for the keen anglers to net a good feed's worth. Tambo bay and around Metung have been good around the new moon.


Ange also noticed reasonable numbers of King George whiting around Lakes Entrance with many school fish in the high 30cm bracket. Late afternoon was the best bite window on the whiting with mussel, pipi and prawn all producing fish when fished on a paternoster rig. The jetties around the Cunninghame and North arm have been good areas to try for whiting, along with the deeper edges further up towards Kalimna.

 


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 top end of Westernport has been getting fished a bit over the last week by anglers in search of whiting, and the whiting fishing has been a bit sporadic in the shallows - but there have been some nice flathead caught as bycatch. Most of the flathead caught around the whiting grounds tend to be sand flathead, but sometimes you will find a patch of tasty rock flathead as well. Staff member Chris fished with mate Jay out near Yaringa where they did catch both King George whiting and rock flathead. The rock flathead were good size and took baits intended for the whiting over thick weed beds in 4m of water. The same ground also produced school sized whiting.


Just over at Warneet, customer Sam caught a nice bag of whiting earlier in the week. Sam fished in 7m of water and found the start of the incoming tide the most productive time. Fish to 44cm took a mixture of baits including pipi, squid and cuttlefish. The 6 - 12m area seems to have been the more productive depth for the whiting at the moment, with most anglers concentrating in this zone. 

 

Whiting reports from Westernport this week have been a bit patchy, with quite a few anglers talking of hard fishing and sparse action. Many anglers who have been going out and 'staying put' in known areas have been struggling a bit, but the guys constantly moving about and trying different things are getting some nice fish. Fishing deep has been productive for anglers recently, with less fish coming aboard but much better quality in the fish that are. Just make sure you have suitable 'deep water' whiting rods, as many standard 'bank' whiting rods will be overloaded with the extra weight needed in the deeper water.

Customer Steve fished out from Warneet earlier this week and while the reports were grim, Steve and his mate managed 10 whiting between them - with only 2 fish measuring under 40cm. The boys worked hard and found the better fish a bit deeper in the 10m area, with the run out tide providing the action, and baits of pipi and mussel fishing the best for them.


Staff member Don fished around the top end as well over the weekend where him and mate Sam caught 17 fish. Fishing in around 5m of water, the bite started going as the run out tide started gaining momentum and the fish wouldn't look past a small pipi fished on a size 6 'worm. hook.