You'd have to be keeping your head in the sand if you haven't heard any talk of kingfish around Melbourne and the rest of the state at the moment! Summer time equals kingfish, and with water temperatures at about their peak these fish have been active. While they can still be hit and miss like every other form of fishing, there are plenty of these hard fighting blue water brutes about at the moment.


There has been kingfish action all round the state, but reports from around Portland and also the 'rip' have been quite solid. Portland has been the pick if you're able to cover a few kilometres, as fish numbers are good at the moment, with fish being caught as close as the Lee breakwater and most methods are doing well on them. Customer Daniel fished the Portland area last week to land fish to about 8kg on lures. Smaller 130mm hardbodied trolling lures and surface poppers were the standout for him.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching a few kingfish down around Portland also. James has been finding quality kingfish on 'sluggo' or 'slapstix' style plastics in white and also clear, along with smaller stickbaits in the 80 - 130mm size range. These work exceptionally well when the fish are high in the water column. When the fish are sitting down 15 - 20m+ this is the time for jigs or livebaits.


Customers Ben and Aaron fished out from Westernport around some of the offshore marks recently to land some nice kingies. Fish to 14kg were landed on a mixture of stickbaits and live baits. The wash zone and secondary points and drop offs were where the fish were active. Slimey mackerel were the best choice of live baits, and the Shimano Ocea stickbaits were dynamite when cast to midwater holding fish.

 

 


 

Around the bay there has been some ok action for light tackle fisherman. The bream fishing has been reasonable in most of the rivers, with Werribee and Patto producing a few nice fish. Staff member Dylan fished a few of the rivers landbased recently throwing lures around to try and connect with a few bream, and while the fish weren't huge they were still good fun on small hardbodies. Small freshwater yabbies and scrubworms have also been good on the local bream also.  Young gun Kozi fished Patto recently with bait to land a stack of bream to around mid 30cm size also.

 

Down on Mornington pier there has been a few options to keep most anglers happy. The squid have been on and off, but persistence after dark with small jigs up to size 2.0 will see you land a few. Colours to try have been UV pink/orange and also natural gold and silver foils. Kozi fished off the pier recently to land squid on natural gold and brown jigs in size 2.5 and 2.0.

 

Inside the harbour there have also been schools of yakkas, couta and mullet to be caught as well. Baitfishing with small sliding floats and a fine grit berley trail has been the most productive method, however the yakkas and couta can be caught casting small soft plastics and lures. Small single tail grubs like Zman and Squidgy have been effective when fished lightly weighted.

 

With some of the spells of warm weather we have had over the past few weeks, a few switched on anglers have been out and about in search of Victorian Yellowtail Kingfish. While these hard pulling brutes aren't as prolific as in other states, there are good numbers of fish around for anglers putting in the effort to track them down. This often means a decent drive in the car only to launch the boat and spend time searching around to locate them on the water. Customer Damien is one such angler who has been out on the water trying to find them, and just last week he was fishing with a couple of mates when they struck paydirt. Kingies to around the 10kg mark were caught slow trolling live yakkas and slimies on modified 'Westernport' rigs. These rigs are used to keep the livies down in the strike zone around rocks and ledges. Damien was fishing some points and bommies in Gippsland for these fish.

 

While Westernport Bay is generally easier to fish from a boat, there are still plenty of options for anglers without boats. The variety of fish on offer from the shore is almost as plentiful as fishing from a kayak or boat, without all the extra expenses. Fishing from the shores of the port does require a little bit more planning and preparation to be successful, but any angler can do it. Recently customer Andrew has been fishing from the shoreline of the northern section of the, where he has had success on a few school sized mulloway. Andrew has found that fillet baits of freshly caught salmon have been working well on fish to around 5kg. Staff member Dylan has also had some shore-based success with mini mulloway around 2kg taking medium sized hardbodies cast and retrieved. The cover of darkness has been the key to catching these shy fish.

Further south in the port the squid have been fishing well from most of the main piers, with Flinders and Stony Point doing well. Customer Tony is a Flinders pier regular who normally does well when he fishes for squid off the pier. Tony was down at the pier recently, and again he managed to get some good sized squid on his favoured Gancraft jigs. Tony's colours of choice recently have been dark silvers and also green.

Down on Phillip Island, customer Pat was holidaying with family when he snuck out for a fish. Being a keen fisherman Pat couldn't spend the whole time by the water and not fish, I think we all know about that problem...Pat decided squid was the target, and with an area in mind he set off with a few jigs to try his luck. Pat ended up catching some lovely sized squid from the shore which kept himself and the family happy. Customer Shawn fished after dark from the pier at Cowes recently in search of a few shark and snapper baits. Shawn fished with a mixture of baits and lures to land some good sized yakkas and also couta.

 

There are plenty of light line options for family anglers fishing from the shoreline and piers over the Christmas break, not all fishing needs to be done out of an expensive boat. For anglers wanting to head out somewhere close to home, most of the piers along the Eastern side of Port Phillip have been producing a few different species. Provided you take some light outfits and berley along, you can have a bit of fun.

The main species on offer using these methods will be; squid, bream, trevally, salmon, yakkas, garfish and couta. The bream fishing in the Patterson and Maribyrnong Rivers has been good over the last week with some nice fish being caught. Customer Peter fished the Patto using yabbies and scrubworms to catch a few bream to 32cm. Small 'shiner' style hooks fished on 4lb fluorocarbon and a split shot have been a very effective way to catch these fish.

Down at Mornington pier there have been a few light line options for anglers, with mullet, salmon, yakkas and couta all on the go. A slow release berley mix like the pier and jetty mix is vital for targeting these fish, if you want to catch more that just the odd one. Staff member Dylan fished from the pier during the week to collect some baits and caught yakkas, garfish, tommy rough and couta using this berley mixture, along with delicately weighted float set ups.

 

One thing most anglers have noticed over the last year or so has been the lack of garfish being caught from the piers and rockwalls. A lot of regular pier fisherman have pretty much given up on fishing for them, as numbers just didn't seem to be around. Good news though, as the last month has seen some reasonable numbers of gars starting to come back. While they are not thick around the piers yet, many snapper anglers have reported catching large gars in their berley trails while targeting snapper - with some of the gars have been 40cm or bigger. Fine grit berley and size 12 - 14 narrow gaped hooks have been their undoing, with small pieces of squid or pilchard.

 

Staff member Kozi has been out giving the gars and other bait species a hiding from the shore between Frankston and Mornington. Kozi has caught garfish, tommy rough, salmon, scad and couta recently using a fine berley trail and small baits of pilchard, squid, silverfish and whitebait. The most effective berley has been the 'Pier and Jetty mix' from Zealcol - which is fine enough to attract all species but not feed them, so that they are still attracted to your baits. The rocks at Mornington and Mt Eliza have been good for Kozi.

While most anglers in Melbourne have turned their attention towards the sea of red - 'snapper' there are also other light line options for anglers both boat and shore based. Customer Mana was out off Frankston recently where he found a school of good sized salmon. He decided to throw some small soft plastics around and the salmon were climbing all over each other to eat a smelt coloured twitch tail minnow. Mana found most of the salmon hanging around the point at Oliver's Hill. 

Staff member Kozi has been out collecting snapper and gummy baits from the piers during the week, and most of the piers in southern Westernport have had good amounts of yakkas and pike hanging around. Kozi caught a heap of yakkas from Flinders on baits and small soft plastics, once they were berleyed up. The most effective berley for the yakkas was the Zealcol 'Pier & Jetty' fine grit mix, which kept the fish going for long enough to catch a heap. 

Further up Port Phillip Bay around Williamstown, customer Ryan has been out in his kayak throwing small soft plastics and sinking lures around. Ryan has been catching pinkies up to 1.5kg on these lures, along with some nice size bream. One of the more effective soft plastics for Ryan at the moment has been the Damiki Ripper, a 4'' worm style plastic. The new Berkley 4'' Nemesis has also been good in the natural colours when fished slowly along the bottom.

The good thing about Westernport Bay is the variety it offers, and the fact that you don't have to zoom all over the bay to catch a few different species of fish, and most of the year round a few different fish can be caught. The whiting have been good out in the port at the minute, with not as many school fish about but some quality fish none the less. There are certainly less anglers fishing for them at the moment, but the keen fisherman who are targeting them are doing well. Customer Johnny fished out along the spit last week where he caught some lovely whiting up to 46cm. Pipi did the job on these fish, which fired up during the last hour of the run out tide.

Customer John fished around Tortoise Head on the weekend where he planned to catch some whiting and also see what else was around. John fished just south of the point where he caught a mixed bag of whiting, yakkas, flatties and an elephant fish. John found pipi and pilchard the most effective along with a berley bomb sitting on the bottom. 

Around Stony point there have also been a few decent pinkies and snapper caught this week. Customer Hendrik fished from the pier earlier in the week to catch pinkies to 2.5kg on pilchard. Hendrik said that berley was the key as well.  

Customer Daniel went out from Tooradin last week and fished the channel to see what was around during the run in tide. A few small flathead and salmon were around but at the top of the tide Daniel landed a ripper flathead of around 65cm on pilchard. 

There have still been plenty of gummies getting about in the port to keep anglers happy. There have been plenty getting caught around the top end of the port from Stony Point right around the top to Corinella. Customer Godfrey went out around Stony Point where he landed a nice table sized shark along the channel edge. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has found a few smaller gummies while out on the whiting in the port, with the majority of them measuring about 1m. At this size they fight well on light gear and will provide some nice size flake fillets for the family. Baits of squid, yakka and salmon have been the best on them. Customer Roland had a ripper session up in the top end of the port during the week where he caught snapper to around 7kg and 6 nice size gummies all in the one spot. Squid was the gun bait in the dirty water.

 

The squid fishing has been a bit hit and miss during the week in Westernport Bay. Most anglers are working hard for the catch they get, but persistence is always the key. Customer Tony has been fishing around Flinders during the week, where he has caught every time. Tony’s investment in a ‘purpose designed’ squid outfit, consisting of Nitro custom squid rod and spooled with braid – along with choices of high quality jigs has paid off big time. Many occasions Tony has been the only angler to catch squid while every other angler goes home with donuts. Tony’s latest couple of trips have produced squid to around a kilogram, along with cuttlefish as well. The ultra-realistic designs of the Gancraft UO-JYA have led to good catches of squid for Tony more often than not.

 

Customer Ferdi has also been fishing from Flinders Pier during the week for some mixed bags. Ferdi has been catching decent sized squid by using silver whiting suspended under a float, along with a few yakkas. The yakkas have been responding well to small pieces of squid and whitebait fished unweighted around the edge of the pier lights.

For the anglers who are keen to stock up on fresh baits for sharks or just get out and strike a few fish, there has been plenty on offer in Westernport Bay. Many of the piers and structures around the port have had plenty of horse mackerel, slimey mackerel, pike, salmon, trevally and mullet around. Baits of fresh squid, pilchard and pipi have been the most effective. Berleying is also a very effective part of the equation for catching these fish.

Staff member Dylan mixed things up a bit, using micro metal jigs to catch bait species from the shore in Westernport bay during the week. Hopping between a few different piers, a number of different species hit the jigs including pike, slimey and horse mackerel, salmon, mullet and even small scorpionfish. Small 7g Searocks worked well when fished with assist hook set ups, on a super light graphite rod and stella 1000 outfit. The light drag capacity of the stella also helps stop smaller fish from shaking metal lures out of their mouths.

If you're in the market for a new high quality spin reel, the shimano Stella FE is certainly one worth considering. Right now we have a limited offer of ONE Shimano Stella 1000FE at $575. Hurry in to see us about your new Stella.