The autumn run of salmon is starting to show up both along the beaches and inside the bays, with varied size fish getting around. The back beaches of Gunnamatta, Kilcunda and Venus Bay are all producing fish, with some nice fish to 3kg turning up. Inside the bay the fish have been moving along the eastern shoreline from Portsea to Mordialloc as onshore winds condense the bait for them. Customer Aziz has been catching some thumpers as they make their way past the piers, with some really sold fish around 3kg getting around. Aziz has caught fish from Sorrento to Patterson river, with weather conditions dictating where to fish. The most successful lures for Aziz have been small pencils and stickbaits that imitate garfish and whitebait.


Around the eastern seaboard there have been schools of salmon working the shoreline gutters and inlets. The mouth of Patterson River, Seaford pier, Mordialloc pier and Frankston piers have all been worth a look, especially during or after a strong onshore (southwesterly) wind. The poor baitfish really get pinned in by these strong winds, which gives the salmon an easy meal. Customer Scott got down to the mouth of Patto and found a school of small fish keen to eat plastics. The tip for catching these fish in calm conditions is to down scale your plastics to small offerings in the 2 - 3 inch size, matched with 1/12th through to 1/6th jigheads.


The beaches around the Bass coast have been starting to produce some nice salmon. Customer Mark has been fishing Venus Bay and has been landing fish to around 1kg. The small gutters and holes in close have been holding small numbers of fish which have taken bluebait and pilchard. A light berley trail consisting of pilchard mix and medium size pellets has been the key to catching multiple fish before they move off. When conditions allow small plastics and metal stickbaits have been working exceptionally well also. The best performers have been the Yakamito 'live fry' and Bungy Baits 'viber'.

 


The snapper have been actively feeding out from Mornington through to Mt Martha over the past few weeks, with fish to over 7kg out there to be caught. Fishing depths of 17 - 22m have been the best bet, and you pretty much have to be out early as the bite is all but over by about 8am.

Customer Charlie fished out wide of Mornington after a snapper recently and turned up a nice fish just under 4kg. Charlie was anchored in 21m and found that pilchard got the bite. Cubing with small pilchard chunks or '100% freeze dried pilchard mix' has been crucial to lure the fish in towards the baits.

Further up the bay there have been some solid pinkies roaming about on the mud also occupying the reef sections. Customer Ryan has been catching fish to 2kg or so in as shallow as 3m of water between St Kilda and Black Rock. Ryan has been catching fish on cubes and chunks of freshly caught slimey mackerel and yakka along with 'tear resistant' TPR style soft plastics. The main reason for the high catch rate of this style of soft plastic over others is their natural buoyancy and 'hang' above the bottom - right where the fish can see them. Jighead weights from 1/8 to 3/8oz are needed depending on wind and depth changes.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been making the most of the abundant pinkies and school snapper around the eastern side of the bay. James has occasionally been fishing around Black Rock but mainly between Frankston and Mt Martha where there are good numbers of fish. Many school fish have been 35cm through to 1.5kg, with a few up to 4kg floating about in the shallows. Fishing just off the reef in 9m of water and slowly trickling pilchard berley has been a key to keeping the school active. Pilchard and squid have been the better baits.

 


While not the same rush as the months of October and November, Port Phillip has been producing a wave of snapper as they feed up and move out of the bay. There will continue to be some resident fish in the bay all year, but good sized schools have been found in the Mornington region at present. These fish have been caught in depths of 17 -21m out to the edge of the spoil ground. First light bites are consistent with fish at this time of year, and well worth the effort. Bill from Mornington recently landed fish to around 5.5kg on pilchard and silver whiting.


Among the larger fish there have been plenty of pinkie schools, both out on the mud and around the reef patches. While wading through the smaller fish can be painstaking there have been enough fish to just over a kilo if you are changing up baits and rigs to suit. The reefy areas of Mornington and Black Rock have been holding large numbers of fish but also larger numbers of undersize fish. Moving to the mud just off the reef and berleying lightly has been a good method of luring better fish to your baits. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been landing heaps of plate sized pinkies for customers by fishing just outside the reef areas with fresh squid and pilchard. If the smaller fish are getting the better of you, switching to harder baits such as whiting or yakka can drag out some bigger fish for you.

 


The 'everyday' species on offer around the bay have been providing whether you're in the boat or fishing from the shore. Squid fishing of late has been productive all around the bay as customer Peter has been finding out. Peter fished with a mate out from Rye over the weekend to land a nice bag of squid. Most productive jigs were size 3.0 Yakamitos in the 'ribena' colour.


Customer Tony fished with mate over near Queenscliff on the weekend to land some nice squid and cuttelfish. Tony found that the stand out jig was a fluoro yellow 'lemon meringue' coloured jig. The bright coloured jig out-performed all others in the area, and has a good track record in the Queenscliff region.


The local piers and sandy spits and coves have been holding some nice garfish lately also. The 'normal' piers such as Frankston and Mordialloc have been producing but they have been better during the day rather than at night. If you are able to get out on the water and berley up the size of the gars has been better. Customer Edly has been making the most of these tasty fish over the past few weeks, with some good numbers of fish to 35cm being swung aboard. Silverfish and maggots have been the best baits of late, with a light trickle of berley enough to keep the fish nearby.

 


Port Phillip has been quiet in terms of report this past week, but there has still been things happening. The squid fishing has been ok, with some of the southern piers about due to start firing. The northern end of the bay has also been showing quality squid from the piers and inshore reef. Customer Ryan has been catching some decent squid along the reef around Black Rock. Ryan has been finding red and orange jigs have been the standouts around the deeper reef patches. Ryan has caught squid up around 800g, with afternoons fishing better.


Around Brighton there have been good patches of squid on offer when the wind has dropped. The reef points and pier have seen squid to around 600g on darker coloured jigs. Customer Tas has been catching good numbers of 490 glow Yamashita jigs in the 2.5 size. Last light and early into the evening has been the prime time.


There have been good amounts of small pinkies and flathead in the same area, with the Brighton and Ormond shallows holding some quality table fish. Staff member Dylan has been fishing both the beaches and platforms a few afternoons a week, with a couple of flathead and pinkies being about average for a session. Small baitfish or worm pattern soft plastics in the 3inch size on 1/12th jigheads have been the most productive, with flathead to around 45cm and pinkies to 35cm both taking favour to them.


Also from the piers in the area and further down onto the Mornington peninsula there have decent numbers of garfish on the go. While there hasn't been millions of them, there has been enough to put a decent bag together if you're fishing the correct float, rig and berley methods. Customer Stefan has been catching some good bags of them around Frankston on both maggots and silverfish, lightly pinned on Gamakatsu fine wire fly hooks.

 


While reports have thinned off a little from Port Phillip, there is still plenty going on! The snapper have slowed off a little with their usual pre-xmas spawning movements, but there are still plenty of patches of fish to catch. The southern end of the bay seems to be the go at the moment, as the water temp is slightly lower and more conducive to a snapper bite.


Out from Mornington, customers aboard 'Relax, Go Fishing' charters have been getting some solid fish to around the 6kg mark throughout the week. Baits of silver whiting have been very effective along with squid, and a few fish taking the usual pilchard as well. The productive areas have been from Mt Eliza through to Mornington in 16-17-18m of water.


Out from Black Rock customer Adrian has been catching some nice fish to around 4.5kg on pillies. Adrian has been fishing around the reef edge in 9m and fishing pilchards. Using a strong berley trail of pilchard cubes has been the best way to keep the nearby fish interested, with a handful of cubes going in every 40 minutes or so. Customer Michael has been getting a few fish still out from Carrum also. Michael has been fishing nearby to the outer artificial reef in 18m and finding the odd fish around sunrise. Fresh squid has been Michael's preferred bait.


Customer Mick came into the store recently to set up some Port Phillip 'specific' gear. After realizing that some of his stuff was more suited to Western port Mick purchased a lighter outfit to tackle the finicky nature of Port Phillip's snapper. Very next session Mick was out and into fish to about 3.5kg, with long octopus tentacles getting the bites.

Down along the Peninsula there have been some squid caught from some of the piers. Dirtier water and winds have slowed things a bit but persistence and constant jig changes has been the way to piece a bag together. Staff member Don got down to Mornington and although conditions weren't super favourable he still managed a decent haul. Switching between rattle and non rattle 2.5 size jigs was the go, with UV colours and rattles getting bites before the other jigs.


At the bottom of the peninsula there has been some movement from the schooling kingfish. While not 'on fire' yet, there are fish around - and they are worth targeting. Friend of the shop Bruce fished around the heads and offshore towards Barwon over the weekend to get into a few school sized fish. Bruce's best tactic was to run a 'Fanasty squid' hardbody behind the boat and pin a long squid strip on a dropper behind the lure. The lure works to get the king's attention and the squid strip seals the deal.



 


At present, the snapper bite has been good but has also had some inconsistency over the last week or so. As water temperatures heat up more in about 2 weeks the fish should go off the bite as they spawn. At the moment though they are still being caught. Customer Sylvio has caught fish to 5kg fishing in close from Black Rock. Pilchards have been the best bait for him.


Customers Robbie and Matej have been fishing out from Mornington recently. The guys have been fishing in the 16m area and have been catching snapper to around the 4kg mark. Fishing with multiple baits, the best bite for them has been between 7:30 and 9:00 am. Hard baits have been fishing better, with silver whiting the standout.


Again around the 16m line customer Aaron has landed snapper to 4kg. Aaron has been fishing the Frankston/Mt Eliza region and has been using freshly caught squid to land his fish.


The Frankston area has been fishing quite well over the past week or so, with good numbers of fish holding in water between 15 - 18m. Customer Steve recently caught a few nice fish to 4.5kg out towards 18m. Customer Paul fished 16m off Frankston to land some crackers to around 6.5kg on silver whiting and pilchard, with the morning tide change more productive than dawn.


Friend of the shop Bruce and mates fished the arvo whiting bite at Queenscliff. Some thumping whiting were caught, with the best baits being pipi and squid. The key for these bigger whiting has been to present bigger baits which works best on slightly bigger hooks like Shogun black baitholders in size 2, on a Paternoster style rig.

 


Previous to whiting fishing, Bruce headed just offshore from Queenscliff in search of a kingfish. Large numbers of school snapper have been around and plaguing baits, but there have been some small kingfish caught around the rubble grounds. Fresh squid has been the go if you can get through the snapper. Gawaine Blake also headed out in search of a kingfish around the heads, and he wasn't disappointed with a couple of lovely fish landed. The time has come!


 


Port Phillip has still been seeing most of the snapper action of late, with some afternoon bites during the week along side the normal early morning feeding routine. The best bet is still to be out before light and  mark up some fish before setting anchor and berley, but if you're into fishing gentlemen's hours then you can still score a fish or two.

Captain Jack fished out from Patto recently to score a nice table sized snapper using a 'snapper snatcher'. Jack fished in 18m and baited up the snatcher with chunks of yakka.


Fishing out wider has been more effective the past week, with the bulk of the reports coming from 16m and deeper. Out from Mornington Captain Bill has been picking up fish to 5kg on pilly and silver whiting. Customer Zoran has also been landing fish early morning out wide from Seaford in 19m. Zoran has been finding silver whiting to be effective at the moment, and he has been berleying with 'snapper magnet' pellets to get the bite going.


Customer Damien has been marking a few fish up out in 19m also. Fishing out from Patto, Damien has been looking for active on the sounder just above the bottom, and sitting around these fish. Squid, pilchard and silver whiting have all been effective on fish to about 4kg.


Out from Seaford customer Mark has been finding some quality fish. Mark has landed fish to better than 6.5kg just earlier in the week, with silver whiting being the best bait. Just make sure to upsize your hooks if fishing larger, harder baits as the snapper's jaw power can roll smaller hooks back into the bait which will foul the hookup. 5/0 and 6/0 are minimum for baits like medium sized whiting and other baitfish.


There have been plenty of school sized fish about recently too, with pinky numbers fairly thick around the inshore and channel reefs. Customers Benny and Ryan fished out from Frankston during the week to land some nice table pinkies on pilchard. If smaller fish are present, pilchard halves or cubes on smaller 2/0 hooks are a much better way to hook up than using whole baits. Customer Dennis has also been finding good school sized fish this week. Dennies has been fishing out from Patto where the average fish has been around 3.5 - 4kg.


Dennis has been fishing with a few mates and has landed fish to 6.7kg, with the most productive depths still out from 16 - 18m. Marking fish on the sounder is fairly crucial as it can show you the mood and size of the fish, and whether to stop on them or not.

 


Snapper reports from Port Phillip have been good over the last week, and with some heavy rain entering the bay and strong winds forecast things should fire again over the weekend. There have been fish spread out over the mud and in most corners of the bay now, so no real 'hot spots' to concentrate on. Customer Jacques hasn't done a heap of snapper fishing this season but he did get out over the weekend to land fish to 6.5kg out from Carrum. The 16m line was where Jacques found his fish.


Fishing the same depth out from Frankston, customers Jason and Damien scored fish to a similar size. After one of their fish didn't release well, Jason decided to jump in and swim it properly, which is dedication! The boys found smaller hooks and baits were the trick, with most of the fish hooking themselves properly.


Fish to 6kg aren't anything to complain about!


Around the Black Rock area there have been plenty of fish caught. The main sections of reef have been holding pinkies and larger fish along the perimeter. Customer Lev fished around the reef in 7m to land reds to 4kg. The fish bit well around 7pm as the light faded, and the most effective baits were live squid. Over near Mordialloc customer Ben caught a couple of nice 4kg fish on pillies as well.


Down around Mornington there have been reports of snapper also, from the shallow reef right out beyond the mussel farm. Customers Robbi and Matej fished out towards 12m and landed some good school fish to 2.5kg. The fish went well over a mid morning tide change and silver whiting chunks on snapper snatchers performed the best.


While fishing for snapper customer Ryan got a nice table sized gummy out from Mornington also. Ryan was fishing out in 18m with snapper on the mind, but that didn't stop the gummy from taking a piece of fresh red mullet fishing on the bottom. Gummies around the metre size aren't super common for Port Phillip, but if you're fishing fresh chunk baits you've always got a shot.

 


Port Phillip's snapper bite has picked up over the last few weeks, and even moreso this week. The fish have been more active and bites have been occurring around first light and also in the afternoon. The northern section of the bay has been more productive with Patto - north the real better section. Customer Harry and mate Stephen fished around the reef off Black Rock in 7m during the week to land a couple of nice table fish on silver whiting. Silver whiting has picked up dramatically over the last week as a bait also.


Customer Sam got out on Thursday morning and scored a nice fish in 15m off Frankston in flat conditions. The Frankston - Seaford area has been holding smaller patches of fish but certainly not as much boat traffic as further north around Black Rock. Customer Danny has been bagging fish to 3.7kg off Black Rock himself with both pilchard and garfish working well.


Staff members George and Chris fished out from Black Rock on Sunday afternoon. With sloppy southwest conditions and a late tide change the fish were going to bite. The guys found some small reef ledges in 13m that were holding fish nearby so started berleying. After about 15 minutes a few rods went off and the guys had a decent bite for about 2 hours, with 8 fish to around 4kg coming aboard. The smaller fish were around 40cm but still happy to nail a whole silver whiting on tandem 5/0 and 6/0's.


Out from Carrum on the mud there have been fish to be caught. With a lot more moving about to find active fish and a bit of intuition as to which direction to head in, there hasn't been as many boats. The areas that seem to be holding numbers of fish seem to be around the 15m line from Carrum, 13m off Seaford and again 15m out from Mordialloc. Customer Zoran got out with his Dad a couple of times over the weekend and scored some nice fish to 4kg out in 15m from Carrum. Silver whiting and pilchard worked equally on these fish.


There have still been some quality squid on offer in the bay, especially from Frankston south. Around Mornington there have been some better than average squid about, so upsizing to bigger jigs is a very good idea. Around Sorrento and Portsea the large squid have been about, with slack water producing more for anglers the shallower water. Across at Queenscliff the big squid have still be about, as staff member George found out. George fished with mate of the store Bruce and AFL footballer Bachar Houli. The boys fished just outside Queenscliff harbour over the grass beds in 3m of water to land over 20 big squid. Hayabusa and Shimano jigs were the best performers of the session.


After cleaning up on the squid the guys targeted whiting just north of Queenscliff. Fishing the tide around last light in 3 - 6m of water some nice whiting were caught on pipi and fresh squid. With the bite a bit slower than normal changing to lighter leader and smaller hooks converted a few extra fish.