These tasty little fish have been about serious numbers for a little bit, with the last few weeks being awesome. After the last bit of rain and wind the gars have come on again and have been making their way into angler's buckets along most of the bayside piers and rockwalls.

Customer Ryan has been catching a few around the piers along the peninsula, with Mornington being one of the 'hotspots'. While the pier here has been busy, there are plenty of other locations suitable for catching these fish without breaking social distancing rules.


Between Mornington and Frankston the gars have been on fire. The small jetties in the area and hidden coves and bays have been holding gars without the crowds. Customer Jason got into a bag of fish in the boat, fishing water less than 2m deep. Berley as always has been the key, with a fine grain mix the standout. Customer Izzy also got into the gars fishing from the shore at Frankston. Maggots were the key bait, with heavily weighted floats showing the subtle bites. If you're unsure of how to rig for gars, come in and talk to us as the correct rigging can be the difference between a fishes or successful session. 


Further north in the bay customer Angelo has been also catching gars. Angelo has been fishing Beaumaris and Mordialloc with gars at both locations. Angelo has been fishing cut silverfish and maggots amongst the berley trail and keeping a keen eye on the float as many bites have simply been sideways dips or slides of it. Knowing how to correctly ballast your float and tell when it is acting unnatural will catch you a lot more fish. 

 


The local land based fishing around the bays has been good considering the nice weather we've had of late. Wether you'd enjoy a feed of flathead, garfish, whiting or squid they are all readily available. One of the more popular species on offer at present are the tasty garfish - which have been active at most of the piers around Port Phillip. Some of the hot spots worth a look have been Mordialloc, Black Rock, Seaford, Frankston and down the peninsula at Dromana and Mornington. Baits of chopped silverfish, banana prawn and maggots have all been good. Getting your float setup correctly ballasted and having a steady trail of fine berley are also some of the finer points to successful gar fishing. 

Staff member Don fished Frankston pier during the week and bagged a nice feed of gars. Tiny pieces of banana prawn fished on narrow gape fly hooks were the most effective when lightly weighted around the edge of the berley trail. 


The northern end of the bay has been fishing well for good table sized flathead and whiting. The shallows have been producing sand flathead to 50cm around any rockfall, gutter or reef ledge. Fishing soft plastics has been the most effective way to snag a flathead, but ensure that you're using a plastic that gives off natural vibration to help the fish hone in on the lure. St Kilda through to Mentone has been the are to try. 


The same areas of the bay down to around Olivers Hill have been producing whiting after dark. Customer Jordan has landed some nice flathead and whiting over the last week around Brighton. The flathead have been caught on 3 inch mullet patterned plastics and the whiting have been liking banana prawn and pipi. Customer Serge also got a nice bag of whiting from the shore around Sandringham on a mixture of squid, banana prawn and pipi. 

The same inshore reef and sand patches have been producing some nice squid after dark. Staff member Dylan fished from the shore from Brighton through to Black Rock last week and landed squid every session, with the quickest 10 squid bag taking about 40 minutes. Size 2.5 jigs are the most consistent in this area, with virtually every colour tried eventually producing a squid or two. 

Down along the bottom of the peninsula over in Westernport, customer Angelo has been catching squid and grass whiting like they're going out of fashion. Angelo has been fishing Flinders pier and has found the squid around 25cm hood length on average. Size 3.5 jigs in natural grass whiting patterns along with blacks and UV whites have been the best for him. The grass whiting have also been active around the pier pylons and grass beds and have been taking a liking to small paternoster rigs baited with either trout worms or small pieces of banana prawn.  

 


The bread and butter fishing around the bay has kept anglers busy with gars, pinkies, bream and whiting all on offer depending on which area you're fishing. Last week customer Nick sent us a report from himself and his young daughter and this week they're out again. Nick and Chantelle had a fish from the pontoons in Mordialloc creek and Chantelle is making catching fish part of her new weekend routine! Chantelle was chuffed to land a few small pinkies from the pontoon, all of which went back to fight another day.


On the bread and butter front, there have been plenty of garfish around the local piers and breakwalls and they are excellent to take the kids out to try their luck on. The fish haven't been restricted to any certain areas and have been caught all over the bay. Some of the better starting points have been Mornington, Seaford, Mordialloc, Beaumaris and Brighton. If you're in the boat many of the shallow sandy coves and bays have been holding good numbers as well.

Customer Pat caught a nice feed of gars in the shallows during the week, with a light berley trail of fine grit powder mixed in with tuna oil getting the fish in close to the boat. Small pieces of banana prawn and squid caught him his bag of fish. Staff member Don has also been catching some gars from the local piers, with Seaford and Frankston being the more productive. Don has been fishing small pieces of banana prawn in his berley trail and on most occasions has managed a goo bag of fish. Adjusting float and bait depth and buoyancy has also been a critical factor.

 


While this season wasn't the greatest for many bay anglers, there are still some decent snapper holding in the bay. Most anglers have hung up the snapper gear for the meanwhile but there are still fish there to catch. The main areas to concentrate your efforts on have been between Frankston and Mt Martha, in depths between 16m and 19m. Outside of this region there have been a few nice fish holding out from St Leonards and Queenscliff. Customer Mario caught some nice fish to 8kg fishing around the Prince George Light out from Portarlington recently. Mario found freshly caught calamari was the best bait and he found the fish in 7m of water.


Young gun Harry went out with on a trip with Reel Time Fishing Charters recently and landed his first snapper. Harry landed the fish on a small chunk of pilchard in 18m of water out from Frankston. The area off Frankston has also been fishing well with snatcher style rigs suspended just off the seabed and baited with chunks of whiting or squid.


Fishing out from Carrum customer Nahin landed a nice snapper recently also. Nahin was fishing with friends Grant, Himel and Chan and they all landed some nice pinkies and flathead along with the decent snapper. The guys were fishing in 18m of water and using pilchard and squid. These fish should come on the bite heavily over the next 5 or so weeks and run right through to mid Autumn.

 


While it has been an average snapper season weather wise, there is some fishable weather on it's way, with conditions looking good for the weekend and early next week. With the strong onshore winds Port Phillip has copped recently, the calmer weather will give anglers a window to fish. Before the heavy winds and onshore weather customer Travis and son Jax had some nice fish in the boat.


Customers Billy and Johnny fished out in the bay during some weather lulls and caught some nice snapper to around 6kg. The boys found the 16m area out from Mordialloc was the most productive and all fish were caught on Fish Candy pilchards. There have been some nice fish around the Mordialloc region and after the current blow the fish will fire up around the shallow reef in the area.


The Mt Eliza/ Frankston/Mornington area has also been fishing well over the last week or so, when anglers have been able to get out. The main talked about region seems to have been Frankston - Mt Eliza in 16m.Customer Izzy fished out from the Mornington/Mt Eliza region and landed some nice fish to 6kg. Silver whiting have been an excellent bait out in this area.


Customer Steve has also been catching fish not too far away in Mornington and Mt Martha. Steve has been finding quality fish in 16m of water, with fish to 5.3kg coming aboard. Steve has been fishing both strayline and paternoster rigs with fish taken on both. Pilchards fished on straylines have been good, while silver whiting heads have been excellent when fished on paternoster rigs fished just off the bottom. The same style of circle hook paternoster rigs have been good for anglers fishing from the shore. Nearby around Mt Martha rocks the snapper have been caught in close during the big south-westerly blows but caution must be exercised when fishing from these areas during rough weather.


Speaking of land based snapper, there have still been good numbers of fish caught from the stones around the bays and offshore. Customer Cong has landed snapper to 4kg from local rock points and ledges with pilchard being the most consistent bait. Saury and yakka have also been producing the odd fish, with the large fish favouring the harder baits.

 


Port Phillip bay has turned on the heat for snapper anglers over the last week or so. The increase of water temperature has really seen the fish start to bite better, as they should well into December. Customers from the Keysborough Angling Club fished the bay last week for 7 nice snapper landed in tough conditions. Fishing both pilchard and silver whiting fish to 5.3kg were caught out from Carrum in 17m. Customers Dave and Jack weighed in snapper to over 5kg during the comp and took out the points.


Customer Andy reports that the snapper have been going well out from Mt Eliza and Mornington. Andy and Zoe fished a couple of days during the week and did well. The fish were found and caught around the 'Ansetts' and 'Hospital' marks in 18.5 and 19m of water. The most productive baits during both trips were silver whiting, with fish to around 4kg hammering them. Paternoster rigs have also been very productive out in this region of the bay at present.


Customers around the Black Rock area have also been getting into the fish. Customers Vito and Harry had a blinder of a session on the reds recently with over 40 hookups on snapper. With 30 or so fish landed up to 6kg the fish were well and truly on the chew and willing to eat. The boys fished mostly circle hooks with small baits and found the fish obliging. Rick from Juro Tackle has also been getting amongst the snapper around Ricketts point and Black Rock. Rick has been fishing his favourite 4 inch jerkbait style soft plastics to land fish to around 4kg. Fishing along the edge of the reef here has been a good way to find some slightly larger than school fish.

 


Port Phillip bay has been producing some good school snapper from about Mordialloc north around the shallow reef ledges. While the bay hasn't been producing as many fish as westernport, there has still been some fish about to be caught. Most of these fish have been caught in relatively close during bouts of average weather.  Customer Advan has caught some nice snapper to 3.5kg in close of Black Rock. Advan has been fishing around 8m of water and using pillies for the best result.


Customer Bashir fished out from Sandringham in search of snapper and has landed fish to around 4kg. Bashir has been fishing around isolated reef patches and pinnacles and has found pilchard to be the best. Staff member Dylan fished around Mordialloc in search of some snapper over the weekend, but with only small fish caught. Dylan concentrated on shallow reef outcrops with deep running hardbodied lures and deeper reef patches using flutter style jigs, with around 30 fish caught - but only up to 45cm. Many of the fish caught were between 35 - 45cm and perfect pan size.


Looking like snapper but silver are some of the bream that customer Minh has been catching. Minh has been fishing the Patterson River and using scrubworm to land multiple fish a session. Minh has caught fish to 44cm using worm in the river. The bream have been moving about the river quite freely, with fish caught from the bar at the river mouth right up to the rockwall towards the Frankston freeway end of the river. These fish will only get more active from now on and feed more aggressively around many areas of the river, and nearby metro rivers.

 


While there has been some activity on the snapper front, the real 'hot' action for Port Phillip is still around 2 weeks off. Water temperature and rainfall at this time of year play a crucial part in when the fish 'fire' and looking at the weather we are around 10 days to 2 weeks off. There have been a few solid fish caught by searching anglers but overall the bulk of the fish are yet to enter the bay. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has caught some small fish over the past week but also landed a cracker fish of around 80cm just a few days ago, so make sure you're prepared!


There have been a few fish scattered throughout the bay however, and the bulk of the fish caught are coming from landbased anglers. Fishing any of the shoreline around Mornington and Mount Martha has been the go, along with the top end of the bay between Mordialloc and St Kilda. Customer John got out during the week and managed a couple of nice fat school fish from the shore after dark on pilchard. John has been fishing a few locations and has found the fish biting late through the night after or during a strong 20 knot onshore wind.


At the moment the top end of Westernport has been producing the lion's share of the snapper reports. While Western Port normally fires up before Port Phillip, there seems to be good numbers of fish spread right through the port. Scattered reports have come from the Corals, Silverleaves, Corinella, Joe's Island and also through Bagge Harbour and the North arm. Customer Johnny got out on to the port during the week and landed 3 fish to around 3kg in the north arm on fresh squid. The region around Lysaughts and Long Reef in 15 - 18m has been producing quite a few school fish on squid, couta and pilchard.

 


While the phrase "it's still too early" is commonly being uttered among snapper fishing talk - we're now mid September and the fish have been hanging about for a while, and anglers have been catching them. Sure, water temperatures are not quiet at 'optimum' but the fish are still there and they have to eat. Many landbased locations have been producing fish and patches of both bays are also holding fish that are eating on more regular terms. Captain Bill from Mornington took a photo of a local angler fishing the pier and rockwall just a few days ago with a nice fish taken on fresh squid. During heavy onshore weather the pier has been holding some quality fish and is worth fishing straight after said weather.


While Mornington pier has been producing fish, Frankston, Mordialloc and Brighton have also been doing the same. The beaches in these same areas have been producing active fish also - so if the pier is packed head onto the beach nearby instead of casting into the same area as a heap of other anglers, this way you're giving yourself a better chance. Customer Ahmad has been looking around the piers and beaches over the past month and has landed snapper to around 7kg for his efforts, with fresh squid and pilchard still the better baits.


For the boat based anglers in Westernport the fish have come on a bit stronger - which is normal for this time of year. Water temperatures and rainfall play a big part in when the fish switch on and where. At the moment the more consistent areas to concentrate on are between Corinella north and Grantville and about Hastings. There have been numbers of fish moving around the 'finger' channels way up the North-Eastern corner of the port, where the low tide mudflats are warming up the surrounding water. Customer Anthony has been fishing this area with his daughter and together have caught her first snapper. The nice school fish took fresh squid.

Customer Zach has also been amongst the snapper. Zach has been fishing the water of the North arm and has managed a brace of nice fish in his first trip - with fresh squid and pike both doing the job. Searching for small pockets of slightly warmer water and bait nearby is a good way to locate some snapper at the moment.

 


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.