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.

 


The bream fishing around the local haunts has been good, as is pretty consistent if you're heading out towards Gippsland. The local systems such as the Patto have been tricky as usual but there are some quality fish coming out. Customer Tony fished the canals earlier this week in search of some black bream and he was rewarded with fish to 41cm. Tony landed all of his fish on small live freshwater yabbies. The best method was to fish the yabbies pinned through the back of the shell on a snagproof 'wacky' hook. This method doesn't restrict the yabbies movement and also stops them from crawling around timber and rocks and getting stuck - but a crunch from a bream pops the snag guard off and the fish is hooked!


A bit further down on the Tambo customers Thao and Ange have both been getting into some bream land based. Thao has been fishing the lower river landbased and has landed fish to 38cm on yabbies, shrimp and small vibes. Ange has been using a finesse baitcater setup to cast small soft plastics around the edges and he has been landing plenty of fish to around 1kg on curl tail and creature patterned plastics. The numbers of fish active along the edges should only heat up over the next 5 weeks or so.


Customer Morgan has been out in the kayak getting amongst the bream in Gippsland also. Morgan has been catching fish in the mid 30cm size range on a few different lures, with slow twitched deep diving hardbodies one of the better methods. Small sinking stickbaits are excellent in the same scenario also, along with subtly hopped plastics, especially if they imitate small worms or shrimp.


In the same area customer Jordan and wife Hannah have been catching bream, tailor and flathead. With mainly flathead on the agenda for some fresh fish and chips, bigger lures were being used. Soft plastics in the 4 inch size were fished along the drop offs and resulted in some solid table sized fish. As soon as the shallow muddy bays were encountered the hardbodies came out.


Daiwa double clutch in 90mm were effective when slowly twitched through the mud, with duskies to around 55cm happy to eat the lures along with some large tailor. The tailor have been big in the Gippsland estuaries, with many fish getting close to 65cm and even bigger. At this size they are line burning fun, but if you're chasing them make sure sure bring more lures than you need!

 


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.

 


Estuary species have been fishing well over the past few weeks, with late winter rain really helping the fishing along. The main species being bream and mulloway throughout the Gippsland lakes and around the metro estuaries. The Gippsland rivers have been producing the bream throughout mainly the lower reaches as the salinity levels are more comfortable for the fish. Customer Peter was recently fishing from the shore of the lower Tambo with his wife where they landed some nice fish. Multiple bream up to 42cm were caught on sandworm and prawn.


Around the Melbourne metro rivers the bream have been found down a bit lower in the systems and semi schooled up in more open water. The lower Werribee river has seen a lot of the fish down in the lower river just up from the boat ramp, with crab and freshwater yabbies being the baits of choice. In the Patterson river the bream have been found towards the lower river and out into the mouth of the bay, and open waters of the river. Staff member Dylan has been fishing the river recently and finding good numbers of fish to around 41cm. The fish have been moving about and timid, but have been taking small crab and yabby pattern soft plastics on the open water mudflats and silt beds. There has also been the odd mulloways cruising the main river as well for anglers using heavier gear.


On the mulloway front, there have been fishing cruising the metro rivers and also in decent numbers in the western coastal estuaries. Staff member Dylan fished some of the western rivers with mates recently in search of the mulloway and after a lot of searching the fish were found. Among all the boats fishing nearby the fish were quite spooky and moving about a lot - but found with the use of side scan on the sounder.


All up 10 mulloway were landed, with the largest measuring around 90cm. The mulloway were hard to tempt and were only willing to eat a small selection of lures, with small heavily weighted vibes being the pick of the bunch - with a few picked up on soft plastic also. Subtle action in the lures was what the fish were after most, with light tail twitches on the plastics and soft lifts on the vibes getting the fishes' attention.

 


There have been dome snapper, and plenty of pinkies coming into the reports around the bay over the past week or so. While the fish are still scattered and not thick in numbers, they are definitely out there and are being caught. Water temperatures around the bay have been hovering around 12C, and once jump above 13-14 and stay there the fish will come on the bite more frequently. While the top end of the bay from Hobsons Bay through to around Black Rock is the area worth looking in, there has been the odd fish further down the bay.

Customer Ngoc got a surprise fishing in the Patto river last week, with a solid 3.5kg snapper taking his bait up towards the last boat ramp. Ngoc managed to land the fish on light tackle and with a minuscule size 8 C10U hook set up for bream.


Around most of the inshore reef through the top end of the bay there has been stacks of pinkies, with plenty of size fish to around 2kg in the mix. Staff member Dylan has caught a few both on bait while chasing other fish and also on plastics from the shore over the past few weeks. Brighton, St Kilda and Mordialloc piers and the adjacent beaches have been providing fish to around 45cm on plastics when fished in the afternoons. Dylan has found 'weedless' jigs and buoyant plastics to be the most successful over the broken reef.

 

 


The late Winter rain has done wonders for the estuary fishing both locally and down into Gippsland. The local Port Phillip rivers have been fishing well for bream, particularly with bait. Customer George was fishing the Werribee river just last week where he found a few reasonable size bream, but was also pleasantly surprized when a nice 90cm mulloway decided to eat one of his bass yabbies. George managed to wrangle the fish in using very light main line and leader which was a good effort.


Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished the Melbourne metro rivers in search of bream over the weekend with mixed results. With only a few members able to fish over the weekend there weren't a huge number of fish weighed in, but the fish that were came from the Patterson River. The Patto has been running dirty in the main river with fresh coming down from the top, but the bream have been feeding actively. Customers Paul and Dave managed a few fish around 350g from the river using mainly prawn for bait. Fishing eddies and small drop offs in the river will see you come across a few fish as they cruise out of the main current and feed at their leisure. 


Down in the Gippsland lakes there have been some solid bream on the chew as the freshwater pushes down the rivers and gets them schooling and into pre-spawn mode. The fish in the 3 main rivers have been biting well, once they have been found. Looking for downstream areas of higher salinity has been where a few fish have been hanging out lately.  Customers Brendan and Phil have been doing well on nice fish into the 40cm mark fishing the Mitchell river in Bairnsdale. The best baits for targeting these bigger fish have been cut crab and freshwater yabbies. Fishing these hardier baits generally flushes out the smaller 'pickers' and leaves a solid bait intact for a bigger fish to eat. Just make sure to match your hook style and size to the bait correctly.

 

 


Although the weather has been bitterly cold and average wind wise over the past few days , there is some decent weather with light winds on it's way. While the weather may not have been the most helpful for the fisherman there has still been a bit happening locally for rugged up anglers. The garfish have been around on the piers along the eastern seaboard of the bay, with Mornington, Seaford, Frankston and Sandringham all good places to start. Staff member Don has been catching a few around Mornington over the past week, with some good sized fish in the schools. Small silverfish and maggots have been the best, but as usual a fine grit berley and properly balanced floats are a must.


Customer Nathan has also been catching the gars from Seaford pier. Nathan has been finding that the fish are most active around the last bit of daylight into the first hour or so of night. Nathan has been berleying and fishing silverfish back in the berley trail but also paying attention to which direction the berley is being carried.


Nathan has also been catching some nice bream from Patterson river. Maximizing his fishing time after work hours Nathan has landed bream up to 42cm recently from the river. During his latest session Nathan caught 2 nice fish both around a kilo, and both on mussel. The bream were most active just after sunset and will still bite well with the dirty water conditions. Customer Cip has also caught a couple of nice fish recently from the Patto, but on lures. Cip has been using small sinking stickbaits and plastics but has found the stickbaits have been getting the bite more often. Letting these lures slowly sink and flutter down to the bottom has been when most fish are grabbing them.


In westernport there has been plenty on offer from the local piers, with a heap of pike, mackerel and flathead to be caught over the reef and weedbeds, and barracouta mid water. Customer Nath has landed rock flathead to 45cm fishing from the piers and has found soft plastics the best way to jag a few. Small 3 inch paddletail plastics have been the best performers especially in small whiting or wrasse colours. Customer Angelo has been catching a heap of big pike and couta from the pier down at Flinders on soft plastics also. Flinders is an excellent location to fish plastics for fish like pike as they patrol the thick kelp beds. Angelo has slowly gotten into the lure fishing and is having a ball catching lots of variety of the finesse plastic techniques.

 


When conditions allow, there have still been a few good snapper floating about both bays and they can still be caught. With rough conditions the landbased fisherman have an excellent chance of landing fish to 3kg from the rocks and piers. Port Phillip bay has been the better option for landbased snapper fishing, with Mt Martha, Brighton and Port Melbourne the shore based hot spots. Boat based anglers have a bit more freedom but sticking to these same areas has been the go, with pinkies from size to around 2kg feeding aggressively during and after rough onshore weather.

Customer Chris took his boat out for run during some recent calm weather, and had a fish straight out from Carrum. Chris managed a couple of bites and landed a nice winter snapper of around 3kg on pilchard. Chris also marked a few others nearby when he pulled up to anchor.


Across in westernport bay there are some nice winter reds around, especially if you're fishing the north-eastern section of the port. Probably the highest chance of a quality winter snapper would be this area from now until early August. The region between Joe's island and Corinella holds some excellent sized fish and is a far better chance for these fish than the rest of the port. Fishing baits of fresh squid or fish baits like mackerel or pike will give you a good chance. Customer Jamie landed a nice fish from the top end of he port just recently in some magic conditions. Fresh squid and a run off feeder channel led to the capture of the quality snapper.

 


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'.