While Western Port has been fishing well for good variety, it seems a fair bulk of anglers out doing most of their snapper fishing have been out in Port Phillip so reports are less than normal. There have been decent reports of snapper coming from around the port, but the main hotspots are the 'Lysaughts' region, Rhyll and Cowes deep, and through the 'corals' area. The bait preference for the Western Bay has been pilchard, or fresh baits of locally caught species like squid, salmon, couta and yakkas.

Customer Bart had a good session with some mates out from Rhyll. The guys managed 3 table sized gummies and a good bag of snapper to around 3kg fishing in 17.5m of water. Bart said that pilchard was by far the most effective bait, and the fish bit best around the last stage of the run out tide.


On the whiting front, many customers have been remarking "Have the whiting have started already?" The short answer is yes. The Whiting normally start around September in the port but number catches are patchy, with larger fish making up the bags. Currently at present there are good numbers along the banks throughout the top end, with some quality amongst them. As the heat of Summer approaches the school fish will make up the bulk of the catch up along the banks, but right now there are some good ones about.

Staff member Don has been out on the 'tings' again which is no shock to us, with fish to around the 40cm marking up his recent bag. Fishing deep in Bagge Harbour towards 'Crawfish' Don and mate managed 30 fish with lots around the 37cm size. Usual baits of pipi worked well but long thin strips of fresh squid were also very effective on 'worm' style hooks in the current.

 


Snapper reports have slowed up a little from the port as anglers flock to Port Phillip - but the fish are still there to be caught. They are spread around the port fairly well at present, and you can find a quiet pocket to target them in easily enough. Customer Frank fished out from Corinella and landed snapper up to 6kg on pillies recently. Further south around Rhyll the fish have been going fairly well out from Observation Point and across on the Corals. Customer Bart fished out off Observation in 17.5m during the week and landed fish to 4kg on pilchards.


The gummies have been turning up on snapper bait as usual for anglers in the port. Customer Chris landed 2 table sized sharks during a snapper session recently up around Joe's Island. The myriad of smaller feeder channels and gutter in this region of the port are home to a large amount of smaller gummies, and they can easily be intercepted by sitting along the gutter edges on a run out tide as they move back through the channels. Fresh squid and yakka are very effective baits in the murkier water.


On the gummy front, customer Tony caught a nice one while out on the snapper over some shallow reef not far from the corals. The nice gummy weighed around 9kg and took fresh squid. For anglers out on the banks in the same area, the whiting have been biting quite well. The shallows of Coronet Bay have been producing school fish to 32cm, while the top end banks have been holding better sized fish. The deeper water off the banks has been the holding ground for the big fish, but is hard to fish unless you're fishing smaller tides.


On the squid front Flinders had been producing some nice models up until the heavy rain. Customer Angelo has been caught some nice squid to around 1.5kg on his last outings to the pier. Angelo has caught on a mixture of silver whiting baited jigs and the Clicks 'Black Opal' in size 3.0.

 


The land based fishing for snapper has been exceptional over the past few weeks. The normal run of land based reds occurs from late July onward but the shore based fishing has really heated up the past fortnight, both locally and out of town. Customer Taki has been chasing the reds from the rocks around the bay and his last session down towards Mt Martha yielded 2 nice fish up to 4kg. Pillies fished on 4/0 circle hooks did the job.


Customer Shibu has also been catching some nice school snapper from the shore. Shibu and friends have been from the beach along the Mordialloc - Black Rock region where fish to 2.5kg are not uncommon. Running sinker style rigs have been letting the bait move about naturally and have been attracting more bites. Pilchard has been the most effective bait along the area.


While there have been plenty of fish caught along the shoreline of the bay, there have been plenty from along the rocky ocean platforms out of town. Ocean ledges like Punchbowl have been producing snapper for the anglers out there in search of them. A bit further down the road around Wilson's Prom Customer Abdul has caught some nice fish to around 80cm. Abdul came in to store to prepare for a snapper session from the rocks and his organization led to success.


Abdul took a light rod and heavier shore rod for snapper, and caught some salmon using pilchards as bait - which were used for the snapper. The fresh fillets of salmon accounted for all of the snapper and a nice gummy which broke off at the rocks. Carrying minimal gear and catching fresh bait can be the huge advantage to catching quality fish.

 


Westernport has continued to produce some quality snapper, with the bite somewhat more consistent than Port Phillip, but most anglers are aware that this is the case. With the increased tidal flow of the port, most of the fish are forced to eat on more of a schedule and once you key into their movements they can be a bit easier to consistently catch. The whole port has been producing snapper at present, from the back corner behind Joe's all the way down to Rhyll and the corals.


Captain Perri has been getting plenty of snapper selfies during the week, with more time spent on the port than at work - but who's blaming him. Customer Thao has also been catching some nice school fish from the same area, with the Hastings area really producing well. Fishing around 15m of water with fresh squid and pilchards has been the go.


The Bagge Harbour area has been holding some nice fish, with a few big patches hanging in the lee of Eagle Rock. Fishing the Bagge Harbour and further down towards Joe's customer Peter has been landing fish to 7kg. As usual, fresh squid has been the go, with other fresh baits of couta, pike and salmon claiming a few also.

Customer Tony went out for his first proper snapper trip during the week, and caught a few nice school fish to 3.8kg from the corals area. Tony was only fishing fairly shallow and using squid freshly caught that session. There have been plenty of school fish over the corals but it is also a good area to pick up the odd bigger fish or even a mulloway.


while the snapper have certainly taken the limelight for most anglers, there have been some nice gummies caught by anglers chasing them and also as bycatch. When fishing the snapper marks in the port the gummies are never far away, with main difference being that the gummies occupy the channel drops and bottom edges with more predictability. Customer Kosta was fishing fishing out from Hastings along the channel drop with fresh squid when he scored a nice fish of around 11kg. Fishing the Corinella area customer Mark has also been catching his share or table sized sharks. Mark has also been fishing fresh squid and has been landing multiple gummies to just over the metre mark.

 


There has been a fair bit of action happening on the land based fishing front. All along the shoreline of the bay there has been activity from a few different options. Squid and salmon have been plentiful and the landbased pinkies and snapper have been good.

Customer Brett took his young fisher mate Walter down to the local piers on the peninsula where some big salmon had been spotted. Casting small metal lures around the current lines and drop offs resulted in some super fat salmon hitting the deck of the pier. Some of the locals were even getting belted on large squid jigs, so the competition between fish is fierce. Keep an eye out for the bait schools if you are fishing the piers, as large numbers of pilchards and small anchovies are in the bay at the moment, as these fish are gorging themselves on them.


The peninsula around Mornington and Frankston has been producing some super-sized squid over the past few weeks, which have been much bigger than usual. Size 2.5 jigs and small squid are the norm in the area, but at the minute there are plenty about that area a kilogram or bigger, and size 3.5 jigs have been the go. Staff member Don fished Mornington pier during the week to land some of the bigger squid, using bigger jigs. Staff member Dylan also caught some similar sized squid in the area over the weekend, with size 3.5 jigs in UV lemon and pilchard patterns getting the job done.


On the land based snapper front, there hasn't really been a standout spot - moreso if you have a location that has produced for you it is worth fishing at the moment, especially with some strong wind forecast over the weekend. Customer and APL local ninja Cipto fished from a couple of the piers around Black Rock during the week to land a ripper school fish just before dark on bluebait. 


While normally an early season location, customer Frank has been catching snapper from the rocks on Phillip Island. Frank has been catching fish to over 70cm on pilchard on the surf gear, with some solid fish getting back in to the reef. If you are fishing the local rocks just be mindful of the swell and tide conditions, and fish heavy mono instead of braid if you can. Mono will give you a bit more resilience around the rocks and a some more shock absorption during those final headshakes and lunges.


From the local Port Phillip piers there have been some varied size snapper caught. There have been some large fish caught, with customer Peter reporting fish to 5kg from Mordi pier. These fish are not uncommon and it is just a matter of persistence and picking the conditions for them. Customer Connor also caught some nice pan sized fish from Mornington pier. Connor has been out early braving the wind and rain to catch his fish, which have taken bluebait. One thing's for sure, you won't catch fish like these sitting at home!


The school snapper have even been hanging around some of the piers in the southern end of the bay. While not normally a common catch from the piers around the Rye and Rosebud area, customer Eisa reports of some nice table sized fish from Dromana pier. Fishing with pilchard and slimey mackerel Eisa caught 5 nice fish to 46cm and a good flathead. The first few hours of night were the most productive during the incoming tide.

 


Snapper reports have started to really ramp up over the past week or so, with some rain and semi consistent warmer weather really helping things out a lot. With the bay temperature warming, the snapper bite is getting better and better but it still seems plenty of people are 'waiting' to hear reports rather than getting out there and doing it! There have been numbers of school fish from size to 2kg around the inshore reefs with Williamstown, Brighton, Black Rock and Mornington all holding big schools. Customer Ryan has been catching numbers of fish to about 1.5kg up the top of the bay around Williamstown on plastics. Worm style plastics on 1/6oz jigs have been good when fishing the shallower reefs in a bit of chop.


Customer Ange has also been getting into the school fish from the shore. Ange caught some nice solid pinkies from the beach around Black Rock and Sandringham during the week, with pilchard and squid doing the job. Staff member Dylan also saw some nice shore based fish caught from Brighton, St Kilda and Black Rock earlier in the week when he was in the area. Fish to around 2.5kg were caught with none smaller than about 35cm, on a mixture of baits like pilchard, squid and saury. Long casts to the surrounding reef have been the go, so 10ft - 12ft coarse 'feeder' style rods have been the most effective tools for the job.


While there aren't as many punters out in Port Phillip, Westernport bay has been solidly producing fish for the guys just getting out and having a crack. There are reasonably consistent reports coming from the Long Reef area through to channels behind Joe's, with Corinella and deep off Ryhll also producing. Many of the fish coming from the port have been quality, with the average sitting around 4kg.


Captain Perri fished out from Corinella earlier during the week with a couple of nice fish hitting the deck pretty early on. Fishing a 15m hole, fish to 5kg were caught using pillies. The bites were tentative and the fish weren't hooking themselves, so the lightest tipped rods on the boat were the go. Customer Thao also fished somewhere in the region mid week to gain his bag of fish to about 4kg. Thao found that fresh squid and pilchard were the go, with again soft bites and softer rods the go. Thao will most likely be enjoying his snapper with some mustard over the BBQ later this week, so the area is worth a look over the weekend.

 

 


With some warm weather present over the past week, things have heated up on the snapper front. Both bays are producing quality fish with 4-5kg common. Another 3 weeks or so and things should be almost red hot, but there are fish out there ready to catch now! Bill from Mornington got out and scored a nice 4kg fish in 18m on pilly. The Mornington area has been well worth a shot especially out in the 18-22m area.


Customer Mana scored a ripper fish at 7.8kg out from Mornington also in 21m towards the channel. Mana caught the fish on pilchard and had to bring the fish via handlining method as the braid-spooled reel knocked into freespool and caused a massive knot which meant the fish had to be retrieved old school style!


Out in Westernport the fish have been going fairly well, but the hoards of anglers haven't flocked to many areas of the port just yet. The 'top end' is the place to be concentrating - with the area around Joe's Island attracting numbers of anglers and also producing some nice fish. The surrounding channels have been harbouring fish to 8kg, with many around the 5kg mark also. Customers Jason and Brent were fishing the area over the weekend and caught fish around the 5kg mark using freshly caught yakkas.


The deeper water out from Rhyll and Cowes has been holding some nice fish with some good gummies mixed in. Fishing in 18m of water around 'Silverleaves' is a pretty good way to connect to a nice fish at present. Customer Johnny has been landing fish to 6kg from the area on freshly caught squid. Silver whiting can be a good bait option here also and pilchards are just plain silly to forget also!


A bit further around towards Warneet there have also been some nice fish caught. The shoals of Bagge Harbour and Long Reef at Lysaughts have had fish to 8kg popping up, with the shallower areas producing the better fish. Customer Zac has been having fun on fish to 7.5kg out along the area between 8 and 15m. Pilchard, squid and pike have all accounted for fish this week.

 

 

The land based fishing around the bay has been good for quite a few different species lately, whether you're after some fresh baits or for some fresh fish for the dinner table. The salmon have been moving about, and while not as thick as they are during the cooler months there have still been enough about to normally get in to a few. Customer Brendan got into a heap at the mouth of the Patto recently on soft plastics. Brendan found that small paddle tail soft plastics under 3 inches were the most effective when fished on light jigheads.  During the calmer conditions the fish will push deeper and need to be fished with more finesse, and this is when plastics will outfish most other offerings.


Customer Frank also found some solid salmon fishing around Mornington. Frank again found small plastics the most effective when the other lures went quiet. Some of the salmon around the southern end of bay have been 1.5kg upwards. Around the same areas, especially inside the calmer harbours and coves the garfish have still been about. Not many anglers have been chasing them but some quality fish have been about. Staff member Don has been fishing for gars around Mornington and back to Frankston and he has seen some larger models. As usual, fine berley and very small pieces of silverfish have been the go - with size 14 hooks getting a lot more bites than bigger hooks.


Nearer to the ocean beaches, there have still some large salmon showing up. Beach fishing anglers have slowed off but there have been fish upwards of 3kg hanging around the gutters and headlands from Port Phillip heads down to Punchbowl. Customer Robin was fishing one of his usual areas around Phillip Island and found plenty of thick fish to 2.5kg. Bluebait fished on flasher style paternoster rigs with small squid skirts added got all the bites.


Around the shallower sections of the bay the flathead have starting moving in. Now is actually a good time to target these tasty fish as they push inshore and are hungry and hunting. There are a few species of flathead on offer for anglers also, with rock, sand and yank flathead all available. Customer Ryan found some nice rock flathead from the piers around the top end of the bay - with Brighton and St Kilda both productive. Small paddle tail plastics like the Megabass Hazedong Shads were super effective when fished on 1/8oz jigs. Staff member Dylan also good numbers of sand flathead to 41cm in close along the Seaford - Frankston area. 2.8'' ribbed style paddle tails accounted for every fish, with more than 30 fish caught in the space of a few hours.

 

 


The snapper reports are about to hit the next level around Melbourne, with rising water temperatures and more stable weather on their way. Westernport is still producing more fish if you're unsure where to fish, but port Phillip is also worth a fish if you want to stick to the bay. Customer Nathan fished the bay out from Mordi during the week to land a nice fish on plastics, with a 5 inch pilchard pattern doing the job. Squid scent on the plastic sealed the deal, with the real movement, look and smell of a real bait proving too much for the reds to resist. Make sure you have the correct tackle to fish soft plastics on the snapper, as many anglers still go fishless and frustrated after trying them on the incorrect gear.


Out in westernport the reds have been going well enough for the last few weeks, if you know where to look and how to tackle the port's current and bycatch. Customer Mario fished out from Corinella during the low light period into the night to land snapper to 6kg. Freshly caught squid was the ticket, with lighter tipped 'port Phillip' style rods perfect here in the shallower holes and along the mudflats.


The Corinella area has been a go-to area for angler unsure of where to look for snapper, as the water temperature stays a bit warmer than the rest of the bay with all the rock and mudflats exposed to the sun during low water. The region can produce some solid fish, with the odd '20lb' fish coming from the area each season. Heading south from Corinella the 'Corals' area can also produce some nice fish, but seems to fire a bit later in the season. Heading west, the deep water off Rhyll and Cowes is well worth fishing at present. The fish can school up in this deeper water here, and are regularly caught in 18 - 22m. Customer Mick fished this area over the weekend to land a few school fish and a nice 4kg model, along with a nice table sized gummy. Mick was fishing in 22m of water and caught everything on 'big eye' pilchards.

 


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.