While snapper reports from Port Phillip have still been a touch on the quiet side due to the weather, there were some quality fish caught over the weekend. The best bite from the fish was over Sunday afternoon and into Monday morning and then the wind came through again. Young gun fisherman Mike was out fishing off Frankston for reds and scored a ripper snapper on a paternoster rig. The fish was caught on a Reedy's Rig in scallop colour, spiced up with pilchard pieces.


Also off Frankston was customer Hummer. Hummer was fishing in 12m of water and landed snapper to around the 5.5kg mark early in the morning. The best baits for him were large silver whiting. Customer Aaron fished with his son and brother out in Port Phillip over the weekend to land some nice fish into the 6kg mark. The best fishing was after the first bit of daylight and a heavy trail of pilchard cubes and 'ultra' pellets were used in keeping the fish around to actively feed. 


Up the top end of the bay the snapper have been actively feeding around the shallow reef. Customer Lilong fished with mates out from Altona on Sunday afternoon and landed a bunch of fish on plastics including a lovely fish that measured 73cm. 4 inch plastics fished around reef outcrops in 4 - 6m of water were effective as the fish were actively feeding in the slightly discoloured water in the shallows.

 


The past week has brought the snapper on the chew a bit better in Port Phillip. Water temperatures have risen to between 15-16C and when this stabilizes the fish will bite even better. Earlier in the week the fish went well off Carrum over the mud, while plenty were also caught up around Black Rock and south around Mornington.


Customers Mark and Daniel fished out from Frankston in 16m and found some nice fish, which ate on the first set of baits. Pilchard and fresh calamari caught the fish, with 5 landed between 4kg and 7.5kg. Out in the same area customer Ben also got into some nice fish. Ben fished the 17m line to land fish to around 5kg in weight.


Further south around Mornington customers Taki and Wilson landed some nice fish from the rocks. The boys have been fishing some pretty heavy weather but are geared up to suit and they have been getting into the fish. Using pillies the boys have had fish to 7kg, with Saturdays sloppy weather producing a good number of fish to around 4kg.


Up around Ricketts point customer Gareth has been out in the kayak landing pinkies to around 50cm on lures. Gareth has caught fish trolling hardbodies and also on soft swimbaits and 'neko' rigged plastics. Gareth has been trying a few different methods and has been catching fish on many when others using bait aren't getting bites.

 


Customers Izzy and Bruno are holidaying up along the northern coastline of NSW, and getting some fishing in while they're up there. The have been fishing the region from Byron Bay back down to around Lake Macquarie and have fun with various fish on their journey. Fishing just offshore from Brunswick heads Izzy landed some lovely snapper up to 4kg on Reedy's rigs with pilchard on them.

The offshore fishing in the same region has also had it's mix of bigger fish too, with some big sharks around. After some bite offs, Izzy and Bruno set up an overhead rod with some bigger hooks and trace, and Izzy managed to beat a big bronze whaler after an hour long fight. The bronzie was attacked and bleeding from the gills so it was kept and shared around to some of the locals. When the wind has been up the guys have been fishing inside the rivers and estuaries, and have been having some fun catching perfect eating size flathead on soft plastics. The soft plastic fishing for flathead will only get better along the coast and locally over the next few months.

 


While the snapper action hasn't been red hot, there are more fish caught every week - with the really good fishing coming over the next week or so. That said, keen anglers out there fishing for the reds are catching them, just not with red hot sessions. Customer Mario has been catching a few decent fish from the piers and rocks in Port Phillip, and hasn't been seeing too many others doing it. Preparation in collecting fresh bait and long hours of persistence have been the fruits of the labor and red rewards have been coming his way.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been finding the snapper fishing a bit tough at the moment, but time on the water has been getting him results for his customers. When James has been fishing Port Phillip he has been looking around the northern end of the bay from Williamstown to Brighton and Altona. James and clients have landed fish to around the 5kg mark on fresh squid and local pilchards either early morning or late into the evening.


Across in Westernport the snapper fishing has still been holding more consistent. There have been reports of fish coming from most of the port but the top of the north arm has been the best area (and potentially the busiest) to target these fish. Customers Christian and Damien fished deep around Crawfish rock to land a couple of fish to around 3kg. Fresh squid was the best bait to have, along with sinkers up around 20oz for this deep tidal scour.


Not far away in the same region of the port customer Dorian has been landing a few nice snapper. Dorian has been fishing from Tyabb through to Joes for fish like this one up around 7kg. Fresh local baits of squid, yakka and couta have been excellent up the top end of the port.

 


If you're after a snapper Westernport has still been the better of the options at the moment. Port Phillip's snapper are a touch less consistent at the moment - but Westernport's top end has a much better chance currently. The region from Corinella through to Hastings is all worth a look especially if you have been previously been sounding or catching fish in the area. The real 'zone' at the moment is the Lysaughts region, from Esso through to crawfish rock. Customer Damien fished the area earlier in the week and scored a nice fish of around 6.5kg on freshly caught squid.


Customer Rocky also fished the same region just recently and scored a similar sized fish. Rocky was fishing closer to eagle rock and landed a snapper of 6.5kg on a ring of recently caught squid - using a  single circle hook. This method of rigging is far superior in Westernport and handles by-catch like large gummies and rays easily, for easy release.

 

 


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.

 


The annual snapper run is just about to kick along with warmer bay temperatures only a matter of weeks away. While Westernport has been producing a few more fish than Port Phillip that is generally the case earllier in the season. For those looking around in Port Phillip the areas to look are around Mornington or right up around Port Melbourne and Williamstown. Customer Will scored a lovely fish out wide from Mt Martha during the week. Will was cubing and fishing pilchards as bait and the big fish took a whole pillie on twin snelled 4/0's.


The top of Westernport has seen a bit more boat traffic due to the fact that the fish are 'on' a bit more. If you're fishing the 'finger' channels region or around Joe's Island you have a good shot at some lingering fish soaking up the warmth, while further around towards Hastings there has also been a few as well. Customer Chris fished Joe's last week and managed a few nice over a couple of sessions on the water. Chris has been making the most of the fresh bait in the area with couta, trevally and pike all making the baitboard and the snapper haven't rejected them.


The Hastings and Long Reef area has seen a few boats during the week with fish to around 6kg coming in. Customer Steve fished the area last week and landed a couple of nice fish to around 3kg with fresh squid being the most productive bait. Fishing the smaller tides along the reef here will normally see you land a few school fish, while moving up the banks and sitting shallower gives you a good shot at the larger fish.

 


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.

 


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.

 

 


Westernport bay has been fishing well as we roll on into the start of Spring. The main species are on offer for anglers chasing them with whiting, squid and snapper all worth the effort. While the snapper fishing is far from red hot, there are fish in the port willing to eat if you are out there looking for them. The usual late Winter areas of the port are where the fish have been, with the Corinella region to Spit Point a good area to look, along with up the North arm out from Hastings. Customers Thao and Johnny have been out making the most of the weather windows in the port and have seen a couple of fish for their efforts. Snapper to 4.4kg have made their way into the boat with fresh squid being the successful bait. 14m of water and the early stage of the run out tide were the go.


The squid fishing has been good in the port also, even with some milky water up on some of the banks after the rain. The hot spots have been the Quail and Tyabb banks, with most coming from slightly deeper grassbeds in the cleaner water. Spring is normally a great time to be out in search of the larger squid as they spawn - and the southern end of the port has already seen some nice specimens caught. As usual a variety of jigs will give you be best results rather than 'putting all your eggs in one basket' with one colour. The best thing to pay attention to when selecting jigs colours is light level in the sky and water colour.


Staff member Don and mate Sam fished out on the port over the weekend in search of some squid and they caught some up to around a kilogram. Water conidtions in the morning were ideal but as the wind picked up they were forced to fish a bit deeper off the banks in 8m where they caught some larger squid. Red foil jigs worked well on the shallower banks, with UV blues and greens doing more damage in the deeper water. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been spending time out in the port with customers on the squid grounds - with plenty of happy anglers. James has been fishing a variety of colours and sizes with blacks, green, and bright UV yellow/orange all working - just depending on light and cloud conditions. The Tortoise head area and south of Sandy Point has been excellent for numbers of squid.


While many anglers aren't really thinking King George whiting, there have been enough out in the port to keep any KGW angler happy. Numbers of fish have been good, and average sizes around the high 30cm mark to low 40cm nothing to turn your nose up at. The middle spit and Tortoise head have been excellent areas to try and where most of the fish have been coming from. The region around Balnarring and Somers has also had some quality fish but much smaller numbers of fish. Customers like Long have been catching some respectable bags of fish to around 39cm from the area on both pipi and squid. Pipi has been the standout in the shallower water with the fish really firing up before dark.