Reports from Westernport have showed that all species are well and truly on offer at the moment. The next lull in weather should see plenty of anglers tangling with both snapper and whiting, with a few gummies thrown in to the mix also. The shallows of the top end have been producing plenty of small male gummies recently, with the average fish hovering around the 5kg mark. Customer Manny fished out from Warneet last week and landed a couple of nice table sized fish on 'reddy's rigz' with fresh chunk baits. Fishing run out tides along gutter and channel edge drops has been effective, while the top edge of the banks has been a good time to target these fish on a run in tide.


The snapper reports from the top end of the port have still been quite consistent, especially through the 'Lysaughts' area. The reefy bottom through this area has been holding good numbers of pinkies and school fish to around 4kg, with some larger fish coming from the shallower areas adjacent. Fishing depths of 12 - 16m has been a good way to maximise your chances for a red or two, with the larger fish frequenting the shallower 8 - 12m zones. Customer Mick was out on the port in the Tyabb region last week and landed a few nice snapper to 4kg in the area.


The whiting fishing is not to be missed in the port at the moment however.  While some of the whiting catches are holding school sized fish, there are excellent numbers around. The lower half of the port has been producing some solid fish for anglers persisting over reef and sand holes around Shoreham, with fish to nearly 50cm floating around. Squid strips and pilchard fillets have been working well on the larger fish. Up towards the top end of the port the fish have been more plentiful but slightly lacking in size - with plenty of small schooling fish around. Customer Tony and mate Shar fished the port last weekend and put together a nice bag of fish up to 42cm on a mixture of baits including pipi, mussel and squid. Fishing the bank edges in 4m of water was the hot zone for them.

 


Westernport's whiting fishing has been excellent recently, with the fish going from strength to strength. The average size of the fish is very good at present but will drop off with more small school fish into the start of Summer. There have been some exceptional fish caught down the bottom end of the port around the deeper sand holes and section of reef out from Somers and Shoreham, but there have also been good numbers of solid fish up the top of the port.


Customer Nigel has been catching good numbers of fish from the edges of the middle spit lately, with most falling to mussel. Staff member Don has also been catching whiting from the spit, along with the Gentle Annie and Warneet channels. Fish to 42cm have been taken on both pipi and softened squid cut into small worm like strips. water depths have varied as the fish move on and off the banks but the out going tide has been when the fish have been more active.


Customers from the Keysborough Angling Club have been doing well on the whiting on Westernport of late also. Customers Norm and Dave have been fishing out from Hastings and Stony Point and most of their fish have come from around the middle spit. Both pipi and squid have been the best baits, with 'snapper magnet' berley pellets doing a good job at keeping the fish nearby. Pilchard oil mixed in has attracted plenty of whiting and other bait species like yakkas and trevally, especially when the tide has starting waining.

 


Westernport is still leading the charge when it comes to snapper action. There are fish scattered all around the port, but the solid action coming from the North arm has been very consistent and producing fish for many anglers. Customer Thao fished the top of the 'runway' leading towards Eagle rock and landed 2 nice fish last week, with a nice table sized gummy shark mixing things up. Fresh calamari cut into strips and rings worked on all of the fish.


Customer Gordon also fished a similar area of the port just recently. Gordon was fishing with his young son up in the north arm in 7m of water where they landed snapper up to 6.5kg. Gordon found that whole silver whiting were the bait of choice in the shallower water. These can be fished 'swimming' into the current if the backbone is broken to liven the action up, with can trigger otherwise unresponsive fish.


Customers Johnny and David also fished out from Hastings to land snapper to 6kg. The larger fish seem to have been preferring the slightly shallower water throughout the Lysaughts region, with depths of 7 - 12m producing better quality fish. Fishing deeper through to 20m will still see fish caught, with more school fish to 3 or 4kg coming aboard. Baits of fresh squid, couta and salmon have been excellent - especially if caught from the area adjacent. 

 


While many anglers have had their sights set on snapper out in Westernport, there has been plenty of by-catch to actively target. The gummies have been fishing well whether you're out along the offshore ledges or fishing some of the deep channels or contours well inside the port. Customer Ben fished out along the western entrance in search of a big gummy and landed a monster female in the 30kg range. This fish had been offshore for some time as it's colouration is well suited for clear oceanic waters. Fresh cutlets of mackerel and salmon were excellent on the gummies for Ben.


Customer Bart has also been landing a few gummies, in amongst some other bycatch fishing out near Rhyll. Fishing were the eastern channels drop into some deeper water, most of Bart's gummies have been in the 5 - 8kg mark. Super pilchards and whiting heads have been very effective when fished on Reedy's rigs paternoster rigs. Fishing the shallower edges along where the channels drop Bart has landed a heap of pinkies and quality baits like salmon, yakkas, mackerel, pike and trevally. A bit of berley consisting of pellets and pilchard oil logs has really helped ramped up the bite with these species around the slacker stages of the tide.


While targeting snapper customers Daniel and Vito landed some nice table sized gummies. Fishing fresh squid and yakka chunks the gummies came along and provided some quality by-catch in between snapper bites along the north arm. Customer Edly also found some tasty bycatch while whiting fishing around the middle spit in the form of quality garfish. Edly found them hard to tempt and hook at first, but ramping up the berley mix and changing to smaller, narrow gaped hooks the bites were soon converted. A fine grain berley trail set up over the shallow banks is normally a good method of finding some of these tasty fish.


On the whiting front the fish have been fairly good for a few weeks. While many are sidetracked by the snapper the whiting fishing has been worth the effort. The top end of the port around the many channels has been producing whiting up to the low 40cm mark. The abundance of smaller school fish hasn't quite infiltrated the estuary as yet, but as the water warms these fish will fill the catches. Staff member Don and mate Sam fished out from Warneet over the weekend and found a good bag of fish to 41cm. Small strips of fresh squid and pipi made for the best baits when fished on smaller hooks than usual - as the bites were quite timid. Changing hook pattern to suit baits and fish activity is paramount to keeping on top of the bite at times.

 


Westernport has been fishing better for snapper on the past month than Port Phillip bay, mainly due to water temperatures. The fish have been on the bite for a little bit longer here which is normal, and they have been fairly well spread out throughout the port. Customer Tony has caught some nice fish over the past week week and even a few while whiting fishing! Tony managed a lovely fish 4kg fish on a small fine wire worm hook around the corals while chasing whiting, and was lucky to land it! The parabolic nature of the rod Tony was using was ideal to keep the fine hook in and not bend it out.


Along the north arm a good run of  fish continues, and customer Zach has been in the midst of it. Zach has been fishing fresh baits, with couta, pike and calamari all producing fish. Some of the better fish have been taken during the night and have been pushing the 7kg mark.


The same region of the port has been producing snapper for customer Manny. Manny headed out for his first snapper session in the port and managed a couple of nice fish around the 3.5kg mark. Manny had been fishing outside Eagle rock in 17m of water and found paternoster rigs tipped with strips of fresh squid were the only rig that got bites.

 


Flinders pier is still producing serious squid for persistent anglers. The squid fishing around the southern end of Westernport and Port Phillip bays has been good, with many anglers landing some big squid. This week customer Angelo has been catching some solid specimens but on some different jigs and colour schemes. Angelo has been experimenting with UV whites and also bright UV 'aggressive' colours with all of them working.


Sometimes these aggressive attention-seeking colours can work when nothing else does as they scream 'over here, eat me!' Especially in the clear oceanic water in the south of the bays, these colours really stand out. Angelo is normally a fan of passive and natural colours from Flinders pier but his gamble on some other colour patterns has paid off, so it's worth a shot!

 


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.

 


The squid fishing has been excellent over the past week or so, with some proper quality Spring squid coming in. Both bays have been producing lots of squid, with most but not all of the largest squid being caught from the boat. Customers Michael and Chris have both been catching quality squid from the lower end of Westernport throughout the week. 'Red whiting' Hayabusa jigs in size 3.5 have been the dominant jig for Chris this week.


Customer Callum also got a nice feed of squid from a session during the week. Callum launched at Hastings and fished the banks pushing up towards Tyabb where he managed 7 nice squid. Callum found the 4m area the best around the top of the tide, with a handful of different jigs all working well.


Southern Port Phillip has also been excellent for squid this week. From Mornington south the squid fishing has been very consistent. Customer Danny fished from the rocks around Mt Martha during nice conditions and landed a nice 40cm hood length squid. Danny was fishing a solid pink Yamashita jig in size 3.0, as pink is his favourite colour.


Down around Rye and Rosebud the squid haven't been as big, but big in numbers. Customer Thao and mate both got their bag fishing water from 4 - 8m around both Rye and Rosebud. Drifting over the reef patches from different angles was the key to filtering through the productive areas, and constant jig cloth colour changes also worked well. UV whites and rainbow oranges can work well in this part of the bay.

 


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 snapper are mostly on the cards for Westernport's angling community - the whiting fishing has been heating up over the past few weeks. While the whiting fishing isn't crazy hot for numbers of fish, the fish that are around have been excellent quality. The north arm has been fishing well for the whiting, with good bags of fish coming from the middle spit and around tortoise head, with a few more up the top around Warneet. Staff member Don fished on the whiting over the weekend with mate Sam and scored 18 fish. The guys fished the run out tide around Warneet and caught most of their fish on fresh squid.


The big squid have been worth a look for anglers fishing the southern end of the port again this week, with some proper spring monsters getting caught. Customer Justin fished the bottom end of the port around Newhaven and just offshore and caught some solid squid to around 2.5kg in water from 3 - 10m deep. Size 3.5 jigs in red foil and grass whiting green were the most productive. Cloudy light conditions helped the rainbow base in the grass whiting patterns reflect light and attract the squid.


Across the other side of the port customer Angelo has again been catching some nice squid from Flinders pier. Angelo fished the pier earlier during the week and did and afternoon session to land 2 nice squid up to 1kg. Angelo fished a couple of different jigs for his results, with Hayabusa 'red whiting' and Yakamito 'lemon' both being successful. Angelo noticed a few more anglers fishing size 2.5 jigs to no avail - with larger jigs getting the squids attention a lot easier here. Just be sure to select your sink rates correctly as jigs that sink too fast will simply snag up in the kelp with your first couple of casts. Standard or 'slow' sink rates are perfect for Flinders pier.