Port Phillip remains the number 1 choice for many anglers when it comes to catching snapper. It can be less daunting for anglers who haven't done as much snapper fishing as others, but can also get quite rough when strong winds rip up. This week we have had plenty of strong winds and rainfall which has kept all but the keenest anglers off the water, but it has really knocked the snapper bite up another gear.


Early in the week as the Southwesterly blow backed off the fish bit very well, with good numbers moving about and right up into the shallower murky water to feed. Customer Phil made the most of the bite and scored fish around the 6kg mark fishing out from Chelsea. Baits of squid and silver whiting were the most effective for him. Customer Bashir has also been capitalizing on the good bite since the rain with fish to 5kg coming from 13m of water out from Black Rock. Pilchard and gars have been the best baits for him.


Customer Dominic and mate Gary fished out wide from Mt Martha over early during the week to land some nice fish. The largest fish weighed just over 8.5kg and took silver whiting. The hard baits have been a definite preference for the snapper over the last few weeks, with silver whiting deadly. Other hard baits worth fishing have been small salmon or yakkas, with the pickers normally leaving these alone. Customer Sylvio fished out from Black Rock using silver whiting and pilchard over the weekend and reports fish to 5kg biting well around the 12m area.


Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished Port Phillip recently and most anglers reported snapper back at the weigh in. The largest fish weighed around 4.5kg, with plenty more caught between the 1-4kg mark.


While the snapper are the main focus at the moment, there have been some nice King George Whiting caught around the southern end of the bay. Customer Michael fished around Tootgarook with mate Dominic and some nice solid were caught. Fishing around 6m of water was best, as the pinkies would take over in the deeper water. Pipi and fresh squid was also very successful, with the squid giving some substance to the bait when the pinkies were hassling eh whiting off the baits. The whiting should only improve from now on, with the Mt Martha-Rye-Blairgowrie region a good place to focus on.

 


Squid reports have been good over the past week even with the rain that has washed into the bays. Westernport has seemed to be consistent with the squid fishing and there have been some big squid caught. Customer Justin caught some nice models around the 1kg size up along the shallower banks of the top end.


Customer Chau and his brother fished out from Hastings recently to land some thumping squid on the banks. The guys managed squid to 2kg on a mixture of jigs, with blacks and greens working - along with jigs baited with silver whiting. 


Customers Stan and Stephan fished the Sorrento and Blairgowrie area of Port Phillip recently with some big squid landed. Covering ground from 4m to 10m in depth they found some good patches of squid. Size 3.0 jigs were most effective when fished with small chin weights to get down faster, with red, UV clear and UV black the best performers.


The rocky sections of the bay's shoreline have been producing average sized squid as per normal. Ledges such as Mornington and Mt Martha have had squid in the 20cm size range caught on size 2.5 and 3.0 jigs. Some anglers fishing slow sinking 3.5 jigs have also been luring in larger squid with the extra distance on the cast, so if you haven't used a jig like this it may just land you that big one from your favourite land based location.


The run of large squid has lasted around Mornington of late, with local angler Mario landing a good bag of big squid from the area. Again size 3.0 and 3.5 jigs have been the go, covering the water more effectively and catching the attention of the bigger squid. Customer Jo also caught some nice ones at Mornington and also Beaumaris. The Beaumaris region is very shallow and rocky so size 2.5 or 3.0 shallow jigs are the go.

 


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.

 


The salmon have no signs of slowing up, whether you're on the ocean beaches or bayside around the piers and river mouths. September is normally a good time of year to be chasing them for prime snapper baits, as spring wind and rain keep them about. On the beach scene, Venus Bay is still the spot, with customer Mark still smashing the fish on bait and lure. Mark has said that this is the best salmon season he has had in the last few years at least.


A bit further down the road along the 90 mile beach customer Michael has been enjoying some quality salmon fishing. Michael came in store to stock up and decided to try out some 'bungee grubs' among flasher rigs and extra surf poppers, and he wasn't let down. Fishing in a local competition, Michael ended up taking out the title and gaining the attention from surrounding anglers when his huge salmon were landed on the grubs. Needless to say Michael was well and truly sold on the idea of plastics in the surf for the salmon, especially when they're crab-proof!


Around the local piers the salmon have been making their presence felt, with schools popping up left, right and center along the shores of the bay. Up towards the mouth of the Yarra the fish have been roaming about in the dirty water eating anything unfortunate to be in their path. The piers around the Williamstown esplanade have been producing fish to 1.5kg when fished with small, whitebait imitating soft plastics. Customer Lilong fished around the top end of the bay and over the other side across to Bawron to land fish just under 2kg on a mixture of metal jigs and hardbodies when conditions were windy, and soft plastics when the wind was down.


From the mouth of the Patterson river right down to Blairgowrie the salmon schools have been pushing baitfish right in close where they are being caught from shore. The fish from Carrum to Frankston have been on the smaller side averaging half a kilo, while down the southern end of the bay there have been some monsters caught. One of the larger fish we've heard of weighed a genuine 4kg! At this size they're serious opponents and will strain most muscles to aching point.

Customer Tony fished from Blairgowrie during the windier conditions last week to land fish up to about 2.5kg. Tony found that the fish were picky and only wanted baits fished back to them, with each fish coughing up berley to keep the rest around. Customer Jerome also fished the pier this week where he found some salmon to 2kg in amongst the moorings. The fish were actively cruising and ate small, baitfish imitating hardbodies and metal lures when a long cast was needed. Lures with pink/white patterns imitate the small prat and baitfish well. 

 

 


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.

 


The garfish have been about in pretty good numbers over the last week or so, and withe the calmer weather the past few days many anglers have been making the most of these tasty fish. While they have, and are about along virtually all of the eastern seaboard of the bay, there have been a few 'hot spots' the past couple of days. The locations worth having a look while the weather has been calmer have been Beaumaris, Frankston and Mornington. Mornington has been the most popular location of late, with a plethora of anglers flocking to the 'small' pier and inner harbour to catch a bag - with some fish up to the 40cm mark.


Staff member Don has been catching numbers of gars from Mornington and Frankston piers. Don has been using small silverfish as the main bait, with a mixture of float setups. The float and bait size will vary on how the fish are biting - and the honest info is make sure you have the gear to change up when required.

Berley, and fine 'mist' style berley is a must. Unless you like watching others catch around you! Berley is what will keep the school hanging around, while the correct hook pattern for your chosen bait is equally important. A mixture of different weighted floats is the other critical bit of gear, and some days your heavily weighted float will only dip or roll when a fish bites, and will prevent you from setting the hook. The difference between slight gear and rig modifications is a full bucket!

 


If there was ever a season to be making the most of the salmon around the beaches and inshore land based spots then this year has been it. The salmon have been unstoppable this winter and by normal accounts should stay strong until the water temperature starts warming up - so around the start of October or so. While there are still days when conditions aren't favourable and the fishing is hard work, the fish have been cooperating more often than not.


Speaking of unfavourable conditions the wind recently has been typical of late winter winds, constantly strong but also with a fair bit of north to it. Northerly winds make beach fishing somewhat easier, generally better than anything with south in it, so although the forecast might be strong there's still enough fishing to be had.

Customer Mark has been down at Venus Bay making the most of the salmon run, with more fish to around 2kg caught on lures over the weekend. While strong winds have meant constant gutter and bar movement, the fish are still around and hungry. Customer Dimitri got down to Gunnamatta beach and got into some nice fish on bluebait and surf poppers over the weekend also.


Speaking of Gunnamatta, it has been the best performing local beach with most anglers getting into good numbers of salmon. Staff member Don spent an afternoon on the beach last week armed with a light and long spin rod and some Yakamito 'Angry bait' metals to land some nice salmon to around 900g. Constantly moving along the beach in search of holding gutters and small pockets of fish was the key, as when one was caught there were generally a lot more around.

Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished Gunnamatta last weekend for their surf competition with 9 anglers fishing the beach. Overall 25 salmon were caught, which was good considering the rough conditions and strong winds present. The largest fish caught was just over 1.5kg which is excellent fun on any gear - so even if the conditions are less than ideal there are still plenty of salmon to be caught.


For the bayside angler, the rough conditions have meant that there have been plenty of salmon about along the shore of the bay. Areas to try of late have been around Sandringham, Mordialloc, Patterson rivermouth, Frankston and Mornington. Further south Mt Martha, Blairgowrie and Sorrento have all been worth fishing depending on how far you want to drive. The fish have been somewhat larger further south, with some well over 2kg coming from piers like Sorrento. Lure fishing for these landbased salmon is the go as the schools are constantly on the move in search of baitfish. If you're unsure of which lures to try on light gear for long landbased-casting come in and talk to the team, as there are quite a few options.

 

 

 


The bread and butter species like gars and squid have been good in spells of clearer weather over the last week or so. The usual pattern seems to be salmon and pinkies during rough weather with dirty water, and then once the water clears up and wind drops out the squid and garfishing is much better. Picking the conditions to suit will better odds on your chosen species. If it's gars you're after, then the main hot spots have been Beauy, Frankston and Mornington piers. Fishing in a bit shallower at these locations is normally the preferred area for the garfish as they become easy prey once out of the shallow's safety.

Fishing small pieces of silverfish and prawn has been good, so long as your float setup is correctly balanced and your berley is fine particle rather than chunks. You want the fish to swim through the 'mist' and become hungry rather than eat the big pieces. Staff member Dylan fished for gars earlier during the week where some real chunky fish were caught on small pieces of peeled prawn. Dylan didn't have the correct gear on him so where he caught one others would catch two. Being prepared for small changes in conditions will see you stay on top of the fish.


On the squid front things have been good for customers getting out and making the most of the breaks in the weather. Customer Long caught his bag of squid from the boat down the bottom end of the bay with smaller 2.5 jigs working the best. Long found that the shallower water was holding the small baitfish and numbers of squid after a recent rough front that passed through.


The piers around the southern end of the bay have been the most consistent performers recently as well. The only real weather that seems to affect these piers are days of rough onshore northerly winds, but even then the strong tides shift the clean water back into place quicker than the top end of the bay. Customer Cipto has been catching some nice squid from Sorrento pier and has even found a trevally or two hanging around. Cipto has been finding natural shrimpy greens and blacks have been the best performing jigs colours.

Customer Steve has also been catching some solid squid from the southern piers. Steve has been catching some proper squid but he has had to work hard for them. Constant jig changing and equal persistence has been the key to coming home trumps.

 


Dirty water earlier during the week hampered the squid activity for the start of the week, but as it has rolled on the water conditions have cleaned up and the squid have come back on. The northern end of Port Phillip has been patchy but will hit it's peak before Friday's forecast rain. Along the peninsula Mornington pier has been a bit murky but the squid have been there to be caught. A few anglers have reported squid to around 300g coming from both the main pier and inside on the small pier.

Staff member Don fished the small pier during the week where he caught a few decent sized squid on size 2.5 jigs. Rainbow foil was the go during late afternoon light, with a few others catching on orange jigs also.


Down south the piers have been the most consistent, with again Sorrento and Portsea the pick if conditions deteriorate. Across at Flinders the water clarity has been a bit murkier but clearing up, and the squid are active.  Customer Take fished the pier for the first time targeting squid and he managed a nice one at around 600g.

Customer Lilong fished over at Sorrento for an afternoon session to land squid up to 35cm hood length. Water clarity at the pier was good and while there weren't many squid caught, the ones caught were quality. Yamashita Pyon-Pyon search jigs were the most effective, attracting squid in with their rattle and subtle kick and they drop.

 

 


With intermittent rain and wind, the squid fishing has been sporadic - good when conditions clear but then put off for a few days while the water becomes stained and murky. The good news is that even when conditions are like this the southern end of Port Phillip is still worth a shot and much more consistent.

Customer Romello fished from Sorrento pier over the weekend where he landed a few. Romello cycled through a few jigs and found the Yamashita Q Lives were the best, with deep models working while the tide was pumping and shallow models doing the job when the tide stopped. Romello also landed a small cuttlefish from the pier using a Yakamito size 3.0 jig.


Customers Dale and Lochie fished out from Rye during the week in search of some calamari and they weren't left hanging with an excellent bag of squid making it home. The guys found that UV whites were the most successful in 4 - 6m of water straight out from Rye.


Customer Steve has also been getting into both the squid and whiting recently. Steve has found that both can be caught while fishing the same marks, with the squid often chasing the whiting around and attacking hooked fish. KGW patterned squid jigs can be very effective in these conditions, and the Hayabusa Aussie limited whiting colour has been excellent at tricking these squid. If you're able to keep the larger squid at bay good numbers of whiting can still be had, with areas like the southern section of middle spit and Tankerton fishing well - along with further south around Point Leo and Cat Bay.


The southern end of Port Phillip has been fishing well for whiting also. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been experiencing good bags of fish from around Rye to Sorrento, with mussel and squid standout baits. While there can be a bit of moving about to stay on these fish at this time of year, once you put together a bag of these tasty fish it will all be worth it!


For the land based guys the whiting have been a bit harder work. The odd fish has been caught shore based, with Mornington and Portsea piers probably the best two to be trying from. A bit further down the road there have been some nice school sized fish from around Lorne. Customer Jim fished Lorne pier over the weekend with a few mates and they weren't let down with a few nice fish to take home. Prawn and squid were effective baits from the pier, and accounted for King George when cast over the sand towards the weed - and grass whiting when dropped into the thick weed beds.