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.

 


Many anglers have been in search of the whiting in the port, and there have been plenty of fish to go around. There haven't been any real 'hot spots' for these fish as they come and go with the tides, but the region around the middle spit has been one of the more consistent. There have been some nice fish along the banks up past Warneet through Tooradin as well as customer Mark found out. Mark fished with his son Sam and mate Darren to work a nice bag of fish up to 43cm. The guys fished the Tooradin channel and found cocktail baits pipi and squid to be the most effective.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been finding some good numbers of fish along the middle spit and around Tortoise head recently, with the average fish around the 37cm mark. Baits of choice have been mussel, pipi, squid and pilchard fillet for the larger fish in the deeper water. James has had plenty of happy customers and has even managed a few thumpers while on charter, with two large fish at 49cm each up against a 34cm fish for reference.


Customer Jason also fished the top end around Warneet to land a nice bag of fish. Jason found the incoming tide got the fish biting and they responded best to mussel and pipi. Some of the larger fish came on the bite towards last light, as the pushed up along the bank to the shallower water. These larger fish really come into their own after dark, throwing caution into the wind and fully buckling the light rods as they hit the baits.


Customer Mario had a whiting fishing again during the week, and caught some nice fish. Mario again tried one of his deep water areas - with productive fishing in 16m of water. Switching between pipi and squid was the go, with a bag of 33 fish coming from the depths. Table sized flathead and pinkies have been common in the deeper water, with some big schools of yakkas and slimey mackerel turning up if you berley hard. 

 


The squid fishing around Port Phillip has been good over the past week or so, and there has been some quality squid on offer. After presenting an information talk on squid fishing at the store, Eisuke Kawakami from Yamashita got out and did some fishing with Kosta from 'Hooked Up' magazine and Victorian Yamashita representative Mitch. Fishing the southern end of Port Phillip the guys managed some serious size squid, on a mixture of jigs and techniques. 


Some of the best action was had fishing deep in 15+ metres of water using the 'tip run' method. Many anglers would not even contemplate fishing this depth for squid but years of squid fishing knowledge led Eisuke to suggest this technique. If you missed out on the Yamashita squid talk or want to get in on some of the deep water squidding, pop in store and talk to the guys about the 'tip run' method.


Staff member Dylan got out into the bay during the week and fished around Frankston and Olivers Hill for squid. After getting some aggressive bites on smaller jigs, Dylan changed to size 3.5 and 4.0 jigs and proceeded to land some serious squid, for the area. 10 squid was no problem as the bite was aggressive in 4m of water, with many of the squid around or over 1kg in weight. A mixture of colours were successful but the Yamashita 'K' series in red mullet and DTD in the same colour pattern were the standouts.


Continuing on the theme of big squid, customer Mario has been catching some thumper squid from the Mornington area. The size of the squid along the Frankston - Mornington area has been excellent over the past week, with some of larger models topping 1.5kg which isn't common for the area. Many different coloured size 3.0 jigs have been working well, as the larger squid seem to be more aggressive.


Meanwhile the King George whiting have been going very well for anglers fishing the Portsea - Queenscliff area again this week. The Lonsdale bight through to Queenscliff has been the hot spot, with Portsea shallow producing some quality fish also. Friend of the shop Bruce fished out from Queenscliff over the weekend to land a bag of quality fish on freshly caught and pipi.


The whiting have been going well in Westernport also, with the top end starting to produce good numbers of fish. Tyabb and Quail banks have been producing fish to 40cm on pipi, and staff member Don has been getting amongst them. Don fished out from Yaringa over the weekend and found some nice fish to around the 40cm. Fresh squid was the most productive bait and the fish bit best during the top half of the run in tide.

 

The whiting fishing in Westernport has been slower for most anglers over the last week, with many people going donuts on them. The anglers catching KGW aren't all getting their bags, but they have been noticing better average size on the ones around. The deeper marks and channels have been worth a fish as these spots are normally where you have a good chance at finding some proper 'kidney slappers'. Just remember to get yourself organized as you won't get a massive bite window on these fish once the tide starts to get going in the deep. Preparation is the key.

Mario and John however did well just days ago on this bag of fish from the top end of Westernport. The usual constant small moves and changing baits over frequently was the key to stacking a bag together.


Customers Damien and Benny also got into some nice sized fish around Tankerton just recently. The boys found the fish actively feeding in 5m of water, and fresh squid was the gun bait on them. The larger fish didn't muck about when biting either, with a couple of them gut hooked on 'C10U' style fine gauge hooks.

 

Whiting reports from Westernport this week have been a bit patchy, with quite a few anglers talking of hard fishing and sparse action. Many anglers who have been going out and 'staying put' in known areas have been struggling a bit, but the guys constantly moving about and trying different things are getting some nice fish. Fishing deep has been productive for anglers recently, with less fish coming aboard but much better quality in the fish that are. Just make sure you have suitable 'deep water' whiting rods, as many standard 'bank' whiting rods will be overloaded with the extra weight needed in the deeper water.

Customer Steve fished out from Warneet earlier this week and while the reports were grim, Steve and his mate managed 10 whiting between them - with only 2 fish measuring under 40cm. The boys worked hard and found the better fish a bit deeper in the 10m area, with the run out tide providing the action, and baits of pipi and mussel fishing the best for them.


Staff member Don fished around the top end as well over the weekend where him and mate Sam caught 17 fish. Fishing in around 5m of water, the bite started going as the run out tide started gaining momentum and the fish wouldn't look past a small pipi fished on a size 6 'worm. hook.

 


The King George whiting have been receiving more attention over the past month or so as many anglers put away their heavier gear and go in search of these tasty and hard fighting estuary dwelling fish. While Port Phillip has been producing fish also, Westernport bay certainly holds the trophy for being the better whiting fishery. Most of the normal haunts have been producing fish, from the top end banks and channels right through to the back beaches and exposed ocean swell points.

Many anglers are pleased with the size of the whiting coming in, with many fish over 40cm a reasonably common occurrence at the moment. There have been some bigger fish above 45cm taken from the deep channel marks also, so there are plenty of areas worth targeting at the moment.

Customer Torpy got out on the whiting during the week north of Corinella where he landed fish to 47cm in length. Run out tide over a sou'westerly wind made for hard conditions but the fish bit well. Pipi and banana prawns were the best baits. 

Staff member Don fished with mate Sam earlier in the week out from Blind Bight to land fish into the low 40cm mark amongst leatherjacket, yakkas and flathead. The run out tide fished best for them along the middle spit with pipi/squid cocktail baits along with cuttlefish doing the job.