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.

 


Whiting fishing has been steady in the port, and still the mainstay for local anglers. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching some good size fish up the top end of bay, with many of fish around the 40cm mark. Fresh mussel has been an excellent bait along with tenderized squid.Staff member Don has also been catching whiting up around Tyabb. Don and mate Sam fished an afternoon run out tide in 6m of water to land around 20 fish up to 43cm. The average school size fish were in the 36 - 39cm and fell to squid and pipi cocktail baits.


With the onset of Autumn the pinkies and school snapper will pick up in the port. While there have been hoards of smaller fish, there have been some better fish coming from the long reef area (think Lysaughts through to Eagle rock). Working through the undersize fish has been a chore but larger baits and hooks will keep the smallest fish at bay - also hardier baits of yakka and pike will help hang in there until a bigger fish finds it. Depths of 10 - 14m have been better for larger fish, with the deeper water carrying large numbers of small fish. Customer Michael fished with a mate out from Stony point in 10m of water out from the pier to score a nice bag of pan sized fish on pilchard.

 


Squid fishing around both bays has been pretty good recently, as we've had no rain until just the last 24hrs. Some of the northern regions of both bays will be discoloured and will need a good few days to clean up - but these areas have been a tad too warm for numbers of squid recently anyway. While you will catch squid right up in the warmer water of the bays, the larger squid tend to prefer the cooler oceanic water coming in from the bottom of the bays.


While it's not mayhem yet - it won't be far away. Mornington pier has been starting to produce a few more squid, and in a month or so there should be large numbers of small squid in the harbour. Stock up on small jigs in the 1.75 & 1.8 size while they're in stock! Customer Connor fished the pier recently and caught a few squid to 25cm hood length. Connor found 2 different were effective over 2 days - bright orange and pilchard patterns in size 2.2.


The southern end of the bay has had lots of squid in the 200g size especially around Rye and Rosebud. Customer Jason was out stocking up for a kingfish session recently and found no shortage of squid in around 5m of water off Rye - with darker coloured jigs working the best. Blacks, dark reds and dark greens were the most effective.


Across in Westernport bay the squid fishing has been good further south also. While not known for producing huge numbers, the Flinders area has seen some bigger size as per usual. Customer Ryan caught a couple of nice specimens from the pier in between all the mackerel floats. With all the mackerel around Ryan found the natural mackerel pattern Yamashita worked the best. Just out from the pier customer Justin caught some really solid squid. Fishing the area out from the pier in the boat can be effective with size 3.5 fast sink jigs, as there is some undercurrent that will keep lighter jigs from reaching the 'kill zone'.


Customer Brendan also found some nice squid out in Westernport over the weekend. Brendan found a UV orange belly/brown back Yamashita jig did the damage. Brendan was targeting the edge of the grass beds in 6m of water to catch his squid.

 


Westernport has been fishing well for all bread and butter species with plenty on offer. The squid fishing around the southern end of the port has been good for numbers and size of late. Customer Igor fished around Cat bay and Vetnor in search of some bigger squid recently and found some quality models fishing Egi Oh K Yamashita jigs around the reef and heavy weed. The 'K' series jigs have a different body buoyancy and will 'hoer' on the bottom a bit more than a regular jig, and will soft hands they can be walked through heavy structure without hanging up.

Customer Trent also did well on the squid in a similar area of the port down close to Phillip Island. Trent fished with a few mates and caught squid to 1kg on a variety of jigs, with size 3.0 and 3.5 getting down to the bottom easier in the current. Red foil and black jigs were the most productive on the day.


Some of the piers in the port have fishing well for squid, with Flinders the standout.  Customers Angelo and Ryan have fished the pier recently and found the daytime fishing better than after dark. The nights here have seen the pier packed with anglers chasing the yakkas, so the days have been much quieter. Angelo has been finding the colour 17 and 'White cow' clicks jigs have been go-tos in size 3.0 recently. Ryan has been finding red foil jigs in size 3.5 and also dark greens have been the best for him, especially late in the afternoon.


The large summer garfish have pricked many anglers attention recently, with some exceptional size fish about in decent numbers also. Many of the shallow banks have been holding the fish but the middle spit has also been an excellent place to start a berley trail. Customer Edly stopped at the spit recently after looking for the kingfish and got a great feed of gars. Edly found good numbers of gars in 2.5m of water and boated them on small sabiki rigs under a float.


On the kingfish front, there have been fish caught from West head and the 'Knobbies' around to Cape Woolamai and back to Cape Schank. A good sounder is your best friend is locating these fish, as their position will change depending on tides and current. Customer Andrew came past the store for some terminal tackle to hit up the kingfish and he managed a lovely fish out in the Western entrance. Andrew found live yakkas trolled slowly were the gun bait.

 


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. 

 


Westernport has become the more popular bay for the fisho's recently, as the attention has swung towards the shallow banks and grass beds in search of King George whiting. There haven't been any real hot spots for the whiting as many anglers will have their own favourite marks and locations, but one thing is for sure - if you're not moving around you won't catch. Moving about between the shallow bank edges and deeper holes and mixing up baits has been the go forf many anglers. Customer Mario has been doing well on the whiting in the port over the past few weeks with lots of mini moves earning the goods.


Mario has been a few different areas of the port but using the same techniques and looking for similar ground. Mario has been consistently finding quality fish along small lumps and flats in 16m of water along the north arm, with pipi and squid cocktail baits normally doing the job. Staff member Don also fished for the whiting before heading off on holidays around the middle spit and Tyabb area, with good bags of school fish to around 40cm coming from around 6m of water. Squid strips and pipi were also the most consistent performers, with size 2 straight worm hooks holding the baits steady in the current.


Amongst the whiting there have been plenty of fish keen to take the baits - which is perfect if you want some fresh baits for gummies and the like. Customer Ryan has been picking up whiting out from Stony Point, along the edge of the grass beds in 7m of water. In with the whiting Ryan has caught squid, pinkies, yakkas, slimies, leatherjacket, salmon and flathead. Plenty of mixed bag fishing to be had, with a small berley trail from the weighted bucket keeping the action happening. Ryan found that the Hayabusa 'spark' rigs were dynamite on all species.


On the bait front, the numbers of slimies and yakkas has been excellent. Some of the slimies have been up to 50cm which will give you a real run on light gear. Small pieces of pilchard or squid have been good to collect some top notch bait, with the main pier structures around Stony and Hastings holding good schools.

Further down at Flinders customer Angelo has been doing well on the yakkas using bait. Angelo has noticed an increase in 'ajiing' around the pier, which is finesse gear fishing for the yakkas and small pier fish on lures. Angelo noticed one particular angler who bagged over 20 yakkas in less than half an hour during the week using this method. Needless to say, Angelo has since purchased some specialised 'aji' style plastics and jigheads to try this method for himself. If you are interested in giving it a go talk to the boys in store, as there is a good selection of finesse rods and tackle to match.


On the gummy front, there has been no shortage of nice fish about. Small table sized fish have been plentiful while fishing the top end and along the deeper whiting patches, with some big females making their presence felt towards the western entrance. Customer Jeff caught a cracker of around 20kg recently from the western channel. Jeff kept the fish as it was tangle in the net it broke, and bleeding badly from the gills but completely stoked on it as a capture. Gummies like this are really on the cards over the next month or so as they come into the port to give birth.


Meanwhile just outside the port the bottom bouncing has been good. While many anglers have been starting to look for kingfish the gummies have been good just out from Flinders bank. Customer Aaron fished just out from here to land a heap a nice table sized shark amongst a heap of flatties to around 1kg. Aaron found squid was the most effective bait for everything.

 


Westernport has seen fewer snapper reports of recent compared to Port Phillip but there have still been some nice fish moving about. The snapper have been found along the 'plateaus' of the North Arm, between Stony Point and Yaringa, and also in reasonable numbers out from Rhyll. Customer Steve caught some nice fish to around 4kg out from Rhyll in 17m of water recently, with fresh squid and salmon working the best. Customer Thao fished the North Arm in search of some snapper and got a nice bag of fish to 4kg on freshly caught squid.


The gummies of the port have been the unsung heroes of late, and while they are always a possibility when fishing Westernport, there have been some nice fish about - with many large breeding females starting to move in. Customer Justin has landed gummies to 16kg during the week fishing around the Western Entrance with chunks of fresh salmon.


Customer Steve has been landing some nice gummies in amongst the snapper out from Rhyll. Steve has found the table sized gummies have been fond of pillies and trevally, and normally coming through and the tide reallys starts picking up. Around the Corinella region customer Mark has had a hard time finding a snapper through the gummies. Mark has been fishing fresh squid in depths of around 6m and has had no shortage picking up gummies in the 5kg size.

Customer Steve has been catching a few nice gummies around the Rhyll area. Some of the gummies Steve has been landing have been up to 15kg, with fresh chunk baits doing the job. Salmon, trevally and wrasse have been effective when fished on BKK 'glow' gummy circle hooks. A few bite offs from larger toothy sharks have been common in the region also, which are normally school shark and bronze whalers.


On the whiting front, things have been good for anglers moving about to stay on top of the fish. Customer Cashir fished with a mate along Tankerton and Tortoise head to land their bag of fish. Staying in the shallows of around 3m of water was the go, with pipi, squid and mussel cocktail baits working well.  Customer Tu fished the middle spit using pipi and strips of fresh squid to land some solid fish to 44cm. Tu found the 6m line was the better ground to stay in, while moving along to keep on top of the school.

 


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.

 


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.