Bass Strait has been the hit with anglers recently as the run of Winter weather we've had has been excellent, with conditions too good to not make the most if them. The variety and quality of fish caught offshore during Winter can be excellent with the real mainstay being the large gummy sharks. Anglers fishing right out wide from areas such as Lakes Entrance have been tangling with fish like swordfish, trumpeter and pink ling. Customer Filip fished out wide chasing swordfish last week and landed some nice ling as tasty by-catch.

A bit closer to home the offshore gummy fishing has been nothing short of excellent. Young gun Fisherman Mike went out on an offshore tuition chasing big gummies and nailed a ripper gummy at 22kg, fishing out from Flinders. Chunk baits of wrasse and pike are super effective on the offshore gummies, and are readily available on the reefy areas. 


Mike's gummy was bigger than him! Customer Andrew also got in to the offshore gummies during the recent spell of quality weather. Andrew managed a couple of nice fish around the 20kg mark fishing fresh baits alongside the reefy points and and sand drops just outside of the western entrance.  


There has also been a few quality snapper caught offshore while targeting gummies. Customer Zac fished with his dad outside the western entrance recently and they also landed a few nice gummies around the 14kg mark, along with a nice 4kg snapper. Fishing fresh baits of mackerel, pike and squid give you an excellent chance of the snapper as well as gummies. Young Jacob and dad Gavin fished around the western entrance recently and also came across a nice snapper. Jacob was lucky enough to land the fish that weighed 6.6kg and took a strip of freshly caught couta. 

 


The tuna action hasn't stopped along the west coast, with the main hotspots being Portland and Port Fairy. There have been fish caught from Apollo Bay right through to the SA border, but most anglers have been fishing from or Portland or Port Fairy. The fish have been moving about but holding in small pockets for days providing the haven't been fished too hard or moved on by predators or drastic weather changes, and they have been taking most lure types. You'd be mad to head out without a mixture of skirts, hardbodies and stickbaits in various profiles and colours. 

Customers Cam and Mark fished out from Portland recently and found the fish in fairly close and willing to eat cast stickbaits. The real trick was matching the lures to the profile of the bait that the fish were hunting, and with most of the fish in the area this has been micro pilchards and anchovies. 


Customer Daniel came in to the store and topped up on tuna essentials and to get some new lures rigged up. Daniel spent a couple of days around Portland familiarising himself with the area, and eventually found the fish. A mixture of small skirts were the most effective, with a clear yellow pattern proving the best of the lot on fish to around 11kg. While not all of the tuna in the area have been school fish - they have generally been 8 -15kg or 90kg+. Customers Tyler and Aaron proved that theory correct with a 128kg barrel caught out of Portland a few weekends ago. 

 


Again this week the beaches have been firing for Australian salmon. With some less than ideal weather for boat based fishing, coupled with northerly winds beach fishing has been ideal. All beaches have been worth a look from Lakes Entrance in the far east to Port Fairy in the west. More locally, Venus Bay has been excellent along with Williamson's, Kilcunda and Gunnamatta. 


Customer Mark fished Venus Bay last week with sons Sam and Harry, and mate Darren. The fishing has been excellent for them, with fish to 2kg taking surf poppers, plastics and also pilchard and bluebait. The guys have had some awesome sessions with 4 way hookups and double headers, with the best fishing coming as the flood tide strengthened. Picking a section of beach at Venus is a good way of locating the fish as the gutters here differ compared to beaches like Gunnamatta and Kilcunda. 


Customer Perry has been fishing the west coast beaches as he loves doing throughout the winter months. Perry has been fishing the beaches around Angelsea and Aireys Inlet and has been catching salmon to 1.5kg or so. Perry has been casting metal lures with single hooks as well as small soft plastics around 3 inches in size. Perry has been finding the fish around low tide, as they have been working a gutter behind a small sandbar that can only be reached on low water. 

 


The bluewater fishing has been good for many species either east or west. Bluefin tuna have still been going well from Portland back to Apollo Bay. Most of the fish caught from Portland have been west of Lawrence Rock, around through Bridgewater and Nelson Bays. Customer Aaron fished out from Portland last week and landed school fish to around 9kg on a mixture of lures, with small skirts such as the Fluzi working well. Natural colours have been good since a lot of the fish have been on small redbait and pilchards. 

Customer Steve came in store last week and told us of a 92kg fish caught fishing with mates out from Portland also. Steve and mates landed plenty of small school fish and the 92kg barrel from 65m of water off Cape Bridgewater. Smaller skirted and deep hardbodied both worked well. 

Be mindful if you're looking at fishing out from Apollo Bay over the weekend, the service station in town will be closed for major upgrades as of Wednesday 17th of June. Other fuel options are in Lorne, Port Campbell or Colac.  


Out wide from Lakes Entrance along the shelf drops there has been some good fishing - when anglers have been able to make the long run out. Last week during a bit of a weather window there were boats out in search of some deepwater species. There have been a few reports of swordfish from around the canyons, with customer Thomas and brother Gary landing a nice fish of around 130kg last week.

In a touch closer there have been some other edible species coming up also. Customer Simon fished out in the region with some mates where they landed a nice bag of tasty trumpeter. Simon was fishing around some sloping shelves between 150 - 250m deep. Fishing electric reels with multiple circle hook paternoster rigs is the best way to connect with these trumpeter or other species such as ling. Lumo sleeve/tubing and lumo squid added to the rigs helps attract the fish in the dark water and tough baits of squid are the best choice, as no one wants to be constantly re-baiting rigs in 200m of water! 

 


The local land based fishing around the bays has been good considering the nice weather we've had of late. Wether you'd enjoy a feed of flathead, garfish, whiting or squid they are all readily available. One of the more popular species on offer at present are the tasty garfish - which have been active at most of the piers around Port Phillip. Some of the hot spots worth a look have been Mordialloc, Black Rock, Seaford, Frankston and down the peninsula at Dromana and Mornington. Baits of chopped silverfish, banana prawn and maggots have all been good. Getting your float setup correctly ballasted and having a steady trail of fine berley are also some of the finer points to successful gar fishing. 

Staff member Don fished Frankston pier during the week and bagged a nice feed of gars. Tiny pieces of banana prawn fished on narrow gape fly hooks were the most effective when lightly weighted around the edge of the berley trail. 


The northern end of the bay has been fishing well for good table sized flathead and whiting. The shallows have been producing sand flathead to 50cm around any rockfall, gutter or reef ledge. Fishing soft plastics has been the most effective way to snag a flathead, but ensure that you're using a plastic that gives off natural vibration to help the fish hone in on the lure. St Kilda through to Mentone has been the are to try. 


The same areas of the bay down to around Olivers Hill have been producing whiting after dark. Customer Jordan has landed some nice flathead and whiting over the last week around Brighton. The flathead have been caught on 3 inch mullet patterned plastics and the whiting have been liking banana prawn and pipi. Customer Serge also got a nice bag of whiting from the shore around Sandringham on a mixture of squid, banana prawn and pipi. 

The same inshore reef and sand patches have been producing some nice squid after dark. Staff member Dylan fished from the shore from Brighton through to Black Rock last week and landed squid every session, with the quickest 10 squid bag taking about 40 minutes. Size 2.5 jigs are the most consistent in this area, with virtually every colour tried eventually producing a squid or two. 

Down along the bottom of the peninsula over in Westernport, customer Angelo has been catching squid and grass whiting like they're going out of fashion. Angelo has been fishing Flinders pier and has found the squid around 25cm hood length on average. Size 3.5 jigs in natural grass whiting patterns along with blacks and UV whites have been the best for him. The grass whiting have also been active around the pier pylons and grass beds and have been taking a liking to small paternoster rigs baited with either trout worms or small pieces of banana prawn.  

 

With some lovely late Autumn and early Winter weather, many anglers have flocked to their local beaches with a rod. And why not, something as simple as walking the beach on a nice afternoon can be a great de-stress for many. Lucky for them also the salmon fishing has been good so far, with many beaches providing fish to around 6lb for lure and bait fishers. Gunnamatta has been fishing well for salmon, with the first light bite the prime time, but the changing of the light during late afternoon has also been kind to mobile lure anglers fishing their way up the beach. 

For anglers looking to go for a drive, the beaches at Venus Bay and around Kilcunda have also been fishing well. Again early mornings coupled with a slight northerly and flood tide are the pick of the conditions. Baits of bluebait, whitebait, small squid and pipi have been best.


Customer Jim came in to stock up for a fish with some mates down at Venus Bay over the long weekend, and the boys had fun and caught a few fish for their efforts also. The last 90min of the flood tide and hour or so of the ebb was the best time, with the fish moving right up on the berley. Paternoster rigs baited with bottle squid and 'bungy bait' rigged poppers worked the best. Most of the fish were around a kilo or so, with some decent mullet finding their way to the bait in the shore break also.

Staff member Don fished Gunnamatta during the week, with a late afternoon spin session in the gutters along from the surf lifesaving club. Don took one light spin outfit and worked metal slices and stickbaits up to 40g around the edge of the gutters to rack up 20 or so salmon. Fishing the lures under the whitewater with a 'burn and kill' retrieve was the way to get the fish fired up. Flash-assist hooks on the lures helped in keeping the jumping fish hooked well. 

 

 

 


Westernport has been providing plenty of options during some of our nice Winter days, with the cartilaginous fish one of them. If conditions allow, the offshore fishing for gummy and school sharks has been excellent, while the gummy fishing inside the port has been also. On top of that, there have still been quite a few elephants about if you're fishing between Lang Lang and Rhyll. 

Customer Thao got outside during the week and fished an area behind Phillip Island in search of a solid gummy and he wasn't disappointed, landing a nice fish upward of 15kg. Thao found a small patch of reef and berleyed just off it, and had the gummy take a chunk of silver trevally. Baits of wrasse and parrotfish are also excellent if caught from the area you're fishing. 


Inside the port customers Morgan and Trent had a day of ripper weather, but small boat issues so their fishing time was shortened. In that time they managed to load up on yakkas and salmon for bait out from Rhyll and once they got sorted it wasn't long before they had a couple of eating size gummies on deck. Fishing the run off drains nearby to Rhyll they managed gummies to around 7kg, which were perfect for a feed. 


Fishing a touch north around Corinella, customer Scott caught a few smaller sharks in one session. Scott was fishing one of the potholes in the main channel where he landed 3 small sevengill sharks which were released, and 7 elephant shark also. Baits of squid and pilchard worked well. The elephant fish took a bit to turn up this year in the port, but they are still about in reasonable numbers - especially over the mudflats south of Elizabeth Island. 

 

 


The bluefin tuna have been fishing well across in the Portland district, and with some quality offshore conditions many anglers have been making hay while the sun has been shining. While there have been fish coming from Port Mac in SA through to around Apollo Bay, the main concentrations of fish have been from Cape Bridgewater back to Port Fairy and off Warnambool. Customer Tony and mates fished Portland earlier last week and had a bit of a tough time getting on to the fish but they did manage one schoolie for their efforts.


Customers Aaron and Kosta got out on the fish from Portland over the long weekend, and with some reasonable conditions they found no shortage of tuna. Most of the school fish they found had been hanging between the 60 - 130m area and were responding to most trolled lures. Skirts up to 6 inch and deep diving hardbodies were the best, with a mixture of colours from bright UV's like pink and lumo, through to natural saury and couta imitations. Customer Izzy and fished out from Portland over the weekend after purchasing a new 50w outfit. Trolling in close in the 45m area Izzy hooked a barrel on her lighter spin rod and unfortunately had the hooks pull. The consolation prizes were the 10kg school fish that were abundant, that are store-rigged daisy chain skirt rigs and deep running hardbodies. 

 

 

 

 

 


Port Phillip's autumn snapper bite continues with fish to nearly 8kg being landed by persistent anglers. The fish have been a bit more widespread this autumn, as they were over the spring period but there are enough about to be targeting them. Customer Rohan again fished out from Mornington with mates where they landed some lovely fish to just over 7kg. Fishing the early dawn bite got them their fish - with both pilchard and squid doing the job.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been finding some nice snapper in the bay over the past week or so. James has been concentrating around the Mornington and Mount Martha areas but has also been landing some cracker autumn reds over 6kg from around Black Rock and Brighton. Fishing a bit wider out in 19m or so seems to have been the most consistent ground, although there has been the odd solid fish caught right in close in the 7 - 10m area. Freshly caught squid, pilchard and yakka has all been good but silver whiting cubes and heads fished on 'Reedy's Rigs' have been excellent when left to dangle just above the seabed.

 


The local bluewater scene around the bay and just offshore has been producing both kingfish and bluefin tuna for anglers lucky enough to get out when a weather window allows. The past week or so has seen schools of kingfish turn up in the bays and in particular in the rip, but word has gotten out and there can be a few boats on the fish! Customers Steve, Mick and Jase fished the rip on Sunday and found kingies to around 70cm amongst the boat traffic. Small profile jigs up to 150g got the job done for the boys.

Staff member Dylan also fished the rip on the same day and also got into some decent kings but none of them found the boat. Mechanical and slow pitch jigging got the bites, with leaf style jigs from 100g through to 165g performing best.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been putting customers on to both kings and tuna over the past week or so, with the fish being caught no further than Barwon Heads. James has been landing some solid kingfish from both the rip and offshore, with fish to 15kg hitting the deck. Jigs and baits of squid and slimey mackerel have been the best. Just offshore James has been landing tuna to around 20kg on a mixture of skirts and hardbodied lures, with small teaser and daisychain rigs helping to focus the fishes' attention. Most of the tuna have been caught between the 50 - 70m depth line, from Port Phillip heads across to Breamlea and back to Gunnamatta.