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.

 

 

 


While the focus hasn't been on the gummies or snapper in particular in both bays - there have been a few caught, especially pinkies and snapper. The small pinkies from 20cm to 1.5kg or so are thick especially in Port Phillip, no matter which area you're fishing. While they can be frustrating - there have been plenty of better size fish amongst them. Staff member Dylan got out for a quick arvo fish recently and was kept busy on fish from 20cm to around 45cm on lures. 4'' jerkbait style plastics caught their share but 100 - 120mm hardbodies were the most effective once the wind got up. Trolling these lures around the isolated reef patches around Brighton resulted in more than 50 fish landed, and a handful of 500g kept for the pan.


The larger fish have also been found in the same areas in the top of the bay - but the real hot spot for the next little while is the Mt Eliza - Mt Martha region. Fish like these held by customer Sam from around Mt Eliza will be worth targeting the deeper we get into Autumn. Early morning bites from dawn to around 9am are the norm, with KGW heads deadly when fished on 'dangle' rigs over the boat's side.


Out in Western port there have been some nice snapper caught amongst the smaller pinkies. While the pinkies have been thick through the whiting grounds and grass beds, fishing the 'barren' mud and rubble beds has seen red to over 4kg landed. The main region producing the quality fish has been between Rhyll and Corinella. Customers Tony and Allan have caught fish in the area to nearly 6kg. There have also been quality fish on the reef just outside both entrances, with some super solid gummies providing some quality bycatch at the same time.


While most of the larger gummies have been coming from outside the port, there have been some big fish caught throughout the Western Entrance along the deeper ledges and channel scours. Fishing these areas during the latter part of the ebb tide or start of the flood is generally the more productive time. Customer Izzy has been landing gummies to around 15kg once the sun goes down, with baits of freshly caught yakka, slimey or trevally among the best.

For the land based anglers the weekend's calmer weather should make shore-bashing a bit more enjoyable. Customer Pete has just started chasing gummies from the shore and landed his first fish during the week. Pete was fishing from the shore at Grantville and after missing and losing a few fish he changed rigs and tactics and landed this one on a circle hook baited with fresh mackerel. Fishing water no more than 1m deep in this area is very effective - but it's all very tide dependent!

 


Although the weather currently in Melbourne isn't very inspirational - the forecast is looking like some excellent weather over the coming weekend. With the recent rain the bays will be a dirty but the fish like whiting should be firing. Influxes of freshwater really stir the critters up that the whiting prey on, and they should be ready to go by the weekend. Westernport's KGW have been fishing well in all areas, with the main hot zones between Tyabb and Stony Point - be it around the middle spit or on the banks. Young gun Fisherman Mike got out and on them recently with his Dad. The guys launched at Hastings and fished the banks both north and south and landed some. Mike and his Dad are only new to Westernport's whiting fishing and took on some tips and tricks and landed a few nice fish on pipi and squid.


Fishing nearby water customer Izzy and Brett from 'Reedy's Rigs' had a good session, with a KGW bagout in only a few hours. Fishing the ultra shallow water before first light with a bit of surface chop the fish were biting hard and they were done and dusted not long after sunrise. The use of a GPS and sounder to pinpoint small sand patches and drops amongst the weed enabled locating the correct ground and fish was much easier. Fishing bass yabbies on the Reedy's 'Tinganoster' rigs was deadly - with wide gap hooks ensuring the fish stayed hooked. If you're wondering what a 'Tinganoster' rig looks like - we have these and the deadly 'Ultra' rigs in store.

 


The Murray cod fishing has been good on both bait and lures around the region - with some good fishing happening not far from Melbourne at all. If you're looking to tangle with a cod, you could try the Yarra river over the weekend. The river should still be quite high and dirty from the heavy rain Melbourne has received but it will still fishable around the back eddies and slower water. A bunch of large scrubworms rolled in gel scent or XL yabby would be the best bet after the increased flow. Customer Ryan snagged a nice little fish from before the heavy rain started on a pink and purple spinnerbait. Bright pink/chartruese/orange and black works well in the Yarra due to the tannin in the water.


Heading for a drive up to lake Eildon will see your big cod chances increased. The large fish have been active over the past month or so, and happy to take a bait or lure. Customer Vito fished the lake landbased recently and landed a chunky model on a lure. Vito has been fishing soft and hard swimbaits during daylight hours and surface lures around low light and into the night. The large fish will only continue on a feeding rampage right through Autumn as the roach and redfin schools move into the arms and bays.

Customer Steve also landed a ripper cod out of the lake during the week. Steve was fished with mate Ryan from the shoreline of the lake and the boys managed 2 nice fish, with Steve's cracking the magical meter mark. Baits of yabby and cheese were both used. Steve safely returned the big cod to the water ready to be caught by another lucky angler.

 


The run of tuna local to Melbourne has continued and is gaining more and more momentum each day. With huge schools of fish to 40kg just offshore from the bays and along the coast many are taking advantage and getting amongst them when conditions allow. The schools have been isolated and as widespread as Cape Woolamai across to Portland and further west, with good numbers of fish hanging about between Cape Schank and Torquay. Vic EJ Todds Representative Mitch has been landed some sizable fish out from Barwon on stickbaits and poppers. While many anglers have been trolling lures, with increased boat traffic and pressure the fish are liable to spook - and this is where cast lures can have their advantages. Don't forget to pack popppers, stickbaits and various soft plastics!


Customer Josh came into the store after an outfit to tackle the tuna with and let us set something up for him. After gearing up Josh and some mates headed out and gave the fish a crack. The boys found the tuna just outside of the heads in quite shallow water heading towards Barwon bluff and landed a few on different hardbodies and also small skirts. Needless to say Josh is hooked will probably be doing more of it asap.


There have been plenty of anglers scoring catches of nice bluefin. The Melbourne Tuna Crumbs have been amongst the fish over the past weeks, with to just shy of 40kg coming aboard. Some of the original crumbs Michael and Pino have had fun on the fish from just outside the heads across to Angelsea. Various tactics have been working with deep running hardbodies and bibless minnows in short doing a good job at bringing the fish in. When the fish have been shy small skirts as minute as 3'' have been getting the bites, especially when fished a long way back.


The boys from Bucci Cabinets have been serving up fresh tuna with good numbers of fish in the 15 - 20kg size range being caught. The fish have again been caught along the surf coast, with the Barwon - Torquay area holding good schools. Working the 20 - 35m depth areas have been where most of the boys have been finding the numbers. Skirted lures have been the favoured method, with 5'' being about the most productive size. Some skirts as large as 10'' have been catching fish - and a good option to put in the spread as a teaser to entice the school to come up. Even if you have any huge marlin sized skirts, running them or a large popper or daisy chain of large soft plastics as an attractor has been well worth the effort.

 


Many anglers have been aware of the tuna activity along the west of the coast, and have been making the most of these fish again this week. There have been fish stretched from Portland and further west right across to offshore from Westernport and Inverloch. There have been fish inside both bays but they have been flighty and hard to come across, but they have been there to be caught.


Customer Billy has been catching some nice bluefin just offshore from the heads on small skirts. He has also landed a couple of fish in the 20kg range from inside the bay, with both skirts and deep diving hardbodies working well. The fish inside the bay have been moving about a lot, but the 'rip' section has been where the fish have been pushing through mowing down schools of pilchards. Customer Jason has also been landing fish offshore from the heads and further down towards Phillip Island. Jason has been landing fish on small 5'' skirts, and a few fish on surface poppers cast around the schools.

Customers Izzy and Bruno have been getting into the tuna also. Izzy fished out from Torquay during the week and found fish to 25kg. Skirts in the 5'' size range were the most effective on the fish, with the fish being attracted up to the surface from the commotion of deep running hardbodied lures. While the fish around Torquay and Barwon have been good there have also been some nice fish coming from Portland and Port Fairy. The fish have been cruising inshore in water depths of 15 - 50m and have been responding to the same methods - with stickbaiting and popping also very productive.


Among the tuna out west there have been schools of rat kingfish hanging about. The inshore reef around Portland has been the best holding ground for the numbers of these fish, with Izzy and Bruno catching some while down at Portland. Stickbaits and small surface poppers have been effective when the fish are on, but baits of slimey and calamari have also been deadly when the lures haven't gotten the interest of the fish. The fish have ranged in size from just legal to around 18kg, with some much larger fish harassing the smaller rats.


While not normally known for it's kingfish, the Gippsland lakes has been experiencing a run of school sized fish moving about the system. The fish have been moving from as far up as Paynesville right the way down to Lakes Entrance itself. Customer Kevin has found himself holding a knife while in a gunfight while fishing out of his canoe. Kevin has been fishing the north arm around Lakes Entrance and has been landing kingies to around 80cm. Small plastics that imitate the abundant prawns have been easy for the fish to eat and getting most of the bites.

 


Land based options around the bay have been good over the past week or so, with garfish and whiting providing some good fun and better eating. Rye through to Brighton has been excellent for the gars, with the hot spots Mornington, Frankston and Seaford. There have been some larger gars about but most have been from 15 - 30cm. Staff member Dylan has been catching them from Seaford and also Sandringham, with maggots being the best bait. Constant depth adjustment and fresh baits was the key to landing a few. As usual fine grit berley is needed to get he fish going and keep them firing while you're catching them.


Staff member Don has been catching some gars from Frankston pier during the week. Don has found small pieces of prawn have been working well, with the main tip being constant adjustment of float and bait depth. The gars have been hanging around Frankston pier during slight winds - with any wind over 15 or so knots bringing the salmon in and scaring the gars off.


The whiting fishing around the bay has been good for the land based angler - all be it that most of the fish are caught around or after dark. There have been fish caught all over the bay from Brighton all the way down to Portsea. Any area of scattered reef around sand has is worth a look, with some satellite maps your best friend. Customer Adam has been catching whiting to 44cm from the shore around Black Rock, with the isolated reef patches producing fish after dark. Staff member Dylan has also been catching fish to 40cm from the shore from Sandringham and Frankston. Baits of pipi, mussel, banana prawn and squid have all been good when fished on the sand around the reef. Most of the fish seem to be more active well after dusk, especially around the top of the tide.

 


The freshwater regions have been fishing well, for those that are unaffected by recent fires. Those that are need some time to clear up, as ash and debris in streams and rivers and flooding rains will knock smaller systems about for a little while yet. The south Gippsland and northern inland regions though are fishing well and remain unaffected. On the trout front the rivers from the back of the Yarra ranges through to around Moe are fishing well and are throwing up some decent sized fish for anglers picking their way through them.


Customers Jordan and Josh have been fishing a few different rivers in the region and without dialing in to a 'spot x' they have all been producing fish. The Yarra and it's tributaries have been excellent along with the Latrobe and the smaller streams that flow into it. Fly fishing has been effective for the guys, with both nymphs and dries taking some nice browns to around 700g. Fishing small lightly weighted plastics like nymphs and worms has been effective along with very small hardbodies and bladed spinners. Any of the rivers in the region generally run reasonably tannin so lures with UV colours and golds in them, along with dark silhouettes such as blacks and browns have been the most effective.


Just down the road at Blue Rock Lake the bass fishing has been good. The fish have been ravenous with recently stocked micro bass nailing most lures that hit the water. Fishing early morning and late afternoon has seen some larger fish come out to play, especially when bigger lures are put in to the equation. Staff member Dylan fished the lake last week and landed 15 or so fish with a few high 30cm specimens the best for the day. Mid depth crankbaits and spinnerbaits were effective mid afternoon slow rolled through bankside timber, and small surface crawlers and wakebaits came into their own once the light faded from the sky - with the best banks being the ones with slightly clearer water.


Just up the Hume fwy towards Shepparton customer Ryan has been catching some small yellowbelly in the creeks. Fishing brightly coloured spinnerbaits was the deal as the muddy water of the smaller creeks made visibility less than ideal. Rolling the spinnerbaits with a high rod tip allowed for detection of the lure bumping the logs and weed before it snagged up. Fishing similar water in the same region last week was customer Manny. Manny tried his luck on cod but found no joy on them, but he did land some nice yellowbelly. Manny found flash rigged plastics and aggressive coloured spinnerbaits were the most effective for him.

 


There have been some solid flathead caught during the warm weather we've had, along with some nice black bream. This report features three different flathead species in it! Customer Jason was fishing down at Port Welshpool last week and he caught some nice yank flathead with a couple of rippers around 70cm in the mix. Most of the solid flathead were caught along a 6m channel drop inside the estuary. They took baits intended for whiting but were then caught on strip baits.


Customer Simon was fishing out in Port Phillip recently where he landed a few nice sand flathead up to 56cm. Simon was fishing deep of Mornington and casting soft plastics. The larger soft plastics around 5'' got the attention of the larger flathead, and sized out the common small fish. Meanwhile Trevor from Compleat Angler's head office has been catching some super solid flatties down in gippsland. Trevor has caught fish to 85cm recently at Lake Tyers using the large Yakamito SXY shads. These plastics are a perfect representation of a finger mullet that these big prey on.


On the bream front, there have been some nice fish in the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers. Customer Ryan fished with mate Nick in the Maribyrnong last week and landed some nice bream to just under a kilo. Small baitfish imitation soft plastics in the 3'' size range were effective when slowly rolled out from the banks on light jigheads. Any overhanging vegetation and shaded rockpiles have been holding the fish in the warm weather. Small hardbodies are also worth fishing amongst this ground also.


Customer Jinsu has been having a ball on some solid bream while on a roadtrip in Tassie. Jinsu has been fishing in his kayak and touring around the state. He has found bream to 45cm happy to eat a few different lure styles and in different systems. He has been enjoying some surface fishing with poppers and stickbaits claiming nice fish early in the mornings.


Many of the bream Jinsu has been catching during the middle of the day have aggressively hit crab style lures twitched out from the edges, with both soft and hard options getting eaten. The edges have been fishing well with surface and hardbodies, while the overhead sun and calm water has called for deeper presentations like crabs and plastics. Just remember to fish a visible main line to pick up on any ticks and subtle bites in the deep water.