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.

 


The peninsula has been the more consistent region for squid fishing recently with mixed clear and wet weather. The hot areas lately have been Rye, Blairgowrie and Flinders piers. Customer Jameel fished from Blairgowrie yacht squadron with his family and took home some ripper squid. The best performing jigs for Jameel were Yamashita Live and 490 search in UV and glow whites. The same bright whites have been very effective around Rye recently also.


On the other side of the peninsula customer Angelo has been catching squid and grass whiting from Flinders pier. Angelo took his father out to the pier and between them they manage some nice squid on size 3.0 Clicks and Yamashita jigs, with black and UV white, along with bright green being the standouts. Small pieces of prawn and trout worm fished on paternoster rigs around the pier pylons and kelp beds was the best method of catching the grass whiting.


The southern end of Port Phillip has been producing some fat condition winter whiting, with not many anglers making the most of them. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching awesome numbers of fish with customers from Rye to Portsea and across towards Queenscliff. Freshly caught squid cut into small strips has been dynamite, along with fresh mussel. A mixture of pellet berley with small amounts of crushed mussel has really helped keep the fish going also.

Customer Josh also fished the same areas last week for the whiting and did very well. Josh and mates found that the Sorrento area was best in around 8m of water, with some very nice fish caught. Josh found pipi and fresh squid to be the most effective baits, with squid strips 'wiggling' in the current on fine straight shank hooks dynamite.

 


The whiting and squid fishing in both bays has been good recently during some nice calm weather, and will continue on through the rest of winter. The squid fishing in particular has been excellent and given good water clarity will stay very good right through. At present most of Port Phillip's northern locations are a bit murkier but are cleaning up. Staff member George and mate Cip were out during the week and stopped off at Mordialloc pier for a quick squid session. Natural gold foil jigs in size 2.5 were deadly, and a good bag of squid came on to the pier planks in only 20 minutes or so.


Westernport has been the real standout for squid lately though, especially if you're in the boat. Customer Aaron took the family out for a run recently and found the motherload of squid around the banks of the top end. Aaron smashed the squid and stocked up on early season snapper baits as well as a good feed with the family. Size 3.0 and 3.5 jigs were the go, with nearly all colours working well on this particular day.


Customer Edly has been focusing on the southern end of the port, with large squid on his mind. Edly fished the western entrance during the week and found some cracker calamari to around 1.5kg. Size 3.5 jigs with chin weights were able to get down deep and stay there where the larger squid were. Customer John also fished the port during the week and got some nice squid also. John was fishing out from Hastings were squid to around 1.2kg were caught on both baited jigs and 3.5's on the cast. The southern region of Tyabb bank was productive as were the grass beds just south of Hastings.


On the whiting front, both bays have still been producing fish. They are a bit harder work at the moment, but if you focus on them and actively change up baits and small location moves then there have been some nice fish worth catching. The average size for the fish at the moment has been around the 38cm mark, which has also been in very solid condition. The hot spots for Port Phillip bay have been the Rye - Sorrento area and across at Queenscliff, while the bottom end of the middle spit and tortoise head have been worth stopping on in the port.


Customers Mario and John fished the port during the week and collected a nice feed of whiting.The guys fished out from Hastings and worked the middle spit and tortoise head areas, and found some nice fish to just over 40cm. The tortoise head area produced more fish, with various banks around the point holding the fish and they moved during teh run out tide. Fresh squid and pipi did the job, with a few more fish falling to the squid than the pipi.

 


The squid fishing has been good around the bay as the water clarity stays good.Most of the usual land based locations are producing, with the mid northern end of the bay starting to fish well.


Staff member Dylan has been fishing from the shore around the top of the bay and has found the fishing pretty good. Multiple sessions of bag limits have been had in short time, normally around an hour. In amongst a few anglers fishing the standout jigs have varied a bit but blues and purples have been very effective lately. The Yamashita 'Live Search' jigs with incorporated rattle have been deadly when t hings have gone quiet.


Around the Brighton region customer Peter has been catching a few nice sized squid from the shore. Peter has found green/glow jigs have been effective during full sunlight conditions.The same sort of jig colours have also been working for customer Aaron down near Mornington. Aaron and mates have been fishing the reef in approximately 6m of water and doing well. Green/glow, gold foil and also red foils have all been working in that depth.


On the whiting front, there have been good catches of excellent size fish coming from Westernport bay over the past week or so. While there hasn't been many anglers chasing them, the fish getting about have been of very good average size. Customer Steve found out last week that the quality of the fish was good, fishing around Tankerton and the middle spit. Steve found that the bite was hot at certain stages of the tide but as usual the fish had to be followed around and baits changed to suit. Pipi and fresh fresh was excellent with most fish going on pipi.


Customer Pat fished with his dad out in the port recently and found a good bag of fish around tortoise head and the surrounding banks. Pat fished the outgoing tide and moved about to stay on the fish. The bank edges fished the best in water around 5m deep. Pipi and mussel cocktails got the bites when fished on a small wide gap hook.

 


Most of the estuaries out in Gippsland are set to fire up if more rain falls between now and Easter. While up until last week all major estuaries from Lakes Entrance and east were closed to the ocean. With water levels high and no clean salty water pushing in the fish can slow off the bite and be harder work to catch. They are still however there to be caught, and that's what will normally separate good anglers from those set in their ways.

Staff member Dylan and mates fished out in some of the estuaries recently and while conditions weren't ideal with wind and heavy rain the fish were certainly there to be caught. Fishing shallow mud and sand flats and finding the main holding areas for the fish was the first key, then working out the more successful lures was the next step. With an abundance of small school prawns and shrimp the surface bite was excellent. Over a day and a half around 60 bream were caught, with another estimated 25 whiting and around 60 flathead. A very small bag of fish was taken home, with some whiting, flathead and luderick keep for a feed.


Among the desirable fish were plenty of big tailor and silver trevally all equally happy to eat the expensive lures. The most successful lures were the Sammy 55, Gunfish, Sugarpen and overreal wake, which all represent small prawns and baitfish panicked on the surface. Retro-fitting these lures with small and sharp stinger hooks increased hookup rates by at least 50%, especially on the bream and whiting. Customer Daniel also fished in a nearby estuary where he landed some nice yellowfin bream from similar shallow sand flats.


Around the Gippsland lakes the bream fishing has been good if you're looking in the right areas. The main 3 rivers are producing some nice fish at present and should start fishing well for the larger fish the deeper we get into autumn. Customer Bashir and mate fished the lower tambo river to land a nice bag of fish on a mixture of baits. The most successful baits for the day were live shrimp and freshwater yabbies fished on number 8 'C10U' fly hooks.


Customer Ian also fished the region recently and found some nice bream floating about in the Nicholson river. Ian found that the best baits by a mile were live freshwater yabbies. If you're using slightly larger than normal yabbies it doesn't hurt to pull the claws off them to give the fish a good chance at hitting them and hooking up.

 


With the onset of Autumn weather the squid and pinkies have well and truly come into action. The larger squid should come into their own around the southern end of the bays with the cooler water temperatures. Customer Angelo fished from Flinders pier during the week to land a couple of solid squid and a cuttlefish on size 3.5 Clicks jigs in colour 17.


The Mornington region has been fishing well for hordes of smaller schooling squid. While the pier itself has been producing lots of squid, the adjacent rocks and points have also been holding large numbers of slightly larger squid. If you're going to fish the pier here small jigs are the go. Size 1.8 has been the most consistent performer here, especially if you rig them up without a sinker. These jigs are designed to sink at a slow rate and precise angle, and usually adding them to a paternoster rig decreases catch rates.

Staff members Don and Dylan have been catching numbers of squid from around the pier and rocks, with 2.5 size jigs working well in the windier conditions, in all variety of colours. Customer Jordan also fished the rocks nearby to land hs 10 squid in short succession on 2.5 size jigs in brighter colours.


The massive schools of pinkies have been biting well around most reefy sections of the bay. The Black Rock area has been holding big numbers of fish to around 40cm. Customer Stephan and mates fished the area during the week and managed a nice mixed bag of pinkies, whiting and squid. The guys fished in about 10m of water, with pilchard and squid the two best baits.


The Autumn run of pinkies are perfect for targeting on soft plastics. With large groups of fish hanging around the structure it normally takes no time to get a bit from them. Smaller plastics in around 2.5 - 3.5 inches are the best starting point, whether curl or paddle tail type. Fishing these plastics on jigheads of 1/8 to 1/4oz will get you down to the fish even in the windiest conditions in the shallows. A big tip if new to this style of fishing is to make sure you are using a hi-vis braided line to pick up on subtle bites as the lure is sinking.


Customer Ryan has been having good sessions on the pinkies on plastics out from Williamstown and Black Rock recently. Ryan has been targeting the schools in around 8m of water along scattered reef and has been fishing a mixture of plastics. Some days the fish have been holding very tight to the reef so he has been using a weedless hook setup to get the lure to them. He has been finding a slow wind a slight 'shake' the best way to entice a bite from the fish .

 


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.

 


Port Phillip has still been producing similar bread and butter species as Westernport,with whiting and gummies the main targets to the south of the bay. Customer Mario and mate fished out from Mt Martha in search of KGW recently and he found a nice bag of fish from 35 - 46cm. Mario found that fresh squid and cuttlefish were the gun baits


Out wide from Mt Martha customer Josh tried his luck on the gummies again. Josh worked his way into the south channel where he picked up 2 nice table sized gummies of about 7kg each. Josh found strips of freshly caught squid were effective, as he couldn't find any salmon for bait. Josh found the top of the tide the most productive time.


While many anglers have been battling to find much in the way of size pinkies, there have been patches of fish to around 1kg about. Customer Ryan fished the inshore reef south of Mornington to take home some nice fish up to 44cm. The larger fish have been hanging in schools away from the smaller fish, so if you find yourself stuck catching undersize a simple move a bit deeper might put you on to some better fish. Larger baits and hooks have been weeding out the small fish, with harder baits like yakka performing well. Soft plastics in 3 - 4 inch have been good at minimizing smaller fish as well, especially if they are a TPR style plastic. Mornington and also Black Rock have been holding some decent fish among the small fish.

 


Port Phillip has still been busy with holiday boaties over the past week, and most of the reports have been bread and butter fishing for pinkies, whiting and squid. The rip has seen some kingfish caught but this week has been a bit patchy. For the persistent anglers some of the pinkies have been reasonable, but you'll have to fish through the smaller ones until a few larger fish come through. Customer Darcy slogged away from the rocks recently in search of a better fish, and managed a nice fish of around 3kg from near Mt Martha. Pilchard was the go for him, and most of the better fish have been taken late into the night.


While the whiting fishing has been patchy around the full moon, there have still been plenty of anglers getting into a few of them. Customers Bashir and Danny have been doing alright on the whiting fishing out from Altona. Fishing the broken ground between 4 - 6m has been the go, with pipi and mussel being the most effective baits.


Most of the whiting have come on the bite before dark, which has been when a bit of the water traffic has slowed down. It pays to have multiple rods rigged and plenty of baits prepped around this time, as the small pinkies have also been ravenous around last light.


The other hots area for the whiting at present has been around Sorrento. Customer Josh fished out from here during the week and found some nice fish over 40cm. The best bait was pipi, but fresh cuttlefish is also very good in this southern section of the bay. Fishing the broken ground wide of the moorings and around the broken patches of the 'south sand' has been effective, especially when fishing in depths of 5 - 7m.


The squid fishing around the bay has been good, without being red hot. Most of the piers and everyday areas have been producing some solid squid, but no real monsters this week. Staff member Dylan has found that red and orange jigs have been super effective this week, moreso than most other colours. Dylan has been fishing the piers between Mornington and Sorrento, with size 3.0 being the most 'universal' size.


Customer Noel fished from the pier at Sorrento during the week where he managed a nice cuttlefish. Noel caught the cuttlefish on a red  foil jig, while conditions were cloudy and overcast. Fishing your jigs very close to the bottom and almost dragging them above the sand is a very good way to land cuttlefish, as they seem to prefer the jig 'hovering' just above the bottom. Fishing this method 'tip run' style is the best way to keep contact with the jig, and be ready to strike or move it from the weed as soon as you feel the drift change.

 


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.