This Weeks Fishing Report – Shop Print

Brought to you by the team at Compleat Angler Dandenong


The Winter whiting fishing in Port Phillip has been pretty good if you’re in the right area. While there has been scattered reports of fish coming from the top end around Brighton and Black Rock, the area between St Leonards and Queenscliff has been much more consistent.  The boat traffic has been more than in other areas as this location is a popular Winter haunt. If you’re along the peninsula and don’t want to travel as far, the around in close off Rye has also been producing some nice KGW in around the 6m depth out from the pier. Local mussel and pipi have been great, along with freshly caught calamari.

Customer Mario headed out to St Leonards last week in search of KGW. Mario got into some squid further south first, which were quickly turned into some quality whiting. Some of the fish have been 45-46cm, and have been coming from 4-8m of water during the last of the run out tide. Small baitholder hooks were excellent at keeping the strip baits attached during the back end of the tide, with a change to fine gauge dropshot rigs needed when the tide slowed off and the fish started to bite softer.

Customers Tas and Michael got into some quality whiting off St Leonards also. Doing a quick squid drift first up also landed them some beautiful bait sized calas – with natural whiting and mackerel pattern jigs getting the results. Once a few extra squid were sorted, the boys started their whiting fishing in 5m of water. With a slow initial bite, UV blue Hayabusa whiting flasher rigs were used and bounced back very slowly which got the fish a bit more fired up.

Gawaine Blake has been out on the southern end of the bay where the whiting fishing has been great. Gawaine has done a few casual school holiday sessions and has been finding good numbers of fish that are generally quality. Gawaine and friends have been heading out from Martha cove and doing most of their fishing across at St Leonards. With a few boats around and a finicky bite, small baits of squid and pipi fished on the ever-popular c10U hook started to rack a few up. Once the bite had started hook and bait changed could be made, with fine gauge worm hooks and squid strips adding more fish to the esky. The Vexed micro meat even caught a few from straight under the boat with the addition of the circle assist hook.


Westernport bay had been a bit quiet from most anglers’ reports recently. But amongst the perceived slow fishing there has still been plenty on offer if you’re out there. The squid fishing was steady during the calm weather and will again fire after the rain subsides, and the gummy fishing down in the southern part of the port has been good – with more than the odd school snapper turning up if you’re fishing between Corinella and Vetnor.

Gawaine and Sam snuck out the other day to make the most of the conditions just before the rain and wind battered the bays and caught some thumper squid. The boys went out from Hastings and while they came back in drenched from the deluge that hit them, they caught some quality calamari. Majorcraft UV orange and pink patterns were nice and bright enough to fire up the big squid into attack mode. Although the conditions weren’t super bright, the bright coloured jigs did their job in standing out like a beacon so that the squid could find and stalk them.

Customer Peter and his family have been having a ball catching some cracker squid out in Westernport. The clear conditions last week led to some great fishing with large models on the chew. They fished around the top end banks out from Warneet in quite shallow. Keimura ‘UV’ coloured jigs worked extremely well at first light, and once the day got on super natural jigs like this flash shrimp Yo Zuri absolutely dominated.

Customers Brody and Peter fished with mate Nelson out in Westernport just before the wind and rain. Fishing down towards Rhyll in the Eastern Arm of the port they managed a nice table sized snapper and gummy. Both were caught using ‘scroll’ baits on rigs similar to the Vexed Bottom meat inline system. The inline rig was able to combat the mid-current and bottom weed that came off the banks during the run out tide.

Get ready for gars

There had been a good number of garfish caught about a week ago. During the week the big spell of calm and clear weather really slowed the fishing off, but with some heavy wind and rain currently holding around Melbourne the gars will again turn back on. Don’t go just yet though, this rougher weather is the time to find the salmon and tommy rough in closer to the shore. Once we get a break in onshore winds the garfish will again come back on the chew.

Customer Tas fished with his mates for gars just a few days ago. Fishing from piers has been good, but the boat based anglers like Tas have had patches of fish to themselves. The boys have been fishing about 3m of water straight out from Black Rock pier, using both maggots and banana prawn for bait.

Customer Angelo had been catching some nice gars prior to the weather change. Angelo has been fishing Mordialloc pier to land his gars, with both silverfish and maggots being the best performers. The best time to hit the gars has been early morning until about 11am. A fine pollard style berley trail with small amount of fish oil incorporated has been great, one for attracting the fish and two – to give a visual indicator of where to place the baits.

In amongst the garfish around the piers and rockwalls there have been a good number of mullet. The mullet have been fairly consistent around Mordialloc and will fire with recent rain. Customer Alex has been landing some good bags of fish around the entrance of the creek. Using the same berley trail as mentioned for garfish is the go – with the addition of some mashed pilchards. Alex also found that the best bait was a dough mixture that had the bloody tuna scent mixed in. This dough is deadly when fished on a small wide gap treble.

The salmon have turned up around the gar spots as soon as the rougher weather started to come through, with Beaumaris and Mordialloc both holding quite a few. Customer Olly found a heap of nice fish around the mouth of the Patto during the week also. Olly found that small soft plastics were the best performers – especially if they have an internal scale flash pattern. This rougher weather will see more fish hanging around the river entrance, so perfect if you want some land based fun.

Customer Stephen has been throwing TT metals from the shore on the beaches around Blairgowrie in southern Port Phillip recently where he has been picking up some quality winter salmon. His focus is mainly fishing into dusk after a day’s work – however salmon captures have been reported in the same area around dawn and the high tide seems to bring the fish closer due to the shallow waters. Additional rough weather really brings this fish right in close and fires them into feeding mode where micro metals and small whitebait patterned plastics have been the best.

Local trouts!

School holidays are the ideal time to get out and get into the freshly stocked suburban lakes. Grab a raincoat, some powerbait and trout pellets and get amongst them. There’s undoubtably a stocked lake nearby to you, with many lakes right amongst the suburbs. The coarse angling method is the most effective way to catch these fish, but you can also lure fish for them for more of a challenge.

The hot lakes have definitely Karkarook Park and Rowville. Karkarook has been producing more fish and is maybe easier to fish being fairly open and weed free. Being only 20 minutes from the shop it is also very local for many local anglers.

Staff member Don took his son Tygar down to Karkarook Park in Moorabbin for some trout fishing.
Fishing the lightweight red and clear feeder cages on more of a finesse coarse rig with both powerbait and dough was the key. The absolute best berley mixture was a combination of Wilson ‘wet’ aniseed mix blended with crushed trout pellets. Throwing these with a berley spoon helps land them accurately within casting range. The best colours in powerbait were Orange, Chunky cheese and Rainbow.

The best area of the lake has been between the canoe ramp and the high jetty, as the fish get stocked into this corner and generally return through the are on their beats.

Calm conditions for Calamari

The squid fishing has been quite good in both bays, with the calm weather we’ve had of recent. With light winds all week most locations have been fairly good in terms of water clarity. Some of the top end banks in Westernport have had a tinge to them after earlier rain, but overall the fishing for squid has been made more productive with the weather.

Customer Harry went out and landed his first squid on his newly purchased egi combo. Harry went to Blairgowrie Yacht Club and while he only landed the one, he did see many squid free swimming in the clear water. Harry found the noise in the Yamashita ‘search’ jig was helpful in attracting the squid nearby to his jig. The right hand size of the pier was where he saw all the squid, holding deep to the broken broken ground just ep from the end of the pier.

Customer Sam fished out in Westernport during the week with some mates where they landed some nice squid. Using a mixture of sizes in the Majorcraft jigs and colours resulted in a good catch. The best performing jigs were definitely brighter colours – with ghost UV orange and purple tiger both being the standouts.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been having some fun on the squid of late. James has been taking clients out on southern Port Phillip for the squid, and beautiful calm weather really added the cherry on top. The south sand area has been great in holding numbers of squid, with some beautiful specimens in the mix. Clear and calm conditions have been best approached with size 2.5 jigs, with lightly weighted helmets added for the tidal strength. Loud rattle style jigs in bright UV colours have outfished most other jigs, with some natural wrasse/green patterns also adding a complementing colour to the mix. Depth has been fairly consistent with the bulk of the squid getting caught in 5-6m of water.

Squid and whiting providing action

Both the squid and whiting fishing has been steady of late. Clear water conditions have helped especially with calamari fishing in both bays, but a lot of good reports have been filtering in from the southern peninsula. The Rye to Sorrento area and across at Queenscliff has both been great, with many anglers doing well on squid, and then on King George whiting in the same regions. Across in Westernport, fishing around Tortoise Head through to Somers has been excellent if you’re chasing both quality calamari and KGW.

Customer Tony has been fishing across near Queenscliff with a mate and they have been having some great sessions on the whiting. The better baits were both pipi and squid, but the hook selection was a bit more specific as pickers like leatherjacket and wrasse certainly do make short work of soft baits when fished around the heavy weed. Being observant and attentive on the rod is key also, as both of these pickers will strip baits while leaving only the most subtle bite – which can leave you bait-less around a patch of whiting. Moving around to areas of lighter weed covering also helped Tony, and actively moving the baits through these pockets helped picked up a few extra fish.

Customer Chris came down from QLD and went out on a tuition with Gawaine Blake out in southern Port Phillip recently. Gawaine and Chris fished the Queenscliff region and caught some thumping squid on a variety of jigs, with the best performers being bright yellow and orange UV patterns, along with natural dark greens. The brighter UV patterns can get a ‘shock’ reaction and result in an attack, while the darker patterns are very good wrasse and grass whiting replications.

John from Victorian Fishing Charters has been putting happy clients onto some nice bags of whiting and squid in southern Port Phillip. Fishing around the Rye area, John and customers have been landing solid numbers of both species. Fishing the shallower water between 2-3m has been successful for them, especially the squid. Shimano ‘flashboost’ squid jigs in both UV white and ‘shocker’ colours have been effective along with black silhouettes.

Concentrating on the whiting out towards 6m of water, baits of pipi and calamari have been best with a few also snared on mussel. The addition of any ‘crystalflash’ or UV near the hooks has also dramatically increased attention from the whiting.

Salmon going silly

Our Winter salmon fishing has been great! There’s been plenty of fish roaming the ocean beaches if hitting the surf is your thing. If you’d much rather keep your gear away from the sand, the class of some of the fish being caught land based is great. Local piers such as Frankston, Seaford, Mornington and some along the peninsula have been producing salmon up to 3kg. Bait and lures have both been successful, as they both require a different approach but are effective.

Also, in amongst these salmon there has been heaps of tailor in some of the same locations. The beaches out towards Gippsland have been producing some, and the further East you go their numbers amplify. Locally speaking, there have been plenty caught around the port of Melbourne in both rivers and around ‘the warmies’.

Customer Dino has been smashing the salmon from Frankston pier recently. Dino purchased a new outfit to enable longer casts with smaller profile lures, which has increased his catch rate tenfold. Dino has been using a mixture of both plastics and hardbodies, along with smaller profiled metal lures. The main key here being the lure profile – we all know that salmon we eat a lot of lure styles but when they are keyed into certain bait size they will be much easier to catch when that profile is matched. Smaller is usually better, and with that comes more thoughtful outfit selection – and you will generally see the most successful anglers using lighter than normal gear to help with this.

Customer Alex has been catching a mixture of salmon and tailor from around the urban landscape. Alex has been travelling about fishing around Melbourne to catch his tailor on a mixture of lures, and some big salmon from down at Mordialloc. The most productive lures for Alex have been small natural ‘foil smelt’ plastics and slimlined jigs. Other styles have worked but these types have provided the most consistent action for him.

Timely trout tempting

While trout season has ended for all rivers and streams apart from designated ones, there’s still been some quality catches going on in many of the lakes about the place. Eildon pondage has been producing some nice fish for those patiently using coarse methods – and if you’re out of town many of the northwestern lakes have had some ripper fish chasing smelt right up into the shorelines. This style of fishing is exciting as quality fish can be found aggressively hitting hardbodied minnows cast around the lake edges – ask us for the good oil on this!

Don’t forget that this upcoming school holidays should see some of your local suburban lakes topped up with trout – with some to receive some ‘stonkers’ ready to be caught! Keep your eye out on our facebook page for updated stocking info!

Customer Jon took son Flynn up to Eildon pondage after a gear top up from the shop and the boys struck success! Some nice trout were caught in a casual day trip fish with this 4kg rainbow being the standout. The boys stocked up on all things coarse including a deadly berley and loose feed mixture which really got the fish fired up! The best baits were a mixture of powerbait in two different colours, and locally made ‘super dough’. As simple as this form of bait can be, the small insights into gear selection and minor details make all the difference, and we’re glad the boys did well! Jon and Flynn fished the ever popular ‘Bourke Street’ section of the lower pondage.

Staff member Dylan hit the high country just before seasons’ close with mate Nick, and caught some nice wild trout. Conditions in the rivers and lakes were ‘too good’ with super clear and low water levels – the fish were super hard to tempt. A few different technique changes resulted in some success, with aggressive takes from fish that were previously bypassing offerings from a multitude of anglers. Daylight and clear water sessions were best fished a few key soft plastic options, and low light and night time fishing was super successful with big, bold and aggressive jerkbaiting techniques, with lures 90-150mm getting the attention. If this seems counterproductive to you, make sure you ask us about ‘reaction response’ trout fishing!

Winter natives on the chew

The keen anglers out in search of a monster Murray cod are found on the water all throughout the colder months – and if you are keen to land that giant then this is the time of year for you! While casting big lures with semi frozen hands might not sound like everyone’s cup of tea, the rewards are there to be found for those with a lure (or bait) in the water. Lake Eildon is the place to snare a true freshwater finned giant, but Mulwala is also a great starting point for those daunted by Eildon’s sheer vastness. The Murray river itself can also fish exceptionally well during times of lower Winter flow and increased clarity.

Customer Brody spent some time on the water with Thomas Pinter learning the ins and outs of targeting these monsters at Eildon, and learnt a whole swag of quality information. Thomas has spent a good amount of time on the water, and has refined his craft of catching big fish from Eildon – which isn’t the easiest task. Needless to say, Brody did well at landing a ripper fish at well over the metre mark under Thomas’ guidance. Fish of this calibre require tackle and gear refinement and critical detail in selection and rigging, and the ‘good oil’ from someone such as Thomas can really make this fish a reality for anglers who don’t get the chance to chase them every day.

Customer Mario fished the Murray itself recently with other members of the Dandenong Sports Fishing Club. A couple of relaxed days were had by all and Mario did find some nice fish about – with a mixture of techniques working well. Mario really enjoyed slow structure trolling with lures such as the ‘Grave Digger’ and ‘Slickback’ types. Having these lures bounce dead slow through small sections of rock and pilled timber had the cod aggressively hitting them, even if they were smaller sized fish. A bit of bait fishing on the side was also enjoyed with freshwater yabbies also accounting for a few cod, and local shrimp nailing the odd yellowbelly as well.

Solid squid success

The early Winter squid fishing has been going well for anglers fishing both bays, and from the shore as well as boat-based. With pretty good water conditions and clarity around, the squid fishing quality has been reflective. Clean water = good squid fishing.

Customer Ismail fished with a few mates out in Port Phillip Bay last week in search of some squid and, afterwards, whiting. Fishing out from Kirk Point the boys caught a nice bag of calamari in the shallows, up to 4m in depth. Multiple jig colours worked, with the standouts being bright UV patterns. While Ismail looks like he may have robbed this squid from someone, he assures us that he did in fact catch it.

Customer Adam has been catching a few nice squid from the shoreline along the southern part of Port Phillip Bay. Adam has been fishing from the sandy shoreline around small isolated weedbeds around the boat moorings of Blairgowrie and Sorrento. The top of the tide has been his favoured time especially if it’s later during the night. Adam has been using a few different jig styles, with Shimano JetBoost shallow sinking jigs working well, along with a couple of secret colours in the Clicks range.

Customers Matt and Lachie fished out in Westernport last week in search of a few different species. With the weather working against them the offshore gummy fishing idea was out the window – so some inshore bread and butter fishing was the go. Calamari were one of the targets and made successful after changing through a few different jig choices to suit the varying depths and current. With a sleeper bait sitting over the edge while on the drift a few nice flathead were also picked up.