This Weeks Fishing Report

Brought to you by the team at Compleat Angler Dandenong

Great garfish goodness

Garfish have been going off around the bay, with great numbers of fish to be caught from Brighton to Blairgowrie. The larger gars have been mainly caught down in the tidal waters of the peninsula, but have still popped up amongst the smaller school gars further up the bay. Fishing around the piers when winds are light has been best, as the rougher conditions have used the fish away an brought the larger predators around.

Customer Ismail went out in search of gars from the local rocks near Mornington and found some. While they weren’t thick he still managed to get a few going with the aid of a light berley trail. Small slivers of banana prawn were the most effective bait for him when fished on a heavily weighted float.

Customer Angelo has been doing well on the garfish fishing both Mordialloc and Beaumaris piers. Angelo has been using maggot and silverfish. Fine grain berley with a small amount of fish oil blend incorporated has been the best berley for him, especially when applied sparsely around the schools of fish.

Staff member John has also been chasing the garfish locally. John has been fishing for them around Frankston and Seaford and has been doing well. The same methods as others have been working best, employing a fine berley mixture and small baits of banana prawn and maggots.


Surf Salmon

Winter time means beach fishing for aussie salmon. And sometimes the weather during Winter doesn’t provide many other options. A northerly wind in Winter gives most beaches a nice offshore push and provides some casting distance along most local beaches. With the midst of Winter amongst us, most beaches are providing some good numbers of fish. The real highlight areas have been Kilcunda, Inverloch and Venus Bay, while further along from Lakes Entrance the surrounding beaches have been fishing well.

Customer Colin ventured up the coast a bit recently and got into some nice bream and salmon from the beach. Colin fished from the beaches in the Merimbula and Pambula areas and found salmon aplenty, with a fair number falling to bait/plastic combos fished on paternoster rigs. Bluebait on the top hook and a buoyant ‘crabproof’ plastic on the bottom dropper provided an almost endless amount of beach buckles for Colin.

Staff member Don fished the beaches around Lakes Entrance over the past fortnight and found plenty of salmon about. Don caught salmon on both bait and lure, with a solid berley trail really helping the school stick around to be caught. Double headers on the Paternoster rig were not unusual, with a bluebait and hardbody combo providing to be deadly.


Bag a feed of local flatties

If a feed of flathead tails is your thing, then the top end of Port Phillip is a great place to be looking at the moment. While few anglers think of this region of the bay, Hobsons bay through to Altona and Brighton is an excellent area to be actively targeting sand flathead for a feed. The slightly warmer shallows around the area are full of isolated patches of reef, weed and sand shelves, and make ideal ambush points for the flatties.

Customer Ryan normally fishes the region and has been catching some good numbers of fish over the past few weeks. Ryan finds quality fish using a few different methods – both trolling and casting. Trolling small deep diving hardbodies through water 3 – 5m deep has been a good method for finding patches that hold fish, and slowly working small minnow-tail plastics on jigheads around 1/8oz picks up a few more lurking in the area.


Gars getting about

The garfish have turned up in a bit better numbers over the past few weeks, and with them come the anglers who love a feed of gars. The fish have been pretty good from Hampton through to around Mornington, but Frankston, Olivers Hill and Mornington have been the pick of the lot. Fishing during the morning has been the productive time, especially with a fine berley trail set. Small baits of silverfish, prawn and maggot on fine gauge hooks have been best way to pick them up, with both sliding float or unweighted hook setups catching well.

Customer Erica has been catching garfish from Frankston pier during the week. Erica has been finding the mornings have been best, with most of the bite over by about 10am. Erica has also found that the most productive bait has been banana prawn.

Customer Chan has also been trying his luck on the garfish at Frankston. Chan has caught some larger gars fishing during the night at the pier using banana prawn and maggots for bait. Fishing the night requires a solid berley trail to be set before dark to ensure that the fish stay on the bite into the night.


Peninsula calamari

The squid fishing along the Mornington Peninsula has been good considering most of the wind direction of late has been from the East. The protected shorelines from Mt Eliza through to Mt Martha have been good, but the standout has still been Mornington pier. The pier has been producing large numbers of small school squid for anglers fishing small jigs. The key really has been to fish a jig smaller than a size 2.5 or 2.0, with sunset through the night being the better time to fish. For those after squid, when the Easterly winds have backed off, Flinders and Portsea piers have also been fishing well.

Staff member Don fished the pier at Mornington during the week and managed a bag of squid. As usual small jigs from size 1.5 to 2.5 have been the most productive, with 1.8 being about the best general size at present. Fishing the shallower section of the pier has been more productive than further up along it.

Customer Angelo has been fishing Flinders pier when the weather has allowed, and when the water conditions around the pier have been clean enough the squid fishing has been good. Angelo has been finding the afternoon bite has been more consistent on the squid, with the last few hours of light the prime time. Fishing size 3.5 jigs with ‘minus’ nose weights allows them to sink slower around the kelp and minimises snags while providing the same larger profile to the squid.


King George still on fire

Westernport Bay has continued to produce great numbers of whiting for those fishing mainly from the top end. While not all of the fish are massive, great numbers of fish certainly make up for this factor.

Staff member Don fished with mate Same out from blind Bight recently and managed a bag of nice whiting. Don and Sam fished near the bird box and found that squid strips and pipis were the best baits on the whiting, in  a spot of around 5m of water.

Customer David had no problem locating the whiting while fishing the afternoon tide out from Warneet recently. David also managed a solid bag of pinkies while chasing the whiting, with some deeper water around from the end of the channel providing the goods. The best baits for him were a mixture of pipis, squid and pilchards.

Customer Pat and his Dad went out off Stony Point to catch their bag of whiting, with plenty of solid pinkies in the mix also. Squid strips were the best baits for the boys, and fishing 11m of water close by to Stony Point was the area.


Melbourne bluefin

Melbourne’s run of bluefin tuna continue to provide heaps of action virtually all who have been out targeting them offshore. While there have been days when the fish are very frustrating and seem like they just won’t eat, there are also great numbers of fish to move between and hopefully strike on a patch of feeding fish. Most of the reports have been more consistent between Port Phillip heads and Torquay, but there have been fish caught across to Wonthaggi from the Eastern entrance.

Customer Daniel fished with mates out from Port Phillip heads during the week and landed multiple bluefin tuna. Daniel and the guys were trolling hardbodied minnows with a mixture of deep and shallow running options in the spread. Both natural and bright UV colours worked on fish to around 20kg, with the area just outside Point Lonsdale the best.

Customer Shane fished for tuna with James Rogers from Unreel Fishing Charters recently and caught some nice bluefin tuna. The fish were caught fishing out from Port Phillip heads and were biting much better during the early afternoon. The presence of birds was the key to locating the fish, which were caught slowly working surface poppers.

Customer John fished with a mate during the week on the local tuna, also out from Port Phillip heads. The guys headed West and fished towards Torquay where they found their bag of fish. The most successful lures were small skirts in lumo and black colour configurations, with heavier jets heads doing the most damage.


Summer snapper make a comeback

The snapper have just recently kicked back into gear in both bays, with the reaches from Frankston – Mt Martha providing most of the action, while in Westernport there have been fish spread out from Corinella through to both entrances. Fishing the shallower water in Westernport has been the method of coming across some better quality fish.

Some of the fish that have been caught in Port Phillip have been lovely school fish, from 2.5 – 4.5kg. Customer Chris has done well during his last few trips out in the bay, with fish to 63cm coming on squid and silver whiting.

Newly hooked fishing tragic Alexandro was introduced to snapper fishing recently. Alex landed this lovely snapper while fishing with his uncle in about 18m of water. This lovely fish took a whole silver whiting.

Customer Nati took the boys out from Ricketts in search of snapper and they weren’t disappointed. Both Dean and Charlie caught their first snapper each, with fish at 3.7kg and 5kg, both which were caught on pilchards fish around the edge of the reef.

Over in Westernport there has been good numbers of pinkies about and some nice school snapper also. Customer Mitchell fished with his cousin out from Rhyll recently where they landed snapper to around 3kg. Mitchell’s fish took half a saury fished on a paternoster flasher rig.


Local bluewater

A lot of local attention has been on the tuna and kingfish, which has been red hot for local anglers. Both species have been caught less than half an hour from the nearest ramps for those getting on to the fish nice and early. There have been insane numbers of tuna around, and while there has been a lot of fish they haven’t been suicidal and need to be targeted smartly in order to make the most of catching them.

The kingfish have been less prevalent than the tuna have still been catchable by those searching closer in to the points and pressure zones with lures and live baits.

James Rogers from Unreel Fishing Charters has been out with his sons Dylan and Tristan and the boys have been catching some monster kingfish. The boys have been catching the fish on a mixture of techniques ranging from mechanical jigging, casting stickbaits and dropping down live baits.

Young gun Mike went out and got into some tuna with his dad recently. The guys fished out from Port Phillip heads in great conditions and caught tuna to around 15kg on the troll. Small bullet head skirts and deep running hardbodies got the job done.

Customer Dan and mates fished out on the local tuna recently and found some really solid fish. Fishing out from Cape Schank the boys got into a few great fish to around 30kg. Trolled hardbodies in aggressive colours worked the best amongst the myriad of other boats.


Murray’s on the go

Warm conditions have gotten many keen cod anglers out on the water, with mild nights and surface lures being a great mix for many. While the inconsistency of water levels and clarity have made for sporadic feeding from the fish, over all the cod fishing has been pretty good. The rivers and larger lakes have been the standouts and even though the larger dams like Eildon have been producing fish, they are still hit to hit their peak in the cooler months.

Customer Michael landed a belting fish out of Eildon recently. Michael has been doing ‘the miles’ searching for the bite from a big fish and his efforts have gained him a true Eildon trophy. With fewer holidaying boats about the lake the fish have regained a little bit of normality and peace and quiet and will continue to be caught right through into Autumn.

Customer Isabella took a break off from the saltwater and fished for cod recently up around Wangaratta, in search of cod land based. While higher than normal river conditions made for more difficult access Isabella still managed a nice little cod on a spinnerbait. The higher and faster river conditions made snagged lures more difficult to retrieve and there was some collateral damage, but this is one of the prices to pay in this form of fishing.

Customers Tony and Alicia have been enjoying the Murray cod fishing recently as it’s something they’ve gotten into more over Summer. They have been fishing around Mulwala and Nagambie in the kayaks and have picked up a few quality cod for their efforts. Tony’s best has been a fish around 70cm coming on a spinnerbait from a fallen log. Alicia on the other hand has started her cod fishing with a bang, landing a 58cm fish from Lake Nagambie. The best part is not only that Alicia caught the cod on a surface lure, but that it was also a ‘golden tagged’ cod – so Alicia is now $2000 richer for her efforts!