This Weeks Fishing Report

Brought to you by the team at Compleat Angler Dandenong

Westernport’s Winter Squid

Westernport has been experiencing a good early Winter or larger squid as they come to spawn. While many anglers go in search of large squid later during the year, the onset of cooler weather and water temps prompts some big models to move in, and these are the ones to target at the moment. Fishing anywhere south in the port, especially around areas such as Flinders, Vetnor and Shoreham has been the ideal starting point. Targeting deeper kelp beds and reef has also been an excellent way to find the bigger squid.

Young gun Mike got out on the port last week and found some crackers fishing size 3.5 jigs deeper in search of the big ones.

Customer Jamie fished around Reef Island during the week with a mate and bagged some nice squid. The most productive jigs for the area were size 3.0 Gancraft in wrasse patterns and size 2.5 Flash Boosts when there was any extra sunlight showing. Fishing in depths of around 3m was the most productive.

Customer Mitch landed some cracking early Winter squid fishing the top end of the port recently. Mitch was in search of big squid and found some crackers by fishing deep out from Hastings. Using 3.5 jigs and adding tip-run weights to get them down and hold them deep while on the drift was the method to getting to the bigger models. Black silhouettes and bright orange/pink patterns were equally effective.


Bread and butter

The Winter run of garfish has been anticipated by many since last year and there have been numbers of gars around at present. Weather conditions have favoured them with no really rough onshore winds to move them off or bring in the predators like salmon and snapper.

The main areas that have been producing gars over the past week or so have been Sandrigham, Beaumaris, Mordialloc, Seaford, Frankston, Mornington and Mount Martha. All of these areas have been holding numbers of fish, and fine ‘wet sand’ consistency berley has been the way to get them to turn up and start to bite.

Small correctly weighted floats with narrow gape hooks and small pieces of banana prawn or maggots have been the best baits.

Staff member Dylan has been catching some big garfish from the shoreline and piers around Beaumaris and Black Rock. Dylan has found maggots to be best bait of late, with banana prawn second. Fishing heavily weighted sliding floats with an extra long indicator has been the key to setting most bites, as they have been sliding the float under the surface very subtly.


Murray natives

The Murray river and Lake Mulwala have been fishing well for both cod and yellowbelly, but have had a decent amount of fishing pressure over the past 3 or 4 weeks. With comfortable fishing weather and water temperatures still moderate, there have been a few fish on the chew. Mulwala has produced some solid fish for anglers able to work bigger lures around the weed that is thick along the flats and shallows.

Customer Gareth tried his hand out at fishing for cod on Lake Mulwala recently. After gearing with a few different outfits and a good selection of lures he and mate Scott ventured to the lake to try their luck in the kayaks. With plenty of boat traffic and a lake full of daunting amounts of structure they did well and got bites from a few cod. Fish to around 80cm were caught on a mixture of lures including surface crawlers, spinnerbaits, swimbaits and floating crankbaits. Gareth’s first cod wasn’t the biggest but an achievement none the less.

Staff member Dylan also fished with customers Paul, Gareth and Scott up along the Murray and Lake Mulwala. Small cod were partial to slowly worked lipless crankbaits in the lake, with heavy structure bordering lagoons being the prime territory.

In the Murray and joining offshoots, 1/2oz spinnerbaits were the most effective lures to sweep along and under heavy fallen timber. Fish to around 60cm were caught, along with the odd yellowbelly in the slower water.


King George Whiting

The whiting fishing continues to provide anglers with quality fishing, with both bays producing fish. The lower regions of both bays have held consistency while cooler top end waters are starting to slow down more. There have still been fish caught in the north of both bays but the strike rate has been lower.

Areas closer to the currents of Bass Strait hold a less-fluctuating temperature and provide more consistent bites for the KGW over the Autumn and Winter months.

Customer Rich has been doing very well on the whiting throughout the bottom reaches of Port Phillip over the past week or so. Rich has been fishing the Rosebud and Rye areas and has been finding good numbers of fish with many excellent quality of 40cm or so. Cocktail baits of pipi and squid have been best.

Across in Westernport customer John has still been catching whiting, but working a bit harder for them. With colder water temperatures the fishing right up on the banks has been slower, and better bites coming deeper out from 10m or so. Fishing pipi on smaller fine gauge mosquito style hooks has been the best way to capitalise on the bites.


Gippsland Lakes

Customer Nick has been fishing various areas of the Gippsland Lakes recently and has been doing well on the bream. Nick and mates have been kayak fishing some of the really shallow and narrow areas where boats can’t get into, and they have been fishing some really solid bream. Fishing both soft plastics and hardbodies fish to well over 40cm have been landed. Fishing the lures very slowly has been the main key to getting the bite from the fish as the water has cooled significantly.

Customer Jeromme has also been fishing the lakes while on holiday with his partner. Jeromme and Danielle have been relaxing around Metung and Lakes Entrance and Jeromme has been fishing the same areas.

Having a multitude of gear on board and happy to explore the lake system Jeromme and Danielle found some fun with some large schools of tailor and salmon close by to Metung. Casting small stickbaits and metals into the schools was the best way to get a bite from them.

Most of the tailor around were from 500g – 1kg, and super active during strong run in tides bringing cold water and baitfish in from Bass Strait.


Local bream warming up

Young gun Fisherman Mike has been targeting the bream around his local bayside estuaries. With the water cooling off the bigger bream have become more active and are a worthy prize for persistence. Systems such as the Patterson River, Mordialloc Creek and Maribyrnong Rivers have all been fishing well be it bait fishing or lure fishing. Lure fishing really give you the advantage of covering water instead of waiting for the fish to come to you.

Mike has been catching some cracking bream from his local over the past week, with small ‘twitch’ style hardbodies doing the most damage.

Customer Ryan has also been having some good sessions on the bream, shore based in both the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers. Ryan has been focusing on fishing plastics aggressively to fish sighted around the river edges and shallow structure. An influx of baitfish into the bay and rivers really gives the fish an eye to hunt them, with Ryan’s plastics of choice imitating the local baitfish.


Interstate action

While Melbourne creeps by under some less than ideal weather, others are making the most of the interstate conditions and having a fish! There’s been plenty of sunshine and fish caught up around the NSW/QLD border, with pelagic species such as mackerel and tuna, snapper and large trevally all making their presence felt.

Future young gun Myles has been keen to get himself and fishing, and while on holiday in Brisbane he caught some nice silver trevally. Myles was fishing just out from Peel Island in Moreton Bay and the successful bait for him was pilchard.

Staff member Chris is currently on holiday in Yamba, far northern NSW. Chris of course has been getting some fishing in, with his main target species Spanish and spotted mackerel.

Chris has been fishing offshore from Yamba and has caught both species of mackerel on multiple methods. Spanish mackerel to 9kg have taken straylined pilchard on gang hook rigs, and also trolled hardbodies. Chris has been noticing most of the action out in the 40m area, with the mackerel following the bait schools sitting around leftover green water from recent river flooding.

Some traveling anglers from Melbourne are also enjoying the pelagic action around Yamba. Customers including John, George and Michael have been having fun on the longtail tuna fishing land based from Illuka in NSW. The guys have been finding success ballooning live yakkas out from the northern break wall at the river entrance.


Westernport Bay Elephants still about

While the ‘normal’ Autumn weather slipped away from us recently – it should be back and with it most of the usual Autumn target species. In Westernport Bay the most well known Autumn appearance is the elephant fish. The elephants aren’t generally targeted by many spare a small brigade, but can account for a fun on light tackle. The elephant ‘triangle’ has been a popular zone to start looking about for them, with mid-depth mud and sand flats where they do their best at digging up prey items.

Customer Chris fished out from Rhyll recently and got amongst them on baits of fresh squid. Fishing the areas out of the main current flow seem to be more effective as they cruise about at their own pace. Baits of pipi and squid are excellent, with fresh squid a preferred favourite when fished on heavier whiting tackle and ‘upsized’ hook leaders.

Customer Shane has also found the elephant action while fishing from the shore near Balnarring. Shane was fishing from the beach and using freshly caught squid as bait.


East Gippsland

The eastern estuaries of Gippsland have been on the mend after huge rain events that have semi flooded and open many to the sea. While the water may still be dirty and discoloured the fishing can still be excellent. The area down at Marlo has been one such area, with plenty of fresh water still heading downstream in the snowy keeping the system discoloured. The fishing has still been good however, with a little more effort in locating fish but they are generally biting fairly well.

Customer Neil and family fished the region recently and had some fun even though the action was a little slower than normal. Youngster Nelson was fairly keen to get amongst the local bream and flathead on lures and he had plenty of fun amongst the hits and misses. There were some lovely bream and luderick caught fishing the lower section of the estuary in some deeper, saltier water however.

Back around Lakes Entrance there has still been some variety on offer. While the overall fishing has slowed down a little, the keen anglers putting the time in are still getting amongst them. Customer Ryan has been fishing slightly back up the system from Lakes and has found enough action to get a nice varied feed of fish happening. Fishing the shallow weedbeds and deeper sandy drop offs with pipi and squid has still been producing some nice King George whiting amongst the flathead and pinkies. The area should start to slow a bit as the water cools off a lot but at present there are a multitude of species on offer.


Southern Shore Based Squid

Even though rough weather has discoloured many land based squid options, many more are on the mend and fishing well. Southern Port Phillip has held the most consistent fishing for squid at present, with anywhere south of Mt Martha worth the extra drive. The eastern seaboard between Frankston and Mornington has been patchy but further south the stronger tidal waters clean much quicker and start producing again.

Down around Blairgowrie and Sorrento piers there have been plenty of smaller squid caught. Staff member Don and son Tyger fished Blairgowrie during the week and landed a few from the pier. Size 1.8 jigs caught more when the bite had slowed off, with natural baitfish and darker colours working the best.

Customer Steven fished bot Blairgowrie and Rye piers during the week and landed some slightly larger squid. Steven fished a mixture of jigs and found that size 3.0 was effective, as were 1.8’s. The smaller jigs generally do well on the large schools of smaller squid that occupy the southern peninsula piers that are out of the direct current.

Across the hill at Flinders customer Tony has caught a few decent squid. While water conditions have been touch and go with clarity, when the water surrounding the pier isn’t too cloudy the squid fishing can be good. Tony has caught a mixture of squid from smaller 17cm hoods through to much larger models recently. Fishing UV ‘banana’ coloured jigs in size 3.5 and dark brown/green natural tones has been effective for him. The brighter colours normally get the initial ‘reaction’ bite from the squid being bright and aggressive, while the natural tones resemble food items such as grass whiting and grass around the weed patches.