There has been no shortage of cracking catches over the past month and some fish are just mind-blowing. It never ceases to amaze me just how good the fishery of Western Port is every year and it really doesn't matter where you're fishing, something always manages to take your bait.
Western Port, amongst its maze of deep channels and shallow mud banks, has so much to offer anglers of all levels of experience. No matter the weather (with an exception of 20+ knots) there is always somewhere to go and some fish to catch; it all depends on the tides and techniques used.
With the water temperature still up snapper are still a viable option. While they have slowed down a little due to spawning time, there are huge numbers of pinkies still willing to devour your offerings. Locations such as 'the Corals', Rhyll, Observation Point, Corinella and down the Western Entrance still have an abundance of snapper on the hard reefs. The pinkies are in plague proportions and there are some bigger fish amongst them.
Standard snapper techniques continue to serve well but don't be shy to drop your hook size down to a 3/0 or 4/0 size circle hook. You'll still have no trouble hooking and landing larger fish and you'll also have no trouble hooking into the small fish ranging 1-2kg.
Of all the hot locations to fish at this time of the year, Corinella and up towards Lang Lang are still worth a try. There are a number of snapper still lurking around and the by-catch can always impress. Local angler Jony Ai Ung and his mate Dale Birznieks ventured to Corinella during the night last month in search of a big red. Unfortunately there were no snapper to be found but instead they struck silver with a monster mulloway that weighed in at 29.95kg.
At this time of year this area is a mulloway hotspot and quite a number of gummy sharks will also be patrolling the muddy banks.
Lang Lang is another top location to fish for gummies, especially for those in kayaks. Launching from the beach at Lang Lang is no problem on a high tide; there is a little current to contend with the further out into the deep you get. With the nice weather we have been having, few kayakers have been out with snapper and gummy sharks making up the bulk of the catches.
Jayden Campbell hit up the area in his yak fishing out from Lang Lang. Working out towards the channel, Jayden had a mad session catching some magnificent snapper and gummy sharks.
Land-based fishing in this area is also extremely productive, especially from Stockyard Point. Warm, balmy evenings make the trek worth it. Remember to fish the low tide so you are casting out into the deeper water. There are a myriad of species on offer here including bronze whaler sharks, sevengill sharks, gummy sharks, snapper, yellow-eye mullet, silver trevally, mulloway, tailor and elephant sharks which will begin to appear around the end of next month.
It always pays to flick out a few rods from here: one with a big bait using a running sinker rig and a lighter rod with a paternoster rig running small long shank hooks to catch the bread and butter species. Catching mullet, tailor and trevally can make for good fresh baits to better your chances at catching much bigger.
Although many holidaymakers still have their eyes set on catching snapper, most seasonal anglers have already made the switch to targeting whiting. They certainly are prolific within the port at the moment with the usual haunts firing. The more productive locations include Tankerton, the Middle Spit, Tortoise Head Bank, Dickies Bay, Ventnor, Balnarring, Flinders and Cat Bay are the pick.
Local angler Matty Bond has had quite a few sensational sessions on the port with plenty of whiting coming on board. While whiting fishing there is always the by-catch of mullet, silver trevally and flathead, which make a nice bag of fish at the end of the day.