Angelo Paladino caught a snapper from the jetty at Newhaven while enjoying time away at Cape Woolamai.

Pat McCrystal of Melbourne was happy to display this impressive snapper pulled from Westernport Bay. His group enjoyed a productive day, finishing it off by cleaning their fish near the Newhaven boat ramp.
They say the snapper weren’t fussy about which bait was on offer.

With Jim’s Bait and Tackle

IT WAS Christmas number 16 for us in the shop and to say the last two years have been the most challenging would be an understatement.
Christmas holidays always brings many anglers to the area.

While fishing has many common things, no matter where or what you fish for in Western Port there are a couple of tricks that will help make you successful.

Understand tide and wind, one of the most important things for safe boating. Wind with tide flatter water, wind against tide rougher water.

The water flows through two entrances, so will be different on each side of the island, sometimes you just have to fish where the conditions will allow.

Western Port is very tidal so stick to your channels when traveling or you might just have a six hour wait for water to float again.

Two of the most important things to remember when fishing is, you must have enough lead to get and stay on the bottom and your baits must be presented properly.

Rigs are often what people are most concerned about, but truth be known, probably the least important as everyone has their own ideas, baits and sinkers are far more important.

The reports are the same, far too many to mention so I will just be brief with the best of them.

We see a considerable jump in the land-based anglers this time of the year, so naturally the reports are better.

The calamari have played along this Christmas and the reports have been good from almost all of the popular spots.

With the changing water conditions artificial jigs have taken over as the preferred method outdoing baited ones.

For the most part it has been cast and retrieve, but they have also been working under a float when you have a spot to yourself.

With the jetties more crowded than normal, the best reports have been from very early morning or late evening when everyone is home eating tea, which wasn’t too surprising considering the tides last week.

We did see the odd ones from during the day but as customers reported fishing was difficult with so many swimming, boats coming and going and the tangles from those who don’t quite understand the currents we have here.

The best colour has been a bit of a guess with not too many wrong choices it seems based on what people were telling us, white probably still the one that stands out.

The rest of the land-based reports were made up of every other species you could think of with some very mixed bags of fish reported.

The jetties were the best for fish, and we had reports of snapper to 55cm from Cowes and pinkies from Newhaven.

Cowes and Rhyll were also best in the evening for bait collecting with plenty of yakkas and mackerel around.

There was no shortage of salmon reports from Woolamai and Kilcunda, but they were all small.

Calamari were good in the boats, and it was about 50/50 as far as what was the best method, baited or artificial.

Snapper are smaller and although the 1000s of pinkies will drive you a little crazy, you need to persist because the bigger ones are there.

We had reports from several that bagged out on their 3 over 40cm and several that managed a good bag of 38 to 40cm fish.

The bigger fish are not the 80/90cm ones of a few months ago but still very handy around the mid 50cm mark.

Whiting were probably the only species doing what you would expect and where and when you would expect to catch them.

We had some very good whiting reports and several of those reports had their bag of fish.

The sizes are all over the place and not very consistent, but all the fish are healthy and a dozen or so gives you several meals.

The standout spots have been Tortoise Head and Long Point as well as Reef Island to Coronet Bay with fish reported from Dickies Bay and Cleeland Bight, but only from first thing before the boat traffic seemed to scare them away.

Offshore and briefly, flathead have been good around 50m off the punchbowl with gummies and snapper off the Powlett.

Makos off the windmills, kingfish at Cody Banks and off Woolamai and tuna still to the west.

For more detailed reports drop into the shop and we can give you any updated information.