Gummy bear down on Western Port
  |  First Published: November 2015

In case you’ve been living under a rock the last couple of months, the snapper are here! Now’s the prime time of year and the snapper are not letting us down! The warm weather has also prompted a few other species to fire up as well. Gummy sharks and calamari are playing the game and are making the top end of Western Port a clear winner when planning your next fishing trip!


The hardest part of this report is where to start! The entire top end has fished exceptionally well from Joe’s Island all the way through to Warneet and the class of fish has been really good as well. The local charter boats are dominating and the recreational anglers are finding their fair share of fish as well. Jayson Turner from Pro Red Fishing Charters has spent a little bit of time up the top end of the port and has been getting his clients amongst some really nice snapper. Jayson has been focusing most of his time around the tide changes and using the freshest baits has been the clear stand out capture method.

Fresh calamari and fresh salmon fillets have been the two best baits by far. Jayson gave his client Andy, a trip he

won’t forget any time soon as he knocked off his old personal best with a whopping 7kg fish that measured in at 87cm.

Shaun Furtiere from Think Big Charters is another who knows the top of the port like the back of his hand and the years of experience puts him in the upper echelon of snapper fisherman in Victoria. Shaun is a master of fishing shallow and this year he has definitely not disappointed his clients. Shaun took a couple of visitors out from Malaysia recently and showed them what Victorian snapper is all about. They had a couple of big snapper on the deck within three minutes of each other with the bigger of the two weighing 6.4kg! Shaun also put another client of his onto her PB snapper. Ashleigh now has a new benchmark of 6.2kg which I’m sure she will try and knock off again this season, which is what it’s all about! Shaun is a huge believer in fresh calamari for bait, with squid rings his preferred option. It’s not all about the charter operators though!

The rec boys have been dominating fish as well and there is simply just too many fish to report on! Gav Methers has been out-fished by his boys, Tyler and Brodie again as they put in a few hours up the top end. They boated a lovely 3.5kg snapper and a whopping big snook that I’m sure will end up as fresh snapper bait!

Dale Smith is another angler that has boated a PB so far this season as he found a cracker of a fish out of Hastings. Dale fished through the night for his fish and picked it off during the early stages of the run in tide. Old mate Don Newman fished one of his favourite little snapper marks just out from Esso in 12 meters of water for a massive 7.4kg fish on a humble pilchard. Donny has it pretty sussed with the snapper with a few different hidey holes that he visits depending on conditions, but let me tell you, Esso is pretty close to number one!


It’s not all about the snapper! The gummies have really started to fire up with some bigger fish starting to make their presence felt and some genuine submarine squid have also been taken in the shallows. Mason Shulz spent a few hours chasing the reds when he was surprised by a huge 15kg gummy. We will see a lot more of this throughout the snapper season as a lot more people hit the water. Now that fresh bait is a clear favourite among Western Port anglers the big gummies just can’t help themselves. Mason got a couple of quick snaps of this big girl and then let her go to fight again another day, well done Mason!

Joel, a young gun local angler spent some time out from Hastings with friend Dave Cussans looking for snapper but instead found a beautiful little 6kg gummy which took a Californian squid bait. I’m sure mum would have been stoked with some fresh flake for dinner!

The calamari have grown in size again and we are starting to see some whopping big squid enter the port. Don Newman, who you may remember from earlier in this report, went for a drift in 2m of water on the Tyabb Bank after getting that big snapper and also managed a huge calamari that weighed 3.03kg! The squid took a pilchard suspended under a float which really drives home the benefit of having a baited jig out while you are prospecting around for the squid!

Nathan Peterson is a squid genius and had a cracker of a session up on the Tyabb Bank as well. He managed 12 for the session with the new Hayabusa squid jigs in size 3.0 accounting for most of these tasty morsels.

I could keep writing for days on the fish coming out of Western Port at the moment so if you haven’t already, get that boat of yours wet and get amongst them! Don’t forget to keep those reports coming too, good luck!

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