Friday
Sep022011

Spring Has Arrived & With It Follows Melbournes Red Tide

Yes folks,

It's that time of the year again when things are starting to move along slowly but surely. Recent spikes in water temps in areas of both Western Port & Port Phillip Bay have seen a few Snapper landed by those putting in dedicated time & perservering. The last 3 weeks has seen some unprecedented weather patterns with many fine days with above average daytime temperatures. This in turn has the desired effect of lifting water temps, however slight, it's these small changes that have seen Snapper around the 5-6kg bracket in both Western Port & Port Phillip Bay.

The vast majority of Snapper landed in recent weeks have been during gentlemens hours from mid morning onwards, particulary nearing a tide change. As the season heats up so to speak, the early morning bite will increase, especially during the first few weeks of October. Often the bite period can be short lived, so it pays to have everything organised & be on the water well before first light with baited lines in ready....

Here's a few pics of some quality fish landed over the last two weeks out of both of Melbournes favourite Snapper haunts.

 

I first met up with Robert Johnstone at 1.30am at a service station while fueling up Think Big after a Gummy Charter a few weeks ago. He approached me on a motorcycle & was pretty stoked & keen to tell me of the Snapper he'd landed earlier that day. This area is around the Silver Leaves through to Observation Point & is a mecca for many thousands of Snapper every year. It's also an area where that 'grey-white-pointed nose speedster' aka the School Shark is often hooked but all too often lost mid battle or nearing the end when boatside....but more on that later....

Youfish TV Fan Matt Callus found this handsome Snapper a couple of weeks back while fishing Western Port. Unsure of bait, but from the backdrop view off a pilchard dangling of an outfit, This may have been the bait of choice.

Our long time friend snorey Pawsey also found some quality action a couple of weeks back in Port Phillip Bay, fishing in 18mtrs, He along with good mate Joshua had some fun with Snapper to almost 6kg. Again this was a late morning bite.

 

Fruits got out in Port Phillip for an exploratory trip & had this nice early season opener of 4kg off Carrum in 18mtrs. Fishing with an old school friend Pat from Whittlesea who also happens to be a member of the Mr Fisho website, He was stoked to see a new season Snapper !

This was taken on a single circle 5/0 Gamakatsu with a tail section of Silver Whiting. Down sized flesh baits seem to work well during these earlier times, with full blown larger head baits working better as temps slowly increase.

Regular weekday client Khalid snuck out early Tuesday morning of this week & found what he always had wanted, a plump fresh hard fighting Port Phillip Snapper. At just on 4.5kg, he was pretty stoked & later informed me it was a task to fit in his fridge at home!!

Fruits with a Snapper from Port Phillip Bay this week. This fish took a fancy to a freshly caught Salmon chunk. The Salmon had been caught less than 24 hours before, little things like this will always help find better hookup rates. 

The New Moon in September will see a rise in Snapper activity in both Western Port & Port Phillip Bay, so pace yourselves everyone, as it's still early days yet & will only get better towards October onwards.

 

Gummy Sharks Continue on Throughout The Port!!

The ongoing action on these tidal cruising hound sharks with spots continues on very well with consistent catches on pretty much every single charter. Some of these Gummys have been large too!!

As always the best fishing has come with the use of fresh baits aquired prior to settling in on an area.

Now here's a true genuine Great Grey Sub!!

Kurt Emmerson who's a regular client on Think Big! has an uncanny knack of being present when 'Big' things happen. This big grey girl at a conservative 25kg's was a subtle take at first & didn't really perform as hard as we've seen similar sized Gummys perform, once netted this was easy to understand however as she was fairly bursting at the seams with a very full belly of future gummys for everyone to enjoy. So after a quick few pics & revival boatside, she was soon off none the worse for the experience. Well done Kurt, again you've seen some special stuff.

 Jamie from Pakenham arranged an rdo charter along with a few other work mates and possibly picked the best glassed out mild to warm day weather wise we had seen in a week or so. After some fresh bait collection we set off & soon had a few undesirables in form of draughtboards & port jacksons...par for the course of fishing reefy areas in winter. As the tide primed up we had this sporty male Gummy engulf a bait and create a bit of fun for Jamie. Nice way to round out a lovely day on the water.

Recently we had Alan Heib of Southside Marine Services out with us for an evening Gummy Session. Around an hour or so into the session we had this creditable Rock Ling take a yakka chunk bait. At 2.5kg it was a nice size Ling & more importantly, possibly one of our Southern Waters finest eating species. Rating highly on the menu & commanding a good price all year round, it was a little bit mouth watering when Alan showed me a pic of the finished result & mentioning it was up there with the best eating fish he has encountered yet.

 Don't think there's much that can top a feed of fresh Rock Ling & Gummy Shark with a side of Salad & Chips...Did I mention Gummy Shark ?? Yes Alan was later to add Gummy to his menu with the capture of this good sized model later on.

This Gummy took a small chunk bait of fresh Yakka and woke up mid fight & really got going.

Here's a close up of one of the marine worlds most efficient & sensitive sensory systems. All over this part of their heads hundreds & hundreds of tiny scent & vibration receptors enable these to sniff out crabs in the sand from long distances.

School Sharks Are On The Move & Proving Elusive As Always!!

Yes those speedy grey,white pointy nosed Sharks are beginning to show their presence.

Just a day or two back our very own YouFish TV Camerman Joe Fernand, saw his Uncle Tony down within the Western Entrance of Western Port in hope of a Gummy, however a sizeable School Shark showed up & was almost, almost.....landed...Unfortunately as in many other cases leader failure in the closing seconds was the link in the chain that caused the loss....

Below is a fleeting glimpse of this enigmatic species that is just that much harder to boat within the boundaries of typical Gummy Shark rigging.

The next few months will see many more of these excellent sportfish hooked, We are going to be giving these our best shot in the following months so stay tuned...

 

Big Squid Are On The Prowl

Once again as we move into Spring proper, so to do we see huge increases in the number of larger & larger Cephalopods in both Port Phillip Bay & Western Port. Thes actively growing Squid all have one thing in mind, Eat & Grow Fast!!!Lay Eggs, Spawn....Then die....They increase there size and weight at a huge rate this time of year & are often quite aggressive towards an artificial or baited jig.

Recently we have found some good fishing in some of the deeper regions of lower Western Port. These areas aren't as well suited to the current growing fashion of shallow water EGI techniques, however it's a style of fishing that doesn't require high end 'egi style rods' etc, with a common Whiting or Soft Plastics outfit more than adequate for these Squid, These methods will be outlined soon on an upcoming segment of YouFish TV. We also have charters available over the next few weeks on Squid where many methods are explained & shown on these trips.

Just checkout the booking calendar link or call Shaun direct on '0423 696 061'

Here's the sort of calibre Calamari that not only near wrenches the rod from your hand on the strike, but also takes a good deal of line before being boated. It's also possibly the Number 1 BIG! Snapper Bait you could use when seeking larger Snapper in any location in Victoria.

 

Salmon Aren't Always On The Surface

A recent bait collection trip to the Sthn areas of Port Phillip Bay showed the effectivness of slow trolling deep diving minnow lures, despite no visible surface activity. All too often many anglers want to see the obvious surface signs of fish busting up & Terns & Gannets wheeling and diving signifying Salmon.

By keeping a close eye on the sounder when in depths of 5-8mtrs, especially around structure, these Salmon can sometimes be found schooled up on these areas as they pluck off baitfish at will. Slow trolling by this, I mean walking pace with lures around 20-25 mtrs behind boat can find the action your after. It's also worth mentioning that the old style Paravane some anglers may have seen is also another proven way of finding these Salmon & also Couta & Snook when in a similar scenario.

Here's a chunky Salmon landed on above outlined techniques by a balaclava wearing Khalid. Yes it was a tad chilly this morning, but well worth it with Salmon of this size on 2kg outfits, Lots of fun & even better as a fresh Snapper bait as Khalid was to find out, when he turned this into a 4.5kg Snapper the very next day.

 'Matt addicted to most fish Squiddy' with another quality Salmon landed on the Deep Diving Tilsan Bass Minnow, also adding that "These are one of my absolute favorite fish to land" Couldn't agree more as Salmon have been way underated for too long now & are slowly gaining more popularity as a sportfish that is well worth targeting.

In the coming weeks we will have more to report on & will be Thinking Big! as always

Until then stay safe & enjoy life for what it is.

Cheers,

TBC

Thursday
Aug042011

Winter Gummys Day & Night, Soon Melbourne Snapper Will Be On The Bite!!

With a distinct mildness to the air temps sporadically over the past few weeks, Winter is closing down as the new Spring arrives & with it will be a steady increase in all of our favourite species. Not the least will be everyones favourite 'Snapper'. For many reasons this single species has created a huge increase in the marine industry over the past 30 years, although it's during the past 10 years that has seen their status skyrocket as Melbournes Premier Bay & Port BIG! Fish to target.

Think Big! will be out in search of these Early Season Snapper very shortly & will be reporting on this as the season unfolds. There is still time to book now & save for your Think Big! Snapper Charter with a 10% saving if booked between now & 15th September. These early season Snapper are generally a lot more shy on the bite than Snapper later in Oct-Nov & can test any anglers patience, especially when you know your sitting on a hot set of marks you've sounded up !! Fresh bait & patience is the key to landing these Snapper in Western Port, just two of Think Big! Charters items to success.

Since the last report, We've had some very consistent charters on Gummy Sharks of all sizes ranging from 6kg up to 17-18kg & also quite a few med to large sized 7Gill Sharks around the 45-90kg range. As the title suggests we have had some memorable charters both during the day as well as during the darker hours.

Squid too have moved in in reasonable numbers & have been found in many areas from Flinders all the way up to the Quail Bank off Warneet. Good weather patterns are the key to better succes on these cephalopods. The next few weeks will see huge numbers move inside to Western Port proper & with it will be an influx of many other species that all go hand in hand with Snapper fishing.

There is still also some very good quality Whiting- aka Spotted Bones or 'Fumphas' as we call them available in the lower reaches of the Western Entrance. At over 45cm's they are very popular when found. Not always available in large numbers at this time of year, it's more a thing of quality over quantity. There's also been some large colorful leatherjackets mixed in that also make for great table fare.

Here's a run down on recent charters with some quality fish landed.

      Clint from Altona was pretty suprised when his turn came along and a nice Gummy raced off into the night.

 

Clints pretty stoked with his first Gummy Shark from Western Port 

Close up profile of a night cruising crab hunter 

  Matt 'Squiddy' who's recently admitted a serious addiction to night time Gummy Shark fishing holds another fine Gummy landed recently.

Nick, 'Squiddys good friend' also had a bit of fun with this smaller model the same evening.

Benny Lo & co recently chartered Think Big! for an extended 8 hour trip on all facets of Gummy Shark fishing. After bait collection we set off & had been at anchor for around 45 mins when we had this terrific girl of 17kg plus engulf a bait & race off as fast!!! A good team spirit amongst the clients had them share the rod around throughout the fight. Eventually we land this girl and after this pic it was soon safely back & swimming strong after a short revival boatside. These guys were so happy with their initial success that spirits were quite high for a while.

Later as night moved in they also had some fun on solid Gummys of 8-9kg rounding out a top charter.

  Cliff 'The Boss', with a good Gummy Shark.

Benny Lo with another night time Gummy Shark.

Davey & work mates from CMV Trucks in Westall booked a trip recently and had the best of both worlds with perfect weather conditions & some quality Gummy Shark fishing also.

This solid fish of 10kg plus was a good way of opening up Michael's experiences with Tidal Gummy Shark fishing in Western Port. 

Megan added Gummy Shark to her list of preferred captures recently on a windy and chilly day on Western Port.

Here's something I'd not seen until recently, Client Edwin here is locked in battle with a big gummy of 17kg's or more, the rod he's using is a 'GIPANG', a high end Japanese rod capable of serious fishing, although its rated way above what is required for Western Port, it was a good test for this lovely tough little rod.

Quick Pic before gentle release.

 Swimming into current to ensure proper revival.

Kelly & Sien also had a great charter recently & hold aloft a darker kelp hugging Gummy prior to release.

2 weeks ago we had Winga aboard with Youfish TV fan Sonia Lawford celebrating her 50th Birthday as a suprise present by husband Jim, & funny too, as Winga was celebrating his 40th Birthday also.

After securing fresh bait, we set off in search of a great grey & found what was required...

Here's a short vid of rough quality, taken quickly with a mobile ph in some windswept conditions recently. If you turn up speaker volume you'll hear the braid racing from the spool as this Gummy raced off. This fish was around 17kg and had the last laugh by rolling from net & off the hook, still it was to be released at any rate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbAlbOvo2CU

Squiddy with another solid fish landed recently while out on Think Big!

Another recent Gummy addict is Matt Leeson who has had several successful charters.

Yep those huge grey bait stealing Sharks the 7Gills drive everyone a bit loopy!! This one was released soon after pic. Some folk reckon these dont give much of a fight, Having asked this to all clients recently who've just landed one, they seem to disagree.

Whiting are Just as Inviting & Exciting when Biting in Winter !!

Yes there is still a few good sized Whiting to be caught in Western Port, traditionally at this time of year with temps just starting to rise after pretty much bottoming out, the lower reaches of the Western & Eastern entrances are prime areas to have a go for the spotted bones. As these fish are nearing their maturity & will soon depart the bays & ports for an oceanic existence, they are often of a good size.

45-50cm is normal for these fine fish and they really go well on light tackle. Best baits at this time of year are tenderised Squid, the fresher the better & also Pippi's, however with the current price of Pippi's still sky high, I'll stick to using Squid. Depth from 12mtrs on slower tides down to 5mtrs during the runout tide have seen the best results. Ventnor through to the small bays inside the Knobbies are likely areas to try for these excellent fish. Calm conditions are also a pre requsite for safe fishing here as ocean swells can be hazardous after strong winds offshore cause rising swells to build.

Patrick here holds a quality Spotted Bone landed amongst a mixed bag recently.

Benny Lo with another good example of Winter Whiting on tenderised squid strips.

Often in these areas there is also a fair bycatch in the form of very good sized Leather Jackets of many varieties & colours as well as the prized Blue Throat Parrot Fish. In recent years these fish have been seen as a sought after species that not only fight well but also are very good on the plate.

The next Think Big! report will have some fresh new pics & news on Snapper so stay tuned for it's going to be a very good season !!

Check out our Charter Booking Link for all the latest Snapper charters available in coming weeks.

Cheers & Thankyou to all recent & ongoing Think Big! Charter Clients.

TBC 

 

Saturday
Jul092011

Think BIG! & Great Grey Subs Continues On Through Winter

Make no doubts about it, Melbournes Winter has arrived with a 'bang' this year. Good rainfall has seen pretty much every Victorian based waterway climb steadily. The ongoing flow of passing weather fronts has been delivering plenty of precious & valued water to our storages.

Trying to time some fair weather inbetween these deluges has been the trickiest part so far this Winter !! When we have received stable weather, We've seen some very reliable fishing for our beloved Western Port Great Grey Submarines the Gummy Shark. Many sessions have produced high numbers of good quality Gummy Shark from 7kg up to 12kg on average.

We've also had some bigger girls turn up, sometimes when we've least expected it!! These trophy sized Gummy Shark have given 17kg a nudge & have provided not only a fantastic thrill for our clients but also these oversized Gummys are often clients Personal Best's for that species weight wise.

Many times recently we've had very satisfied clients who, upon landing a Gummy Shark & inbetween smiles say "Yes!! thats my personal best Gummy". With School holidays on we have also had some charters with younger clients aboard with their parents. This has made for some real funtimes when seeing younger anglers do battle with a hot running Gummy Shark!!

It's a great feeling as a skipper to hear people say this as you can see they are genuinely elated with their success!!

Here's a few pics from recent trips out on our premier Melbourne based Charter vessel 'Think BIG!'

Fresh Bait & Gummys Go Great even in Vic's Wintery State !!

Long time friend from way back during 'school days' Scott Quirk holds a nice 7kg Gummy landed during an afternoon session with Fruits a few weeks back. This turned out to be an action packed few hours with 4 landed all up. 2 were kept for the table & 2 released.

Nice when you can wear a T-shirt during Winter.

 The results from a frantic 15 mins of having 3 rods go off within seconds of each other. This trio of grey hounds came through & caused a lot of laughs & fun for reg client Dr Khalid Raffoul & a pair of other clients recently one evening.     

Regular Think Big! clients Kurt Emmerson & Gordon hold a very pregnant female Gummy of better than 17kg's taken during a daylight arvo session. This big girl absolutley nailed the fresh Yakka chunk bait it found in the current & screamed off into the tide. It was released very quickly after a few pics were fired off. Too precious to catch & kill for a feed at this size & with an advanced belly full of young Gummys inside her, it just makes sense to release quickly.

Herman who is another reg client holds a typical sized male Gummy Shark of 6kg landed while fishing on a wind swept afternoon. These male Gummys often hit & run very quickly and often change their direction many times during the fight, makes for a lot of fun keeping up with them running back towards the boat against the tide.

Big Bait Benny lives up to his name again and found this 50kg or so 7-Gill a bit of a handfull & had to rope in the help of Scott Quirk & Kurt Emmerson to hold it for a pic. Ben was pretty much stuffed by the time we had it boatside & secured it via a tailrope. Fight time was over 20mins for this despite a serious amount of drag presssure. Everytime I hear people say they don't fight, It's experiences like the one above & many others I've seen that beg me to differ. On typical Gummy fishing tackle, 7-Gills can produce a fairly good fight that is often overlooked by many anglers.

No sooner had the 7-Gill ordeal finished & Ben was on again, this time to a nice 8kg Gummy that performed well in the fading light of the day.

Kurt Emmerson has been active lately in between a few health scares that have since been attended to. He's also fallen in love with Western Port Gummys & has done a few trips recently & had some great action on Gummys to 12kg. Kurt also reports on some commercial catches on Gummy Shark from the Bass Strait region off Lakes Entrance.

Where there has been quite a few occasions lately of commercial shark boats returning to port a few days after leaving as gummy quotas have been filled easily. This is an obvious sign that there is good stocks present in Bass Strait at the time of writing. This can only be positive for our inshore fishery as many of these Gummys will eventually find their way into Western Port. Ongoing Strict quotas put in place by the commercial sector of Aust Fisherys should see this very important species at a sustainable level for both commerical & recreational sectors if it continues to be managed properly. 

Get Well Soon Kurt!! from all of the Team at Think Big!

Matt 'Squiddy' Stewart also had some good action on Gummy Sharks & holds a nice 7kg model.

My good brother Danny, with another nice size daytime Gummy landed on a fresh chunk bait while out with us on a fairly good weather day recently.

Jarred Evans along with his good mate Michael Duclos recently learnt a whole lot more on Western Port with a well rounded out charter that first started with the gathering of prime fresh bait, then moving on to an area to sit for some gummy action. Wasn't too long in the waiting before familiar bounces of a rodtip began.

Here's Michael ' Ducky' displaying a lovely 10kg plus Grey sub that was a real highlight for his Gummy efforts recently in Western Port, Well done Michael, they'll come easier & easier with time.

 Ian added Gummy Sharks to his preferred list of targetable species in Western Port recently

Young Cade who turned 14 the week of this charter celebrated it out on Western Port along with his father Jason. With a good bunch of Squid during the early part of the charter, we also secured some good fresh bait in the form of yakka's enroute to some Gummy areas. Cade was pretty stoked to land a nice Gummy first trip out, but I think his father was even more happier & proud, well done guys. 

  

Daniel is quietly brimming with joy, even though its barely noticeable here in this pic. He moved West a few years ago, way west all the way to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, where he is an electrician within mining operations. Although a Melbourne based fisho, he had yet to lock horns with a sizeable Gummy Shark, so for his birthday he organised a charter with mates & family. This very well proportioned male Gummy Shark easily over 10kg was a definate highlight in amongst some other Gummys landed that evening.

Here's a good size Gummy boatside with a very visible couta chunk bait on the side of its jawline. I never tire of seeing them come sliding up through the darkness to be seen at the surface, all of their markings vivid in the torch light, beautiful...

'Pecker', funny name, great bloke, holds a nice eating size Gummy landed that evening also.

Yes, average pic I know, Iphones at night aren't the best...Now this is young Wade from Healesville who recently stayed at the Somers Holiday Village with his parents & just happened to have a charter organised by his parents. Well we had a great time showing them how to obtain bait & soon turned this into a good pair of Gummys for the clients.

Somers Holiday Village:

93 Camphill Road
Somers VIC 3927
(03) 5983 5538

Is a great family orientated resort that is very well situated with around 40mins travel time from most Melb areas. They have many different types of affordable accomodation & are willing to cater for many of peoples needs during their stay. Recently Jason has had many Bali Style units built & with more planned it will be a very special place to stay at or perhaps indulge in a weekend with that special partner. It would be unfair of me if I didn't also mention the fantastic food Jason often puts on for the guests of a weekend including BBQ'S & Spit Roasts. With a large games/community hall located centrally in the park it really is a well designed & friendly atmosphere to be a part of.

You can also organise a Think Big! Charter through Jason & you'll receive a special rate (ph for details) 

Here's the 5 star inside comforts of one of the Bali Style Units currently being built for this upcoming Summer, Great way to unwind & relax from the working week.

For more information please give Jason Ferguson a call on the above ph number for more details.

Here's young Gummy Hunter Leah, with her father David, at first wrestling an active Gummy Shark that just wouldn't sit still for a quick pic...Before it settles brielfy for a bit better pic.

Leah is just 12 years old, yet could name many species of common angling targets, knew a lot on baits & tackle also. Both Leah & Dad are huge fans of YOUFISH TV & will be back soon by all reports.

Charter Info & Upcoming Snapper Season Offers:

We still have bookings available for the next 6-8 weeks on Gummys with Squid charters also available on request. These are well priced at the moment & will be until Sept 15th.

Don't forget, Now!! is the time to consider pre booking your Snapper Charters with Think Big!

With a 10% discount on peak season rates, it makes sense to save a bit where possible. Once September is halfway through we expect bookings will be filling many favoured dates. So don't miss out. Book Now!!

Until the next report, Stay Safe, be positive & enjoy life.

Cheers, TBC

 

Tuesday
Jun072011

Winter Is Upon Us & So Too Are Some Great Fishing Opportunities

It's been a very busy few months chartering both locally in Western Port, Port Phillip Bay & further afield at Portland in Western Victoria. With recent changes within the Think Big business, there will now be a more focussed style of fishing reports for our loyal & ever growing base of clients.

I will do my utmost to bring reliable, quality fishing & boating reports as often as time allows throughout the season. Winga will also have plenty to report on as always & this will also help our clients to receive an informative up to date report on whats happening locally & interstate also.

With this in mind, lets have a look at what our clients have been up to on recent charters.....  

The ever changing seasons have brought with them some memorable fishing sessions & fun filled times for the clients aboard Think Big! Charters.

Great Grey Subs Continue to Please Everybody !!

              

Avid Think Big! Fan, Adam or 'Kiddy Fisha' stretches out and gags at the lovely female Gummy Shark he has just landed after a great fight just on dusk.

These Gummy Sharks have caused many clients to go weak at the knees when fighting them & later seeing them surface boatside, pretty special stuff for many clients, as it is often their first real Big Gummy Shark!!

These big girls really are special creatures & are far too precious to catch once.

Around 99% of our clients are all for releasing these Gummy's after a quick pic.

We have witnessed some pretty hot sessions over the last few months on these Big Gummy Sharks & have also seen many smaller eating size models around the 7/10kg mark.

These smaller models often out perform themselves with some really huge runs and antics going on boatside.

Here's a selection of pics from some very satisfied clients during some hot sessions on the Gummys.

Young Abe travelled with his Father Damien from Trafalgar to enjoy a great night on the Tidal Streams.

 

10min's after baits were in we had this big girl arrive & had the client ask as he was watching it scream off braided line, ' Is it always this good ?'....We all just smiled as sometimes it can be & better !!

   

Blood mark on head of this Gummy was caused during initial boating of her & is infact blood from the bait she had rolled on while she was being unhooked, she was released promptly after pic & shot off like a rocket.

 Never tire of seeing these lovely sharks boatside on a dark night, just magic !!

Lance along with his two sons, Brandon & Mason, came all the way from Queensland to take a closer look at a Coota Craft Big Ram & after speaking with Mark at Coota Craft, they soon arranged a trip with us whilst in Melbourne.

Brandon with a good fish that was closely followed by brother Mason finally landing his first quality Gummy Shark.

Mason couldn't stop re-living this moment for hours after the capture, He really did enjoy it !!

Was a great family session with a top crew.

Often, we've had multiple catches at the same time on these sportier 6-8kg models, great fun seeing two, three or more rods fold over and race off !! Clients often say it's like Snapper fishing.

It's not just a night time affair though as we've also had some very reliable daytime sessions too!!

  

Think Big! regular client Corey Ferguson from the Somers Holiday Village has a good reason to be so happy as this was his first Gummy Shark !! He also learnt they fight a lot more than Whiting !!

Well done Corey, plenty more to come yet :)

 

This big girl was another first for a lucky Adison who had the luxury of glassed out weather & a lovely autumn afternoon to boot.

Adison is a well travelled angler who has landed many different hard fighting species in countries such as Brazil & Argentina. He made mention several times of how hard these Gummys' go & that a few sessions in the Gym may be in order to strengthen up his arms :)

 

Gordon also got amongst the Gummys recently & here's one that was destined for the table.

At this size these are arguably one of the tastiest species to swim in our waters.

Tuition/Guide Sessions are providing clients the methods & techniques required to be more successful, more often!!

Recently I was out with a local Flinders fisho aboard his petite 4.1 mtr Seejay Aluminum Runabout.

Gummy Shark was a highlight after some time spent on Squid & Whiting.

Here's 'Hillis' with a quality Gummy taken on a fresh Yakka chunk bait during an ebbing tide.

For many clients a guide trip is a way of not only fast tracking future success's it is a very good way of learning the finer points to fishing in a tidal situation & provides many many points of fishing knowledge such as baits & rigs along with detailed breakdown of using sounders & GPS to enhance your skills & overall boating knowledge.

For anybody who has an interest in these guide trips, please contact either Brendan or Shaun for further details.

Portland Tuna, What a Terrific Fishery This Continues To Be !!

Recently I spent a few weeks chartering at Portland & was blessed with good weather for the majority of my stay there. The Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery here is absolutely mind boggling with very few days for anyone without fish action. Put simply this region is packed solid with many tonnes of tuna of all size ranges, from mild 12-15kg school tuna to wild maxi size barrels over 150kg !!

True world class fishing right on Victoria's doorstep & within easy travelling distance to all keen fishos.

These pics are a snippet of some of the action experienced by clients while down there.

 Daniel with some solid school sized Southern Bluefin Tuna

Smiles all around from Regan & crew after a great day on the Tuna

Client Gordon (again) & Regan (top deckhand), with his first Southern Bluefin Tuna, taken on a Red/Black Tuna Feather Prestige Lure. These lures soon become increasingly watched by all as they continued to catch many many Tuna over the next 2 weeks of fishing.

Darren had a big two days of action with some better Tuna of near 25kg's showing up.

Daniel had such a blast the first trip, he soon arranged a second after his original second day trip had to be cancelled due to bad weather closing it down for a few days.

Once again he wasn't disapointed with another bag limit catch of these top sportfish.

  

Reg Clients, Darren & JP had some crazy action during their trips & haven't stopped talking about it since.

       

Fruits & Client 'Colonel Gaddaffi' better known as Damian hold a chunky Southern Blue that smacked a small Pakula Uzi Lure, These lures also proved to be a top choice here as they match the local whitebait & anchovies that are here in massive shoals.

This brightly hued Mahi-Mahi or Dolphin Fish was not only a top way to start the morning as it was within 5 mins of placing the lures out, but also was a first for me in the years I've fished Portland waters. Great aerial displays by these excellent super-fast growing gamefish.

This fish was swooned by a pink Black Bart Tuna XXX Lure & having spoken to friends & other seasoned charter operators in Portland it seems, Pink is a popular lure colour these fish are landed on.

Top marks go to client Damian "Colonel Gaddaffi" as he had picked this lure when setting up the initial lure spread to be trolled.

 Yet another Southern Bluefin Tuna landed on the Red/Black Tuna Feather :)

While our Big Ram is not surveyed to work commercially in an offshore environment, there just maybe some future upgrade to enable us to offer Portland Charters in seasons to come, You'll just have to stay tuned.....

Back on the local tidal streams, The fishing continues to please!!

Yes & while it was great at Portland, there has & still is plenty of quality fishing close by in both Port Phillip Bay & our beloved Western Port.

Whiting are still providing the exciting biting & fighting they're renowned & loved for !!!

Yes those spotted bones are still available & in good numbers too if you know where. The lower reaches of Port Phillip Bay near Mud Island and further west at St Leonards are just two such areas that have seen good reliable fishing when conditions have been settled. Both tides have seen action, however for myself the favored tide has been the ebb or run out tide.

Often squid can be taken in the same areas as the Whiting making it a hard decision sometimes as to wether to use the squid for bait or to take it home & enjoy its excellent eating qualitys.

Reg Client Jeff loves his Whiting fishing & is no slouch at getting a good bag each time

 

Mr Fisho reg client ' John 'Silverfox', shows he's just a cunning fox when it comes to bagging the better sized whiting amongst typical school fish, nice one mate ;)

My daughter Jazz & reg client Jeremy had a field day a few weeks back with a big day on both the spotted bones & calamari while down at Sorrento.

 

Heiby with a typical Port Phillip schoolie sized Spotted Bone...more speckled at this size, but just as much fun and as demanding to hook as their larger brothers.....

Nice results for a trip to Sorrento 

Winter Squid Are On The Prowl Right NOW !!!

Jem with yet another quality Cala he landed off Sorrento, you'll be a gun angler real soon mate ;)

Jazz, show how easy it is & keeps the rest of the clients on their toes with another nice Calamari.

 

Regular Think Big Client 'The Good Dr Khalid' with a sample of squid taken recently while deep drifting some new areas during a quieter period.

Some very reliable squidding can be achieved in depths well over 8 or 9 mtrs, attach a small bomb style lead half a metre or so above jig on a small loop in leader. This will have the jig hold longer in the deeper sections & is a very good way of finding pods of squid when in deeper areas where the bottom cannot be seen readily.

Think Big 'Field Team Member' Peter 'Its Gotta Be Red' Ferguson has been producing some very good quality Squid for both himself & friends recently. Pete is an avid Top End of Western Port fisho & has had Squid to over 45cm's hood length just last week.

Here's one good mate Luke (Nbeach from Mr Fisho) latched onto whilst drifting a bank edge near a tide change fishing with Pete.

 

 

So as you can see there is still plenty to 'Think Big!' about at the moment & on through Winter.

These Big aircraft sized Cephalopods will be active until at least the end of June & with this in mind we are offering some pretty good deals for clients wanting to experience & learn from a Think Big Squid Charter.

Please check Charter Booking Calendar for 'Special Winter Pricing' & available dates.

Oh & Just one last item...

 

Its just over 12 weeks or so until these will be in the minds & hearts of many fishos across the State.

We as always are Thinking Big & Looking Very Forward To Another Snapper Season Here in Melbourne!

Stay Safe,

Cheers, TBC  

 

Friday
Apr012011

Western Port & Port Phillip Bay's Fantastic Fishing Season Continues on Through Autumn & Beyond !!

The past few weeks on both Western Port & Port Phillip Bay have proven to be as productive as ever for many species.

 

As the nights become cooler & we give back that extra hour of daylight as daylight savings draws to a close this weekend, many anglers wrap up the fishing at this time of year, fact is the fishing can often eclipse the earlier season activity right now and on through the cooler months ahead.

 

All favorite species such as Snapper, Gummy Shark, Whiting & Calamari are about in good size and often quantity at this time of the year.

 

Further afield there is still plenty of scope for a late season Mako Shark from Melbourne waters. As these apex predators have an internal heat exchanger, their core blood temp runs higher than the water around them. This means that they can withstand a wider range of temps & can often be found in temps as low as 16 or 17deg's.

So just because the temp is around the 18.5 or so range don't give in just yet. Infact this is the time to also consider Port Phillip Snapper as traditionally the month of April is a prime month as these Snapper school up in the deeper areas off Mt Eliza through to Mt Martha. 

Also many will have been hearing reports & also experiencing the crazy action that is Portland Tuna.

From recent day reports, It seems as it is shaping up to be a fantastic season in those untapped waters very soon.

MELBOURNES TIDAL STREAMS SPOTTED GREY HOUNDS ABOUND:

Yes those slender spotted sharks, the Gummy's are about in very good size & quantity.

All areas of the Port have seen many of these fine specimens landed & often released.

Recently we have had some big sessions with up to 7 Gummy's to 16kg. Quality fishing for sure & as good as anyone could ever expect while on a charter.

As usual fresh baits have accounted for all of these fish as there is no equal to using fresh bait, simply put 'IT WORKS!!'

Here's a rundown of pics from recent weeks on Gummy Sharks:

After some bait fishing prior to a charter the next morning, Fruits had a drop in an area never fished before out from Hastings in 12mtrs..He said to his mate Davey, we'll give it an hour here before going in..Less than 10 mins later a rod bounces strongly & folds over & Davey's on to his 1st hot running Gummy of 14kg, two other smaller Gummys were also landed & released. Nice little session.

 Davey with his first big grey girl from Western Port, He'll be back for more shortly...

                                        

Boatside Pic of one that was released. 12kg

 

Regular Client Kurt Emmerson got amongst the speedy shallow water gummys recently one picturesque morning off Balnarring.  

  

Then had a chunkier model of 10kg top the morning of very nicely, this fish was released as can be seen from the pics.

Eric & his father recently had a good mornings action on a midweek charter with a bag of 5 good Gummys up to 9kg.  

Aaron & a party of friends enroute to a BBQ in Sorrento later that day had a charter early morning with us & produced what was required. He'd been skiting how he was to bring some fish to the BBQ as he was going on a charter, Mission Accomplished with this Gummy of 6kg.  

Lee happened to be in Melbourne on a visit from his fish filled haven of Bribie Island Queensland.

He'd arranged a fishing charter while here & asked that he'd always wanted to catch a Gummy Shark. Well this wasn't too hard to organise on a good weather weekend we had 3 weeks ago. Also had Somers Holiday Village guys aboard, with owner Jason Fergusons son Corey showing us how to get amongst the Gummys.  

Nice one Corey & just the start of the sub challenge to land a bigger girl !!  

  

On a dull afternoon weather wise after a perfect morning, an incoming front of showers & strong wind had us seeking calmer waters near Rhyll, With some fresh Salmon baits we just trolled up near the Cowes Pier, we didn't have to wait long for this client to receive his Birthday Wish, with a nice active Gummy of 5kg & a great way to enjoy a birthday.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Regular Client Gavin with a nice account opener recently that soon increased as you'll see later on in  the report.

  An old client from my days in the tackle trade was aboard two weeks ago for a great mornings fishing midweek, when there are far fewer boats around and always better fishing for the larger models. Here is Vince hooked up to a line burning female Gummy that later went a shade over 14kg, & was quickly released after a quick pic. Nice one Vince, your a good guy.  

 

 

Heavy Set Gummy with heaps of muscle

On the way in I suggested we have a good opportunity for some Calamari. Vince nodded & smiled, soon after he smiled a whole lot more with this fine cephalopod inker.

 

Also have had a few Pinky Snapper snaffling baits in some of the deeper regions of the Western Channel. These Pinky's & some quite a bit larger to 5 kg will be around until Mid June minimum & provide good by-catch when targeting Gummy Sharks. They are very welcomed by our clients as they make for a fine meal at this size.

   

  

   

 Mr Fisho Gummy Catch & Release Comp 2011:

Once again the annual Mr Fisho Gummy Comp was a great success with some very good sized Gummy Shark landed over the two days of the event. Some crazy numbers were also accounted for during charters with a staggering 16 alone landed by clients aboard Big Time skippered by Shaun(Fruits)Furtiere. This comp is a very good example of the direction for the future fishery with not just Gummy Sharks, but also other popular species.

 

 

All Gummys had to be measured quickly & photographed with a 'code' held in view for verification & honesty. This helped curb any games some may have had in mind....All in all everyone had a great time & a big Thanks again to Mick & all of the Mr Fisho helpers & active members for making it another great comp, see you all again next year :)

 

Below are Pics taken aboard Bigtime during some hectic action both during the day & later on in the darker times of the evening over the two day comp.

It all started with this marine oddity in the form of a massive Octopus that latched onto a fresh Yakka bait offering near Buoy 12 first up Sat morning.  

Was like wrestling 5 kg's of offal with attitude I can tell you !!..We later released this lovely creature after viewing it in the large bait tank shown behind where it soon made itself quite at home.

 

Soon we made the move to an area I had in mind for the last couple of hours of the charter after a slow start, this proved very productive with 7 good Gummys landed by clients & giving all in the comp a guaranteed entry & shot at the prizes.    

 Reg client Gavin again shows his style with this line burning Gummy of 6 plus kilos  

Not to be outdone Gavins lovely son Jeremy or 'Gem' as he's more often known didn't holdback & was as pleased as ever with his first official Gummy Shark ever & in the comp to boot!! To say we were all happy was an understatement, especially proud father Gavin.

Well done to the both of you, you truly are great inspiration for a father & son fishing team.  

 Here's a fine Gummy boatside before being netted gently, measured, photographed & quickly released

Regular Client Craig was also onfire this session & added his contribution to the comp with a nice size Gummy of 8kg that went like a steam train after hookup. These Gummys from 6 to 12kg are real line burners during the initial run & ensuing fight and make for some top sport.  

Also some very welcome by-catch by some Mr Fisho members in the comp with 'Linford' holding a good Snapper of 5kg plus taken in the Western Channel while targeting Gummy Shark.

 

Linford also took out a prize of a guide trip offered up by Gawaine for a Gummy he entered in the comp. As a good gesture Linford has offered the guide trip to another Mr Fisho member as he is pretty well versed already in finding quality fish as can be seen.

Moving into the night>>> we experienced some more great action on Gummys of all sizes!!  

In between charters for the Gummy Comp I took a group of clients out with some of whom were to fly out of Australia the following morning bound for Sweden, so it was a fitting end to their stay here to find them some good quality Gummy Sharks.

Soon though their charter had ended successfully & I was shaking hands with some other regular clients who were ultra keen for some Gummy action as they were entered in the comp also.  

Like a lot of recent sessions have started, the sportier 6kg models make the first appearance before the bigger girls show up in earnest. Here's Matt with a nice charter starter and the beginning of a memorable session.  

Jason is gettting pulled around the deck of Bigtime in a big way with this rod buckling Gummy in the dark of night.  

Nice one Jayse !  

Big Bait Benny gets a brief glimpse of his hefty female Gummy Shark before being pulled around a bit more before she was netted & measured.

  

   

At better than 14kg this was a great Gummy for both Benny & the comp, she was released soon after this pic was taken.

Here's yet another good fish landed by clients & held by Fruits for a quick pic by the clients before release.

Thanks again from all the team at Think Big! for the Mr Fisho Gummy Shark weekend, a great, well run comp. Look foward to it again next year.

 

This last weeks fishing continues to see many more excellent Gummy Sharks for our clients!!

Regular client Bondie 'Matt' had booked himself a birthday charter & had his lovely lady accompany him for this trip. We soon had Matt tight to a good fish and this was later very welcomed once boatside.  

Nice fish Matt & a great way to enjoy a birthday with a present you'll never forget !

 

Another weekday regular 'Dr Khalid also had some fun with a good size Gummy of 10kg plus as well as seeing a Seven Gill Shark of around 60kg's boatside briefly before the mono leader severed.  

Khalid has spoken with me since & is very keen to land a BIG SHARK, so watch this space for updates from the 'Doctor', as they come to hand'.....

 

Earlier this week I had a group of local tradesman from the Peninsula region out for a Gummy session after work.

Everything went to plan nicely after I had made the comment that we will soon see action as conditions are A1....It didn't take long ....  

Good start to the session with this Gummy of 7kg  

 A better class of Gummys soon started to show as the tide moved on.

This is a larger model close to the 16kg mark boatside, they look so good in the water!!  

Yes this client way very very happy with this fine Gummy Shark, that was soon released safely after this pic was taken.  

As the night closed in so too did some larger girls on the fresh baits we were using.  

In all these guys had 5 big Gummys for their charter & a lot of action from line burning 7-gills & other assorted species. They couldn't stop chatting on the return trip to Stony Point about the experience.  

Western Port Whiting Are Still Biting & Fighting Along With Some Other Sporty Species!

Yes although there has been a lot of focus on Gummy Sharks, there is still very good action about on the Port with quality Whiting, Calamari & Salmon.

Fresh Mussels has accounted for the vast majority of Whiting,with some real 'Spotted Bones' amongst them.   

Regular client Michael 'Oysters' Kilpatrick with a sample of lovely Whiting on offer in Western Port right now. These fish are currently schooling up and some good bags can be taken from now until mid June proper. Fish the Ebb tide for these terrific fish for best results. Also don't be afraid of fishing deeper marks in 8,9 or 11mtrs as they are often found in deeper areas than the summer fishing marks.

The good Dr Khalid with a bunch of fine spotted bones landed recently out from Stony Point.   

Jenny got in amongst some hot Salmon fishing recently & found them to be a great way to have some fun inbetween anchoring up for other species.

 

The little soft white occy in pic are just a sure fire lure for these Salmon at the moment as it closely immitates the resident schools of baitfish they are gorging on. Mid tide has seen the best action for these Salmon in many areas of Western Port, including the Edge of the Middle Bank & also out front of Stony Point near Buoy 20. Look for the presence of Tern's working the areas.

Guided/Tuition Trips Aboard Clients Boats:

A recent tuition/guiding trip with Shaun on Western Port along the upper reaches proved productive on a variety of species

 

John with a fistfull of salmon that just jumped all over the 50mm Shimano Squidgys on offer.

These Salmon make both good eating when eaten within a day of capture, but also make possibly one of the Ports most favoured big fish baits when used fresh.

 

Later on some Whiting guidance was explained before the guys got amongst some very good action rounding out a great day of learning W'Port in detail.  

Tuition Client Kim, with a sample of some quality Whiting taken along the Middle Spit during the week.

 

 

Port Phillip Bay Continues To Fire !!

Shaun was recently on a tuition/guide trip aboard Steve's immaculate Hydra Sports 29    

 Nice way to travel, thats for sure !!    

With a pair of 275 Mercury Verado's, we sure were able to get anywhere FAST!!    

A bit of fine tuning to settings & we were finding some very good readings courtesy of Steves fantastic Raymarine C120  

Quality Schools Snapper of just under 4kg were eagerly snaffling down fresh squid baits that had been caught enroute earlier on during the tuition.

 

Steve's good friend John commented on how he would like to see a Gummy one day...Amazingly less than 2 mins later a rod folded over and John was on strike...It was a a spooky feeling almost to see a lovely Gummy Shark of 7kg come up boatside.   

This was a terrific result for John, who to now had only ever seen mini Gummys while fishing Port Phillip Bay.

 

Local Kings Continue To Feed !!

Yes Winga has again been amongst the local Kingfish this past week with some good fish landed while fishing the notorious & dangerous Rip area of Port Phillip Heads.   

Make absolutely no mistake this area is DANGEROUS!! & requires utmost respect before venturing out here.

We all at Think Big! really do believe that this area is to be fished by experienced people only as it is a very open area to huge incoming ocean swells.

For the uninitiated things can turn pear shaped very quickly, so always ensure you are with experenced operators if considering a trip to the Rip.

 

Salmon are also throughout this region in huge numbers & are on average 1 to 2kg in size. Small rubber occy lures are again a pretty sound method of catching these sporty fish. As always maintain a good lookout when fishing this region as it cannot be stressed enough.

In closing I'll mention very quickly that we will be down in Portland shortly to give this world class Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery a nudge as reports are coming in daily of consistent fishing in many areas.

 

We are pretty much booked out for this seasons Tuna Charters & If you are considering a trip down here, a quick phone call will soon let you know if there is any seats available.

Cheers,

 

From all of the Think Big! Team Stay Safe & Always Remember to Think Big