In this Port Phillip Bay post:
- Beat the Bay blues in lockdown
- See some of our Port Phillip Bay catches and pics
- Get Jim’s Port Phillip Bay basic fishing advice
- Grab a copy of the Fisheries’ Fees and Penalties
- Find the Coronavirus recreational fishing restrictions
- Watch our fish turn into food
- My Port Phillip Bay review
Photo above: Sandringham Yacht Club. Despite lockdown and the danger of prosecution these birds won’t keep off Port Phillip Bay or wear masks, but they’re adhering to social distancing.
NOTE: IF VIEWING THIS BLOG WITH YOUR MOBILE PHONE, TURN YOUR PHONE SIDEWAYS (HORIZONTAL/LANDSCAPE ORIENTATION) FOR A BETTER PHOTO VIEWING EXPERIENCE. Also, turquoise words are links (but not these ones 🙂 )
NOTE: IF VIEWING THIS BLOG WITH YOUR MOBILE PHONE, TURN YOUR PHONE SIDEWAYS (HORIZONTAL/LANDSCAPE ORIENTATION) FOR A BETTER PHOTO VIEWING EXPERIENCE.
Also, turquoise words are links (but not these ones 🙂 )
Beat the Port Phillip Bay Blues in lockdown
Port Phillip Bay is deserted due to Melbourne’s Stage 4 lockdown restrictions. It’s eerie to see the bay like this, especially on a warm Spring day.
Usually you’d see fishing boats bobbing happily and the colourful, carefree windsurfers, especially now that the weather’s warmer and brighter. However, for a while now it’s been a ghost bay (apart from the cargo hauls).
Snapper season has started and there’s no-one out chasing the catch…
Looking out, I can feel the collective gaff in the guts of all those free-spirited seafarers sitting at home and living life in a fishbowl…
Living in lockdown, with the ban on Port Phillip Bay, is harder still when my hubby Jim is an avid recreational fisherman.
One night I came into the dining room to find a by-product of Jim’s Port Phillip Bay blues…
However, the upside is that fishing will probably be amongst the first activities that Melburnians will be allowed to do when the government eases the restrictions. That means you’ll be able to enjoy Port Phillip Bay while waiting for the pollies to unlock the borders.
So, it’s only a matter of time before, you, Jim and the sea-faring people will be free again to play in the Bay!
And catch a calamari or twelve !
By the way, Jim recommends using Yamashita lures to catch calamari because with them he catches plenty!
Here are two squid jigs that Jim bought last year that he DOES NOT recommend buying! Said they was no good and that he didn’t catch a thing with them.
Got Port Phillip Bay hunger pains?
If all this has made you hungrier for some bay action, keep reading this Port Phillip Bay home delivery to get your fill.
Next, you’ll see:
- more of Jim’s Port Phillip Bay catches to help you get to the other side of iso
- some of Jim’s basic Port Phillip Bay fishing advice for when lock down loosens up
- info on Port Phillip Bay’s fishing rules and regulations (for when restrictions ease) including Fisheries’ Penalties & Fees pdf download
- our fish turned into food, plus you’ll get some virtual Vitamin D and Omega 3 into your lockdown diet
Climb aboard this bumpy ride with Captain Jim (I’m so noisy, sorry)…
See some of our Port Phillip Bay catches and pics
First, please note that ALL of the following catches have been consumed by us, family, friends, neighbours, and a select few local shop owners for personal consumption. No fish has gone to waste. Also, Jim returns to the sea any inedible fish/marine animals that he catches.
So, let’s check out some of Jim’s bay harvests…
Jim has caught many types of fish in Port Phillip Bay over the years:
snapper, garfish, whiting (King George and grass), salmon, calamari, pike, pinkies, flathead, mullet (red and sand), parrot fish, mackerel, tommy rough (Australian Herring), barracouta, yakka (small yellowtails) , sea snake, squid, leather jacket, bream, flounder, luderick, trevally, wrass and sharks…
Jim caught this 2m sevengill shark on a 15 pound line. Good luck reeling that in.
And he catches a flathead and a pinkie at the same time!
Jim mostly catches snapper, garfish, flathead, calamari and whiting (when they’re in season).
Here are a few of our catches…
A note of great importance:
Jim and his mates love the bay and so they’re very conscious of bay health. They always only keep what is permitted by law, not just to avoid fines, but because they know that they must preserve the bay and allow the fish to grow in order to keep enjoying the pleasure that the bay provides (when we’re not in lock down…).
More snapper fishing pics…
Thanks to TK for sharing this underwater video of his snapper catch with Jim and EK out on Port Phillip Bay:
Cute! Snapper Rock swimwear for the whippersnappers…
Thanks to TK again and to EK for providing the next video.
Listen out for when Jim’s catch barbs EK twice. Cracks me up! 😆
Also, look out for TK’s epic home-made rig 👏.
By the way, they all agree that their best fishing spot is 30 metres from Carrum 😉 🤣 …
Next, here are some gars, flatties, and a whiting…
Port Phillip Bay, you little beauty…
Love this photo of KW’s catch…
Some dusky pics…
When the restrictions permit fishing at Port Phillip Bay again, you could be getting some action from a pier, the rocks, or from a hire boat:
Some of Jim’s Basic Port Phillip Bay Fishing Advice (for when COVID restrictions lift)
- Jim says check the weather for a SSW (South South Westerly) wind. Jim catches the most fish when this wind is blowing, but note that it’s also sometimes the roughest wind. If you’re in a hire boat, go out if the wind is 10 knots (gentle breeze) or below because the boat’s speed capacity has been governed right down and so it won’t be able to handle stronger wind.
- You have a great chance of catching fish from any pier in Port Phillip Bay.
- Jim suggests walking around the pier or rocks to see what people are catching and what bait they’re using, then buy similar bait and rig your line to match.
- If you want to get more serious about catching, he recommends that you take a range of soft plastics lures to catch a variety of fish.
- Jim says make sure you take the right equipment, in good working order: rod, reel, line, hooks, sharp filleting knife, fish scaler, bait/lures and a ruler to measure the length of your fish. Also prepare for sun exposure and take plenty of drinking water because the hours out there can fly by.
- When coronavirus restrictions ease, (hopefully) hire boats will become available again all around Port Phillip Bay such as in Melbourne, Mordialloc, Frankston, Werribee, Mornington, Williamstown, and Geelong.
Jim advises that usually you don’t need a boat driver licence or boating experience to hire a small fishing boat because hire boats generally don’t go fast enough to warrant it.
Pre-lockdown, the prices to hire fishing boats started from about $95 per hour x two hours. (The cost could have been reduced to as low as $29 per hour: Frankston Boat Hire had a special – $180 for 6 hours for a 5-6 man aluminium boat with sunshade. If several friends share the boat hire cost, the activity becomes very affordable.)
Anti-seasickness aids could be helpful too…
- Jim says that if you catch a large fish, keep your line tight as you’re pulling it into the boat because the fish could throw itself off the hook. And don’t reel it in too fast or you’ll flick it and “hit Danae in the head”.
Let a bit of line out so it has a chance to hit the bottom.
Victorian Fisheries Authority and fish measurements and quantities
- Jim knows that The Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) regularly conducts checks and takes fishing offences very seriously. They could inspect your catches and your recreational fishing licence (RFL) whether you are on a pier, in a boat, or in a coastal car park so, post-lockdown, stick to the fishing measurements and quantities rules found at the VFA website. (A 3-day RFL is $10AUD. Visit the VFA website for more on RFLs.)
IMPORTANT: If VFA checks your catch and you’ve exceeded the maximum number for a species or have kept fish that are too young/small you could be faced with hefty fines and have to throw some of your live catch back in the water.
Jim measures all his smaller sized fish to ensure that they meet the minimum length requirement…
VFA said Jim’s fish was 3mm too short?
Jim says that VFA has often checked his catches.
One time earlier this year VFA checked Jim’s catch in the middle of the night when he came to shore.
The VFA measured one of Jim’s fish at 27.7cm whereas Jim had measured it on the boat at 28cm. So, according to VFA, the fish was 3mm too short!
“You’ve got to be kidding,” said Jim. It was midnight and therefore it was hard to see. Plus it was freezing! “The fish had probably shrunk from the boat to the car park because of the cold,” Jim said to them. But VFA still wanted to fine Jim for his fish not having the extra 3mm of tail.
Grab a copy of the Fisheries’ Fees and Penalties
This list of fishing fines and penalties took a while for me to find because it wasn’t located where I’d expect to find it, i.e. wasn’t on the VFA website. So, to save you the hassle of looking, you can find it below.
- take or possess undersize fish $3,224!
- take or possess excess of catch limit (non-abalone) $3,224!
- fishing without a licence or failing to provide it for inspection $806!
- penalty per fish for unauthorised take, possession, sale, landing of specified fish $81 first offence and $161 per fish for subsequent offences!
NOTE: “In response to the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Victorian Government has placed a freeze on fees and fines for 2020-21 and will maintain the 2019-20 values of fee and penalty units for this period.” (VFA website.) This includes the cost of RFLs.
Well, thanks very much.
So, when restrictions ease and you can fish again on Port Phillip Bay, don’t get done. Instead, check the VFA website for regulations and you can get the list of 2018/2019 Fisheries Fees and Penalties pdf here. (It’s the most recent one I could find.)
Jim likes Shimano saltwater rods and reels
Coronavirus recreational fishing restrictions
“Current restrictions (as at Monday, 7 September): Metropolitan Melbourne (From VFA website).
“Under changes to Stay at Home Restrictions for Metropolitan Melbourne announced on Sunday 2 August, recreational activities such as fishing and boating are not allowed. A curfew applies from 8.00pm to 5.00am each night, with exceptions for work or medical care and caregiving. As of 11.59pm on 13 September, the curfew will apply from 9.00pm to 5.00am each night.
“Exercise is limited to within 5km of your home. Exercise can continue to occur with only one other person, and will be limited to once per day, for a maximum of one hour. This does not include recreational activities such as fishing, boating or diving. As of 11.59pm on 13 September, you can exercise for up to two hours per day, split into a maximum of two sessions and with one other person or members of your household.
“For information about the government’s roadmap for reopening, effective as at 11.59pm on 13 September, visit the VFA website.”
Watch our fish turn into food
Check it out…
Hahaa, the pics above are mouse pads. To see more of this fish mouse pad range, click here.
Robin, from family-owned Red Bluff Cellars Black Rock, loves wrass so we gave a few of Jim’s wrass catches to him.
Robin steams the wrass with ginger and spring onions and then drizzles sizzling Lee Kum Kee Seasoned Soy Sauce for Seafood combined with a little oil over them. Robin reckons that wrass are better than snapper any day. Jim says snapper rule.
Robin got us a bottle of Lee Kum Kee Seasoned Soy Sauce for Seafood to try. Beats plain old soy sauce on fish dishes!
Did you know that you can now order from www.redbluffcellars.com.au and get free delivery for orders over $150? Cool!
Also, if you use the code RBC10 at checkout you’ll save 10% on your first order!
Welcome to our seafood kitchen…
Then the fish become food
Port Phillip Bay Review
Port Phillip Bay = 5 out of 5 stars!
Undoubtedly, Port Phillip Bay enriches our Melbourne lives in so many ways: views, wildlife, recreation, food, beaches, exercise, mindset, functions, education and exploration. The bay is beautiful and bountiful and we are blessed to have her by our sides. Truly, this piece of Mother Nature nurtures Melbourne, so the sooner we can all spend time with her again, the better.
Thanks for checking out my Port Phillip Bay home delivery blog! I hope you got your fill of the bay for the time being.
If you’d like to see the trout I caught fly fishing in Miena Tasmania go to my post Our Hobart Things to See and Do and scroll down towards the bottom.
Sending Melbourne love in lockdown!