Leading into winter, local anglers have been treated to some excellent conditions, with only the odd cold front passing through, followed by sustained periods of light winds and generally stable weather.
As we move into July, the fishing is bound to become more challenging, but the rewards are definitely there for those willing to rug up and do battle with the elements.
Over the past few months, pinkie snapper of just a few hundred grams up to 2kg have been taken with reasonable consistency from the mouth of the Yarra River through to Point Gellibrand. Casting soft plastics in 3-5m of water over the section of reef in front of the Williamstown Football Ground has been successful, particularly during early morning or late afternoon high tides.
The Williamstown jetties are a worthwhile option for land-based anglers, with reports of bream up to 34cm taken in amongst plenty of juveniles. Lightly weighted fresh mussels, frozen prawns and live maggots have been productive. Bream have also been taken amongst the yacht moorings on small hardbodied lures, with a few pinkie snapper up to 40cm succumbing to worm pattern soft plastics.
Large schools of salmon up to 1.2kg have been patrolling the Altona region for quite a few months now often producing some spectacular sportfishing action for those lucky enough to find them. These fish have been seen herding bait right up into the shallows recently, particularly during the run out tides. Pinkie snapper, flathead and even the odd gummy shark have also been lurking below, mopping up pieces of baitfish that fall through the water column.
Out wider, Ismet Tasci recorded his first ‘decent size’ gummy shark while fishing for snapper close to the P2 maker. After setting out a berley trail, the bite came just as the tide started to run in at about mid morning. According to Ismet, the shark was taken on a fresh strip of bonito fillet and weighed-in at 5.3kg.
Plenty of squid have been taken in 3-5m of water on many of reefs and weed beds in the northwest section of the bay. Over at Point Cook, the darker, more natural pattern jigs have been highly productive, particularly in the smaller 2.5 models. Both casting and drifting has been effective and often the entire pod will follow their hooked counterpart all the way back to the boat, which can produce some exciting multiple hook-ups with two or more anglers on board.
Michael Felsovary from Hooked on Bait and Tackle reports that dedicated land-based anglers have been taking gummy sharks well after 10:00pm at night from Campbells Cove. Larger than average flathead of 40-50cm are still available in the shallows from Werribee South through to Wedge Spit, although most have moved out a little wider with the onset of cooler weather.
A wave of pinkie snapper up to 55cm moved into the lower reaches of the Yarra River earlier in the year, intercepting a variety of baits and soft plastics on their way through. Since then, however, reports have become far more widespread as these fish seem to have dispersed throughout system.
For the land-based anglers, the rock walls and jetties dotted along the western bank of the lower estuary have been fishing well for bream, yellow-eye mullet and the odd pinkie snapper up to 40cm.
Closer to the Bolte Bridge, a few smaller pinkies have succumb to mullet and striped tuna fillets, while bream are responding well to unweighted mussel and vibration style lures pitched close to the jetty pylons. Plenty of mullet and a few silver trevally are also available inside Victoria Harbour at Docklands.
Over the past month, bream have gradually moved away from the edges and into the deeper sections of the river where they will school up throughout winter.
Bass yabbies, tube worms, and fresh mussel have produced fish up to 35cm along the stretch of bank from Flemington Racecourse through to Edgewater, while pinkie snapper have been taken further downstream during the run in tide on flesh baits.
Bream up to 1.2kg have been taken on tube worms, Bass yabbies and worm pattern soft plastics throughout the Werribee River. A few small salmon are also available from the beach at Werribee South, while there’s plenty of yellow-eye mullet further upstream.
More than 70 anglers took part in the 8th annual Werribee River Bream Classic, hosted by the Werribee South Fishing Club. Local resident and keen tournament angler, Brad Hodges, (who also happens to be my brother) secured victory for the second consecutive year. The winning fish weighed-in at 1.205kg and was taken on a Berkley Gulp Sandworm. Congratulations to all award winners and of course Phil Walters, Steve Hamerston and the entire WSFC who helped put together yet another successful public event.Reads: 4143