The fishing in Melbourne has improved markedly over the past month with snapper, bream, flathead, salmon and squid all available across the northwest section of Port Phillip.
This time last year saw snapper to 7kg taken out wide near the Faulkner Beacon on pilchards and silver whiting, although most fish caught were averaging 2-4kg. Snapper were a common capture in 6-10m of water off Williamstown, while smaller pinkies were eager to intercept soft plastics closer to shore.
Huge schools of garfish also turned up in the bay in December last year. The reefs out from Point Cook and Werribee South should fire over the coming month although these areas have been a little quite to date.
Larger than average flathead are also expected to start feeding more aggressively in the shallows. Areas with a combination of sand, reef and seagrass from Werribee South through to Avalon are ideal locations to start searching.
Once the stormwater settles, bream will fire in the metropolitan rivers. Casting surface lures and small diving minnows along the rocky shoreline of the Maribyrnong River was highly productive at this time last year.
After an early start, James and Ben Laverty opened their season account with a few snapper off Williamstown. Berleying heavily with cubed pilchards, it wasn’t long before Ben brought a 40cm pinkie onboard, followed by a solid 3kg snapper. Both fish were taken on whole pilchards.
Later in the morning, James snared a 42cm pinkie and a couple of smaller models on soft plastics. Since then the boys have picked up quite a few snapper and plenty of flathead on the inshore reefs between Williamstown and Altona. Squidgy Flickbaits in the pilchard colour pattern have been productive.
Mick Fava and a couple of mates had a great session on the reds with several fish up to 5kg taken in 15m of water off Altona. Squid heads, salmon and yakkas all produced fish during an early morning rising tide and strengthening south easterly breeze.
Michael Felsovary from Hooked on Bait and Tackle reports that the Altona Bay area is fishing very well for snapper, with fish taken out wide near the P2 maker and also in shallows during periods of low light.
Anglers in boats and kayaks have been anchoring in just 3-5m of water, particularly over the patches of rubble from Millers Road through to Pier Street. Directly out from the launching ramp has also been productive while land-based anglers have been amongst the action with the local pier fishing well after dark on a rising tide. According to Mick, the largest fish taken from the pier this season weighed-in at 6.5kg.
Squid, flathead, salmon and a few snook are also available on the inshore reefs, but these species tend to take a back seat when snapper fever sets in. Chris from the Fishvictoria.com forums has enjoyed numerous sessions chasing pinkie snapper and salmon in the shallows on soft plastics over the past month.
Around at Point Cook, pinkie snapper up to 3kg and a few reasonable flathead are just starting to move on the inshore reefs in 4-6m of water. Joey Cannizzaro has been doing well on the squid with bag limit captures achieved on most outings. Local anglers have reported a good run of snapper in 6-8m of water directly out from Duncans Road at Werribee South.
The shallow reefs from Point Wilson through to Avalon have produced snapper to 5kg on silver whiting and pilchards, particularly during the lead up to the full moon. This area is also renowned for consistent captures of whiting and flathead during the warmer months.
As early spring rains turned into the wettest October in more than 30 years, the metropolitan rivers received yet another substantial flush which should result in some exceptional bream fishing once the freshwater settles. While the system is still heavily discoloured try fishing a little deeper in the water column and concentrate your efforts further downstream during the higher tides.
Docklands is by far the most reliable inner city location with bream up to 38cm taken on fresh mussels and lipless crank-baits. Fisheries Officers recently caught up with a group of anglers exceeding their bag limit of bream in this area. The offenders were also found to be in possession of numerous undersize fish.
Bream have been active in the lower reaches of the Werribee River with worm pattern soft plastics and small hardbodied minnows producing a few fish around the moored yachts. Salmon are still an option at Werribee South but they have thinned out a little over the past month.
A few flathead have been taken from the sand on soft plastics, while Michael Dean picked up a cracking 65cm model on a whole pilchard. Expect captures of these larger flathead to become more prevalent over the coming month. Further upstream, a few bream to 35cm have also been taken below the K Road cliffs on tube worms and small minnow pattern lures cast close to structure.
On the freshwater scene, Brad Hodges managed to coerce a few quality redfin from the snags further up the Werribee River. There’s also some hefty carp moving about the system, which may keep the youngsters occupied during the Christmas school holidays.Reads: 4232