I reckon there is more chance of picking Tatts numbers than predicting Melbourne weather this summer.
On top of awesome whiting fishing, each week had more and more reports of yellowtail kingfish harassing the whiting anglers, not to mention the ever-increasing schools of Australian salmon carving up the bait, and it looked like the next few months were going to be insane for the fishing in Port Phillip.
Then it happened.
Torrential rain saw flooding in Melbourne like none of us could imagine. Here was me thinking the bay was brown in October but it was nothing compared to what it was like during February. Needless to say it slowed the fishing on the inner reefs for a few weeks but the long-term benefits seem to be already showing with some spectacular catches being taken over the past weeks.
Even though the dirty water continued to flow out of Mordialloc Creek for a good part of February it didn’t really seem to effect fishing, with good reports of mullet being taken through the whole month and good numbers of pinkies up to 40cm being taken on a daily basis.
Best of all for the land-based anglers, the fresh water flowing out into the bay sits on top of the cleaner salt water with the real benefit being that it keeps the light level down. This allowed pinkie snapper to comfortably move into the shallows earlier in the day, giving anglers longer periods to target them.
Up further along the Horse Paddock to the Parkdale Pinnacles the upcoming weeks should see some great fishing for whiting as they make a return back to the reefs with the cleaner water. With them will be plenty of garfish and one would expect some decent numbers of yellowtail kingfish, as they have been making their presence felt in all other areas of the bay.
Out wider in the boats there are still heaps of big garfish on offer for anglers to target, with the 16m area producing some absolute monsters.
The past weeks out in these 14-16m areas has seen plenty of slimy mackerel getting about. These can easily be caught with a Sabiki jig or a small bait fished with a split shot in a berley trail – and these are a top bait to be slow trolling around for a kingfish back on the inner reefs.
Off the back of the mussel farms in Beaumaris Bay and up to Ricketts Point there has been some great Australian salmon action with the birds clearly indicating where and when the fish are up and feeding.
Around the corner from Ricketts Point to Black Rock the reef edge has had plenty of pinkies and some good catches of whiting. The cleaner water is also providing anglers with some nice squid, and one would expect their numbers to get better over the coming month.
The inner reef known as Yorkies has been producing some good catches of whiting along with some trevally. It has definitely been one of those locations that you keep hearing kingfish reports from, with a couple of fish in the 60-70cm size being taken on live garfish and soft plastics.
Out wider one of my favourite spots, the Anonyma Shoal should really fire this month with some really good whiting being taken from it over the past weeks. Add to this some huge snook and thumping salmon, with one of my good mates Darren Jansen having several sessions on the salmon around this reef with many of them over 2kg and fat as pigs.
Back inshore, the Sandringham Breakwall has been producing some pinkies from the end and the occasional trevally and flathead. The rock groynes in front of Hampton have also been fishing well for pinkies up to a kilo.
If we don’t get anymore substantial rain and the water stays clear, the coming weeks will also start to see anglers get some good catches of squid by working jigs around the dark patches of reef that are near the groynes.
At Brighton Breakwall the fishing has been similar to Hampton with anglers getting a few pinkies and garfish. However I would recommend getting down to the breakwall over the coming weeks as with the onset of autumn this area will really start to fire for some quality pinkies and even some solid whiting for land-based anglers.
Out in the boats, the edge of the shipping lane should produce some good late-season snapper fishing which often produces some really solid snapper.
Further north at St Kilda it has been a relatively tough season for many anglers with the top end of the bay being constantly inundated by freshwater, which in turn had held back what was expected to be some great summer whiting fishing. However lets hope that their will be calm weather and clear skies for this month as I am sure the inner reefs around St Kilda will fish extremely well over the coming weeks.
Now is a red hot time to get onto all the piers in the area with Kerford Road, Lagoon and Station piers having the potential to produce all sorts of great fishing over the next eight weeks.
While it’s well worth fishing a fine berley trail and small baits suspended under floats for mullet and garfish, it’s also time to get a big bait out on the bottom as well with mulloway making their way through the area as they head towards the Yarra. There are some big snapper that make this part of the bay home for autumn, feeding heavily in the shallows on the abundant cunjevoi reef that abounds in the area.
As an odd-ball capture there is also the chance of some big trevally or it’s also one of the best parts of the bay to find yourself with a tasty ling.
For boat anglers I would be targeting the same species, either in the shallower areas or along the edge of the shipping channel.Reads: 1414