Hopefully everyone has had an enjoyable Christmas. If you were lucky enough to get a bit of a break, I’m sure you are wishing you were still on holidays, as the fishing is just going from strength to strength. There are plenty of options for anglers everywhere.
One of the things I like about February is that the numerous fishing options allow everyone to spread out in search of their chosen quarry. Offshore there are sharks and kingfish, not to mention tuna, and in Western Port it almost seems there are more whiting than there is water. Meanwhile Port Phillip Bay is also hitting its straps, with a variety of options for anglers
The pier has provided some reasonable fishing late in the afternoon for squid and the odd whiting, as well as some garfish for those who berley and fish with baits of silverfish and maggots.
Boat anglers have been finding good whiting fishing along the shallow reef areas from Mordialloc through to Ricketts Point, with the best areas being the Parkdale Pinnacles. Here, baits of pipi and, especially, mussels are catching the fish.
The last few weeks has also seen some schools of salmon move into the area, especially around the mussel farms and up along Ricketts Point. While they haven’t been too consistent, they are there and should only get easier to find over the coming weeks as more fish move into the area.
February is also a perfect time to be chasing the kingfish that frequent this area. Try trolling deep diving minnow pattern lures around the reef edges and near any salmon schools. Also try anchoring up on any likely looking ground and fish with live baits such as squid and garfish suspended under floats. You just may be surprised at the kingfish you catch.
Down towards Black Rock there have been some top whiting on offer for land-based anglers fishing off the pier at night. Cast your baits towards the Cerberus and hang on, these fish tend to hit hard.
Local Whiting guru Ray Varcoe has been having great success on the whiting off places such as Yorkies Reef, where he has bagged out on most trips over recent weeks. He also reports plenty of garfish – this is also a top sign for those searching for kingfish action.
Out on the edge of the shipping channel, Beaumaris Squadron members are also finding more than the occasional gummy shark, with fish up to 1m in length.
Out in the deep water around Fawkner Beacon, there is still the odd small snapper on offer. Some days the bigger fish have fired up too.
Over the shallow reefs there are plenty of whiting starting to move through off Green Point and down towards North Road. There are also a few squid for those who want to try for them.
The breakwall and pier at St Kilda has garfish on offer. Larger baits fished off here at night in February should produce some nice flathead, as well as the odd gummy shark and occasional snapper.
Fishing the shallows in a boat and working the sandy patches between the pier and North Road is a top way to catch some better than average flathead during February. Try casting soft plastics around these places and you are sure to find yourself with a top feed and a bunch of fun.
For those anglers who are keen to fish at night through February, the 8m line between Kerford Road and Lagoon Pier can produce some big snapper, as well as the chance of a big mulloway. Using fresh squid or live bait such as mullet will give you the best chance of success.
Between Station and Princess Pier there are a few small pinky snapper, but it is also a good place to put a few nights in fishing for mulloway with live bait. If you have a small boat with an electric motor, then casting lures around the edge of the piers is also a top option.
After the deluge of rain before Christmas, the rivers have had a good flush out. This turned the fishing a little pear shaped for a while, but it has come back with a bang and as the water warms up so too will the bream fishing. February is a top time to try for bream on lures in both the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers. Great success can be had on Ecogear SX-40 hard-bodied lures worked along the wharves. Another top option is to fish River2Sea Baby Vibes down the pylons, especially on days when the bream aren’t really showing themselves.
If baitfishing, try baits such as freshwater yabbies and Bass yabbies fished unweighted down against the pylons. It’s a heap of fun and you will be surprised at the number of bream you can get some days.
There has been the odd report of mulloway around the mouth of the Yarra, although it is still a little early for the real influx of fish.
Fishing amongst the moored boats is producing some bream, and a bit of berley should see you with a few small salmon – very handy for live baits
Out in the deeper water, anglers are still giving the snapper a go, although over the past weeks the reports have been hot and cold. They should start to improve from here on, so if you are heading out for snapper try the deeper water around places such as P2. Taking the time to catch some fresh bait such as squid and garfish before heading out can really pay dividends. It’s also worth getting a bait jig and dropping it down onto any balls of bait you mark on the sounder – often they are yakkas and slimy mackerel.
In behind the footy oval there have been some whiting caught at first and last light, while anglers up towards Werribee and around St Leonards are doing very well on the whiting and squid.
For the land-based angler, February is also the time to be wading the flats and casting lures around Altona and Werribee for some top class flatties
February is a top month of fishing, I hope to see you out there.Reads: 1861