As winter takes hold, reports from the top end of the bay are gradually thinning out, but plenty of anglers are continuing to persist when conditions permit.
While the inshore reefs have been patchy at times, the metropolitan rivers really come into their own during the cooler months.
Silver trevally can be expected to offer good sport for land-based anglers during July. Known to school under moored boats, floating pontoons and around the base of jetty pylons, trevally often turn up in large numbers during winter and will readily take a range of baits including chicken, squid and pipis.
Many of the larger fish are also susceptible to small blades, single tail grubs and worm pattern soft plastics. The piers at Docklands and Williamstown are prime locations in the northwest of the bay.
The mouth of the Yarra River and the warm water outlet at Newport is also worth a try. Further west, silver trevally and snotty trevally are a common target along the Geelong Waterfront, while Queenscliff Harbour often turns on some of the best land-based action available in Port Phillip.
Michael Felsovary from Hooked on Bait and Tackle reports that garfish are available in good numbers just out from the pier at Altona, along with a few winter whiting. The gars have been responding well to silverfish and a fine berley mixed with tuna oil.
Large schools of Australian salmon up to 1.5kg have been patrolling the area from Altona through to Point Cook for quite a few months now. Pinkie snapper and squid have also been reasonably active on the inner reefs at Williamstown and Altona.
Flathead and squid are still available in the shallows, although they are starting to show signs of slowing down. Martyn Zammit caught half a dozen calamari and a cracking 70cm flathead during the outgoing tide at Point Cook. He also mentioned that a group of fellow anglers picked up pinkies, whiting and squid in the same area.
Andrew Gerardi bagged out on whiting to 40cm plus while fishing near the ‘Arthur the Great’ marker off Kirk Point in the lead up to winter. The best baits were pipi and squid presented either side of the high tide change.
Australian salmon continue to provide good sport for those trolling and casting lures throughout Corio Bay.
Large winter snapper are also available on fresh flesh baits and soft plastics over the outer harbour reefs. Paul Mayer sent through a text message that included a picture of a large red taken on a Berkley Turtleback Worm while drifting in 6m of water. Michael Molinaro and Mick Debono caught a trio of large snapper to 7kg while fishing out wider off Portarlington. Fresh salmon fillets and whole squid were the baits of choice. Youngster, Corey Mazzonetto, secured a feed of flathead to 36cm while fishing from the jetty at Avalon.
It’s been a mixed bag at Docklands lately with silver trevally and the odd bonus flathead and ling taken from the local piers by those targeting bream, pinkie snapper and mulloway. Various soft plastics have accounted for pinkie snapper to 2kg, while cut bluebait, sauries and prawn presented under floats have also been successful, particularly for the pole anglers along North Wharf.
Years of dedication finally paid off for Nick Vasiljevic when he cracked it for a giant metropolitan mulloway that weighed-in agonisingly close to the 20kg mark. After a consistent stint during mid-autumn, followed numerous trips without landing a jewie, Nick’s persistence was rewarded during yet another marathon all-nighter when the magnificent fish ate his live mullet. Weighing in at 18.2kg and stretching the tape out to 1.27m, it was Nick’s personal best mulloway and a fitting reward for the many hours he’s spent on the water over the past few months.
Ryan Scarborough reports that there’s plenty of bream to be had for those prospecting the Maribyrnong River. Fish to 1kg have been taken all throughout the system on a variety of baits including maggots, freshwater yabbies and even live mullet.
The Werribee River has been fishing well for bream, particularly now that the colder weather has taken hold. Fish to 1.8kg have been taken on live tube and scrub worms from the pines through to the island. Pitching small sinking stick baits and blades amongst the moorings, reed beds and old wooden structures at the mouth of the system has also been productive during the incoming tide.
More than 50 small lakes dotted throughout Victoria were stocked with rainbow trout just prior to July school holidays. Many of these waterways also contain redfin, roach, carp and eels. Sweet corn and maggots are particularly effective on all introduced species, including rainbow trout.
For those looking for a nearby venue to take the kids during the school holidays, stocked lakes are available at Lilydale, Cranbourne, Rowville, Broadmeadows, Geelong and Melton to name a few.
More information is available at www.dpi.vic.gov.au .
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