Melbourne Winter morphs into spring
  |  First Published: September 2011

Melbourne has certainly lived up to its reputation of being, wet, windy and bone chilling cold. But spring is now here, and I am sure everyone will get motivated to get on the water in search of some thawed out fish.

Let’s hope we are in for a bumper of a fishing season.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

Mordialloc Pier continues to let winter weather slow it down, with recent weeks seeing anglers catching some lovely garfish off the pier, with both the numbers and the sizes of them keeping anglers well and truly entertained.

Unfortunately the great garfish action has also brought out the small minority of anglers who think it is their right to go well over their bag limit and keep as many fish as they can catch. If you see anglers doing the wrong thing please report it.

Other great action on the pier has come in the form of some decent pinkie fishing later in the afternoons with plenty of fish in the 25-35cm size being caught when it has been rough.

With the onset of September its also the time for anglers to really get serious, as some larger early season snapper will start to be caught from this pier. My tip over the coming weeks is that if its wet and windy, which it often is in September, get to the pier and cast large baits out off the end for a big snapper.

Maybe its due to the seemingly endless freshwater that keeps flowing from the Mordialloc Creek or other factors, but either way the squid fishing has been slow off the pier and the surrounding reefs up in Beaumaris Bay, but let’s hope that over the coming weeks the bay will warm and we might see the squid really fire up in preparation for the snapper season.

Beaumaris Bay has been fishing well for pinkies but the following weeks should see some solid fish start to turn up off Parkdale Pinnacles in 4-7m of water, and out off Ricketts Point in 6-9m.

Beaumaris Pier has also been fishing well over the past weeks with the big garfish keeping anglers well and truly entertained, which is lucky as the squid action hasn’t been great, but fingers crossed this should all change in the upcoming weeks.

From Ricketts Point to Black Rock the action is the same with most anglers finding good success on the pinkies with both baits and soft plastics doing the damage, although most of the better-sized pinkies I have heard of have been on soft plastics rather than bait.

Sandringham To St Kilda

Land-based angling all along this part of the bay has been steady over the past weeks, however the strong northerly winds that have been prevalent make it difficult to fish some areas. Asides from a bit of wind however the groynes at Hampton and the area known as the gully have been fishing very well for garfish and the squid in this area have been a little more consistent than up in Beaumaris Bay.

Out deeper, the edge of the shipping lane should start to hold the first of the new season snapper with the best results coming to those anglers fishing the dawn and dusk tide changes, combined with fresh bait and plenty of berley.

Brighton Breakwall has held pinkies over the past weeks as has the shallow reefs that surround the area for boat anglers. And again like Mordialloc Pier, its well worth fishing in the strong southwest winds with larger baits, as now is the time the larger reds will start to make an appearance.

For the boat anglers that want to stay close to shore, the reef that lies in the 4-8m area from Sandringham to Brighton will also be a top place to be looking for that first red of the year.

Further north the shallow reef off Green Point has been a top location to find garfish for land-based and boat anglers. While further north I have heard of the odd whiting still being taken from around the North Road area, and while they aren’t an every day capture they are still about.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

Not a huge amount of reports form this area over the past weeks, but this should really start to change as September rolls by. In the meantime however, trevally seem to be making their presence felt around St Kilda breakwall and pier with anglers finding best success by having a good berley trail and fishing with unweighted baits of peeled prawn or pilchard fillet.

Further along the shoreline, Kerford Road and Lagoon piers have been holding a mixed bag with the odd salmon, mullet and trevally along with decent numbers of garfish. This is no doubt helped by any northerly wind, which in these parts blows offshore which in turn helps to carry the berley further.

Station Pier has also been a secret jewel of late with some big trevally and bream being taken around the pylons. Along with them there has also been some reports of big mulloway lurking around the lights at night, which are no doubt hunting the mullet and garfish that are also in the area.

If we don’t get too much rain over the following weeks there should also be some salmon beginning to kick around the area.

Finally with good numbers of garfish on offer all over the place at present now is the time to get out on the water and do some bait gathering for the upcoming snapper season as they often seem to disappear when the first influx of reds move into the bay.

For now however its time to re-spool the reels, make leaders and service the boat ‘cause snapper season is once again almost on us.

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