Awesome autumn!
  |  First Published: April 2008

Autumn is here, and as the days begin to cool they bring some stable weather patterns and some top fishing. Don’t even think about putting the fishing gear away just yet – there are some quality fish on offer.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

April sees some of the best fishing of the year. There has been good land-based fishing for garfish from the Mordialloc Pier for anglers fishing at night, plus good numbers of squid on the first half of the Pier over the broken ground. For best success on the squid, keep the jigs small. The 1.8g Yamashitas is a top pattern.

Over the coming weeks it’s worth also putting some effort into fishing the Mordialloc Creek, as the mullet will begin to fire up. They are best caught with small floats and baits of dough.

Heading towards Beaumaris, the Parkdale Pinnacles have been producing whiting. Although they are not there in huge numbers, they are around. While you fish the shallow reef area there are plenty of gars and squid on offer as well.

Up around the mussel farms I heave heard of lure fishers taking small snapper as well as a few snotty trevalla, or warehou as they are known. The Beaumaris Pier itself is producing squid. If you are heading down there it often pays to take two rods, one with just the jig on it to cast around, and the other one with a jig suspended beneath a float. This can be left to bob around while you cast the other jig – some days it catches the majority of the squid.

Along Ricketts Point and down towards Black Rock there are still a few whiting. They tend to move around a bit though, so it’s worthwhile speaking to Wayne at Southern Sportsfishing to get up to date info on where to fish.

As well as the whiting, small pinkie snapper have begun to move back onto the reefs, and the following weeks should see some better-sized ones being caught.

While drifting and casting lures through this area, it also pays to have a squid jig out, as there are good numbers of squid on offer at present.

A troll through the area will also see pike on the chew. During April I have always found great success trolling in 10m of water directly out from the southern most point of the reef.

Sandringham To Port Melbourne

The Anonyma Shoal out from Sandringham has good numbers of garfish and snook on it at this time of year. Many anglers have great success with the XOS snook by slowly trolling garfish on ganged hooks around this reef system.

Down through the rock groynes at Hampton, and the area known as The Gully, April will see some top class fishing for pinkie snapper, as well as the odd bigger fish. This area has produced many of my better bags of pinkies over the years, especially after a bit of a southwest wind. The rock groynes and Brighton Pier offer the land-based angler the ability to fish from shore in an area that is as good as those that can be accessed from a boat. In fact, many boats sit so close to the shore they may as well have left the boat at home and just fished from shore.

The past month has also seen good numbers of garfish through the Sandringham, Green Point and Brighton areas, and April will see the pinkies move onto the reefs to provide some top evening fishing.

Around St Kilda, fishing in and around the moored boats,you can find yourself getting tied in knots by the odd trevally and some top class bream. They will start to move into the area as the water cools

Elwood Drain and the shallows around St Kilda Breakwall will also start to produce mullet, and this signals the start of some late nights as anglers begin to chase one of my favourite species – the elusive mulloway.

Kerford Road and Lagoon Pier should have garfish on offer, as well as some small squid. Now is a top time to get some small live mullet or a fresh squid and fish it off Lagoon Pier at night. You could find yourself hooked up to a big mulloway.

For anglers fishing in boats on the shallow cunjevoi beds that abound out in front of Kerford Road Pier and down towards Princess Pier, April will produce snapper ranging from pinkies to big fish. Just like the land-based fishos, you should always try and have a live bait out, as the mulloway cruise through this area in surprising numbers.

Yarra And MaribYrnong

The Warmies at Newport Power Station is producing bream at present, and in April it is also a top place to find live bait such as tailor and mullet.

Great bream are being taken in the Maribyrnong River by anglers fishing with baits of peeled prawn, and pod worms when they can get them. Lure fishers are also having good success working small lures such as the tiny River2Sea Baby Vibe around the bridge pylons.

In the Yarra, April is my favourite time of year. There are some top bream on offer for both lure and bait fishers. As the water cools you can enjoy some top fishing on warm days, because the bream sit high in the water column chewing food off the poles.

Besides the bream, the thing that really gets my heart rate going is the influx of mulloway into the river. With them come a secretive bunch of anglers, who forego a lot of sleep to sit for long hours working out the mysterious feeding habits of these big fish. Their results are worth it though, with numbers of big fish caught and many more lost.

While mulloway can be found everywhere in the river, if you are keen to try and find one then areas to look are around the Bolte Bridge and up towards Docklands, as well as back down under the Westgate Bridge.

Williamstown To Werribee

There are still some good snapper being taken out in the deeper areas such as P2, although the key to catching them with consistency is to fish with fresh baits such as squid and garfish at first and last light.

Back closer to shore, the footy oval at Williamstown is producing pinkies and a few squid, as well as garfish. Heading down towards Werribee there are good whiting to be found, although it may take a few moves to find them.

In the Werribee River there are good bream beginning to come on the chew, with anglers doing well on baits of peeled prawn, Bass yabbies and soft shell. The coming months should only see the fishing get even better here.

So there you have it. There’s plenty going on – the only thing you need to do now is to remember to take a jumper with you.

top end of Port Phillip Bay.

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