While September, October and November were all about the snapper in the bay, December saw a few anglers starting to change there target species.
Now that Christmas is over it really heralds the start of the summer species that come on the chew in this part of the bay.
While the snapper reports have slowed of the pier, the garfish have made a real comeback with anglers catching bucket loads of mixed-sized fish on most days. Adding to this there has been the odd whiting being taken from the right hand side of the pier and the following weeks should see the numbers get better.
In past weeks anglers have still had good snapper fishing out from Mordialloc, with many finding good success in shallower water, with the 6-9m areas producing quality fish of 4-7kg, especially late in the afternoons and into the night.
Asides from the snapper however it’s the tasty whiting that sees most of the boats keeping in close to the shoreline with the stretch of low lying reef that runs from the Horse Paddock through to the Parkdale Pinnacles producing some good bags of whiting in the 33-40cm size. Interestingly that while the pier has been quiet for squid over the past weeks some anglers are finding good success on them in and around the Parkdale Pinnacles.
Beaumaris Pier has had good number of garfish coming in on a regular basis; this should continue over the coming month with the added bonus of a pipis fished on the bottom being a good chance of finding a whiting.
Up off Ricketts point there is a real mixed bag about at this time of year and if the past few weeks are anything to go by then this month should see some great hauls of whiting, garfish and salmon as well as the appearance of some yellowtail kingfish that move in along the reef between Ricketts Point and Black Rock.
Out along the edge of the shipping lane and locations such as the Gasso, snapper are still an option for anglers that just can’t get enough. Some of the really great fishing is often during the middle of the day with live garfish, yakkas and slimy mackerel producing the best results. Best of all they are all readily available out in the bay at the moment.
Heading to Black Rock, the Cerberus will start to produce good whiting for the boat anglers, while the land-based guys can get some great fishing off the pier at Half Moon Bay at night with quality whiting on offer when you cast towards the Cerberus.
Starting out wider, this is a great time of year for the Anonyma Shoal with this reef system being a real eyebrow-raiser for the variety of species it produces. Species such as snapper during the night to quality whiting all around its perimeter, not to mention salmon, kingfish and snook, along with other oddballs like trevally and tailor.
Back in closer to the shoreline the reef system known as Yorkies will he holding good number of whiting and garfish.
Further north the Sandy breakwall and the rock groynes have been good for garfish and the odd squid. While out deeper snapper are still around in decent numbers.
As with always this area has a habit of producing surprising catches and this season was no different with one of our customers managing to catch an 18kg mulloway on a live slimy while fishing for snapper.
Moving along the shoreline to the north the stretch of coastline from Green Point, through to Brighton, Elwood and St Kilda have been producing some lovely snapper over the past weeks with those anglers fishing during the dark in anything from 4-9m of water getting the best results on solid fish in the 5-8kg bracket.
Gun snapper anglers Andrew Gannell and Eddie Zahra fished in this area and had sessions where all the fish ranged from 5-6.5kg
If we don’t get too much rain this month should also really fire on the whiting up through this area, however I personally love the really big garfish that tend to call this area home at this time of year, and by big I mean those 45cm gars that are fat as a kranski sausage and awesome eating. You can fillet and de-bone the rib cage on these big gars and then cook them like a piece of whiting.
The following weeks should also see some good fishing around the boats at Brighton Breakwall for trevally, mullet and some solid bream that move into the area. With the best method for catching them being either a light berley trail and unweighted baits or a small soft plastic fished on light jighead and leader.
Locations like the Elwood drain will still hold good snapper, however you may need to fish late at night to have good success in the shallower water.
Up at St Kilda it will really depend on what the weather does, but if the rain falls it may just keep the good snapper bite going and if it doesn’t then we should see some good whiting fishing on offer during January.
During December I was still hearing reports of snapper being taken by land-based anglers at locations such as Kerford Road and Lagoon piers, so lets hope that the coming weeks continue to see the land-based anglers getting amongst the fish with the added and tasty attraction of some whiting in their catches. Already during October and November there was also good number of Australian salmon cruising through the area.
Out wider the shipping channel has been producing some solid reds, while this month will also see some big mulloway in the same areas available to the anglers who put the time in to catch live baits and fish at night.
Another great location for this month is the patch of water that lies between station and the now torn apart Princess pier. For whatever reason, the snapper and mulloway hold up in this area, making for some great fishing at night under the city lights.
Lets hope January is a good one that keeps you all busy with bent rods and lots of fish dinners.