Autumn magic on its way
  |  First Published: March 2012

What an up and down summer it has been.

Heavy rain showers really caused some havoc in mid-summer with dirty water and even some fish kills in the Beaumaris Bay area. The worst of it is definitely over and with this month generally seeing the bay temperature slowly creep back a degree or to it once again the fishing is going from strength to strength.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

The pier has continued to fish well nearly every day of late for garfish, with some really great specimens being taken late in the afternoon and into the night, while slightly larger baits are being taken by pinkie snapper to 1kg. The best bit of news over the past weeks has been the return of some squid with some evenings seeing anglers catching good numbers of them on the right hand side of the pier where there is abundant reef for them to hunt and hide in.

Further along and out in the boats anglers have been having a ball catching heaps of pinkies over the reefs and while most are on the smaller side with 25-35cm being the average they are offering plenty of fun on soft plastic lures.

Among the pinkies there are also squid to be found over the Parkdale pinnacles and up around the Beaumaris Pier, while a soft plastic bounced slowly around the mussel farms has been finding the odd decent flathead.

Out wider this month should see anglers getting back on the snapper which will really begin to fire over the coming weeks as the bay temperature drops back to a range that the reds love to feed in. Try fishing in those areas such as the Gasso, Mordialloc Hump and the edge of the shipping channel heading up towards the Fawkner Beacon.

Up off Ricketts Point and along to Black Rock there has been some excellent schools of Australian salmon kicking around with anglers getting stuck into numbers of fish between 1-2kg. Among them have also been some rat kingfish, and while more have been seen than caught its great to know they are around.

Fishing the reef edge along this area has seen the occasional whiting and good numbers of pinkies for those looking for a feed and some fun.

Sandringham To St Kilda

There has been some decent schools of whiting kicking around the reef system known as Yorkies over the past weeks with boats consistently fishing this patch of rough ground and producing bags of whiting in the 32-38cm size. One angler also reported that he has been getting plenty of squid in the same area.

Out wider the Anonyma Shoal has started to fire for some solid snook with garfish on gang hooks or small diving minnow pattern lures proving effective either early morning or late afternoon.

At the end of Sandringham breakwall or on the rock groynes at Hampton from now on is a top time to be getting fired up for the pinkies. They have been fishing well for anglers land-based and in the boats with the area known as the Gully being a favoured haunt for the boat angler.

Best of all at this time of year you can catch plenty of smaller pinkies but also find yourself in a battle with some far bigger reds that move through these areas over the coming weeks.

Further to the north the Brighton area has been holding some pinkies, squid and garfish for land-based and boat anglers. For what ever reason however the land-based fishing off the breakwall has been a bit sporadic on the pinkies, but this should really start to improve over the coming month as they invade the reef area out the front of the breakwall.

Out in the deeper water I have heard anglers getting into the odd snapper around the Fawkner Beacon and on the western side of the shipping lane, however the real prize that is keeping anglers busy out in the deeper water has been the loads of monster garfish that with fish of 45-50cm not uncommon. And best of all it’s a simple matter of fishing a small bait under a quill float while you have the snapper rods out.

Back inshore the area from Greens Road ramp through to St Kilda Marina has been producing some lovely flathead for those anglers willing to poke along the shallows casting small soft plastics in into any of the likely looking sand holes among the reef.

On the whiting front however reports seem to be fairly slim through this area which you would think may have been as a result of all the rain we were getting, which in turn kept this part of the bay dirty for a good part of summer.

Lets hope however that with the onset of autumn we might see a good late run of whiting through this area.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

Fishing from the St Kilda breakwall has been producing the odd flathead and pinkie snapper later in the evening while anglers fishing along any of the land based structures such as Lagoon or Kerford Road piers have been finding the odd small salmon and some decent numbers of mullet as they begin to move back up into the Yarra River, which will also signal the run of mulloway that will follow them.

Over the coming months is also the time to be fishing in the boats in 6-12m of water all along the St Kilda to Port Melbourne area, as the heavy cunjevoi bottom fishes very well for some quality late season snapper, the odd mulloway and the very tasty ling, which tend to fire up as the bay temperature cools down.

I can’t believe summer has gone – however there is no doubt in my mind that autumn can produce some of the best fishing of the year so get out on the water.

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