Pre-season jitters
  |  First Published: September 2008

Some days it’s hard to know if it’s the cold conditions or the fact that snapper season is just around the corner that gives you those shivers up your spine. Either way it seems we are following the path of a genuine winter.

In fact I can’t remember the last time I saw frosts in Melbourne like some of those we have experienced in the past weeks. What’s more it seems all is on track for a bumper season on the fishing front. If you’re a thinking angler you’ll get you out on the water to load up on the abundant snapper bait that is on offer at present.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

At Mordialloc Pier local anglers are pulling in garfish hand over fist, ranging in size from tiddlers to thumpers. Time of day seems irrelevant, although I have heard that bigger gars are being taken in the dark.

I have ventured down to the Pier a few times to load up on snapper bait and with two of us fishing we have had little trouble nailing 30-40 gars in a session.

The key is to use a good quality fine oily berley and nice delicate floats that are properly weighted to detect the bites. As for bait, silverfish are probably the pick, followed by peeled prawn and dough.

Boats anglers fishing the Parkdale Pinnacles have also been getting as many gars as they need.

Up in Beaumaris Bay the birds are becoming as fat as pigs as they gorge themselves on the abundant whitebait. Under them are some very good pinkies for anglers in boats who can follow the bait.

Land-based anglers fishing from Beaumaris Pier have been smashing the gars with plenty of better-sized ones amongst them. The squid aren’t thick at present, but it’s still well worth throwing a jig around – and they should get better over the coming weeks.

The upcoming weeks will be the time to fish bigger baits off the end of the Pier as the big snapper move into the Bay and around the mussel farm.

Off Ricketts Point and along the edge of the reef towards Black Rock there has been good pinkie fishing. My good mate Nick Hannon got a great fish of 3kg and dropped another at the boat of over 4kg, so fingers crossed the following weeks will see some numbers of much bigger snapper move in on the pinkie grounds.

Sandringham to Port Melbourne

The rock groynes have seen plenty of action when northerly winds have allowed land-based anglers to fish there in comfort and catch pinkie snapper to 40cm. Meanwhile boat anglers are having some really good sessions when the conditions are rough, fishing the shallow waters of the gully.

Down at Green Point and towards North Road the shallow reefs have heaps of garfish on them as well as the occasional bag of whiting for anglers prepared to move around.

Out deep several anglers are sounding up schools of snapper already.

Down towards St Kilda it appears there has already been a bit of a run of reds, with several anglers catching big fat and very shiny new season snapper between 3-5kg.

Fishing the shallow reefs around known locations such as the Magpie Mark is producing small pinkies and plenty of garfish.

Kerford Road, Lagoon and Station piers are all fishing well at present. The northerly winds really help carry your berley a long way, which brings the gars from everywhere.

Yarra And MaribyRnong

There have been several good mulloway reports over the past six weeks, with fish being taken on lures by bream anglers up in the Punt Road area of the river.

The Yarra has been producing good numbers of smaller bream while the Maribyrnong is producing some better fish around Caulfield, especially for anglers fishing with fresh bait.

At the Warmies at the Newport Power Station, the tailor are carving up both baitfish and angler’s rigs. There are some really good fish amongst them, with plenty of around 1kg being caught along with some of over 2kg. Try casting small hardbodied minnow lures such as a Rapala X-Rap 10 in the shallow running model. If bait fishing, try casting unweighted bluebait or pilchards on ganged hooks, allowing them to drift with the current.

Williamstown to Werribee

Over on this side of the Bay there are plenty of juvenile squid on offer over the weed and hard reef areas, while the pinkies keep rods bent and anglers smiling.

In around the moorings at Williamstown there are trevally to be found for lure fishers casting plastics at the hulls of moored boats. You should also find a few nice bream.

The Footy Oval and Rifle Range are producing pinkies. While there are fish all through the reef area the bigger class of fish seems to be found in really shallow water where the reef can be extremely hard on bait anglers but perfect for lure anglers.

Up around Werribee the whiting are making their presence felt. Best catches have generally come in the afternoons with the best fishing being two hours before dark.

The real standout in the area over the past weeks has been the Werribee River. Some sensational big fat black bream are being taken by both lure and bait anglers. It is great to see many anglers releasing the big bream they catch in this river, realising it’s a small waterway that needs looking after

Finally Fishing Fever is open, and we are pumped and primed for the upcoming season. Pop in for any tackle you may be looking for, or even just a bit of info. If you can’t make it to the shop, feel free to email me at --e-mail address hidden--

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