The mad rush on the snapper front has gradually tapered off, but there are still some quality reds around for those yet to get their fill.
While it has been a little slow west of the Yarra River, the eastern flank of Port Phillip continued to fire well in to the New Year.
As February rolls around, King George whiting should continue to gather in numbers on the inner western sand flats. Being a lure enthusiast, I haven’t spent a great deal of time specifically chasing whiting of late, but we have picked up a few on small worm pattern soft plastics. Shallow patches of sand and weed from Point Cook to Werribee South and Point Wilson to Avalon house some prime whiting ground. By far the best bait options include fresh mussel, pipi and small pieces of tenderised squid.
Big schools of Australian salmon have been patrolling the outer Corio Bay harbour and as long as the bait fish remain in the area, similar action can be expected this month. Some monstrous snook and plenty of flathead are also likely in this area.
Fab Peda says snapper to 4.5kg have been taken on silver whiting from the 16m line directly out from the ramp at Altona. Prospecting the Williamstown inner reefs after a strong onshore blow also produced some quality reds.
Mark Moseley emailed a photograph of his first ever decent-sized snapper which came about after 12 months of persistence! The fish was taken out past Altona near the T7 marker buoy on a pilchard rigged on a 5/0 hook and a small running sinker.
Colin Kneebone spent a morning searching for snapper and whiting at Avalon in his mates tinny. Though the snapper failed to show up on this occasion, the boys did manage some terrific whiting in just 2-3m of water near Point Lillias. A few good eating size flathead rounded out a nice feed.
Soft plastics, including Gulp Crazy Legs Jerk Shads, produced pinkie snapper and some lengthy snook for Aaron Hassett and I while prospecting the outer harbour spoil grounds.
Launching from Werribee South, Joe Bonnici and his wife, Vicky, spent a couple of hours fishing for squid over at Port Arlington. Although the squid were a little patchy, between them they managed to land more than enough for dinner.
Pinkie snapper have been congregating amongst the moored yachts and even mixing with schools of bream at the entrance to the Yarra River.
Launching from the Warmies Boat Ramp at Newport, competitors are permitted to fish the Yarra, Maribyrnong, Werribee and Patterson Rivers, or anywhere in between. Over the past three years, three different systems have produced the winning bag in the Bream Classic held at Docklands. Back in 2010, all the action took place in the lower Yarra where small hardbodied minnows cast up against the rock walls accounted for a 5.06 kg bag for Steve Emerson and Mark Hayes of Team Hot Rods. A year later, Brian Pelle and Mark Geddes, also known as The Old Boys, headed the field tweaking small diving minnows and lightly weighted soft plastics up at Edgewater on the Maribyrnong River. Last year, Brad and Mike Hodges from Team Berkley, put themselves in front with some cracking Werribee River bream. Perhaps the Patterson River will produce the goods this time around.
In other reports, worm pattern soft plastics rigged on light jig-heads proved effective on the pinkie snapper at the mouth of the Yarra River. Further upstream, bream have been responding well to diving minnows worked close to the rock walls all the way up to the West Gate Bridge. Those fishing with smaller flesh baits, mussel and tube worm have been picking up bream from the pontoons and jetties dotted along this section of river. A few pinkies, bream and juvenile Australian salmon have also been showing up at Docklands.
The Maribyrnong River has been fishing well with bream to 40cm available on fresh mussel. A number of juvenile mulloway have also been caught and released on both live and cut yellow-eye mullet, particularly in the lower to middle reaches in the lead up to a full moon.
The Werribee River has been consistent with bream either side of a 1kg taken on live baits. Dale Letoille managed seven quality fish to 38cm on Bass yabbies and sand worms in the two hours before dark on a run out tide.
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