I can’t believe that the holidays are now over and it’s back to the real world of work.
The fishing is better than ever and if January was anything to go by then we should probably fasten our seatbelts as February might just see us explode with some great fishing prospects.
The pier has as always had its fair share of fish coming in from it and with the warmer weather we are now seeing some decent catches of whiting being taken from the pier of an evening and into the night, especially on those nice calm warm evenings. Best results have come to those anglers who have been fishing with baits of pipi and fresh mussel. Asides from the whiting however there have been garfish and salmon on offer as well with some nice salmon to over 1.5kg making fast raids past the pier in search of the abundant whitebait in the area.
Out a bit further the whiting have been more consistent than they have been for a few years with plenty of the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron members getting in to the whiting in locations such as the stretch of reef that runs from the Horsepaddock in Mordialloc, through to the Parkdale Pinnacles and then up the mussel farm, with one of the most productive areas being the small lump of reef known as Brickies.
Best results have come to those anglers who are prepared to be on the water at dawn and dusk, then make a few moves to find and keep on the fish, with best results coming on mussel meat and strip of squid.
Up at Ricketts Point the pinkies are around in numbers, which can be a good thing but it does get frustrating when you are chasing the whiting as they will push in on the berley and push the whiting out of the area.
As an upside however through late January there was a few reports of kingfish in the area and with plenty of garfish and slimy mackerel around it is now the perfect time to have a serious shot at these fish with live bait suspended under a float. As another option a great way to find the kings is to use either a popper or surface stickbait and cast them over the reefs at dawn and dusk. The very best of these lures are definitely the Williamson Jet Popper in the 110mm size and the Rapala Xrap Walk in the 130mm size. With either of these lures I can confidently say that if there is a kingfish around they will almost definitely smash these lures.
Out wider there has still been a few snapper being caught however for the most part they have been smaller fish with the majority of anglers finding 1-2kg fish out at locations such as the Gasso.
Just past Black Rock and through to the Sandringham breakwall there has been great numbers of whiting on offer over the reef known as Yorkies and as an added bonus I have also heard of decent numbers of squid in the same area. If you are land-based then the past few weeks have also seen some decent catches of whiting during the night for anglers casting baits out of the front of the car park or off the pier at Half Moon Bay where a long cast towards the Cerberus will see your bait sitting in a deep hole that the whiting flood into during darkness.
Moving further along the Groynes at Hampton and Sandringham breakwall have seen some good hauls of garfish and a few squid for the land-based anglers, while in the boats anglers are well and truly on the hunt for the whiting that are moving through the area. The most consistent locations I have heard of so far have been the Anonyma Shoal and along the reef edge at Green Point with some of the better catches coming from these areas during the afternoons.
If you are in these areas its also important have a spin rod ready as the salmon are making a presence felt with decent numbers of them to be found on the right days as they feed heavily on baitfish. As an added bonus with the salmon you can either cast small metal lures and plastics to the feeding fish or get a heavier setup ready and cast either a larger popper or stickbait or even a big unweighted plastic such as a 9” Slapstick. These lures will either get you a really big salmon or find yourself hooked up to a solid kingfish, which are often lurking around and below the salmon.
Brighton to North Road has plenty on offer at present with the cleaner water making this area a veritable aquarium of whiting, pinkies, snook and red mullet. It’s also through this area that you start to find some very big snook at this time of the year. With a lot of the really big ones being taken on live garfish suspended under a float or dead ones trolled on gang hooks.
Between North Road ramp and St Kilda Marina I have been hearing some great reports of big flathead being taken over the past two weeks with several anglers reporting that they have been finding some crackers of over 65cm with shallow running hardbodied lures such as the Rapala XRap 10 shallow runners in pink and parrot or larger plastics such as the Guzzlers 3” Bass Grub producing some good fish
With the warm water of summer and not too much rain this top end of the bay is in for a big one this month with god numbers of whiting on offer for both boat and land based anglers.
Off St Kilda Pier itself there has been good numbers of flathead along with some smaller salmon and garfish, while one angler told me of good success at night by berleying to bring in some decent whiting in the dark with fish to 38cm on baits of pipi.
In the boats moving around over the reef and weed areas has seen some good whiting to be found and fingers crossed this should only get better over the coming weeks.
While its busy time on the water its also been well worth keeping your eyes peeled for the schools of salmon that are in the area, especially when there is a bit of a chop on the water from the south as it pushes the baitfish in close to shore making easy meals for the salmon.
In the deeper water some anglers are still chasing the snapper along the edge of the shipping channel with varied success, but now its also well worth putting a live bait down in deeper water as there are plenty of sharks and mulloway in this part of the world over the coming month.
Off Station Pier it’s great time to be putting a bait in the water as anything can happen at this time of the year with your next fish being a small flathead or a huge snapper or mulloway, either way it’s a top time to be out enjoying the warm weather.Reads: 1017