It seems like it was the lead up to summer just yesterday and now we are already on the wind down into autumn, but the fish are obviously loving it.
The biggest pain in the casting arm however has been the crazy weather we have been dealing with – constant wind that blows from a different direction every day and temperatures that vary from a fan forced oven to a fridge.
Either way lets hope that as we slide into this month the weather gods will let everyone out on the water to get among some great fishing opportunities.
The pier has as usual been fishing well for garfish over the past weeks with late afternoon and into the evening. Some decent catches of whiting have come from the rough ground on north side of the pier. The best method for the whiting has been a paternoster rig with two droppers, one with pipi and one with squid.
Fishing off the end of the pier has also seen plenty of pinkies to 40cm being taken on baits of squid strip and pilchard tails.
In the boats anglers are getting good numbers of pinkies along the reef edges, with lots of fish in the 30-35cm size which are mostly begin taken by anglers fishing for whiting. Whiting have been a bit hot and cold to say the least with some days good numbers of fish have been taken off locations such as the Horse Paddock Reef, Parkdale Pinnacles and Brickies Reef, and then the next not a fish to be seen, For the persistent anglers however with a bit of effort you should be able to get 6-12 whiting on most days, with the best baits being mussel and fresh squid.
Up between Ricketts Point and Black Rock there are plenty of options on offer, with good numbers of pinkies to 40cm, the odd whiting and some decent salmon kicking around. With this in mind it may pay to take a few different outfits along when you head out.
As an added bonus and as you would expect there has been a few sneaky reports of yellowtail kingfish being hooked and seen over the past weeks, so its well and truly the time to make sure you have a live bait out under a float while fishing for pinkies and whiting, and if casting at a school of salmon then try throwing a bigger plastic or a Jet Popper through the school, as the kings will be lurking nearby.
Out wide there has still been the odd snapper report from locations such as the Gasso and even wider, and while the majority of the fish being caught are in the 1-2.5kg size there are a mix of better 3-5kg fish to be found if you go looking for them. The coming weeks should see this area really start to fire up again.
The reef that extends out under the cliffs at the Red Bluff Hotel known as Yorkies has produced some decent whiting catches on dawn and dusk over the past weeks, along with some decent numbers of squid, which should continue and even get better over the coming weeks. While further along off the Sandringham Breakwall and the rock groynes off Hampton anglers have been having success on pinkies, whiting and flathead while fishing with small paternoster rigs baited with pipi and squid. This has been especially so on the hot calm nights.
Along the shoreline at Green Point its garfish time with this big shallow rock and reef area being the prime area to chase garfish at this time of the year. If your in a boat then just anchor on the reef edge and if land-based just wade out to knee deep water then berley up, have shoulder bag with a few spare bits of tackle and you can have a ball catching a sack of big garfish.
At Brighton there have been good numbers of whiting and pinkies for the boat anglers who are prepared to move around to locate the schools of fish. However the real target over the past weeks has been the excellent numbers of Australian salmon that have been moving between here and the North Road area. With a lot of them in the 500g-1kg size they are making for loads of fun on a variety of methods. I would also put my money on it that it will also be a prime place to find a yellowtail kingfish over the coming weeks.
Between North Road and St Kilda Breakwall I havn’t heard a lot of reports over the past weeks but one thing that I do know personally is that during February, March and April the shallow reefs here produce some huge garfish for the anglers who berley up in the warm water.
The main focus over the pat month has seen anglers applying their efforts to the decent numbers of salmon that have been lurking around. Keep an eye out for the birds diving onto the bait that the salmon are pushing up, then it’s a simple matter of casting small plastics and metal lures in the feeding fish.
I have also heard some good reports from both boat and kayak anglers, who have been just trolling small diving minnows around in the 6-10m areas till they locate the fish, which are often sitting and feeding just a few metres below the surface.
As an added bonus over the past few weeks there has been fairly good numbers of small kingfish working their way along the coastline from Point Cook to up as far as Williamstown. So lets hope that with the good numbers of garfish that are moving through this area it will drag the kingfish along this stretch of coastline, which will see them in reach of land based anglers at locations such as Station pier and of course plenty of other areas for the boat anglers.Reads: 543