Warmer than average water keeps fishing on the boil
  |  First Published: May 2013

While a record breaking run of hot Melbourne weather has come to end, the early autumn spike in water temperature is bound to produce some terrific fishing this month during lead up to winter.


Australian salmon have been on the chew recently with big schools spotted busting up bait between Millers Road and Altona Pier. Some of these fish are upwards of 1.5kg and with the amount of baitfish in the area they’re only going to get bigger! Casting soft plastics and trolling diving minnows has been productive, particularly when the sambos have been spotted actively hunting and feeding up on the surface. As always, keep an eye out for bird activity and try to approach quietly to avoid sending the down prematurely.

Some large snook and the odd small to medium sized snapper are also on offer for those using similar techniques. While the resident winter run of pinkies are yet to show up on the inner reefs in any great numbers, they shouldn’t be far away.


Fab Peda says the gummy sharks have been a little patchy across western reefs of late, although the action is expected to pick up over the coming month. Chasing some fresh bait, Fab and Gene Gilham quickly put together a respectable bag of squid. Blue pilchard pattern jigs produced the most consistent results in the shallows at Point Cook on this occasion.

King George whiting have been active off Werribee South, but you do have to fish out a little wider than usual to find them in numbers. Michael Felsovary from Hooked on Bait and Tackle says due to the extended warm spell in early autumn, the whiting have been holding in around 6-7m of water, rather than that usual 3-4m line. Pipi has been out-fishing mussel of late with some chunky 36-39cm specimens coming thick and fast at times.

The terrific run of flathead continues to prosper in the warmer than usual conditions with fish to 50cm a common catch in this area. According to Mick, a few absolute crackers to a staggering 73cm have been taken in the shallows at Campbell’s Cove. Paddle tail soft plastics have proved effective on the larger fish, while drifting pilchard strips and chunks of blue bait generally accounts for plenty of good eating size flatties.

Further west, Aaron Dillon and Ryan McSeveny headed across to Portarlington in search of late season snapper. Making his first cast with a soft plastic just prior to sun rise, Ryan hooked a monster before the jig-head even made it to the bottom. Following a tense, but exciting battle on relatively light gear, a strapping snapper measuring up at 83cm and approximately 8kg was lying on the deck of Aaron’s humble tinnie.

After some hooting and hollering, the boys were back on the job, casting their Gulp Jerk Shads rigged on 3/8oz jig-heads along the shipping channel in 10-15m of water. No less than twenty minutes had passed when Ryan connected with an even larger specimen of 87cm and 9kg. While the rest of the morning proved uneventful, it was no doubt a session the boys will never forget.


Fishing the lower reaches of the Yarra River, Brad Hodges managed some quality bream on diving minnows cast up against the rock walls at the top of the tide. Moving out into the bay, bream holding hard up against the jetty pylons at Port Melbourne and Williamstown were also willing to chase down a lure. Those prospecting this area over the coming month can expect to cross paths with a few pinkie snapper and perhaps even the odd mulloway.


Frank Benvenuto says the Maribyrnong River bream have been active up at Edgewater with fish to 34cm taken on live freshwater yabbies and peeled prawn. Frank fished for a few hours in the evening over consecutive days and managed up to a dozen bream on each occasion. While many were on the small side, a couple of larger fish actually broke his line.


A flush of fresh water from the recent storm activity kicked the resident bream into gear with some solid fish up around 35cm taken from the mouth of the system at Werribee South. Live tube worms and Bass yabbies are the go while small diving minnows are also productive at times. The odd flathead can still be found in the shallows opposite the beach and along the edges of the boating channel, particularly during the run out tide.


If you would like to see your name and/or photograph published, please forward reports and images to --e-mail address hidden-- . You’re certainly not obliged to give away your secret spot, but a please include a general description of when, where, the technique and bait used, and who caught the fish.

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