Shorter and cooler days spells some of the best fishing
  |  First Published: May 2013

It seems like only yesterday that the days felt like they were never going to end with loads of daylight and warm weather.

However it’s in the past few weeks we have seen the change of seasons with mornings much cooler and the ground often covered in a wet dew; daylight hours are shortening as we slide into autumn. Thankfully this means we are sliding back into some of the best fishing for the year in this part of the world.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

As it always does at this time of the year, Mordialloc Creek is seeing local anglers filter their fishing efforts back into the creek in search of the annual influx of mullet. The past few weeks has seen decent sized fish being taken on dough and small bits of peeled prawn, hopefully we’ll see the numbers of mullet really increase.

Now is a top time on the pier to be chasing excellent numbers of pinkie snapper of an evening with some rougher weather.

The pier and its surrounds have also been producing some good salmon and finally we have been seeing squid in some consistent numbers, which you would expect to get better in the coming months.

In the boats squid are really a great target species at the moment with greater numbers of them on all the inshore reefs from Mordialloc through to Black Rock. And while many are on the smaller side, there are enough of them around 1kg to keep it interesting. Best jigs have definitely been the Evergreen 3.0 in brown and gold and the new clear shrimp and pink head shrimp and of course the ever reliable UV white Kemura jig.

If you want to find the bigger squid its also well worth using the larger 3.5 sized jigs and fish them in deeper water.

On the pinkie front the best way to describe the fishing on them of late is CRAZY with all the shallow reefs producing loads of fish. While the majority are 27-35cm, anglers who are prepared to fish larger baits or keep moving away from the smaller pinkies there are good numbers of 40-50cm fish. This has suited the soft plastic anglers to a tee as they keep drifting around from school to school.

Sandringham To St Kilda

Pinkies continue to be the flavour of the month in this part of the bay with boat and land-based anglers getting stuck into them on pretty much a daily basis. Interestingly some of the better reports of bigger fish I have heard of are coming from the land-based anglers who are fishing just after complete darkness sets in. The fish obviously push into the very shallow water with some of the better locations proving to be the rock groynes at Hampton and the Brighton Breakwall.

If in a boat it would probably pay to get right into the shallows of an evening but remember there are kilometres of good coastline to fish so give the land-based guys a bit of space.

Out wider as the water is now really cooling off the bigger snapper will be starting to heat up again out on locations such as the edge of the shipping channel from T1 and T2 right up to the Fawkner Beacon, While the numbers of snapper may not be as crazy as they were in November, some time spent sounding to find a concentration of fish is worth it. Patiently berleying with pilchard cubes and fishing baits of pilchard and squid should see you with some quality 4-7kg fish. Personally I love this snapper fishing at this time of the year and for the next month or two as the action generally sees you with 2-5 snapper per session. And best of all with no boat pressure the reds will generally hold in the general area longer.

Back in close to the shore good reports of squid are coming from the Green Point and up to North Road, which is a great sign as by the sounds of the numbers being found we may see a great winter on the squid.

One of the real eye openers however has been the quality salmon that have been working the reef edges between Sandringham and Brighton with anglers reporting that a lot of the fish are 1-1.5kg. Fingers crossed they will stay around for another month or two.

Heading north and as the water really cools of over the coming weeks it really seems to fire up the red mullet on the inner reefs and the stretch of coastline around North Road and up to St Kilda can and does produce some crackers each season. If you fancy trying to find a few of these very tasty little fellas then fishing small soft plastics close the bottom will have you hooked up, as will a fine berley trail of mashed pilchards and baits of pilchard fillet or small squid strips.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

Depending on how much rain comes over the coming weeks will really determine how warm the water stays in the top of the bay. Either way the fishing up here can be great over the coming months for some solid winter snapper with boat anglers already finding good success on pinkies but also reds to 4kg.

The best method tends to be fishing in 8-13m of water between Kerford Road Pier and Lagoon Pier as this area tends to have good reefy bottom so it pays to fish with lightly or unweighted baits of pilchard and squid. As an added bonus to the water cooling off it also brings out the very, very tasty ling, which tend to inhabit the top of the bay more so than anywhere else. While they are by-catch there are enough of them around to keep you interested.

Land-based anglers the piers in this part of the world have been producing a few nice catches of garfish along with some squid and the occasional salmon. However the coming weeks should see good numbers pinkies invade the local areas, which makes for some top fishing off Lagoon and Station piers.

Now is also a cracker of a time to have a larger bait cast out off the piers as there is sure to be some very big mulloway cruising past these spots over the coming weeks.

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