Persistent south-easterlies have again made it tough going across the western shores of Port Phillip, but they should have well and truly subsided by April.
After a hot dry summer and a similar start to autumn, it’s also time we had some consistent rain (rather than massive tropical downpours) to liven up the local rivers and nearby inshore reefs. A flush of fresh water provides food and shelter for the baitfish, which in turn attracts the larger predators into the shallows.
Hoping for a late season snapper or two, Mick Allen fished off Altona where the flathead were biting in good numbers. Mick says they took everything from pilchard, pipis and squid though most were quite small. Other than a few undersize pinkies, unfortunately the snapper failed to show up on this occasion.
Over the coming month, the resident pinkie snapper should start to show up in greater numbers on the inshore reefs. Casting worm and baitfish imitation soft plastics on the drift are a sure bet at dawn and dusk, while those who prefer to fish at anchor will also be in the mix with baits of fresh squid and cut pilchards likely to attract some attention.
Daniel Mizzi continued his good form on the Werribee South gummy sharks last month with a few more impressive specimens taken on fresh slimy mackerel.
Fishing from the beach at Campbells Cove, Jeff Antonio managed a small, but legal size, gummy shark, which was his second in as many trips. A liberal supply of berley, including mashed up pilchard, fish pellets and tuna oil seemed brought about some action. Jeff says the bite came just prior to high tide at first light before the banjo sharks moved in.
Fishing alongside Brad Hodges, Blair Edwards snared an impressive late season snapper estimated at around the 5kg mark casting soft plastics ahead of their drift. Blair’s rig consisted of Berkley 6lb Nanofil connected to a rod length of 10lb Trilene fluorocarbon leader material and a 1/8oz Nitro Stealth jig-head. The boys also managed a nice feed of both rock and blue spot flathead in the shallows of Corio Bay’s outer harbour. While the ever-reliable Gulp Turtle Back Worm proved effective for Blair, Brad managed to tempt a few on a Sebile Spin Shad. Together they managed more than a dozen keepers, all of which were taken during the run-off tide between Clifton Springs and Point Henry.
Steve Wheeler and Dan Mackrell rocketed up the Vic Bream Classic leader board with an impressive final day to snatch the first event for 2013 held in Melbourne. Sitting in 8th position overnight, the boys from Team Major Craft / Cranka put together a cracking day two bag of 4.69 kg - easily the best for the tournament.
According to Steve, the shallow reefs dotted around the top end of the bay either side of Williamstown were holding some nice bream. Casting shallow running bibbed minnows, including Cranka Cranks and Mega Bass X55s, around the mussel encrusted rocks resulted in some early success bringing five fish to the net within the first two hours. Speaking with Tournament Director, Bill Hartshorne, on the main stage at Docklands, Steve said he fished with 8lb braid and 4lb fluorocarbon leader while incorporating a twitch and pause retrieve. He also indicated the bream were quite touchy with their subtle plucky enquiries almost resembling a small salmon before the rod would load up and line began peeling from the reel.
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