Cooler weather and shorter days certainly haven’t slowed the fishing with some of the best late autumn fishing for some time.
While there are several species on offer at present, it’s the return of the calamari that has got tongues wagging
In the creek it’s well into the swing of the winter mullet run with anglers having some great success on big yellow eye mullet and the odd trevally, while fishing early in the morning with baits of dough, peeled prawn pieces and some even finding good success on the Gulp dough in Chunky Cheese flavour.
On the pier the pinkies are going well of an evening, and while a lot of them are in the just legal size there has been enough fish in the 35-45cm size to keep it a bit interesting.
In the boats anglers are having a ball fishing the hard reef areas from Mordialloc all the way along to the mussel farms and up off Ricketts Point, with loads of pinkies on offer up to 2kg.
As an added bonus however it’s the abundant squid that has put a smile on anglers faces with big numbers of calamari in the same areas allowing anglers to get a feed of calamari, or just stock up on bait for the upcoming snapper season.
While most of the squid are smaller in this area, it still pays to have a larger jig in the water as there are still some nice ones up to 1kg lurking around. If you are land-based then it’s also worth heading to Beaumaris Pier where the black ink stains say it all, that there are plenty of squid to be found.
Off Ricketts Point and further north to Black Rock the pinkies are fishing very well with bait and lure anglers doing extremely well on pinkies that range from tiny to a couple of kilos in weight. As an added tip that may help you find a bigger fish several customers have mentioned that larger baits such as squid strip and whole pilchard have produced larger pinkies, while lure anglers fishing with 5” lures and larger are having the same success. One customer has been doing exceptionally well by trolling the Rapala X-rap 10 magnum lures along the reef edge in 4-10m of water.
Back on the squid scene if you are land-based then the stone wall walking path that is on the north side of the marine park from Fourth St to Half Moon Bay boat ramp has plenty of squid on offer for land-based anglers, especially on a high tide in the evening.
While the whiting have slowed over the past month, the inner reefs throughout the area have really fired up with pinkies that invade the reefs at dawn and dusk. Best of all it allows land-based anglers to get stuck into them with locations such as Sandringham Breakwall, Hampton Groynes and Brighton Breakwall all offering great fishing for the pinkies. While the majority of the fish are in the 30-35cm size there is a good mix of fish in the 40-50cm size to be found, especially when the southerly winds blow and stir up the inshore waters. It also seems the key to locking horns with a larger pinkie is generally to fish a larger bait of a whole pilchard, a strip of squid or even better half a fresh garfish, which can also be caught in the same locations.
Out wide the winter snapper are still around with some reports of anglers fishing the edge of the shipping channel over the past weeks and finding good success. And while the numbers of fish haven’t been great the quality of them has been with most of the snapper we are hearing of dragging the scales down to the 4-6kg mark. As I mentioned last month the key to success as the water cools is to sound up a few snapper then fish on them patiently, with the key to success being less moves and more time spent in one spot. Then it’s a matter of berleying consistently till they fire up, which is usually on a tide change.
Off North Road the shallow reefs in the area are holding good numbers of squid, and while a lot of them are on the smaller size this is a great sign for the coming months as they will grow quickly, providing good bait and plenty of meals over winter.
As the water really starts to cool of this month hopefully we will see the return of some big garfish to this part of the bay as they get in over the shallow reefs that run through this area where food is abundant and the water is often times a degree warmer than elsewhere.
For lure anglers the upcoming weeks and months can provide some spectacular sight fishing for bream as they move out and about to feed in the open water around the marina and breakwall. The key to success here is ultra-fine line and small plastics or hardbodied lures twitched in front of the feeding fish. For the bait anglers there is also the opportunity to chase them by casting unweighted baits of bass yabbies or small crabs in near any feeding fish.
Boat anglers have been into good numbers of pinkies in the 8-12m area all along to Station Pier, while for the land-based crew the northerly winds we have experienced make this part of the bay an ideal location, as with the wind at your back it allows a long cast with a larger bait. A fine berley trail will carry out into the bay to attract any garfish that have been around in decent numbers over the past month or so.Reads: 845