Crazy weather patterns over the past weeks have had anglers left unsure if its winter or summer with some very hot days being followed up by some colder than wanted spells, which has seen plenty of wind coming from all directions.
As an upside however, when the weather has allowed, anglers have had some awesome fishing over the past weeks.
You have to love this time of year in this area as there are plenty of fishing options on offer and best of all most of it is within a kilometre of the coast line.
Mordialloc Pier has seen some small salmon and a few trevally being taken on small soft plastics and paternoster rigs baited with whitebait. During the rougher weather there have also been good numbers of 30-40cm pinkies taken late in the afternoon and into the night.
I also had some anglers call into Fishing Fever for advice. I suggested they try getting a berley pot and load it with mashed pilchards and a fine bran and oil berley, hang it in the water then use unweighted baits of whitebait and pilchard fillet. Cast out and allowed to sink down naturally they caught a load of pinkies, salmon and trevally, along with a few big mullet. Best of all, this technique allows you to fish the whole water column as your bait drifts down to the bottom.
Recent weeks have seen a lot of anglers put a fair focus on the whiting in the area with scattered reports coming from locations such as the Horse Paddock Reef up to the Parkdale Pinnacles, then on the smaller structures such as the lump off Beaumaris boat ramp known as Brickies. As is often the case in this area, the whiting can be a bit hot and cold from day to day, however this season the size of the whiting on offer has made it well and truly worth the effort with a lot of the fish in the 35-44cm size.
If you’re looking for a little bit of info that can really help you find consistent success on the whiting then I suggest it’s well worth the effort to get hold of mussels as bait. I just find they are very consistent producers on the whiting in this part of the bay.
Adding to the whiting during late December and through January we heard a few sneaky reports of anglers seeing and hooking some yellowtail kingfish on the reef edges around Ricketts Point, down to Black Rock and this month will hopefully see plenty more starting to kick around, especially if we can get some warm calm weather to really heat up the shallows.
Best of all you can effectively fish for the kings while you are chasing the whiting. Simply put a live garfish or whiting out under a small float while you fish and as the kings come in to see what’s going you should get a screaming run.
Out wider there was still a few decent snapper reports filtering in during January and while the numbers of reds were not as good as in previous months the size was still great, with a lot of the fish in the 4-5kg size.
It’s much of the same in this area as it is up in the Mordialloc to Black Rock stretch, however the whiting reports in this part of the world have definitely been consistent with some sensational catches of King George coming from the Yorkies Reef and even out at the Anonyma Shoal. While the numbers have been good, the size of the whiting have also been up there, with a lot of anglers saying they are finding plenty of fish in the 40cm size.
Further north Green Point has been holding a few garfish for anglers who have been berleying across the shallow reef.
Up off Brighton and towards St Kilda the shallow reef areas have been holding scattered schools of whiting, some decent pinkies and red mullet and some excellent flathead in the shallow water between the reef.
Interestingly some of the better flatties have been taken by kayak and land-based anglers as they work the really shallow water with soft plastics, of which the 3” Z-Man Minnow in a colour called mood ring producing more than the odd good flattie.
Out wider fishing along the edge of the shipping channel has seen the odd snapper report. One species that seems to be making a bit of a regular appearance in catches in the 18-20m areas are gummy sharks in the 4-8kg size, with squid being the best bait that they are falling for.
It’s a funny time of year in this part of the bay with its often dead flat conditions and thousands of people enjoying its warm shallow waters, either swimming or in boats and jet skis, it’s a wonder there are any fish to be found. However once the sun gets lower in the sky there are some great fishing options, with the past weeks producing a range of species. For the most part, the target species have been garfish and salmon during the daylight hours and whiting the focus of night catches on the shallow reef and weed areas just off St Kilda marina. Pinkie snapper can be found on the cunjevoi beds that lie in 8-12m of water off Kerford Road through to Station Pier.
Over the past month I have heard some keen lure anglers have been finding big bream holding up in the shadows of the moored boats in behind the breakwall and also up at Princess Pier, with small hardbodies and plastics all taking fish.
Let’s hope that the coming month sees some great summer weather so that our biggest decision is actually where to fish and what species to chase.Reads: 683