Warm to hot conditions through the latter part of summer should keep the fishing pumping over the coming month with water temperatures across the western shores at optimal levels for a range of species.
Once again, King George whiting, flathead and squid are expected to feature prominently in the shallows, while there’s still some snapper available out wider, especially at first and last light.
Jason Farrugia from Magnet Fishing Charters says it’s been a season to remember with all the summer favourites biting hard. King George whiting have moved into the shallow reef and weed areas from Altona through to Avalon. Depths ranging from 3-6m are your best bet with fish to 44cm available on mussel, pipi, squid and cuttlefish.
Amongst the whiting, some terrific flathead to 55cm have been moving, as well as plenty of bait stealing juvenile pinkie snapper. Jason says better quality reds are available throughout Corio Bay outer harbour on minnow and worm pattern soft plastics.
Southern calamari to 1.5kg continue to be had in bag limit numbers at Point Cook and along the Bellarine Peninsula.
Jason also mentioned big shoals of Australian salmon to 1kg have been on the chew at Altona, Point Cook and Point Wilson, with small soft plastics and metal slugs getting the job done on most occasions.
Joe Bonnici picked up some decent whiting and flathead amongst several undersize pinkie snapper and big banjo sharks at Werribee South.
Out wider, Daniel Mizzi accounted for some quality snapper to 4kg+ while anchored in calm overcast conditions. Slimy mackerel proved to be the best bait shortly after the low tide change.
Bream, pinkie snapper and school mulloway will be the key targets in the metropolitan rivers over the coming months with bait and lure anglers expected to share in the spoils.
Likewise, Australian salmon should continue to provide entertainment in the lower reaches of the Yarra River and nearby inner reefs.
Quality flathead are also expected to continue feeding across the shallow sand flats at the mouth of the Werribee River at least until Easter.
Bream have been reasonably active amongst the Williamstown moorings with diving minnows worked along the shady side of the yacht hulls enticing some to feed. Over at Port Melbourne, pitching lipless crankbaits or vibes in tight to the pier pylons has also brought about success on the bream. At this time last year, salmon and pinkie snapper were schooling amongst the timber, so be sure to keep this in mind if you’re in the area.
Mulloway have been responding well to lures amongst the bridge pylons in the Maribyrnong River. Toby McClure found himself connected to a solid specimen recently, which took almost 20 minutes to land on just 4lb spin gear. He also managed another during the recent Vic Bream Classic event.
Round 1 of the 2014 Vic Bream Classic Series was held in Melbourne over the first weekend in February with 38 teams taking on the extreme heat. Commencing from the tournament starting point at Newport, anglers ventured far and wide in search of a winning bag with some making the trip all the way across Port Phillip to Queenscliff, Corio Bay, Little River and Werribee South.
Others peppered away at the boat hulls and jetty pylons at Williamstown, Port Melbourne and St Kilda while the remainder of the field took on the wily resident bream within the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers.
After being well placed in second position overnight, Brad and Mike Hodges of Team Berkley snuck across the line with two consistent days on the water. Equipped with a 22ft Blue Wave sport fishing vessel on loan from Bill Classon, quick work was made of run around to Werribee South where the boys began making their way upriver. Casting Berkley 3B Puppy Dog bibbed minnows towards the shallow edges soon produced a 5 fish bag limit of 3.58kg on day one, which left them in second place after the weigh-in back at Docklands.
Brad says a similar plan was employed the following day, although the super-hot calm conditions had the bream on high alert forcing them to scale back to just 4lb Nanofil mainline connected to a rod length of 3lb Sensei fluorocarbon leader. A high rod action kept the lure from diving too far into the shallow weed and mud, which combined with a rip and pause style retrieve accounted for another bag limit by mid-morning.
Shortly before making the run back to Docklands, Mike landed an all-important upgrade, which proved to be the difference with just 90g separating them from overnight leaders Ben Scullin and Daniel Brady of Team Evolution Boats, who also claimed the Big Bream prize with a 1.14kg specimen. Cam Whittam and Warren Carter of Team Minn Cota finished in 3rd place for the second year running.
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