Black Rock is one of those special fisheries that a lot of anglers take for granted. With so many species on offer and located in the northern part of Port Phillip Bay, Black Rock is one of Melbourne's top sports fishing venue.
With large numbers of snapper and salmon the main targets, along with squid, flathead and whiting just to name a few, it isn't hard to see why this is a popular fishing destination all year around.
Some of the best fishing is in the winter months when large schools of salmon and pinkies inhabit the reefs and patrol the water in search of food and shelter.
When the salmon are on top, it can be some of the best fun you could have with a rod and reel.
Pinkie snapper can be caught cast after cast and it is not uncommon to catch in excess of 50+ fish in a session, especially on those cold and icy winter mornings.
Light 2-4kg spin outfits spooled with 6lb braid for the light stuff. And 3-6kg outfits with a bit heavier braid like 10lb are the two ideal outfits used when sportfishing the inshore reefs around Black Rock. An 8lb+ leader is a must as there are plenty of rocks and reef for pinkes, salmon and bigger snapper to rub you off on.
Bait fishers love to fish light with a small running ball sinker on some 15-20lb leader with a single 3/0 Octopus hook. Keeping it simple is the best way to fish.
If the salmon are on top or located on the sounder, trolling metal slugs is a deadly method and is a very good way to search and find fish if they can't be visually seen on the surface.
Small soft plastic stickbaits such as 70mm and 85mm Squidgy Flickbaits, 3" Berkley Power Minnows, and Gulp Minnows and Jerk Shads are a popular choice and a go-to lure for most anglers who prefer to fish plastics.
My favourite for this area, and for pinkie snapper, is the old trusty pearl watermelon 3” Power Minnow. This particular plastic has stood the tests of time and is the pioneer pinkie on plastic lures in Victoria.
Drifting in 3-10m of water and using your sounder is essential in the shallows. Drifting covers a lot more area and makes it easier for you to find the fish, rather than anchoring up and casting lures.
If you see a school of salmon on the surface, do not troll through them. Cut the motor short of them and cast into them. This will stop the salmon from spooking and going down deep, making them hard to locate again.
Make sure you are up to date with the latest rules and regulations, especially with size and bag limits. This area is a haven for small and undersized fish and at times is a nursery. The last thing you want to do after an enjoyable day on the water is get back to the ramp to be greeted by a Fisheries Officer and getting a fine for not understanding what is right or wrong.
Use your GPS and sounder if you have one to sound up schools of snapper and keep drifting over that area where you have marked fish up. The most frustrating thing is to do a drift and catch some fish then try to find that same patch of fish next time. At least if you mark it, you can keep catching fish and do the same drift time after time.Reads: 6464