With so many species on offer and located in the northern part of Port Phillip Bay, Black Rock is one of Melbourne's hidden little gems when it comes to sport fishing. With large numbers of snapper and salmon the main targets, and other species including squid, flathead and the occasional kingfish, it isn't hard to see why this is a popular fishing destination all year around.
Some of the best fishing can be had in the winter months when abundant schools of salmon and pinkies inhabit the reefs and patrol the water in search of food and shelter. It is not uncommon to catch pinkies cast after cast once a school is located, from undersized fish to a couple of kilograms. Don't be surprised if you hook onto something a little bigger that pulls a little line and boat, probably a 5kg+ snapper.
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.
If bait fishing then a light running sinker rig is best used when chasing pinkies and snapper. Half pillies and squid strips work really well here with a small size 1 ball sinker and a single 2/0 hook. Trolling metal slugs around with a short 15lb leader is a good way to find the salmon if you can't see them working the surface.
Small soft plastic stickbaits, such as 70mm and 85mm Squidgy flick baits and 3" Berkley Power minnows are a popular choice and are the go-to lures for most anglers who prefer to chuck plastics. Popular colours are evil minnow and pillie, and in the Power minnows the old trusty pearl watermelon has stood the tests of time and is one of the pioneer ‘pinkie on plastics’ lures.
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 below the surface.
Before fishing the area, make sure you are up to date with the current rules and regulations. There is a marine park that is clearly marked by marker poles, which you are not allowed to fish in. Also it is a nursery for small fish so make sure you know the size and bag limits of fish you are targeting.
If you see a school of salmon working the surface, don’t troll through the middle of them. Have your lures out wide and troll the outskirts of the school. This will prevent the salmon from going deep and maybe staying deep for a long period of time, which can be frustrating. Trolling around the outside will keep the school up near the top for longer periods of time.Reads: 1511