January joy for bay
  |  First Published: December 2014

Christmas has been and gone once again and now it’s time to get serious on the fishing front. Warm summer weather and a big variety of species on offer in the bay, I think it’s fair to say that you would have to be Scrooge not to love this month.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

With warmer weather now on the menu the shallow waters around the Mordialloc Pier has been producing the odd whiting on the calm evenings for land-based anglers, however the coming weeks should hopefully see a bigger run of fish move into the sand holes that are between the reef on the north side of the pier.

Out in the boats there are plenty of options available throughout Beaumaris Bay this month with a lot of the focus now on the whiting, which are being found along Horse Paddock Reef to Parkdale Pinnacles and then up on the small lump of reef known as Brickies.

While a lot of anglers really focus their efforts on the whiting in these parts with pipis, and they are a great bait, it’s also well worth mixing it up with baits of mussel and squid. For whatever reason, the whiting in this part of the world will often focus on one bait source and if you don’t have it you can go home with donuts, while the guy next to you gets a bag of fish.

On the reef areas I have also started to hear of garfish turning up in decent numbers so it’s making it perfect for anglers to put a few whiting baits out then add to it with a gar rig on the surface.

Fingers-crossed this month will also see a good burst of warm weather, which should in turn help to bring on a few kingfish into this part of the bay. You can go and chase them in many cases but the best way to get yourself into some kingy action is to berley up a whole load of garfish then the kings will find you.

From Ricketts Point to Black Rock reports are coming through of a few whiting here and there but it seems that you can’t berley too hard or you will be invaded by pinkies, which then also make it hard to get a whiting.

On the surface action now is also a cracking time of year to get stuck into a bunch of high flying Aussie salmon. All you need to do to get into these guys is watch for the birds as they give away the position of the feeding fish, then head up wind of the school, cut the motor then drift towards them casting small lures and plastics into the feeding hordes. If you are also keen on trying to find something a bit bigger then try fishing a popper or a big plastic around the edge of the school of salmon, as any kingfish in the area will also be following the school.

Out wider on locations such as the Gasso and other deeper water marks, there are still good numbers of snapper found with some of the best fishing to be had late in the afternoon and into the evening.

Sandringham To St Kilda

Now is a fantastic time of the year to be a land-based angler in this part of the world. The end of the Sandringham breakwall and the rock groynes have a very good chance for producing whiting of an evening and into the night. In fact in many cases the later it gets the better the fishing can be for quality whiting and some decent sized calamari.

Further along at Green Point now is a top place to be if you are chasing not only garfish but big ones. For whatever reason this shallow reef area seems to be the perfect location for them; it’s a simple matter of anchoring up on the up tide or up wind end of the reef then allowing your berley to carry over the reef. It shouldn’t be too long before the gars find you.

Moving out a bit deeper now is also the time to start looking for whiting around the Anonyma Shoal, as this area will often hold numbers of better sized fish and as a bonus there are plenty of other good by-catch around the reef in the form of trevally, leatherjackets and at times good pinkies.

Further along at Brighton the breakwall produces good land-based options for flathead and pinkies of an evening and as a bonus the last few years have also seen a few gummy sharks in the 3-8kg size being taken at night during January and February.

Up towards St Kilda, now is the time to get in the water and wade the shallows while casting small soft plastics on any likely looking weed edges, drop-offs or in between the reef patches, as with the warmer weather some quality flathead in the 50-70cm size move into these areas. Not only do they make for a load of fun to catch but are an exceptionally good feed.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

Shallow warm water offers anglers some good fishing options here this month with generally good flathead to be found by a variety of methods from land-based lure casting to drifting in the boats. With the warmer water it generally attracts plenty of baitfish into the area, which will often find good numbers of salmon to be found, especially up around the Station and Princess piers.

If all goes well and we don’t get rain to dirty the water up the reef areas out off St Kilda and around the Port Melbourne Yacht Club, we should hopefully see some whiting start to turn up over the coming weeks.

Out deeper it’s still also worth a shot on the snapper along the edge of the shipping channel running out towards the Fawkner Beacon. As with the colder water over the past month or so, the snapper should still be well and truly on the bite up in this area.

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