Over the past few months, the talk of the town, at least in angling circles, has undoubtedly been the incredible run of yellowtail kingfish.
Admittedly, much of the action has been in southern parts of Port Phillip Bay and just outside of the heads, but don’t be surprised if a few show up further north this month. Parts of Corio Bay, namely Point Henry and Point Wilson, as well as the shallow reef areas at Point Cook and Williamstown are known to attract the odd kingy at this time of year. The combination of light winds and warm to hot conditions, large congregations of baitfish and big schools of Australian salmon are the key elements so be sure to be on the lookout this month.
Aside from kingfish, whiting have been congregating across the shallows reef and weed areas from Point Cook through to Avalon. Depths ranging from 3-6m are your best bet with fish to 40cm+ available on mussel, pipi, squid and cuttlefish.
Amongst the whiting, some terrific flathead to 55cm have been moving, as well as plenty of pinkie snapper.
Southern calamari to 1.5kg continue to be taken in bag limit numbers at Point Cook and along much of the Bellarine Peninsula, particularly from Clifton Springs right through to Queenscliff.
Bream, pinkie snapper and school mulloway will be the key targets in the metropolitan rivers over the coming month with both bait and lure anglers expected to do well in the lead up to Easter.
In between chasing kingfish and sharks down south, Jack Auld has been amongst the squid and whiting at Point Cook. Drifting 3.5g jigs in 4-6m of water has been highly productive on the calamari with bag limits captures achieved during most outings. Fresh mussel meat and squid or cuttlefish have been the baits of choice for whiting in just 3m of water from Duncan’s Road at Werribee South through to Campbell’s Cove.
Accompanied by his sons, Hayden and Kyle, Judd Reynolds has been putting in plenty of time off Werribee South of late where gummy sharks to 9.5kg and some serious blue spot flathead to 3kg plus have been keeping the boys entertained. According to Judd, the best bait has been freshly caught squid heads.
Youngster, Nathan Wright says bream to 1kg have been active in the lower reaches of the Yarra River at Newport and Williamstown with the rock walls, channel markers, jetty pylons and moored yachts each producing some quality specimens on baits of live and cut crab.
Fishing from his pedal powered kayak, Joel Bramble continues to do well on the Maribyrnong River bream. Twitching crab imitations smeared with scent along the rock walls in the middle reaches of the system on a rising tide has been productive.
Likewise, those pitching small bibbed minnows, both from boats under electric power and land-based on foot, have also been doing well. Brad Hodges spent a few hours walking the banks armed with a selection of Berkley 3B Puppy Dog lures and managed a dozen bream. Interestingly, Brad mentioned that the fish still seem to hold in similar areas to when he began lure fishing for bream more than a decade ago.
Hard-bodies, soft plastics and surface lures are all successful at this time of year, but the key to fishing the banks is to get your lure in close. If you’re not casting within a few feet of the bank, you’re too wide!
The Werribee River bream have been somewhat hit and miss of late with some anglers coming up with the goods and others failing to raise a scale. During the summer holiday period, many bream pushed out over the shallow flats at Werribee South seemingly to escape the dying weed. At this point the river resembled pea soup in colour, but a flush of fresh from some heavy summer rain soon had conditions on the improve.
According to Michael Felsovary from Hooked on Bait and Tackle, bream to 36cm and surprisingly, even the odd school mulloway were taken by land-based anglers at the mouth of the system following the rain. Even more surprising was that one of the mulloway fell to a piece of frozen prawn!
Nearby, flathead have been providing good sport for those casting baits from Werribee South Beach. Likewise, drifting flesh baits and soft plastics across the adjacent sand flats from a small tinnie or kayak has also proved effective.
Further upriver, Nathan Wright went for a quick flick after work one afternoon and nailed two striking redfin in as many casts! Casting a singled-tailed grub in a section of river below the diversion weir, a third reddie of approximately 35cm was landed less than 5 minutes later to make it a hat-trick! According to Nathan, a fairly aggressive retrieve has been working well on the local redfin population of late.
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