Shorter days, more fish to target!
  |  First Published: March 2015

It’s hard to believe that we are on the back end of summer and into Autumn, and while the days get a bit shorter and the air begins to cool off, it’s this and the following months that can see some great fishing options for a variety of species.

Best of all, in the coming weeks it can often be the time to find some of the better sized fish as they become more active in the slightly cooler water.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

The pier has been turning up a bit of a mixed bag over the past weeks with the calm conditions seeing anglers catching everything from squid, to salmon and even a few whiting.

The rougher weather has seen anglers fishing at the end of the pier catching a few pinkies up to 40cm in size, and as the water cools a little this month the pinkies and the squid should only increase in numbers.

A few customers have also reported that they have been getting into some decent flathead out of the kayaks between the Horse Paddock Reef off Mordialloc and up towards Beaumaris Bay, with the best depth appearing to be in the 6-10m areas with either baits of white bait on a paternoster rig or the most productive, being the good old soft plastic, with the 120mm Squidgy wriggler or the ZMan 3” minnows being hard to top.

Up in Beaumaris Bay anglers have still been getting decent catches of whiting, and while the numbers may have reduced, several customers have been reporting that the fish are definitely getting bigger in size with a lot of the fish they are finding now in the 36cm size.

Adding to the whiting, the squid are really starting to become a focus once again, as they are in excellent numbers all through the shallow reefs up into the bay, off Beaumaris pier and around to Ricketts Point, which is great news for the upcoming cooler months.

From Ricketts Point and down towards Black Rock, the reef edge is once again filling up with pinkies in preparation for the winter months with a few anglers already reporting good catches on both lures and bait.

Out wider, if you can find a bit of structure in the 14-18m areas, it’s also worth having a look for some late season snapper as some of the bigger fish move their way south before deciding to stay or leave the bay for winter.

Sandringham To St Kilda

No matter if your in a boat or land-based, this stretch of the coastline is a top place to be this month as the large areas of broken reef and sand hold a range of species.

Even though the water is a bit cooler it’s a prime time to fish the shallows for some solid flathead that will be lurking in the sand holes between the reefs.

It’s also a prime time to fish the hard reef for not only pinkies but the very tasty red mullet that seem to get active over the coming months. If you haven’t caught these red, whiskered critters before then a sure fire way to get into some of them is with a 2-3” grub style plastic hopped along the reefy bottom.

If bait is your thing then try small pieces of cured worm such a beach or blood worm, which a lot of tackle stores sell in tubs and call ‘Whiting Worm’.

Out wider the Anonyma Shoal is the place to be for the odd catch of really solid whiting and pinkies. But this month will also see this big reef patch become the home for a lot of big snook that will move into hunt the baitfish that like to hold around it.

Trolling with small diving minnows or garfish rigged on gang hooks will see you getting into a few of these slippery customers.

In along the shoreline, whiting are still a option through this area this month with some great fish still being taken off Brighton pier in the 38-40cm size, not to mention one or two customers still reporting that they are getting decent numbers of whiting from Green Point and along to Brighton.

At all times, as you fish through this part of the bay it’s also a must to have a rod rigged with a plastic or metal lure in the tackle box, as there have been some solid salmon kicking around, and while they haven’t been in big schools or staying up for long, fingers crossed that this month will see some calmer weather that will get them really fired up.

Further north, the reef edges around North Road and up towards Elwood are the place to be looking for squid, which have been in good numbers and as another option there has also been the odd report of some garfish in the area, and while they haven’t been an every day thing, when you do get onto them they are in decent numbers.

St Kilda to Port Melbourne

This month generally sees anglers focusing on the garfish and smaller salmon that are often found in the shallows around the piers. However, there has still been some pinkies being taken by the land-based crew and now is also the time to get a big fresh bait out off Kerford Rd, Lagoon and Station piers as for what ever the reason the onset of Autumn also sees some very big mulloway getting active in this part of the bay.

The boats anglers also find they don’t need to go far at this time of the year with the rough ground in the 6-12m area from St Kilda to Port Melbourne also being a prime place to find pinkies, the odd bigger snapper and of course the very highly prized ling, which seem to love this part of the bay.

Either way, don’t let a few cooler mornings keep you off the water as the next few months often provide some of the best fishing of the year.

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