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Cool change alters fishing options
  |  First Published: June 2015



As some serious icy blasts tear across Victoria, it lets you know that winter is on the way. Sure, it means the end of a lot of the fishing, but as the water cools it also makes way for a changing of the guard and the herald of some great winter fishing, especially around this section of the bay.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

There has been a steady procession of small squid being caught from Mordialloc and Beaumaris piers over the past few weeks, especially late in the afternoons as the squid move into the shallower water to feed.

Mordialloc Creek has also seen the numbers of mullet starting to increase with the odd good bags of them being taken by the local pole fishers. One tip here if you want to catch the mullet yourself, is to take note of the rigs and how the locals fish for the mullet and you too will be able to catch them without too much trouble.

Out in the boats the whiting are really tapering off as the water cools, however the ones that are still being taken are of better size, the other bonus is the pinkies are starting to fire on the Parkdale pinnacles, and while the majority are smaller fish there is the odd better fish up to about 1.5kg to keep you on your toes.

Up around the old mussel farm in Beaumaris Bay its also the time of year to find some lovely blue spot flathead, with anglers reporting fish up to 48cm in length. In among them are also the ever-present pinkies to 40cm, and some very solid red mullet. The easiest way to target them is with plastics such as the Zman 3”minnows in sexy mullet and smokey shad colours, or small vibes. Unlike a lot of other flathead spinning where an aggressively worked plastic gets the bites. A recent session with my kids saw them catching plenty by just lightly jigging the plastics along the bottom.

As an added bonus when the water is clear there has also been some great garfish action off Beaumaris pier and its surrounds.

Up off Ricketts Point and towards Black Rock, the salmon schools have been quite good, and while they aren’t huge fish there are more than enough salmon to 1kg to have you hooting and hollering for a few hours.

To find the salmon look for obvious signs such as the birds diving but also keep your eyes peeled as there have been days when the salmon are just making to odd swirl or splash on the surface and have no birds on them.

As for the pinkies, along this stretch they too are starting to get better in both numbers and size, although the best catches are definitely on the rougher days, during these conditions there have been good reports of boats taking several pinkies in a session between 43-49cm. Interestingly, these fish are coming from 2-3m of water on dusk on both lightly weighted stick bait style plastics or unweighted baits of white and blue bait.

For the land-based anglers, the foot path and rock wall that runs north towards Black Rock has been producing good numbers of squid with some of the keener anglers finding squid to almost 1kg on the high tides after dark with large lightly weighted jigs such as the Evergreen 3.5XS – especially in the brown and gold pattern.

Sandringham To St Kilda

With the cooler weather and the winter winds it will stir up the shoreline making the squid and garfish a calm clear water option, but when it blows the shallows are the place to find some excellent winter pinkie action and if the past weeks are anything to go by then this month should be great.

The last few weeks have seen good land-based an boat fishing all along the Sandringham to Brighton areas with plenty of pinkies in the 30-40cm size.

Adding to the pinkies up in the Sandringham area, when they are on the chew the garfish are still offering anglers some good catches for both shore and boat based anglers, with places such as Yorkies Reef and the groynes at Hampton producing fish for those that are willing to go looking for them.

Late last month I also had a few anglers reporting the odd scattered catches of whiting, with the main areas being just north of Brighton through to St Kilda. And while the numbers of fish may not be huge they are of great size with the average being in the 37-40cm.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

While the reports haven’t been thick in this area over the pasty weeks there has been reports of pinkies off a lot of the local piers and the St Kilda breakwall, with one group of anglers reporting some good fishing with pinkies to 42cm during the day when it was rough and the water had a bit off colour after recent rains.

Up around Princess Pier anglers have also been getting into some good mulloway action over the past weeks but after some decent rain and some strong winds it will be interesting to see if they hang around or move up into the Yarra River.

Either way, this month will also generally see some great pinkie action between the Princess and Station piers, with some often solid pinkies/snapper to 23kg in weight with the best method being to fish floating baits of pilchard and squid after dark, especially if you can get one of those cold calm nights – some will say your crazy, others will envy you, either way, don’t stop fishing now as there are plenty of fish still to catch.

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