Metropolitan madness
  |  First Published: July 2015

Sneaking out on the water between cold fronts, and those incessantly strong northwesterlies we’ve received so far this winter, continues to surprise with a good range of species still on offer across Port Phillip West, including the local tributaries.


Australian salmon have arrived in big numbers inside Corio Bay, occasionally busting up bait within range of land-based anglers throwing lures from the Geelong waterfront. Metal slugs and soft plastics have been getting the job done on these speedsters, especially at first and last light, which is when they seem to be venturing closer to shore. Those casting from a small boat have also been doing exceptionally well, with small to medium size pinkie snapper and flathead making up a good mixed bag alongside the salmon.

Garfish are also expected to show up at Corio Bay this month providing land-based anglers with another viable option through winter. The combination of light line, small hooks and a pencil style float, coupled with baits of silverfish or maggots and a little berley to attract fish into the immediate area, is the key to consistently catching gars.

Once again, Dan Mizzi enjoyed some success along the 10-12m line off Werribee South with both gummy sharks and the odd winter red showing up on the rising tides. Dan says fresh salmon fillet has been by far the bait of choice in recent weeks.

Michael Felsovary from Hooked on Bait and Tackle says squid have again been relatively active between Wyndham Harbour and Campbells Cove. When the water is clear, squid have been pushing in quite close along the 3m line, but they have also been taken out wider in up to 6m of water. According to Mick, it’s just a matter of covering some ground and working out where they are on any given day.


Closer to Melbourne, Apex Park at Altona has been the pick for those in search of squid. Further around at Williamstown Beach, good size flathead to 45cm continue to provide some surprising winter action and a tasty meal for those throwing soft plastics just beyond the reef. Pinkie snapper have also been prevalent just out from Williamstown Football Ground, especially when a high tide change coincides with sun up and sun down.

Over at Port Melbourne, kayak enthusiast Joel Bramble snared a few pinkies on soft plastics amongst the jetty pylons. Due to the clear conditions, Joel was forced to scale back the diameter and of his fluorocarbon to leader to just 4lb breaking strain and whilst this did the trick in terms of encouraging the fish to bite, extracting them from the ruined remains of the old Princess Pier proved a real challenge. Though many of the larger reds easily won their freedom, Joel did manage to subdue a few to 40cm or thereabouts, which he says was good fun on light tackle. Zman GrubZ did the trick for Joel on this occasion.


Nathan Wright has been doing the rounds of the local land-based structures in search of bream over the past month for some encouraging results. Prospecting the entrance to the Yarra River at Williamstown, Nathan managed eight bream early one morning on live crab during the incoming tide. Fishing with just 3lb line for a stealthy presentation made for some anxious moments amongst the barnacle-encrusted pylons, but good angling skills ensured more battles were won than lost.

Further upriver, those in the know have been cashing in on an exceptional Melbourne mulloway season to date. Both land-based bait anglers fishing under the cover of darkness and the local lure brigade bouncing blades and paddle-tail soft plastics amongst the bridge pylons have been equally successful on the resident mulloway, some of which encountered of late have been well in excess of the magic metre mark!

On the bream scene, Werribee River has been producing reasonable numbers averaging 30-35cm up above the island and through to the cliffs where small freshwater yabbies have been a winner. As was the case at this time last year, big schools of rather large yellow-eye mullet have entered the system. At this stage, most have been holding nearer the entrance where those fishing with baits of raw chicken and dough from the jetty at Werribee South have been doing well.


If you’re looking for an alternative venue to occupy the kids during the upcoming school holidays, the local Family Fishing Lakes are primed and ready for action. Courtesy of Fisheries Victoria, more than 50 small waters dotted throughout the state have received a top up of advanced yearling rainbow trout.

Once the trout settle in they generally respond well to particle baits such as corn, maggots or Powerbait nuggets presented on a small hook under a float. A lightly weighted running sinker rig also does the job nicely.

West of Melbourne, Family Fishing Lakes exist at Melton, Keilor, Sunbury, Lethbridge, Bannockburn and Geelong. These waters (normally less than 5ha in surface area) provide safe access for juniors and anglers with limited mobility.


Reports and images are most welcome and may be submitted via email to --e-mail address hidden-- .

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