Whiting arrive in droves across Port Phillip
  |  First Published: February 2016

It’s been a busy month of fishing with plenty of fish caught, but for the most part it’s all about the whiting on offer in the bay. Many anglers have reported the best whiting fishing they can remember.

As we roll into February, the fishing should only get better especially on species like whiting, salmon and garfish. Fingers crossed with these two species turning on, we should also see good numbers of kingfish start to appear in the shallows.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

Over the past weeks the pier has fished well, with calm weather producing squid and garfish. During some of the bigger winds we saw in January a few anglers reported that they got into some good pinkie fishing of an evening from the pier.

The big news over the past weeks however, has been anglers smashing good numbers of whiting while fishing the rough ground on the north side of the pier late in the evening and into the night. While most of the whiting are solid school fish in the 32-36cm size, there are enough bigger ones around the 40cm mark to keep it interesting. The most effective baits have been pipis and mussels fished on a paternoster rig and a light rod.

From the boats, it’s been all about the whiting. A lot of the local guys say they would normally be fishing in Western Port at this time of the year, but they don’t need too as it’s been good enough on the local grounds between.

Mordialloc and Ricketts Point

Some of the better locations to fish have been the Parkdale Pinnacles and the small reef system known as Brickies. The trick to fish these areas successfully is to use a little bit of berley and baits of pipi or mussel, with the shells added to the berley. Don’t use too much berley though, as this tends to attract the pinkies, and if this happens it’s best to make a small move to get away from them. As for the size of the fish, most people have reported whiting in the 32-38cm size, but there are a few patches of fish that have some 40cm models among them.

The kingfish have arrived up off Ricketts Point, so you’re in the area have a lure ready such as a big plastic, or if you’re chasing whiting and pinkies, put live bait out under a float.

Now is also the time to keep your eyes peeled for the schools of salmon that have turned up over the past weeks. Just watch the birds – they will let you know where the feeding salmon are, from there it’s a matter of sitting off the school and casting plastics and small lures into them.

For the land-based anglers, there have also been pinkies and the odd whiting taken off the front of the Half Moon Bay car park at night. The pier itself has seen some good catches of whiting for anglers who fish late at night and cast baits out towards the Cerberus.

Sandringham To St Kilda

It’s a great time of the year to fish this area, and if the past weeks are anything to go by then this month should be great.

Now is the time to head to one of my favourite spots, the Anonyma Shoal as February seems to produce some stonker whiting in this part of the world. I always find that fresh mussels are the best bait to take advantage of this hot spot. It’s also a great area to find a kingfish, so while you chase whiting, berley up the garfish and put one of them out alive under a small torpedo float.

Closer to shore, the Yorkies Reef system has held whiting and squid in good numbers, and while they haven’t been there every day there are also good catches of garfish to make. Further along towards Sandringham there is good land based fishing opportunities this month, and anglers who fish the end of the breakwall and the rock groynes late in the afternoon and into the night in for a great chance of whiting and pinkies.

Out a little wider, anglers who fish boats in the 6-8m areas up towards Green Point and Brighton will find a mixed bag as the past weeks have produced whiting and pinkies. This month however, if you fish out a little wider in the 10-12m areas there will be some solid pinkies on offer, anglers who fish at dawn and dusk with larger sized baits of pilchards and squid strips will have the best results.

It’s a top time to chase big garfish around the shallow reefs up off North Road. They tend to hold between here and St Kilda marina during the hot weather. While fishing the reef edges and into the sand holes either on foot or in a boat, it’s also prime time to find some big flathead casting around soft plastics.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

It’s a busy time of the year here as everyone makes the most of summer, and water activities such as jet skiing, kite surfing and general boating have kept noise levels high. For this reason, a lot of the more successful anglers tend to fish in the dark or during the first and last light periods as there is less activity on the water, which allows the fish to feed in the shallower water.

For something different, now is the time to get in behind the breakwall in a kayak or small boat and cast plastics at the moored boat hulls for some big bream and trevally. Head out the front in search of pinkies and whiting on the abundant cunjevoi beds that run all the way along towards Station Pier in the 5-8m areas. To catch those whiting use baits of mussel and pipi, and for the pinkies, try squid strips and pilchard tails – as always, a bit of berley will help get the bite going.
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