Last call for fiery fish
  |  First Published: April 2016

Shorter days and cooler air temperatures signal that we are heading into that great autumn period. As I said last month, this part of the year can produce some fantastic fishing as a lot of the bigger fish start to get active before settling down for the cold winter.

The other great thing about April is that it ‘usually’ gets us into some of the perfect calm weather and clear water. This also heralds the start of loads of excellent squid fishing options for the next few months.

In April, a lot of the really good fishing tends to take place very close to the shore, making it ideal for land-based and kayak anglers.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

Locally, as the water cools off a bit this month Mordialloc Creek will start to fire up on the bream front for those anglers that are fishing with bait. Out the front on the pier itself, the past weeks have seen a real mixed bag of results with garfish, pinkies and salmon all being taken.

Garfish have been a bit hit and miss on the pier but this month will hopefully see them make a return in good numbers, and right there with them should be some hungry salmon. If pinkies are the target then fishing around dusk will see some better fish being taken, especially by those anglers who fish with larger baits of squid strips or whole pilchards.

Out in the boats, the shallow reefs have been fishing well for a variety of species with the Horse Paddock area through to Parkdale Pinnacles fishing well for pinkies in the 30-45cm range. Interestingly however, some of the better reports of bigger fish we have been hearing are from anglers fishing on the inside edge between the reef and the shoreline. These areas have also been fishing very well for squid over the past weeks and, some days, anglers have also found big schools of garfish. It’s well worth putting out a fine berley trail.

Off Beaumaris Pier it’s time to get down there of an evening is search of the good numbers of calamari that will be moving into the shallows to hunt, while up off the Scout Hall and around to Ricketts Point there has been really good numbers of pinkie snapper and this will only get better as we roll through April.

If you’re after some better sized pinkies it’s also the perfect time to be doing some trolling of small deep diving minnows along the reef edges, with perfect choices being the Rapala X-Rap 10 in silver blue or hot orange patterns, or the Lucky Craft Pointers in gold or clown colours. By trolling these lures you can cover the water, sounding as you go until you get a few bites on bigger fish, which could be anywhere along the reef. Once you find them then you can anchor up and bait fish or drift and cast plastics. Either way, it’s a really effective method on the bigger sized fish.

Sandringham To St Kilda

The breakwall and all along the Rock Groynes at Hampton have been fishing well for pinkies over the past weeks and should only get better as April rolls by. I also heard of some anglers getting some solid whiting while fishing from the sand and casting baits towards the patches of reef that lie just offshore, especially at the northern end of the beach there at Hampton.

Off Green Point, the edge of the reef has been holding squid in good numbers for boat and kayak anglers. Further north off Brighton and its surrounds, the reefy bottom there has been holding some very nice pinkies up to and over 40cm. Along with them has been some excellent whiting and, while the numbers haven’t been great, the overall size of the fish is up with the majority of them in the 35-38cm size.

Trolling small lures through all these areas has also seen anglers catching stacks of snook in the 50-60cm size, they make good eating when fresh and excellent bait, so are sure to get a lot of anglers excited.

Further north towards St Kilda, anglers are finding plenty of pinkies at dawn and dusk although over the past weeks they seem to be on the smaller size with most in the 25-30cm size. Hopefully this will change over the coming weeks. Adding to the pinkies there have also been good numbers of squid, with some kayak anglers reporting that they are doing very well with brown and gold coloured jigs.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne.

With the water beginning to cool off the bream are sure to be quite active this month around the breakwalls and moored boats in this part of the world. While out in the boats, anglers fishing the reefy areas in the 5-9m areas are sure to find some quality late season snapper, and while the best results are going to be for those anglers fishing at night, it will be worth the effort. In these areas it will also be worth fishing some smaller baits as there should also be some solid whiting in the area too.

Up at the cove between Station and Princess piers this month is a great time to be fishing this area. It usually sees big schools of pinkies and even bigger snapper move into the bay to feed at night.

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