Squeeze in a squid session
  |  First Published: June 2016

As I was reading through last month’s report the other day, I was amused with my revelation that the summer months were over, and the days and nights were getting colder. Someone forgot to communicate this trend to the department of climate change, however, and we experienced a few weeks of very ‘summery’ conditions.

The main benefit from this is that anglers enjoyed more comfortable angling conditions, particularly at night. Rain is what we badly need, and although we did receive some decent falls a while ago, more substantial rain is needed. Last month, we were due for a good drop of rain, so hopefully this holds and much needed rain falls throughout the state for the next month.

Once again, I have only received a few reports over the past month from anglers targeting ‘late run’ snapper in the southern end of the bay. This is definitely a result of great fishing elsewhere in the bay and beyond, and not that the snapper are not about. The fish that have been reported have all been coming from 21-23m out from Mount Martha and Safety Beach, and also on the western side of the shipping channel. Most of the snapper caught have been around the 4-5kg mark, but I have recently seen photos of much bigger fish to 8kg coming from the same area. Bite windows are generally shorter in these areas, and normally on the change of tide, but the quality of the fish at this time of year is worth the effort. Boating conditions are usually better too.

Not so long ago, the whiting fishing in PPB was largely confined to the south of the bay, but the recent and current whiting fishing right throughout our bay has been the best I can remember in a long time. Both boat and land-based anglers are still regularly catching good bags of whiting, many still fishing productive locations from last summer. Speaking to anglers in the know, they expect that this will only get better as the water cools, and the size and quality of the fish will improve. This is great news.

I’ve had reports from all over the bay, but in our part of the world the bulk of the action seems to be from Frankston to Safety Beach. First and last light is best, and fresh local bait is the only way to go. Squid, pipis, mussels and prawns are all proven baits.

And even better has been the quality and reliability of the squid fishing over the past month or so. Big numbers of squid are currently holding on all of the usual inshore reefs, and anglers have been really cashing in, especially at the popular land-based locations. Mornington Pier has resembled lunchtime on Main Street at times, especially during the finer nights. Small jigs in the 1.6-2.0 size have been best, especially in darker colours at night like brown, black and red. During the day, try using a brighter coloured jig in pink or orange. Other popular land-based areas have been Daveys Bay, Canadian Bay, Oliver Hill and Mount Martha Rocks.

The best local boat reports have been coming from Ansetts, Sunnyside, Pelican Point and Snapper Point and Mornington. I would recommend the use of a neutral coloured jig like green or purple, as the inshore water is still fairly clear. If you’ve got an electric motor on your boat, use it to sneak along the reefs, as the squid are getting a hammering from anglers at the moment, and can be a little flighty at times. Just like the whiting, however, they will always bite best around first and last light.

Good numbers of salmon, gars, pinkies and flathead are also still on offer in the same areas, and can make a good day on the water even better, especially for the family. Keep your eyes peeled for working birds or busting fish to give the salmon away. They will respond well to cast or trolled lures. Garfish will respond well to a good berley trail, especially in calmer waters. Flathead and pinkie snapper are best targeted from a drifting boat, casting lures or baits. They will also readily take trolled lures, especially small deep diving minnows around reef in 5-8m of water.

The bream fishing has been very good over the past month, patiularly for the bait anglers in the Patterson River system. The lure guys have been teasing a few as well, but the better fish have been falling to baits. I’ve also had a few reports of some nice mulloway and even a few estuary perch being landed over the latter part of last month, so stay tuned for more news next month.

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