Stock up on fishy feeds for winter
  |  First Published: June 2016

Winter means it’s squid and pinkie time, and anglers are now getting out on the water and getting stuck into these great eating species.

The other great thing about the coming months is that the land-based fishing options in this part of the world really start to come into their own. In fact, many anglers who have boats tend to find themselves heading to a rocky bit of shoreline to cast a squid jig around for some calamari late in the afternoon on their way home from work.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

With the water cooling down, it’s now getting to that time of the year when the creek beings to really fire with the big schools of mullet, and the best way to catch them is with a fine float that is carefully balanced with split shot. Then, use small hooks in size 8-10 and bait with tiny pieces of peeled prawn, dough or bits of chicken for bait. From there, you will also need a fine berley of mashed bread or a fine brand and pollard style powder mixed with tuna oil.

On the pier itself, the mullet will often be out there and, fishing with the same method, should also see anglers into good numbers of garfish, which have also started turning up in good numbers over the past few weeks.

Late in the evening, pinkies are being caught on baits of half pilchards or small squid strips, and this will only get better in the coming weeks and months.

Out in the boats, anglers are getting into good numbers of pinkies and squid at locations such as the Parkdale Pinnacles and up towards Ricketts Point.

This month will also see the return of those solid blue-spot flathead that move into Beaumaris Bay, where either drifting with a small paternoster rig baited with whitebait or small soft plastics bounced along the bottom, with dark coloured soft plastics being particularly good.

I’m unsure what makes the flathead come to this area at this time of the year, but either way there are some great fish on offer and often in reasonable numbers. I would just ask that anglers show some restraint and not keep too many of the bigger fish to make sure there are plenty more for the future.

Beaumaris Pier has had a few squid coming off it each evening, but it should really fire up this month, as the water will drop in temperature quite quickly, which they love.

From Ricketts Point to Black Rock, it’s now definitely pinkie season with any reasonable evening seeing a bunch of boats fishing the edge of the reef through here. If the past weeks are anything to go by, then this month should be great, with good numbers of 30-35cm fish on offer and some anglers are also reporting that they have been finding fair numbers of fish around 45cm when using bigger baits or 5-6”plastics.

Sandringham to St Kilda

There’s plenty of land-based options at this time of the year in this part of the world, with everywhere from Sandringham Breakwall to the Hampton Rock Groynes and up off Brighton Breakwall all being top locations to set yourself up for some solid land-based pinkies.

One of my favourite places is the end of the Sandringham Breakwall, as it drops into relatively deep water and on a southerly blow the waves push everything around the end of the point and the pinkies tend to gather there.

On the rough ground that runs all along this part of the bay, it’s also a perfect time to fish for calamari as they are currently in good numbers and this will only get better as they increase in size over the coming weeks.

One good tip in this area is to fish with larger lightly-weighted jigs. As for colours, try brown and gold patterns, and if that doesn’t work, try clear prawn colours, especially on a bright day. Dark red patterns are usually my go-to during low light periods.

Up at Brighton either off the breakwall or out in the boats, the shallow reef areas are coming into their own with the pinkies with some solid fish to over 2kg being taken over the past weeks. On the inside of the breakwall, a few anglers have been finding good success on some trevally when they berley with a fine bran style or just mashed up pilchards After berlying, they then cast unweighted pilchard fillets or white bait out and allow it to slowly sink through the water column.

As you move further north this month, you will see the local red mullet population becoming very active, with the shallow reefs from Brighton through to North Road area being and excellent area to chase them. It’s also worth getting a good fine berley trail happening as their should be good numbers of garfish also in the area.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

At St Kilda, it’s time to start looking for the bream that become quite active in this part of the bay at this time of the year. Prime areas to look at are along the breakwalls, as the bream will patrol the edges where the rock meets the sand, and working these areas with small plastics or the crab patterns can prove deadly on big bream.

The other option is to berley with mashed pilchards or crushed up mussel shell and use unweighted mussel as bait. This can also be done around the moored boats, which is another area where the bream love to hang around.

Out in the boats, the extensive cunjevoi beds in the area will provide anglers with some big pinkies and even late season snapper for those anglers willing to fish into the evenings. If the water stays clean, there should also be some good numbers of garfish available over the coming weeks and months for both boat and land-based anglers fishing off Lagoon and Kerford Road piers.
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