Winter has certainly made its presence felt over the past month, with some serious blows and a good lot of rain, and while the fishing has been really good, the conditions have made it really difficult to actually get on the water, with some horrendous wind keeping a lot of boats on trailers. Anglers have generally been locked up indoors in front of the fire.
While the weather has been bad, we can only hope that August provides us with some reasonable weather, as this month often produces loads of great opportunities for both land-based and boat anglers on the eastern seaboard.
No matter how windy it is out on the bay, at least you can find some respite fishing up in Mordialloc Creek, and over the past weeks the fishing has been very good for the anglers who are persistent. While most of the quarry has been the big yellow-eye mullet that inhabit the creek at this time of the year, there is also some good by-catch in the form of some silver trevally and small salmon.
The best way to get in on this action is to head to the creek with a fine bran style berley and a light rod rigged with a quill float or similar, with the most important thing being to make sure the float is set properly so it can be pulled under the water with ease. Use a small hook baited with small pieces of peeled prawn or dough and throw small amounts of berley where your bait and float are sitting.
A good tip on this is to try casting in the same spot each time and get the berley in the same spot, as this will congregate the fish in your area.
Out on the pier, the pinkies have been quite good late in the afternoons and into the evenings, especially when it’s been a bit rough, which has been a lot lately. As an added bonus, there has also been some reasonable salmon in amongst the pinkies, and the best results have come on paternoster rigs baited with half pilchards or squid.
Further along the shoreline, the keen boat anglers have been reporting loads of calamari on the inner reefs with Parkdale Pinnacles up to Rickets Point producing plenty of these messy monsters.
The same reef areas are also producing some really good pinkies with some of the best fish we are hearing of coming on larger plastics in the 5-6 in size. And while the pinkies seem to love a plastic worked erratically off the bottom the other option is to work the plastic slowly on the bottom up around the mussel farms, where there has been some great blue-spot flathead on offer.
Further along the front of the reef between Rickets Point and Black Rock, the cold water is keeping the pinkies firing, although over recent weeks the size of the fish has varied day to day.
This month is always great for the red mullet, which become very active at this time of the year and while they love a bit of bait, they seem to go crazy over a small grub style plastic worked across the reefy bottom.
July saw the return of some really good numbers of garfish in this area, with several anglers reporting that they had bag limit catches of garfish on multiple trips, and quite a few of them were really big fish. The best locations for them has definitely been Yorkies Reef and off the rock groynes at Hampton, with boat and land-based anglers reporting good success on them.
Further to the north up off Brighton breakwall and its surrounds, there have been good numbers of pinkies at dawn and dusk and good numbers of garfish and squid during the calmer conditions.
With the garfish and squid going well during the daylight hours, it’s been a bonus for some anglers as they head out and get a few garfish and squid for bait, then settle back on dusk with fresh bait for the pinkies. While the local pinkie population it definitely seems that the larger fish are taking a distinct liking to half a garfish, with several fish in the 2.5kg size falling to this bait in the past weeks.
Up off the breakwall and in behind where the boats sit on their swing moorings is the place to be for casting plastics or setting up a berley trail and fishing unweighted baits at the bream and trevally that are often in this area during August.
Off the piers, pinkies are an option, but it will really depend on the mount of rain that we get in the coming weeks, with heavy rain often pushing the fish out to deeper water.
As an added option however, the fishing at night around Princess Pier this month can and often does produce some big winter snapper and even the odd really big mulloway.
While it’s cold out there, the results can be worth it.Reads: 208