Bay-tastic options
  |  First Published: December 2016

Another year sped by. It’s hard to believe we’re into a new one. The best bit of this period is a good break and lots of fishing options for the coming month. If the fishing continues to be like it has been over the past weeks, the biggest problem anglers may be faced with is deciding what to fish for. There are plenty of choices – snapper and whiting, kingfish, flathead and squid. Now is the time to get the hat and sunscreen and get out on the water to try out all that new fishing gear that Santa brought.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

With warm, clear water, the pier has been fishing quite well in past weeks. Pinkie snapper have been taken at night with some decent reports of garfish. The coming weeks should see some good opportunities to catch whiting for anglers that fish the reef and sand holes on the north side of the pier – fishing in this area later in the afternoon and into the evening with baits of mussel or fresh squid could find you with a great feed.

In the boats there are literally kilometres of good ground to be fished over the coming weeks. Whiting can be found from Parkdale all the way up to Ricketts Point. Through this area, anglers have been getting some good whiting, especially around the Parkdale Pinnacles. The best method is to find a bit of a lighter patch of reef then berley very lightly, so you don’t attract too many pinkies. Then fish with a paternoster rig and baits of squid or pipi.

Out wider snapper continued to bite right up to Christmas and for those that haven’t had their fill of reds, there will still be plenty of fish to be found during the dawn and dusk periods, especially out wider on locations such as the Gasso and further north towards T1 and T2. In close, the stretch between Ricketts Point and Black Rock has been holding pinkies and some big snapper. Now’s a great time to focus on the whiting and garfish that are in the area.

Sandringham To St Kilda

It’s whiting time – anglers are already reporting a few catches of whiting off locations like Yorkies Reef, which lies between Half Moon Bay and the Sandringham Breakwall. This is a very good location for garfish and it’s well worth getting a small bait out with a fine berley trail while chasing the whiting. It’s also a fantastic way to find a roaming kingfish, as they’ll be lurking in coming weeks. They’re quick to home in on a school of garfish.

If you’re after a mixed bag of fish, it’s also worth heading a little wider to the Anonyma Shoal. It’s been holding good numbers of pinkies, snook and a few big whiting – it’s also a prime location to find a few salmon.

Further to the north, shallow inshore reef areas between Green Point and up to North Road really tend to fire up over the coming weeks. The shallow reefy bottom really helps to warm the water, which in turn attracts species such as garfish. This is also an especially good area to be fishing small soft plastics between the reef patches. Big blue spot flathead become active around now and catching half a dozen of these guys provides a bunch of fun and a fantastic feed.

If you’re interested in getting into a bit of fun. All you need is a light spin outfit and a few plastics on 1/8oz jigheads. When it comes to the tails, it’s hard to go past the ZMan 4” MinnowZ and the 4”curly-tail grub. This season, the new 4” Storm Joker Shads are going to be deadly – either wade the shallows casting at likely spots or sit close to shore in a boat. You’re sure to have some fun.

St Kilda to Port Melbourne

It’s shaping up to be a really good season up in this part of the bay. After a long cold winter and lots of freshwater flowing into the bay, the water has now cleared nicely and is getting warm, which is in turn firing up those species that really like the summer conditions. Salmon schools move through the area now and quality flathead have been taken on baits and lures from the shallows near the St Kilda Marina and behind the St Kilda breakwall.

Further along the shore between the breakwall and towards Lagoon Pier, there has still been the odd snapper. As we get some good hot weather and it really heats up, they’ll move to deeper water and hopefully be replaced by schools of whiting.

If lure fishing and getting dragged around is your idea of fun, this is a great time to be chasing bream around the moored boats. They’ll hold up in the shade of the hulls and feed on any growth on the bottom of the boats. For this style of fishing, it’s hard to beat a small soft plastic cast into the shadows and left to slowly sink down near the bottom. The bites are gentle, but the bream that eat them are not, so hang on.

Fingers crossed we get some good hot summer weather over the coming weeks to really get the fishing going crazy.

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