Warmer tidings of kingfish
  |  First Published: February 2017

After a horrible winter and a miserable spring, the past weeks have blessed us with a decent summer, lots of warm weather and fishable conditions. A lot of anglers are getting on the water and, best of all, getting themselves some great results.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

Over the past weeks, the pier has been fishing well with calm weather producing squid and garfish. During some of the bigger winds we saw in January, the pier had a few anglers report that they got into some good pinkie fishing of an evening.

The big news over the past weeks has been anglers getting into good numbers of whiting by fishing the rough ground on the north side of the pier late in the evening and into the night. While most of the whiting are solid school fish in the 32-36cm size, there are enough bigger ones around the 40cm mark to keep it interesting. The best baits have been pipis and mussels fished on a paternoster rig and a light rod.

In the boats, whiting have been a little hit and miss. Hopefully, the coming weeks will see that change as more fish move around the bay to our local waters. If it’s the whiting you’re after, I recommend putting your efforts into the favourite whiting areas such as the Parkdale Pinnacles and the small reef system known as Brickies.

Try not to berley too hard or you will attract a pile of small pinkies, which will make it very difficult to get to any whiting in the area. As another option, it’s well worth putting out a very fine surface berley, as there have still been reports of some decent garfish around. This will in turn attract any kingfish in the area you’re fishing. If you’re keen to get a hold of a one, have a lure ready, such as a big plastic, or put a livebait out under a float and while chasing whiting and pinkies.

Now is also the time to be keeping your eyes peeled for schools of salmon that have been turning up over the past weeks. Just watch the birds and they will let you know where the feeding salmon are. From there it’s a matter of sitting off the school and casting plastics and small lures into them.

For the land-based anglers, pinkies and whiting have been taken off the front of the Half Moon Bay car park at night, while the pier itself has seen some good catches of whiting for anglers who fish late at night and cast baits out towards the Cerberus.

Sandringham To St Kilda

It’s a great time of the year to be fishing this area. If the past weeks are anything to go, this month should be great. Now is the time to head to one of my favourite spots, which is the Anonyma Shoal. For whatever reason, February seems to produce some stonker whiting in this part of the world and in this spot I always find that fresh mussels are the best bait. It’s also a hotspot to find a kingfish, so while chasing the whiting, berley up the garfish and put one of them out alive under a small torpedo float.

Back in closer to shore, Yorkies Reef system has been holding whiting and squid in good numbers. While they haven’t been there every day, I’ve also heard of some good catches of garfish taken in the same area.

Further along towards Sandringham, there are good land-based fishing opportunities this month. Anglers are in for a really good chance of catching plenty of whiting and pinkies while fishing the end of the breakwall and the rock groynes late in the afternoon and into the night.

Out a little wider, anglers fishing in their boats in the 6-8m areas up towards Green Point and Brighton will be finding a mixed bag with the past weeks producing whiting and pinkies. Fishing out a little wider in the 10-12m areas this month, there will be some solid pinkies on offer, with the best results coming to those anglers who fish at dawn and dusk with larger sized baits of pilchards and squid strips.

Up off North Road, it’s also a top time to chase big garfish around the shallow reefs, as they tend to hold between here and St Kilda Marina during the hot weather. Fishing the reef edges and into the sand holes either on foot or in a boat, it’s the prime time to find some big flathead by casting around soft plastics.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

It’s a busy time of the year here while everyone makes the most of summer with water activities like jet skiing, kite surfing and general boating that keep the noise levels up. For that reason, a lot of anglers who are doing well on the fish in this area tend to fish in the dark or during the first and last light periods. There’s less activity on the water and this allows the fish to feed in the shallower water.

For something different, get in behind the breakwall in a kayak or small boat to cast plastics at the moored boat hulls for some big bream and trevally, or head out the front in search of pinkies and whiting on the abundant cunjevoi beds that run all the way along towards Station Pier in the 5-8m areas. Use a bit of berley and baits of mussel and pipi for the whiting, or squid strips and pilchard tails for the pinkies. A bit of berley will always help to get the bite going.

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