March and April are by far my favourite times of the year for fishing. The boat traffic has eased, the weather is settling (usually) and the fish are biting better than ever.
I guess the only real problem with this time of year, is knowingly exactly what to do!
The Mornington Peninsula is boasting more fishing options than ever before, and when it comes to preparation, it is a case of making the decision on what to target.
The obvious popular choice of many anglers throughout summer has been the yellowtail kingfish, but I believe now is the best time and right throughout this month, you will see good-sized fish from all the usual haunts offshore from the peninsula. In my experience, March and April means bigger fish than January and February, but in some cases, fewer. For a lot of anglers, quantity is better than quality, but I am at a stage in my life where I disagree. The bite windows can be shorter, but the fish will be bigger, and that’s what I prefer!
How can we not think about squid? The southern calamari fishing this year to date has been nothing short of brilliant. It hasn’t mattered whether you have been in a boat or restricted to the land, the squid fishing has produced the goods.
Boat anglers have found fishing all the way down the peninsula from Olivers Hill the heads has been consistent. I’m still leaning toward launching at Sorrento and finding some of the thick weed beds that are out near The Sisters if you have a boat.
If I’m on foot, I’m fishing Mount Martha rocks, as it has once again showcased the amazing land-based fishing the peninsula has to offer.
From the rocks or boat, size 3.0 jigs are the first on my line and typically, it’s a deep red colour foil with pretty much any cloth. The next jig on if that fails is one with plenty of silvers and greens. Try the Yakamito range for a great variety!
There’s so many good options for King George whiting at the moment and quite a few anglers have reported good captures around Mud Islands. It seems that making sure you have a few good baits on hand is important, as they can be a bit picky.
I would suggest a combination of pipi, mussel and squid, and even cocktailing them can be rewarding. Berley is a must, but don’t over-do it! A small berley cage with a few pellets and pilchard mix is a great berley and should have fish around you in no time. Another tip from many whiting anglers this month is to keep moving. If it’s not happening in your area and you’ve given it 20 minutes, move on. You don’t have to go far, but making the move is a valuable tactic.
If you are up for a bit of fun, look no further than salmon to keep you on your toes. Schools of Aussie salmon have been seen patrolling the peninsula and once located, can be fished for hours. Dan Lee from Compleat Angler Rosebud has been keeping an eye on these schools and reports that there seem to be more than he can remember for some time.
Quite a few of his customers have been having terrific fun on them using small stickbaits and poppers. Casting into the schools, you will soon see why it’s fun! Your lures will be smashed to bits as you begin to retrieve, and typically you will be hooked up within a few seconds.Reads: 95