Good weather and great fishing are what it’s all about this month. If the past weeks are anything to go by, March is going to be a winner with lots of options on hand in this part of the bay. The other great thing about March is it’s often the month that sees anglers in a prime time to target kingfish in the shallows. Best of all, it can be done in the same locations and at the same time as you are chasing other species.
Plenty has been going on in this part of the bay in past weeks. It doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down at any time soon. The pier is fishing well for squid and pinkie snapper late in the afternoons and even the odd whiting in the sand holes on the north side of the pier.
For most people the good and exciting news has been the return of some good numbers of garfish. While they have been caught during the day it seems that of a night they are more than happy to turn up in good numbers with quite a few anglers reporting excellent numbers in the dark. Maybe the reason that the gars haven’t been as good during the daylight hours has also been due to the odd schools of rat kingfish that keep making raids past the pier.
If you’re fishing the pier in the coming weeks, it would be well worth it to put a live garfish out under a float as it just might pay off with a kingfish or a big salmon.
Out in the boats there have been whiting caught all through the shallow reefs between Mordialloc and up to Beaumaris Pier. It’s been a little hit and miss. That should change this month, as looking back over the past few years, March and April have been quite good on the whiting in these parts.
Anglers have also reported the odd good pinkie and solid flathead in the area. The best results come to those fishing soft plastics.
Up off Beaumaris Pier, squid have been around in decent numbers. Once again, at night some anglers have found good success on the garfish. Out in the boats from Ricketts Point up to Black Rock there are plenty of options for whiting and pinkies. It’s time to be putting out a live bait in search of a kingfish as they will make quick raids past you and usually don’t hang around for long. If you don’t have a bait out, you can often miss your chance to get a bite.
This month also sees good numbers of salmon moving along this part of the bay. Over the past weeks we have seen a few reports of some very solid fish that have been in smaller schools and are usually getting caught by anglers drifting the reef edge in search of pinkies.
Good numbers of fish have been found off the breakwall and up off the Hampton rock groynes with anglers reporting everything from garfish to pinkies and even a few whiting. Solid flathead that have been taken seem to be the highlight. Several anglers have found quality fish in the 45-55cm size. While most of them have been taken on baits cast out off the rocky structure, there have also been some good fish taken by anglers wading the shallows with soft plastics near the north side of the Sandringham Yacht Club.
Further north off Green Point, squid have been in good numbers. This shallow reef area is also the prime place to set up and fish for garfish over the coming weeks, as they like to hang around this area. The shallow reef here sees the water getting very warm, which in turn holds the gars.
Out wider, the reef and rubble bottom that run all through here and up to Brighton in 6-12m of water is a top place to be chasing whiting and pinkies over the coming weeks. It’s also a prime area this month to troll with small diving minnows or garfish on gang hooks for the big snook that are currently on offer.
Now is also the time to be heading to the Anonyma Shoal, as it will produce anything on the right day. The past weeks see good numbers of snook and garfish on and around the reef. It’s always a top location for pinkies and better quality whiting, and it’s without doubt a great place to find a kingfish.
Between North Road Boat Ramp and St Kilda Marina there are good shallow reef areas and this month it’s a prime location to chase big flathead around its edges and also an excellent area to find really big garfish. While the numbers might not be big, the size of the gars often is. It’s well worth the effort.
Between St Kilda Breakwall and Port Melbourne it’s a busy time of the year up in this part of the bay. If you plan your fishing in the key times then it can be very good for a range of species. Try to put your effort in the dawn and dusk periods or even in the dark, as there are less people on the water. With this being the case, the better quality fish tend to move straight into the shallows to feed. Anglers have reported decent whiting taken around the isolated danger marker off St Kilda Breakwall at dawn and dusk.
Solid pinkie have been found at night between Kerford Road Pier and up to Lagoon Pier in 5-8m of water. Add to this the ever-present mulloway around the old Princess Pier area and you will have plenty of fish to be chasing in the top of the bay this month.Reads: 1776