Fish coming and going in cooler water
  |  First Published: April 2017

Shorter days and cooler water doesn’t mean that the fishing will slow down over the coming weeks. In fact, this is quite possibly one of the best times of the year to get into an assortment of species. April often tends the be the month that produces some of the bigger fish that are either arriving for winter or getting ready to leave the bay for the winter.

The other thing I love about the next few months is that it often produces cool mornings and calm days that see the fish feed for longer periods of time.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

The pier has been fishing well over the past weeks for a variety of species.

This month will see good numbers of squid. Cooler water and air temperatures this month will also see the pinkies turn up at the pier of an evening in good numbers. For those anglers that fish some bigger baits, you are in for some much better sized pinkies and even the odd big snapper, especially if we get a bit of a southerly blow.

Back inside the creek this month should also see the big mullet fire up. Keep an eye out for the local anglers as they tend to know where the fish are. If you watch them closely, you’ll be able to rig up accordingly to get into the action.

Out in the boats, pinkies have been in good numbers all up around the Horse Paddock Reef off Parkdale and up around the Parkdale Pinnacles. A few anglers are also reporting good success on fish in the 50cm size while fishing evenings on the inside of the pinnacles on the sand in 4-5m of water.

Moving further along, the Beaumaris Pier is kicking into gear on the squid with late afternoon and evenings producing the best results. While there have been plenty of smaller squid around, if you fish larger slow sinking jigs, you will definitely find a few of the bigger models.

Up off Ricketts Point and down towards the Cerberus at Black Rock it’s time to get serious on the pinkies. It doesn’t matter if you like to fish lures or fish with bait. The upcoming weeks and even months are sure to produce plenty of fun.

The best results over the past weeks have definitely been in the afternoons and into the evening with some of the better pinkies being found out in the slightly deeper water off the edge of the hard reef in 8-12m of water. For better numbers get in along the edge of the marine park and you are sure to be flat out on 30-40cm pinkies.

As always, if the bigger fish are what you’re after, it’s well worth fishing a few larger baits such as a whole pilchard or a bigger soft plastic in the 5-7” size. Over April and May for the land-based anglers, it’s also a great time to fish at the Half Moon Bay carpark and its surrounds. Pinkies love to move into this shallow area under the cover of darkness.

Sandringham To St Kilda

It’s time to grab a jumper and get along the foreshore in this part of the bay with plenty of fishing options on offer recently such as good pinkie snapper being caught off the very end of the Sandringham Breakwall and off the Hampton Rock Groynes.

Adding to this, there have been good numbers of squid on offer on any bit of hard reef or weedy area. If a bit of float fishing is what you want, get some berley going. There have been some great garfish lurking around and while they haven’t been on the chew every day, when they are on, the fishing has been great.

Further to the north Brighton Breakwall and its surrounds are a top place to be chasing pinkies and squid this month. It’s often the place to find a few better-sized pinkies, especially if we get a bit of a southwesterly blow.

Further along the bay, the shallow reef area from Brighton to North Road is prime squid territory. Over the past weeks, there has been plenty of calamari on offer. Fingers crossed it gets better over the coming months as the squid grow and increase in numbers.

One good tip here is to use lightly weighted or shallow running squid jigs. A 3.5 size combined with light nose weight allows long casts with a big jig that can comfortably be fished in 1-2m of water, which is where the bigger squid often sit on the high tide.

Up off St Kilda it’s time to turn the focus towards winter fishing with bream around the marina and breakwalls mixed with a few pinkies and trevally. A bit of mashed pilchard for berley and an unweighted pilly fillet or similar for bait can see you getting into some great fun.

St Kilda to Port Melbourne

The low lying reef mostly made up of cunjevoi and other soft sea sponges tends to attract some good late season snapper to this part of the bay for both boat and land-based anglers fishing at night off the Kerford Road and Lagoon Piers. It’s also time to get the heavier gear ready in search of the ultimate prize known as the blackfish or mulloway.

If this is your target, it’s time to get good at catching fresh and live bait in the form of squid and mullet. With these you will definitely increase your chances of getting one of these great fish.

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