Snap up the late season snapper
  |  First Published: May 2017

Cooler mornings and perfect autumn days have made their way into this part of the world. Just to keep us on our toes and let us know that winter is around the corner, the early southerly winds have been absolute crackers. This month, I’ve got my fingers-crossed for more calm weather, because this is one of my favourite months of the year to be out on the water in this part of the bay.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

May sees the creek fish in good form. Big mullet are making their presence felt. Keep an eye out for the local anglers fishing with the long poles and you will soon be where the fish are holding.

On the pier the cool, clear water has seen plenty of squid turning up in the afternoons. As it rolls into evening, pinkies are turning up in good numbers. During periods of bad weather there is still a very good chance of getting a solid late season snapper.

Garfish have been a bit hit and miss on the pier. This month will hopefully see them return in good numbers and there should also be some hungry salmon with them. If pinkies are your target, fishing around dusk will get you better fish, especially if you fish with larger baits of squid strips or whole pilchards.

Out in the boats the shallow reefs have been fishing well for a variety of species. The Horse Paddock area through to Parkdale Pinnacles is fishing well for pinkies from 30-45cm. Interestingly, the better reports of bigger fish are from anglers fishing on the inside edge between the reef and the shoreline. These areas have also been fishing well for squid over the past weeks. Anglers have found big schools of garfish, so it’s well worth putting out a fine berley trail.

It’s squid time off Beaumaris Pier. Most mornings and afternoons will see plenty of calamari hitting the deck. While most of the squid are on the smaller side, by fishing with larger jigs you will often find a few bigger models.

Adding to the pinkies there have been some nice flathead taken land-based over the past weeks. As always, the big blue spot flathead should turn up for a few months and offer great fishing opportunities out in Beaumaris Bay for both lure and bait anglers.

From Ricketts Point to Black Rock the pinkies have been going well and should only get better. While you will often find huge schools of fish in certain areas, these are usually smaller fish. They are great fun, but if you want better quality catches, fish away from the groups of boats and fish with larger baits or soft plastics and you will usually be pleasantly surprised with how big some of the pinkies will be.

Sandringham To St Kilda

The breakwall and all along the rock groynes at Hampton have been fishing well for juveniles over the past weeks and should only get better. I heard of anglers getting solid whiting while fishing from the sand and casting baits towards the patches of reef that lie just offshore, especially at the northern end of the beach there at Hampton.

Off Green Point the edge of the reef has been holding squid in good numbers for boat and kayak anglers, while further north off Brighton and its surrounds the reefy bottom has been holding very nice pinkies up to and over 40cm. There have been excellent whiting with them, and while the numbers haven’t been great, the overall size of the fish is good with most in the 35-38cm size.

Trolling small lures through all these areas has also seen anglers catching stacks of snook in the 50-60cm size, they make good eating when fresh, and are excellent bait, so they’re sure to get a lot of anglers excited.

Further north towards St Kilda anglers are finding plenty of pinkies at dawn and dusk. Over the past weeks they seem to be smaller with most of them in the 25-30cm size. Hopefully this will change over the coming weeks.

Adding to the pinkies there have also been good numbers of squid with some kayak anglers reporting that they are doing very well with brown and gold coloured jigs.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

With the water beginning to cool off the bream are sure to be quite active this month around the breakwalls and moored boats in this part of the world. Anglers fishing the reefy areas in 5-9m are sure to find some quality late season snapper. The best results are going to be for those anglers fishing at night, and it will be worth the effort. In these areas it will also be worth fishing some smaller baits, as there should also be solid whiting in the area too.

Up at the cove between Station and Princess piers, this month is a great time to be fishing. Usually we see big schools of pinkies and even bigger snapper move into this bay to feed at night.

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