Fun in the sun
  |  First Published: March 2007

The heat of the past few months has continued with a notable lack of rain. The bay water remains very clean and clear, which is great for shallow water and low light fishing options. The absence of rain is still of concern, but the up side is that this means more time on the water and less on the mower.

The high quality fishing for bread and butter species continues throughout the bay. Of special interest is the success by many land-based anglers. I have seen several land-based anglers near my home in Mornington catching some great garfish, salmon, whiting, leatherjacket and small snapper from piers and rock platforms. Early morning seems to be the best time, especially on a rising tide.

Bream it on

It’s no secret that I love to catch bream on lures, and during the tournament season (like now), it takes up a lot of my time. Across the board, bream are a very popular lure target and it’s great to see so many young players having a crack at them this way. My inbox has been bombarded with stories, pictures and questions over the past month - it’s great to see.

You may remember fishing-mad Douglas, the young die-hard from Patterson Lakes. His brother Terrence didn’t want Douglas taking all the fishing glory in the family, so he set about catching a bream on his favourite Ecogear SX40 bream lure. After a few dud days, Terrence got his prize recently with a ripper fish caught from his front lawn. No doubt Douglas will be out to catch a bigger bream than his brother in the next month or so, so stay tuned for an update.

Another young angler, Chris Knapp has also been doing well chucking plastics for bream. Absolutely stoked with his 34cm fish caught recently, Chris shot the pics to my email so fast I think the fish was still kicking when they arrived. Chris’ bream was taken on an avocado gold Squidgy soft plastic rigged on a 1/16oz TT jig head. Nice work Chris!

If bream don’t push your buttons but you still want some quality sportfishing, then there are some active schools of salmon in the south of the bay at the moment. The fish range in weight from 0.5-2kg but can be a little hard to find as the bay is choc-a-bloc full of baitfish. Using a good quality sounder can be invaluable. Don’t be afraid to try right on the shoreline at first light, especially where there are trenches like at Frankston, Mills Beach, McCrae and Ranelagh beach.

If you’re still after that elusive big snapper, my advice is to wait a month or two. Nevertheless at the moment persistence with fresh baits and well-timed outings will eventually pay off. Alternatively, target the quality pinkies that are on offer from the inshore marks. These fish respond to quality baits too, especially the bigger fish in the school. I saw an angler at Mornington recently who landed three lovely 50cm pinkies on unweighted flathead fillets in 2 m of water of Mt Martha. He was fishing for whiting, but always puts bigger baits out for pinkies as well.

Anglers fishing with small, good quality jigs are taking good bags of squid all through the south of the bay. Boat anglers are taking some nice calamari from close to the shoreline and land based anglers are doing well at Mornington, Rye, Sorrento and Portsea. Neutral and dark colors seem to be working the best in the clear water at the moment. Anglers will also do well from the Sorrento and Portsea piers with larger heavier jigs, or baited prongs when the tide is running more strongly. Best baits are silver whiting and yakkas.

Chaos continues at Carrum

Trevor and Lynette Hogan have been flat out again over the past month, with some great fishing on offer all over the bay. The not the least is the welcome presence of good numbers of garfish around the mouth of the river. They have not been so numerous for a few seasons. The youngsters have been very busy with light rods and pencil floats catching these great sporting and table fish. Gars also make sensational bait when fresh.

Another fine gummy shark has hit the scales at Launching Way, stretching them to a 19.5kg. The monster was taken by local angler Dan, fishing off Sorrento and took his preferred gummy bait, cured eel.

Not to be outdone were Claire and Michael who recently caught a lovely bag of whiting off Frankston. The pair bagged some lovely fish to 40cm in length, the biggest weighing 390g. Their preferred bait was pipis rigged on quality chemically sharpened hooks.

The bay continues to serve up some quality fishing and will continue to do so if we look after this very valuable resource. Keep up the good work out there, and remember to take only what you need for a feed.

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