Pinkies and bream come on strong
  |  First Published: April 2007

The fishing in the bay has been very good for this time of the year, so don’t pack away your boat and gear just yet, or you’ll miss out on some great fishing around the top section of the bay.

Beaumaris to Sandringham

Pinkies have been consistent as usual in this area, with some better-sized specimens mixed in with the schools of small fish. Fish around 2kg have been popping up regularly, especially for soft plastic anglers. Try using a larger soft plastic like a 4” or 5” Berkley Gulp to get through the smaller fish and onto some of their bigger brothers.

Early morning when the winds allow has been the most productive time, with a lot of the action finished by 8.30am. The better areas are Ricketts Point, around the mussel farm inside Beaumaris Bay, the Aquarium mark off Black Rock and the reefy areas between Half Moon Bay and Sandringham. Fresh squid and half pilchards fished in a light berley trail have also produced good results.

The garfish in this area have provided anglers with great fun and a top feed. The calmer days have offered the best action and a berley trail is essential for good catches of garfish – I recommend using a tuna oil base. Fishing a size 12 hook a couple of feet below a quill-style float baited with maggots, dough or prawn pieces should have you catching a bundle of gars in no time.

The whiting have been a little patchy but there are still some fish for those willing to move around. Try fishing early mornings and after dark with pipis, mussels or squid in Beaumaris Bay, in front of the boat ramp at Half Moon Bay or in close at Sandringham.

Brighton to Port Melbourne

Robert from Compleat Angler Melbourne tells me the pinkies have been fishing well in this region, with consistent results coming from around Brighton Marina, off Elwood, St Kilda Marina and Pier, Kerford Rd Pier, Lagoon Pier and off the beaches just on dusk. Baits of pilchard, raw chicken and bluebait have all produced fish, as have soft plastics in 3” and 4” sizes. Boat anglers fishing plastics around reef and piers have done very well on pinkies to 48cm with the odd big pike, salmon or big flathead mixing things up a bit.

The whiting in this area have also been patchy although Brighton and Elwood have produced some fish and are worth a look.

The piers around Port Melbourne are started to produce bream and this is traditionally a good time of the year to tangle with a few of these in the bay. Fish to 37cm have been taken on soft plastics fished under the piers and around the pylons.

Williamstown to Werribee

Pinkies have been around in good numbers from the mouth of the Yarra River to the football oval mark off Williamstown, although small fish have been a problem at times. Fishing around Williamstown and Altona has seen regular catches of small fish.

Dave from the JV Marine Laverton store says the best results have been coming in the late afternoon just before dark or first light in the morning, with the best plastics being the Berkley Gulp minnow range. On the bait front pilchards and squid strips have worked well. There are still some big pike to be had – try trolling deep diving lures off Millers Rd in Altona.

As with the rest of the top end of the bay, the whiting have been patchy and tough to find, with just a few fish off Pt Cook and Werribee.

On the snapper front, some fish to 6kg have been caught off Werribee on pilchards, garfish and squid.

The Rivers

The Yarra River has been fishing extremely well for bream from the mouth right through to Richmond. The city has been producing lots of fish with shore-based anglers reporting catches of up to 30 fish in a day!

The Berkley range of Gulp sandworms has been the standout on the plastics front, while the Ecogear SX40 has been the pick of the hard-bodied lures.

Mixed in with the bream have been pinkies to 50cm, most of which have been taken on plastics. The pinkie fishing in the Yarra this year is again fantastic (especially between Westgate and Bolte bridges) and the size is often better than those reported in the bay itself.

The bream in the Docklands have also fired up and some great fish up to 43cm have been landed recently. Small paddletail soft plastics like the Ecogear Grass minnow or Atomic paddletails have been the standout performers.

The Maribyrnong River is also fishing well with bream to 41cm coming from bridges, flats and rock walls especially late in the afternoon. Hard bodies fished around these areas have produced the majority of the fish. Areas towards the mouth of the Maribyrnong are also regularly producing pinkies to 40cm on raw chicken and pilchards.

Young Jamie Stemm has only just started snapper fishing but is already pulling in 6kg brutes like this.

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