Although June is not a month most anglers associate with good fishing in the bay, this year seems to be changing a few minds. Every year more and more anglers are discovering that the fishing in Port Phillip Bay’s northern reaches doesn’t stop with the hot weather.
While the snapper from a few months ago are scarce and the whiting are hard to come by, many other species are still available and some, such as calamari and tailor, make their appearance over the colder months. Sure the fishing in most cases isn’t as hot or action-packed as in summer, but with some patience and dedication some fairly exciting little trips can still be had.
The ever-reliable pinkie fishery is keeping anglers happy in this region with fish to 45cm still about. They have been a little patchy compared to recent months but the size has been reasonable with most fish around the 30cm mark.
Drifting and casting soft plastics has been the best method while the humble old pilchard is also taking its fair share of fish. The best times have again been dawn and dusk. Hot spots have been Ricketts Point, the Aquarium at Black Rock, off Half Moon Bay, Hampton Rock groynes, off Brighton and St Kilda Marina and around the piers at Port Melbourne.
Calamari have started to show up regularly on the inshore reefs around Beaumaris, Black Rock, Brighton and St Kilda. Drifting with small squid jigs has been successful, as has casting and retrieving small jigs from the shore just after dark in areas with broken reef. This fishing will only get better over the coming months.
The salmon around Black Rock have been patchy, showing up for a day or two then disappearing again. Anglers casting metal lures and soft plastics to feeding schools on the surface have caught fish to 2kg. Trolling deep diving lure has produced fish when they are not feeding on top. The latter method has also produced some nice pinkies as a bycatch for a few lucky anglers.
Pinkies have again made the bulk of reports on this side of the bay. Many anglers are now working out that pinkies are a year-round proposition in the top of the bay, providing consistent action over the colder months. Soft plastics have again dominated reports but the bait fishos are doing just fine with pilchard and fresh squid strips.
The last few hours of light in the evening have provided the most consistent fishing, but moving to find fish has made a difference. This would also explain why the soft plastic brigade who drift and cover a lot of ground are doing so well. The areas off Williamstown football oval and off Millers Road in Altona have been the better performers.
Salmon to 1.5kg have been taken off Altona recently with some big schools working baitfish on the surface. Casting small metal lures to these feeding fish has been the best method, as trolling has been sending the schools deep as soon as you get near them.
Anglers who scored with bigger snapper off Werribee during May have reported things are very tough with only the odd fish of around 4kg being reported.
Both the city rivers have fished well for bream since the rains in late May. Bream to 40cm have been taken on both hard-bodied lures and soft plastics. Areas with flats and weed beds have fished well, as have pylons and rock walls.
Some tailor started to show up at the mouth of the Yarra and at the Warmies in Newport. Hopefully this winter sees a better run of tailor at the Warmies than last year. Fish to 40cm have been taken on small metal lures and shallow running minnow lures.
As the hot water outlet starts to work more regularly over winter these fish should show up in better numbers. These small tailor also attract mulloway to the area and I have already heard a few whispers of mulloway caught on live tailor between the Warmies and the Westgate Bridge.
Young Ange Mouzouris with a great snapper he caught while fishing with his Dad off Ricketts Point recently.Reads: 687