While it was one of the coldest and most miserable winters we have seen for a long while, I am sure we were all thankful for decent rain and a good amount of snow, which will no doubt help to spur on more great fishing for the upcoming season.
With the worst of the weather behind us, it’s great to see spring is on the way. The days are getting longer and the sun definitely has a bit of warmth to it. In fact, we have already had a few days where the mercury got up to around 25oC, which has really helped get anglers fired up for the upcoming season.
The hard inshore reefs along the stretch of coastline between Beaumaris and Black Rock produce some of the best year round fishing on offer, playing host to many different species as the seasons roll by. This stretch also tends to produce some of the more unusual species that can turn up from time to time, as shown recently when huge numbers of warehou, or ‘snotty trevalla’ as they are better known, moved in on the reefy areas.
Being a schooling fish and quite aggressive, the warehou responded well to berley and a variety of different methods. From baits suspended under floats, to paternoster rigs, or a simple unweighted bait cast out in the berley. They provided heaps of hand over fist fun when a school moved in. While most were about 300g, there was the odd fish up around a 1kg. Being closely related to trevally, these fish sure know how to fight.
This area is also producing excellent numbers of garfish, with many anglers taking the time to stock up on them for the upcoming snapper season. Along with the garfish there is also a good run of squid on offer, and while most are a perfect size to save for snapper bait, there is also a good sprinkling of bigger ones on offer.
As for the pinkie snapper, they went a little quite for a while but over the past weeks there has been a better run of fish on offer. While they don’t seem to be there in huge numbers, there is a smattering of 1–2kg pinkies as well as the odd bigger fish. In fact, my good mate Nick Hanlon had one session where he pulled the hooks on a cracker of a fish at the boat, then soon after proceeded to get almost spooled while fishing soft plastics out off Ricketts Point
Over the coming weeks it will definitely be worth anglers fishing with bigger baits and soft plastics as the run of big snapper move into the area. If the past two years are anything to go by then land-based fishing from the piers at Mordialloc, Beaumaris and Black Rock could see good numbers of big fish taken, especially in rough weather.
The reefy areas that extend through from Sandringham to Port Melbourne have been producing good numbers of squid on small squid jigs such as the Hayabusa and Shrimp Hunter patterns. There are also bucket loads of garfish, especially around areas such as Green Point and down towards the North Road Boat Ramp.
Land-based anglers fishing locations such as Brighton Breakwall around dawn and dusk have caught pinkies to 1kg, especially in rougher conditions. The coming weeks will also be a great time to find yourself in battle with a genuine snapper, especially in a strong southwest blow.
If fishing in calmer conditions is more appealing to you, there are also good numbers of garfish to be caught off St Kilda and Kerford Road piers.
Out the front of the Yarra River there have been reports of the odd school of small salmon busting up on the abundant bait in the area. Anglers fishing around the mouth of the Yarra are still catching good numbers of pinkie snapper on bait and soft plastics, and while most are fairly small there are is the odd fish up to 3kg. You are also always in with a chance of a really big snapper, or even better, a mulloway. In fact when fishing in this area with bait, always try and have something fresh out, as there are plenty of mulloway to be caught here year round.
The Warmies has been producing its usual bream and mullet, especially for those anglers who use a bit of berley and use good quality baits such as sand worm and bass yabbies.
Up in the Maribyrnong the bream fishing has been really good for both lure and bait anglers, especially for those who have been fishing around the bridge pylons in the river. While the normal baits are prawn or bloodworm, which can be bought from Newport Bait And Tackle, other baits such as freshwater yabbies have also been working well, especially on big bream.
In the Yarra the bream action has been hot and cold, although lure fishermen have had some good sight fishing on the warmer days when bream can be seen chewing food off the abundant structure. There are also good numbers of pinkies that have decided to move up into the Docklands area and have been only too happy to slam a soft plastic, or a bit of pilchard or whitebait.
The shallow reefy areas around the back of Williamstown and Altona have been producing good numbers of pinkie snapper, and there are some bigger fish mixed in amongst them too. There are also good reports of squid and garfish scattered through the area, both of which make great eating for us humans as well as for a big hungry snapper.
Fingers crossed, it looks like we are in for another bumper snapper run around this area of the bay. There have already been reports filtering through of anglers taking snapper in a variety of locations, from the shallow water behind the rifle range and out to the edge of the shipping channel in areas such as P2, and around the spoil ground.
Whiting are starting to make an appearance back in the shallow water around Werribee and Point Cook, which is probably a flow on from the great fishing that has been on offer around the St Leonards area over the past month.
The broken ground is also holding good numbers of smaller squid, which make ideal snapper baits, especially for tentative early season fish.Reads: 1231