More hearty winter weather unfolded on the bay last month, along with some welcome rains. The good news is that the northern parts of our state are receiving their fair share as well.
Don’t be deterred by discoloured water nearby creeks and drains. This influx of fresh water brings new food items and gradually increases the water temperature. Next time you talk to a veteran snapper angler in the bay, ask them what the fishing is normally like after a wet winter. The dreamy look that you’ll receive, and the stories that will follow, should give you an indication of what we can expect if the rain continues.
Just like last month, you wouldn’t be a millionaire if you sold boat ramp tickets in the south of the bay, but the keen fishos are still getting amongst them. Quality pinkies are turning up south of Mornington at Fisherman’s Beach, and further south out the front of Bird Rock. Fresh baits like salmon fillets, ‘couta, stripey tuna and squid are all winners and will produce better quality fish.
Three to five inch soft plastics worked around the shallow reefs will also take plenty of fish, especially around the shallower marks. Early morning starts are a must for this technique and the best days are those with about half a metre of chop, bringing the fish in closer to feed.
Calmer weeks have also produced some quality calamari as the water clears on the inshore marks. I’ve heard good reports from Wooley’s Reef, Pelican Point, Bird Rock, McRae, Rye and Sorrento. As usual, quality jigs in the 2.5-3.0 size range are best, and can be drifted from the back of the boat while drifting baits or working plastics for pinkies. The land-based crew are having more trouble finding squid, but I did see some nice calamari taken at Blairgowrie Marina recently, and have had some good reports from Portsea, Mornington and Frankston piers. As the weather warms and we move into spring the juvenile population will emerge and squid mania will take over the bay again. Look out!
One saving grace for us action-starved sportfishermen has been some quality bream spinning on offer inside the Patterson River. Victoria’s winter bream fishing has been revered for many years and the Patto hasn’t let us down so far. Some great bags have been taken around the moored boats and jetties, by casting lightly weighted soft plastics, and methodically working small hard-bodied minnows around the structure. Make sure you use common sense whilst fishing in this area and respect private property. Spare a thought for old Mr. Bream too, who’s probably over 25 years old at 1kg, so only take what you need.
Land-based bait anglers have also been doing very well fishing with freshwater yabbies and fillets of pilchard, especially near the railway bridge. Smart anglers have also been doing very well using unweighted scrubworms near the freeway bridge when the water sports centre floods.
The local pier brigade have been enjoying the rougher winter days, and getting amongst some lovely bay trout. Dromana pier has been the pick of the bunch, and successful anglers are using 2-hook paternoster rigs with bluebait or whitebait and a surf popper. Spinning with metal lures is also productive, but keep them small (20-35g).
There’s the proof in black and white. There are still fish to be caught in the cooler months. Rug up, pack the thermos and enjoy the great fishing in the south of the bay!Reads: 1337