With some insanely hot weather belting us up in January and February, the fishing has also had some red hot moments. Fingers crossed that March and April will see some of the best fishing for the whole year. It’s my favourite time as not only is the fishing great, but the weather is generally a lot more stable.
The pier has fished well over the last month with numbers of big gars frequently hitting the deck. Hot on their tails have been some good salmon, and even a few kingfish as they move in on the garfish and make thugs of themselves as only a kingfish can.
The shallow reef to the northern side has also seen a few small squid start to make a comeback. Over the following weeks it will be well worth tossing a small squid jig around late in the afternoon.
Along the reefy areas such as the Horse Paddock off Mordialloc, Parkdale Pinnacles and up towards Beaumaris Yacht Squadron, the whiting that were going so well through winter and during snapper season have become a little uncooperative in what should be their best time of year. However, in the following weeks we will hopefully get some stable weather and water temperatures and the whiting will come back in numbers.
While the whiting haven’t been on fire it seems that the Bay couldn’t possibly hold another garfish. What’s more some of them are absolute horses, with gars to 50cm in reasonable numbers.
Trolling lures along and over the reefs around Ricketts Point has seen heaps of snook on offer, with a few really big ones amongst them. Along with these there are schools of salmon working between Mordialloc and Black Rock, with good numbers of fish being taken by boat anglers. Land-based fishos are also finding success.
Over the past weeks we have been starting to get some good reports of snapper once again coming back on the chew after their annual spawning break. Those who just can’t get enough of snapper will normally find that March and April can produce some excellent fishing for numbers of big snapper, both in shallow and deep areas of the Bay.
Besides the bigger snapper there has also been a few decent pinkies starting to show again on the reef along Ricketts Point to Black Rock
The breakwall has been producing some nice flathead for both lure and bait anglers, not to mention more garfish, especially in easterly and northeasterly winds as it helps to carry the berley further.
The inside of the wall is also producing mullet, which are generally great live bait size, especially for those anglers who are wanting to chase those elusive mulloway.
Anonyma Shoal has been fishing well for snook, with small lures such as the Tilsan Barra and Rapala CD Magnum (in 7cm and 9cm) catching plenty of fish.
Out towards the Fawkner Beacon there have been a few snapper reports, and although not every angler is catching them if you can find a patch that are keen to eat there are some big catches to be made.
Heading north, the reefs from Green Point towards North Road Ramp have produced a few whiting and some massive gars, which tend to regularly inhabit the shallow reefs between Green Point and St Kilda.
Out in 8-12m the flathead have been going fairly well, with reports of anglers finding some respectable ones amongst them, especially in the areas out around Elwood.
At St Kilda the pier and all the way along the foreshore to Kerford Road and Lagoon piers the daylight fishing is usually fairly tough as it is busy with people enjoying the warm waters of the Bay. Of an evening and into the night, however, there are some big garfish to be found through March.
If you’re keen to go for a bit of a night time wade when it is calm then there are a few flounder to be speared working the sand areas back towards Sandringham.
The bridges in the Yarra always fish well at this time of the year, with those anglers who fish plastics and hardbodied lures, or the switched on bait angler who floats unweighted baits down against the pylons, having great success. The real key to success in this style of fishing is to get the bait or lure as close to the pylons as possible and keep it there.
Up in the Yarra it’s also the time for mullet start to turn up in numbers, and this means the mulloway will hopefully be right there behind them.
In the Maribyrnong the bream continue to fish well, with the bridges and accessible land-based areas lower down in the system producing some quality bream and the odd trevally.
Under the Westgate the Williamstown side has been holding some good flathead and the odd whiting in the shallows, and March should see some nice pinkies move into this stretch of the river
It’s salmon time around Williamstown and over the coming weeks there should be plenty of high flying fun on offer as they herd the bait into the shallows, which in many cases allows land-based anglers to get into the action. The best lures are small metal slugs like the 40g Surecatch Knight or the ever-reliable soft plastics, which salmon find hard to ignore.
Over at locations such as the Footy Oval, the shallow reef will be well worth fishing in the coming weeks as the whiting and pinkie snapper fire up. Squid also love to call this place home.
While the other side of the Bay has been a bit slow on the whiting recently, the west side has been producing some excellent fishing.
Matt Hunt of Matthew Hunt Fishing Services has had great whiting fishing all through February, working the areas around Port Arlington, Werribee and St Leonards. While the fish he has been getting aren’t massive they are there in big numbers, with all anglers doing well on them.
The shallow water has also been producing some quality flathead, with most of them being caught as they move in on the whiting berley.
Out deeper and heading towards the bottom end of the Bay, March generally sees some very good numbers and sizes of gummy sharks on offer for those anglers who enjoy a feed of flake.
The best areas to target them are along the edge of the shipping channel, or in closer to shore with the 16-18m line out from St Leonards and back towards Werribee being a good area.
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