I always get excited when April rolls around as it generally produces some great weather and some outstanding fishing, almost like it’s the last hoorah for some of the bigger fish before they start to wind down for the winter months.
It seems as though it was only yesterday we were all getting excited about Christmas and now it’s hard to believe we are already in April. But perhaps that has something to do with the great fishing over the past six months with a wide variety of species on offer through out the state.
During March the squid started to make a steady return to the inshore reefs and the next few weeks should really see them come on in force as the water temperature drops, best of all some of the best locations to find them are really close to shore with Mordialloc and Beaumaris piers being two great land based areas to look.
Mordialloc Pier has also been fishing well with some good pinkies being taken up around the 50cm mark, along with them there are some trevally and the odd salmon when the weather has been a bit rougher.
While out in the boats there are still some snapper to be found in the 16m area out from Mordialloc and out towards the Gasso which is located up off Ricketts Point in 18m of water, while there hasn’t been any huge catches we have heard of there has certainly been some decent snapper being taken, so if you are looking do get that last decent snapper for the season give it a go over the next few weeks before the fish move out.
Back closer to shore the Whiting have been a bit spasmodic for the last few months but here’s hoping with the cooler water temperatures they may fire up.
The pinkies will well and truly come on the chew over the coming weeks, and best of all this time of year often sees the odd big snapper mixed amongst the smaller pinkies.
Out in the boats those anglers trolling the edge of the reef around Parkdale pinnacles then between Ricketts Point and Black Rock are having an absolute ball chasing and catching big numbers of snook, several of which are up around the 1m mark. The best lures for them have been the Rapala X rap deep 12cm in Silver Blue and the Tilsan barra in gold or blue herring.
Decent whiting have been found along the shallow reef between Sandringham break wall and Green Point with some good catches from land based anglers fishing from the groynes. This area and all along heading towards the city has also had some absolutely massive garfish on offer. For those who want to target them, these are accessible both in the boat or land based from locations such as around the north road boat ramp and towards the pier at St Kilda.
Out in the boats the Anonyma shoal has been producing some good fishing with the odd bag of big whiting, not to mention plenty of snook and some decent schools of salmon from time to time.
Off Brighton break wall the pinkies have been going great. While they have been quite small, the coming weeks should see a change with schools of bigger pinkies moving into the shallows to tear up the baitfish on the reef.
Heading further north, the Elwood drain has been holding numbers of mullet, which is always great news for the anglers who like to hunt the mulloway that start to make an appearance over the coming months.
Moving along the shoreline there are still some good numbers of whiting to be found at the top end of the bay. Anglers from the Port Melbourne angling club have been finding good success along the various broken bottom between St Kilda and Williamstown.
One angler from the club also proved its always worth putting out a large bait when he caught a 28kg mulloway on a whole whiting while fishing at 4:00am one morning recently, needless to say when asked where it was caught the response was between St Kilda and Williamstown.
Kerford Road pier should start to see a few squid mullet and gars fire up in its vicinity over the coming weeks. Lagood pier is also worth putting a line in; it should produce some big snapper and exceptional mulloway over the next 4-6 weeks. The key here is to fish with live mullet under a float or fresh squid on the bottom, you may need to put in long hours but the results are there for the keen anglers.
Station and Princess piers will begin to hold good numbers of bream and should also start to see the odd mulloway moving around in the shadows of the piers, so fishing with fresh bait here could also see you with the fish of a lifetime.
This time of year the Yarra and Maribrynong rivers turn on some quality fish with top bream fishing and also the arrival of mulloway, which turn up to get stuck into the schools of mullet that are now in the system.
For the bream anglers the rock wall areas often fish well over the coming weeks as they warm up through the day. The sun also warms the water around them, which in turn attracts bait such as small fish and shrimps, then the bream follow. Working the bridge pylons with baits or lures is well worth the effort, with live yabbies or small blade style lures being dynamite. Another bonus to fishing the bridges is that you can keep moving to cover more water till you find the fish and where they are holding in numbers.
Some great fishing has been on offer over this side of the bay in the past month and it looks like it’s just going to get better.
Off Williamstown there have been a few small schools of salmon poking around although much of the focus is on the whiting and pinkie snapper that are on offer in the area. There have also been some reports of decent flathead being taken by land based anglers along the shoreline heading towards the Altona boatramp.
Out From Altona the locals have been having good success fishing for pinkies on the shallow reefs behind the footy oval with bluebait and squid producing the best results. Amongst the pinkies the anglers fishing with pippies and squid are also finding the odd decent whiting.
Up towards Werribee it’s a different story with great numbers of whiting on offer from straight out the front of the Werribee River and all along the shoreline to Point Cook and down to St Leonards. Fishing shallow will produce whiting while working the slightly deeper water in the 6-10m areas will find you a better class of fish with fresh squid being a top bait to tempt them.
The upcoming weeks should also see good numbers of squid on all the general whiting areas, so fresh bait won’t be too hard to come by. Another great option is to use some of the Gulp sandworms on a standard whiting rig, these things kick but on the whiting.
Out in the deeper water, Werribee to St Leonards, April often produces some quality snapper and very big gummy sharks for the anglers who want to put the time in with fresh baits. While the action may not be fast and furious, the quality of fish sure makes up for it.
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