Port Phillip on top of the Ladder
  |  First Published: May 2009

As to be expected for this time of year, when the fishing is good its great but there has been enough ugly weather to let us know that winter is knocking on the door. Not that it seems anyone has told the fish, or especially the squid, as the past weeks have seen some great fishing around the bay.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

Will the fishing ever slow up on Mordialloc Pier? Its been fishing well for various species all summer and autumn and now it seems the pinkies and squid are moving into the shallows surrounding the pier to feed on the abundant food in the area.

During rough weather there has been some nice pinkies to 45cm being taken on baits of squid and pilchards of an evening. Amongst them there has also been some decent salmon and the odd trevally. During calmer weather the pier has seen big numbers of undersized pinkies around that are only too keen to steal your baits. The calmer weather has however produced some good squid from the pier of an evening with several of them around the kilo mark. Garfish are still around in good numbers although size varies from day to day. The coming weeks should also see good numbers of mullet begin to move into Mordialloc Creek, offering great fun on light tackle.

Out in the boats we are still getting the odd snapper reports coming from the 12-15m area straight out from Mordialloc and up towards Ricketts Point, with most snapper ranging between 2-4.5kg. Up in Beaumaris Bay the salmon have been getting stuck into the baitfish, often pushing them close to the pier and in range of the land based anglers. Beaumaris Pier has also been producing good numbers of squid on a daily basis with Fishing Fever staff member Eren Gruven catching good numbers of them to a kilo – not to mention one of the monsters he broke off while trying to lift it on the pier.

Other anglers have also found good success on pinkies and even two 4kg snapper taken from the pier one morning after strong winds. Add to this the odd big whiting from the pier and you have the complete Port Phillip mixed bag. Best of all, the pier will continue to fish well for squid over the coming months.

The rocky shoreline to Ricketts Point has been holding plenty of squid; finger crossed this area will also produce a good run of whiting over the coming weeks as it did last year. Out deep from Ricketts Point the famous snapper area known as the Gasso has still been producing some good catches with some customers reporting fish between 2-6.5kg, with the best trick to anchor up and then be patient, with most of the action starting after a good hour of solid berley. Amongst the snapper, anglers are also getting fair numbers of gummy sharks to 6kg and heaps of small as well as the odd big seven gill sharks.

In closer on the reefs its pinkie season and the little fellows are making themselves known with hordes of undersized pinkies clobbering baits and lures. The following weeks should hopefully see some better fish starting to move on to the reefs of a morning and evening.

Sandringham To Port Melbourne

Snook are abundant on the reefs at present and don’t look to be going anywhere too soon as they feed up on the abundant bait in the areas. To find them it’s a simple matter to troll small lures – especially diving minnows such as Rapalas around locations such as the Anonyma Shoal or the outside edges of Yorkies reef system; an area that is also holding good squid and pinkies of late.

Further north the Sandringham breakwall has produced a few pinkies from the very end as well as the odd salmon but for the most part the fishing seems to be better at present from the rock groynes along the beach at Hampton with good garfish to be found during the day, along with squid and pinkies of an evening.

Brighton Breakwall has produced pinkies over the past weeks, and is always a spot worth fishing over the coming months as it not only produces the numbers but also some better quality pinkies; even the odd winter snapper. The inside of the breakwall has also started to produce the occasional trevally and a few bream.

From North road up to St Kilda the shallow reefs have good numbers of squid on them and are accessible in many locations for both the land based and the boat angler. In fact some of the better reports I have heard over the past weeks have come from the land-based fishos working the shallow reefs in and around the boat ramp itself. Garfish are still around and if you want to find yourself in battle with some of the biggest gars in the bay then get down to this area and berley up some of the finest tasting fish in the sea. The following months should see some good gars on St Kilda Pier as they move into the shallows during the day to find the warmer water.

The next few months is when the top of the bay can produce some outstanding fishing for those anglers keen to fish at night, as numbers of good snapper often move into the shallows to feed on the abundant cunjevoi beds. Fishing in water between 4-10m deep from St Kilda to Station Pier can produce the goods in the form of winter snapper, not to mention some big mulloway that patrol the same reefs or the smaller, slimy, but awesome tasting ling. While most of the anglers in this area fish from boats there are just as many quality fish to be caught from Kerford Rd, Lagoon and Station piers.

Yarra And Maribyrnong

It’s mulloway time in this part of the world where groups of hardcore anglers spend countless hours in cold conditions chasing one of the most elusive fish to swim in our waters. However as anyone who has caught one will agree they are also up there with the most exciting species you could ever encounter. Every mulloway you catch leaves you with a sense of achievement at outsmarting one of the more cunning fish in the sea. Fishing along the wharves and around bridges with live mullet over the coming months is the key to catching these monsters.

One the more prevalent species, the bream, are going well up the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers with bait anglers doing exceptionally well on the bigger bream by casting live freshwater yabbies unweighted towards the bridge pylons. Gun angler Brent Hodges has been continuing to give the bream in the system a serious touch up on the lures with metal vibes producing the results on bridge pylons and small hard bodies bringing the results cast under wharves and along the shoreline.

The boys have also been finding good numbers of pinkies in the lower Yarra on a range of GULP! and Squidgy plastics. We can only hope the upcoming weeks will see anglers finding some better specimens. Land based anglers working the rock walls around the Warmies are also getting into pinkies up to a kilo in weight.

The other thing I cant wait to see is how many fish will hold on the piles of rock that are currently being dropped in the water near the Westgate Bridge ­ nothing like structure to bring the good fish into reach.

Williamstown To Werribee

The rocky and accessible shoreline between Williamstown and towards Altona has been producing good numbers of garfish and a few pinkies for the land based anglers, while those with boats are finding good numbers of pinkies on the shallow reefs as well as decent numbers of squid. The upcoming weeks and months will see big numbers of pinkies move onto the favoured areas such as behind the footy oval and the likes. Up towards Werribee there are still a few whiting to be found but for many anglers their focus has turned towards the abundant squid and garfish that are on offer over the weeded areas.

Out deeper, June is a great time to fish out in 22m of water between Werribee and St Leonards, and while the action isn’t thick and fast persisting, with fresh baits will produce some quality snapper and some serious sized gummy sharks.

The Werribee River itself has started to produce a few bream and as the cold winter mornings set in the fishing will improve in this small river that continues to produce exceptional bream each season.

Off St Leonards, the whiting have still been in good numbers with most anglers having best success on fresh squid, which can usually be caught in the same area with little fuss.

Sure the weather is cooler but there are still some quality fish to be found for those who are prepared to get out there and give it a crack.

If you have any reports or pictures you would like published send them to --e-mail address hidden--

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