The thing I really like about July is that is means we are slowly getting closer to spring, and hopefully some warmer temperatures so I don’t have to sleep under a big fat doona and extra blankets to keep me warm on what has been some very freezing nights.
On the upside however the winter month of July still produces some nice fish for those keen people that just have to get out and amongst some fish.
Huge numbers of tiny pinkies continue to make life difficult for many anglers as they invade berley trails and destroy baits and lures for any angler nearby. Saying that though there are still the odd better pinkie snapper and some whiting to be found for persistent anglers.
Mordialloc Pier has had decent numbers of squid and all agree it would be even better if the light at the base of the pier was repaired, as it attracts the squid at night. Hopefully by the time you read this it will be back in operation.
Out on the end of the pier the salmon have been around in the rougher conditions, but it’s in the creek where most of the anglers are to be found, as they fish for some decent mullet and trevally.
Up in Beaumaris Bay the Beaumaris Pier still continues to produce good numbers of squid and some decent garfish late in the afternoons while boat anglers are still finding some decent flathead out around the back of the mussel farm. Pilchard tails on paternoster rigs or soft plastics slowly bounced along the bottom are producing the goods.
From Ricketts Point down to Black Rock anglers are eagerly hunting the pinkies, with the biggest problem appearing to be finding better fish among the thousands of tiddlers. The other factor that has slowed the fishing on several occasions is the water becoming so clear you can see the bottom in 7m of water, not something I think we could have ever dreamed of while the scallop boats were in the bay. On days when the water is too clear, the pinkie bite is short and right on last light; it is however full-on and a whole lot of fun.
The pier at Black Rock, better known as Half Moon Bay boat ramp has had a few squid over the past weeks, especially for anglers fishing on a high tide during the night, as the squid move into very shallow water and near the lights to feed. Best success seems to be on the 1.8-2.0 sized squid jigs as they sink slower and allow you to fish in water that is only a foot or so deep
Out towards Sandringham there are garfish to be found with Yorkies Reef and along the rock groynes around at Hampton producing the fish. Boat anglers have also found the odd whiting in the area in amongst the pinkies, and when located there is the opportunity to get a reasonable bag of fat winter whiting.
From Green Point to North Road and on towards St Kilda the shallow reef areas tend to produce great numbers of red mullet over the coming weeks and months, with good catches to be made by fishing in shallow with baits of pipi, or even better sand or beach worm. The other thing that these red critters love is a small soft plastic worked over the reef, with some big catches to be made on 80mm Squidgy Wrigglers and 3” GULP! minnows in Smelt or Nuclear Chicken colours. To have the best success on them work your lure a bit slower and keep it close to the bottom.
Up on the St Kilda Pier and down on Keford Road and Lagoon piers the mullet should be moving into the area over the coming weeks, with some good catches to be made for those angler who use berley and fish with fine pencil and quill floats. Night time will also see some of the keenest anglers in Melbourne fishing from Lagoon and Station piers in search of the elusive mulloway, and here the dedicated anglers will find success by using small live mullet suspended under floats or fresh squid baits on the bottom. Most seem to favour the live bait however as it keeps the bait away from sea lice and stingrays.
The coming weeks will hopefully see some good mulloway being landed out of the Yarra with fish ranging in sizes from just a few kilos to absolute monsters and while most of the fish are taken on live mullet its also well worth throwing soft plastics or larger hard body lures such as Rapala Husky Jerks or Gold Bombers around the lights in any of the accessible locations.
Brent Hodges still continues to give the bream and pinkies in the Yarra and Maribyrnong a serious bit of a caning with some great pinkies on offer, especially around the high tide changes. Best lures for him have been the GULP! Turtleback worms and the Squidgy Wrigglers, both of which are slowly bounced along the bottom.
Another keen angler by the name of Toby had a red hot session while fishing up the ‘nong’ for bream, in fact the bream session quickly turned into a mulloway session when he landed not only his first but second, then third and so on until by the end of the day he had caught and released 6 jewies ranging between 4-12kg. I can only dream of fishing like that.
For the bait anglers the bridge pylons tend to hold plenty of bream and jewies over the coming weeks with unweighted baits cast close to the structure producing the best results.
Other places worth looking for the bream are along the rock walls up around the racecourse and up above the Punt Road bridge in the rivers as the bream start to gather in schools for spawning. It may take a few moves to find them but when you do its well worth the effort.
As the water in the bay gets cooler the Warmies at Newport Power Station becomes and absolute Mecca for fish. And for good reason; the hot water flowing into the cold bay is like a warm bath for any fish in the area. The following weeks should see plenty of mullet and tailor on offer along with bream and a few salmon. If the crowds aren’t too bad its also well worth putting out a bigger bait or even a live bait as there are sure to be mulloway sitting in the warm water making an easy meal of all the juvenile mullet, salmon and tailor.
Out from Williamstown the pinkies have been going well along the rock walls and areas of reef with some nice fish to be found around station pier; the key to success is to fish the first and list light periods.
Up towards Altona areas such as the shallow reef behind the footy oval should have big numbers of pinkies on them over the coming weeks for both bait and lure anglers alike, while fishing for them its also worth having a squid jig out as there will be plenty of squid on offer over the reef
Up further the Werribee River comes into its own at this time of year with the cold water and winter weather firing the big bream up in the system. For the best success keep a variety of baits on hand with everything from peeled prawn, soft shell, bass yabbies and worms producing fish on there given days.
For the whiting anglers now is also generally a good time to get stuck into the winter run of whiting off St Leonards, with baits of pipis or fresh squid fished on long leaders producing some good numbers of fish.
It is cold out there, but if you rug up there are some great fish to be caught so give it a go.
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