Bayside Variety
  |  First Published: July 2009

It seems that we are back on track for a genuine Melbourne winter with plenty of cold weather and even some decent amounts of that stuff they apparently call rain.

Fingers crossed, this points to lots of fish over the upcoming season. At this stage it seems like its ages away but in reality it’s only a few weeks before the die-hard snapper junkies will be back out on there quest for the first early season snapper. For some anglers the season hasn’t stopped with some quality reds being taken over the past weeks from various parts of the bay.

Aside from the snapper, the fishing along this section of the bay continues to go extremely well with plenty of fish to be found, and for many its been a perfect time to load up on bait.

Mordialloc to Black Rock

The pier has had plenty of fish of various sorts landing on its decking over the past weeks with excellent numbers of salmon ranging between 500g-1kg with a variety of baits, lures and soft plastics finding success on each given day. The best success is had when the wind is blowing and the water is rough. Along with the salmon there have been trevally to 800g and some pinkies to 40cm, with the dusk period producing the best results for them, especially if there is a bit of chop on the bay.

In the creek itself – when its not flooding - the locals have been getting good numbers of mullet, some of which are monsters along with some trevally. Best method on these fish is a small float baited with dough, peeled prawn or small pieces of sandworm. Remember to use a fine berley to bring the fish on the bite.

Up towards Beaumaris the pier is still producing squid of an evening, with some of the better ones definitely being taken on bigger size 3.0 jigs or a whole silver whiting suspended under a float.

Baits cast out into deeper water off the pier are finding a few pinkies to 35cm, but there is every chance of a bigger fish turning up in over the upcoming weeks with some of the early season snapper often finding their way to this part of the bay first.

Beaumaris anglers have been having mixed success on the whiting along the outside edge of the Marine Park where it starts at Table Rock and up towards Ricketts Point with fish ranging from 28-35cm. Working out wider from the reef in water ranging 8-11m there are also some good flathead to be found with anglers casting soft plastics finding the best success, especially with the Squidgy 100m Wrigglers, 70mm Squidgy Fish and the Gulp! 4” Minnows and Swimming Mullet fished slowly across the bottom.

Along Ricketts Point to Black Rock there are still good numbers of pinkies but the hordes of tiny ones are making it hard to get baits to the bigger fish. On a brighter note it all fares well for a few years down the track when we should see a bumper snapper season. All reports indicate that the last spawning year was a good one with a large recruitment of snapper being born.

The upcoming weeks are a top time to get out and chase the snook which will be hunting the reef edge and while you may not catch big number of them during August we have often found some really big ones. Try trolling small diving minnows such as the Rapala Xrap 12 or Tilsan Barra in the blue/silver or gold colours.

Sandringham to Port Melbourne

Sandringham Harbour has been fishing well for mullet over the past weeks as it always does at this time of year. To catch them is a simple matter of fishing with a float or un-weighted baits of peeled prawn or dough. They are a heap of fun to catch and make great snapper baits for later in the season, so grab the kids and get down there for a few hours of fun.

Fishing at the end of the breakwall or on the rock groynes is producing a few pinkies and squid of an evening as well as a few garfish during the day, the upcoming weeks should also see this area fire exceptionally well for the gars.

Along the rock and reef shoreline that runs from Green Point to Elwood anglers have been finding a few decent squid. For those who are prepared to make a few moves there is still also the odd whiting to be found, along with plenty of pinkies. Fingers crossed the next month or so should turn up a few better ones among them with the odd fish to over a kilo not uncommon.

Brighton breakwall has also been seeing its fair share of action with pinkies, squid, garfish and the odd salmon being taken in the rougher conditions that seem to be fairly common over the past weeks.

From St Kilda to Station Pier the reports have been a little quiet but this certainly doesn’t mean the fish aren’t there, especially from the fact that a drive along the foreshore at night over recent weeks usually sees the lights of a few boats fishing not too far offshore. Needless to say these boats are chasing some of the decent snapper that move into the shallow cunjevoi filled bottom at this time of the year to feed. While the fish may not be thick there are quality fish to be found with 2-5kg snapper being the target.

Yarra and Maribyrnong

Some great reports have filtered through from this part of the bay with good numbers of bream still to be caught both land based and from the boats. One good option over the past weeks seems to be boat anglers watching their sounders closely to locate schools of bream that are beginning to gather up in the open sections of the river. When they are found it’s a case of fishing plastics or metal vibes into the schools.

Mulloway are still the talk or should I say the whisper of the rivers at this time of the year with several quality fish being taken over the past weeks. Lure fishermen also report good numbers of jewies to be found on the upstream bridges such as Punt Road in the Yarra, and up around the racecourse bridges in the Nong.

Lower down in the system the area around the Westgate has been producing some nice pinkies to over a kilo in weight along with some big bream that are to be found along the rock walls and are being taken by anglers fishing baits of peeled prawn, freshwater yabbies and tube worm, while lure fanatics are finding success with small diving hard bodies.

Down at the Warmies or Hotties the fish have been biting well with tailor, salmon and bream finding the warm water coming out of the power station to their liking – it’s a bit like their very own tropical holiday in winter. I have also heard a few reports of anglers hooking some big mulloway in amongst the smaller fish that most tend to target.

Williamstown to Werribee

Some great fishing is on offer around this part of the bay at this time of year and best of all you don’t have to own a boat to get into the action.

Williamstown Harbour is producing some good trevally around the wharves and boat moorings with soft plastics or unweighted baits cast close to the boat hull producing some great knock down, drag out fights as you try to stop the trevally from wrapping you around a pylon or mooring rope.

Great numbers of squid are being caught around all the rocky shore line at present with good mate and gun anglers Jesse Rotin catching plenty of squid from any land based structure or rocky shore line he can get to from Altona to Werribee. During the day fishing with floats and a bit of berley is producing some catches of garfish while baits cast out wider around dusk are finding some pinkies

Fishing out in the boats, anglers are finding big numbers of pinkies which is no doubt attributed to the huge schools of whitebait that are in on the shallow reefs at present. Working baits and lures under these schools of bait in slightly deeper water has also been producing some nice flathead.

Further along the bay the Werribee river should produce some excellent bream over the coming weeks for both bait and lure anglers, try fishing further upstream as the bream move up to spawn.

Out from Point Cook there have been some exceptional snapper on offer for those anglers who have patience and are rugged up against the cold with snapper ranging from 3-8kg on offer. The best results coming from fairly shallow water on first and last light.

Up at St Leonards there has been a decent run of winter whiting with most of the fish falling to baits of fresh squid and pipi fished in a berley trail around the last two hours of the run in tide.

We are on the downhill slide towards snapper season and I am sure the following weeks will see anglers awake from there winter slumber to prepare the gear for the on fish that makes Victoria famous.

Good luck and if you have any questions or reports send an email to --e-mail address hidden--

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