It’s whiting time
  |  First Published: January 2010

The next month should produce some of the best fishing for the season.

In keeping with the past few months there are plenty of fish on offer for anglers in the bay.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

Mordialloc and Beaumaris Piers (and anywhere in between if you have a boat), have been fishing well for garfish, with some absolute thumpers in among them. Best baits have been silver fish suspended under a small float.

The big news recently has been the numbers of whiting moving into this part of the bay. Land-based anglers are finding success late in the afternoon while fishing from the beach off Parkdale and Mentone, while boat anglers are catching whiting at all the usual locations such as Parkdale Pinnacles, Brickies and the mussel farm.

Best baits are proving to be squid and mussels with the trusty but expensive pipi proving good.

The shallow whiting reefs are also holding good numbers of squid along with a few raids from some schools of yellowtail kingfish.

Around the corner at Ricketts Point and down towards Black Rock the whiting are to be found throughout the heavy reef. Along with the whiting, garfish, squid and kingfish are also making their presence felt.

Out deeper there are still a few snapper being caught, but late December and through January the snapper went into spawning mode. Over the upcoming weeks they should fire up again to feed up before leaving the bay.

February is also a great time to start fishing the slightly shallower snapper spots, as there are usually some great fish on offer.

All the shallow reef area are also holding some great snook at present, which can be taken by trolling diving lures or for a bit of fun try a popper early in the morning or late afternoon.

Sandringham To Port Melbourne

The breakwall at Sandringham and all its surrounds such as Yorkies Reef and along the groynes at Hampton are finding anglers getting good bags of whiting. Out wider the Anonyma Shoal has had some better quality fish on it, along with some good reports of kingfish being hooked and lost as they crash through garfish or steal hooked whiting from anglers.

Off Brighton there are squid, whiting and garfish while larger baits sent out at night off the breakwall have accounted for decent numbers of gummy sharks to about 8kg.

The following weeks should also see pinkie snapper turn up in numbers through this part of the bay.

Off Elwood and St Kilda, anglers have been reporting some great flathead, with those anglers who spend the time throwing lures or drifting with whitebait catching decent numbers of flatties to 60cm.

The shallow weed and reef in the area have also been worth a look for whiting, while out deep towards the Fawkner Beacon there have been a few snapper reports from along the edge of the channel.

For the most part however the snapper are smaller, but that should change over the next few weeks with the bigger snapper coming on the chew.

Station and Lagoon piers have seen a few whiting and small salmon off them along with a few sneaky reports of barracouta being taken on some nights by anglers fishing baits suspended under floats.

February is also the month to get hold of fresh or live bait and fish areas such as Lagoon Pier and in the bay between Station and Princess Piers. Get prepared as the mulloway being to hunt in these parts.

Yarra And Maribyrnong

The bream fishing has been great with warm water in the river. Lure anglers are finding some great action along all the accessible wharves. The best results are coming by working small hardbodies and plastics through the shadows as the bream sit out of the direct sunlight.

Unweighted baits are also finding good success fished back under the wharves with live Bass or freshwater yabbies producing some thumper bream.

Around the Westgate Bridge anglers are also finding great success along the rock walls with the bream actively hunting in these areas. A good option here is to fish baits suspended under a small pencil float and adjust it till the bait is just off the bottom then allow it to drift along with the tide; this way you will cover more water.

Williamstown To Altona

This part of the bay has fished extremely well through recently, so lets hope in continues through February.

Whiting are in good numbers off Altona along with some nice leatherjacket and decent flathead. But the big news over the past weeks has been the schools of kingfish that are in the area chasing the garfish and slimy mackerel.

Most of the kings are in the 2-4kg bracket although anglers are reporting hooking and losing a few bigger ones.

Best results on the kingfish have come on live baits suspended under small floats, along with a bit of berley to attract the garfish.

However aside from live baits, some anglers are having dynamite fishing by casting around white coloured Silstar 6” Slap Stick plastics on unweighted worm hooks, either skipped along the top or worked just below the surface. The kings go crazy on them.

Up off Werribee and Point Cook the whiting are in good numbers with some quality fish to be found in the 40-44cm size, while out deeper there continues to be gummies and snapper on offer along the 20m line with baits of pilchards and squid proving best.

I have also had some great reports from the Werribee River with anglers having good success on bream to over a kilo in weight while fishing with baits of peeled prawn.

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