Our typical summer weather pattern has continues on.
Sadly we seem to have missed out on the bucket loads of rain that have been welcomed in the east of the state, and further north beyond the border.
This static pattern has kept angling opportunities and methods quite predictable for the most part, but as always there are a few thinking anglers out there who are willing and able to think outside the square, and the results are worth it.
Summer time is always dominated by snapper in the south of the bay. The most predictable action is still out from the wider marks close to the shipping channel, and also further south along the eastern seaboard.
I reckon we’ll be in for a good post-spawn Easter run of fish this year, and I know plenty of anglers who can’t wait for a fix of screaming reels and big reds once again.
Typically, the post spawn run is much shorter lived, so now is a good time to gather some fresh baits and make preparations for early starts.
The lack of snapper reports has been directly caused by many snapper anglers turning their attention to the mighty whiting, and with good reason. These great little scrappers are pretty hard to beat on the plate, and are a pretty good sportfish when targeted on the right tackle.
The most pleasing thing for Port Phillip anglers is that for many, the usual trip over to Western Port is not needed; there is some great whiting fishing to be had along our shores as well. Although our whiting are smaller on average, they are about in good numbers this year, and really seem to respond well to fresh and well-presented baits.
A small group of switched on anglers have been targeting summer whiting in Port Phillip for many years, but it seems more anglers are giving them a go this year. Bait selection is always a personal choice, but fresh mussels and pipis are hard to beat. Personally, I prefer squid strips and tentacles, and to use small circle or “shiner” style hooks (size 6), which provide more lip hook ups, and allow easy release of smaller specimens.
The best locations seems to spread right along the southern end of the bay, even right down south, which is normally more productive during the cooler months. The bulk of the action seems to be from Frankston through to Rosebud, and is generally concentrated around areas close to reef and weed.
Whiting will feed in super shallow water too, especially close to dawn and dusk, so land-based anglers can also easily reach them. Known areas worth a try are Wooleys Reef (Frankston), Linley Point (Mornington), Bird Rock (Mt Martha) and the drop off areas at Rosebud and McCrae.
The close proximity to the shore of most whiting locations also provides easy access to the squid reefs, allowing anglers to fish for both species at the same time. The squid have been a little challenging over recent weeks, and have needed more than a little coaxing at times, but always provide great sport and a visual challenge for us lure nuts (otherwise known as bream anglers).
This trend seems to be changing with some good-sized squid loading up on the reefs once again. Expect better action over the next couple of months.
If you’re looking for something a little different, some other species are also on the cards. I know of a couple of large schools of salmon patrolling the coast between Safety Beach and Frankston, so keep your eyes open for birds and busting fish.
Some nice snook have also been taken from the inshore reefs, especially by the kayak anglers trolling lures, as well as some ripper flathead in the shallows down further south.
After a neat double doughnut in the recent Melbourne round of the Vic Bream Classic series, I may not be the best man to give advice on bream fishing. I do know there has been some nice fish taken from the Patterson River in the last couple of weeks, especially at the top of the river near the freeway, on scrub worms and peeled prawns. This location always fishes well after recent rain.
If we get much substantial rain over the next month or so, the mouths of the bay’s rivers and creeks will be the places to target some opportunistic predators.
I reckon a bit of rain will bring the snapper on too, so if you know any rain dances, chants or own a lucky pair of red jocks, now might be a good place to give them a go.Reads: 1231