It’s hard to believe we are already a quarter of the way through the year.
The good news however is that we are coming into some of the best fishing of the year, with March and April usually producing perfect weather and plenty of quality fish.
The snapper have fired up just as we hoped they would with some decent catches being had out in the deeper areas of the bay.
Many anglers are saying they are marking plenty of bigger snapper on their sounders in the shallower areas, so here’s hoping that March will see them deciding to have a big feed up before leaving the bay.
There are still good numbers of garfish on Mordialloc Pier with sizes ranging from tiny to huge. The best baits are the trusty old silverfish and maggots. The coming weeks should also see a few mullet starting to get in on the action and squid numbers starting to increase. It’s also a great time to be getting a larger bait out off the end of the pier for some decent pinkies which will be also be moving back onto the shallower areas.
In the boats, the whiting were a bit hot and cold, but February saw the fishing getting better with all the usual areas from the Horse Paddock to Parkdale Pinnacles then up toward Ricketts Point producing plenty of school-sized whiting.
On the calm warm afternoons during Feb there was also some great whiting fishing to be had off the beach at Parkdale with several anglers catching more than 10 whiting per angler each trip.
Out in the slightly deeper reefs anglers have also been finding good numbers of pinkie snapper around 35-45cm, so let’s hope that in the following weeks they move onto the shallow reefs to actively feed.
Between Ricketts Point and Black Rock there has been the odd salmon but we should see better numbers of them over the coming months. There has also still been the odd kingfish to be found with the best results coming from anglers fishing with live garfish and squid or soft plastics such as Slapsticks or the Squidgy 110mm Flick Bait in pilly colour.
For the snapper anglers, some decent reports of reds have filtered through the shop in the last few weeks with anglers finding some quality fishing on snapper ranging from 2.5kg to 5.5kg. The best baits have been pilchards and squid with the Gasso and out deeper in the 21m area producing the results.
There are still plenty of whiting to be found on the shallow reefs, with the area known as Yorkies producing good numbers of fish. The wider reef system of the Anonyma Shoal has also had a few whiting on it over the past month, and while the number of fish haven’t been huge there has certainly been some great quality to be found with a lot of them around 38-43cm.
Further north Brighton breakwall has been producing some decent flathead and the coming weeks should see some good pinkies off the wall and the surrounding shallow reefs.
As the water just starts to cool a little the big fish come to play in the top of the bay with some big flathead to be found in the shallows, while out deeper in areas such as the Fawkner Beacon there are snapper to be found especially if you have a bit of patience. Berley hard and fish with fresh baits of squid and garfish.
Early February saw some tough fishing in the Docklands round of the Victorian Bream Series but the following weeks really turned it on. Some excellent lure fishing was had for those anglers who fished small hardbodied lures such as the SX40 and the Atomic Hardz, where it was a simple case of cranking the lure through the shadows or along the edge of a large horizontal beam.
Bait fishing has also seen plenty of good results with baits of peeled prawn and tubeworm being the key to finding yourself hooked to a big, blue-nosed bream. Anglers fishing with smaller baits and floats have also started to find good numbers of mullet and the odd trevally, so lets hope it’s all shaping up for the onset of a good mulloway season in a few months.
This side of the bay is experiencing some of the best whiting fishing for a long while. The upcoming month usually produces some of the better fish for the season both on the snapper and whiting front.
As March rolls along, there should start to be big numbers of pinkies move in on the shallow reefs with the Footy Oval and all the usual areas worth a look. The other bonus to this area is that you can really get a mixed bag of fish with it not being uncommon to get pinkies, whiting, garfish and squid all in one session.
Up off the Werribee, Point Cook and towards St Leonards, the whiting have been going great guns with big numbers of fish on offer day after day. While most of them are in the 30-37cm size bracket there are some top quality fish around 38-44cm. One angler known as Sandworm struck gold in the bay by catching a 1.16kg whiting out in 16m of water on a squid head and 6/0 hook while snapper fishing.
Speaking of snapper this month is well worth getting back out on the reds with the deeper water at the entrance to Corio Bay and out deep off Altona, through to Werribee also producing some big reds especially during that first and last light period.Reads: 1223