Rain brings a welcome boost
  |  First Published: March 2010

Finally, we were treated to some much-needed rain during the past month.

This has provided a welcome boost to the food chain in the south of the bay. The major river and estuary systems along the southern shores of the bay have had a welcome flush of fresh water, and in the process provided an injection of food along the inshore reefs and close catchment structures.

Since I last put pen to paper, my world has changed in a big way too, with the arrival of my baby boy, Samuel. Both he and my wife are doing great, and yes he already has his own fishing rod! A big thanks for all the well wishes and happy messages I have received from all my mates in the fishing industry and beyond.

As a result, I have been doing plenty of quick land-based squidding missions close to home over the past month, and I have been blown away with the numbers and size of squid that I have caught.

I have always promoted the use of modern technology like sounders and electric motors on your boat when squidding the bays inshore reefs, but a keen eye is also invaluable when you are fishing on the hoof from the rocks.

It might not be new to some other anglers, but I have had an absolute ball chasing actively feeding squid in less than a foot of water. Believe it or not, they can actually move really fast, and I have even been catching quite a few winding my jigs across the surface!

Slow sinking jigs are obviously the best in this depth, and natural colours are my recommendation as always.

Locations worth a try are Olivers Hill, Sunnyside, Snapper Point, Mt Martha Beach and the bluff areas around Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea.

Snapper starting to fire again

As predicted, the snapper fishing has fired up in a big way over the past couple of weeks, and the good thing for those die-hard snapper heads out there is that many of the early season marks are proving to be productive once again.

For many of the anglers I have been speaking to, it’s as simple as swanning over to your favourite GPS marks from November and getting a fish on!

Specifically, many anglers have been reporting bag limits of snapper up to 6kg, and that the fish are in great condition too. Most productive water depths have been the 16m line from Carrum to Seaford, and a little wider further south with the 19-21m line out from Mornington and Mount Martha proving to be the best.

Pilchards have been very productive bait, and are still the mainstay for most snapper anglers in the bay. Fresh squid and whiting heads are also worth a try, and better still are very readily available.

As I have mentioned in previous months, the run of fish at this time of year is generally shorter lived than the pre-spawn time, so why not go a little lighter in your tackle, and have some more fun.

Snapper are a very worth sportfish when targeted on the right tackle, and will really pull the kinks out of light line.

Gummy Sharks

Some nice gummy sharks have also been welcomed by anglers fishing around Rye over the last couple of weeks, with a couple of rippers taken last week out wide from Mornington. Fresh squid has been successful bait as well as some of the XOS pilchards that are currently available in many local tackle stores.

Gummies can be taken on standard light snapper tackle, but you will need to beef up your leaders and terminal tackle a touch. Drop off areas and bottom troughs and indentations are the key areas to look for on your sounder.


The exceptional run of whiting this year has continued once again for the past month.

From all the reports I have received of late, it seems that land-based anglers are doing the best fishing by very close to shore. This trend is especially so along stretches of open sand where the cagey whiting will come in close, especially on dark and a little after.

Surprisingly, even Frankston and Seaford beaches have turned over the odd fish of late, but the beaches and weedy areas around Mornington and Mount Eliza seem to be best. Expect this trend to continue further south as the weather and water temperatures decrease over the next couple of months.

Australian salmon

And if all that doesn’t get your casting arm itching, there’s also plenty of salmon about right along the eastern shoreline. The sambos tend to move pretty fast this time of year, but a bit of care not to spook the school will pay off with lots of fun, especially for kids.

More rain will be welcomed over the next month or so, and I reckon we are in for another ripper autumn and winter on the south of the bay.

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