Plenty of options for anglers
  |  First Published: April 2010

It would have been complete folly to think that our sensational run of weather would continue for much longer.

The inevitable shift in our weather has finally happened, with some howling winds and horizontal rain.

Not the best for when the dirty weather is on, but the next few months will be great on the bay as we get set to enjoy some great fishing on our inshore reefs.

I personally love this time of year as the bay undergoes its transitional phase and moves into a more winter pattern with shorter days and longer nights.

Often this is the best time of year for fishing variety on the bay, and with the reports I have received over the past month it’s easy to see why.

We may not be blessed with endless variety and opportunity to our fishing like those to our north, but we do have a great variety of quality table fish on offer.

We do also have some pretty good sportfish as well, you just need to know where to look.


The focus on snapper is definitely coming to an end for many anglers. Normally the fishing for pinkies will take over in the shallower areas until the next spawning migration takes place later in the year.

There have been a few regulars who haven’t quite had enough action on the reds this season, and why not with some ripper 3-4kg fish, as well as plenty of pinkies available.

The best depth still seems to be 16-19m, and reliable locations have been Chelsea, Ansetts and Seaford.

I wouldn’t expect this action to last much longer however, so don’t mess around if you want another snapper fix before next season. Best baits are pilchards, whiting and squid heads and yakkas.

Inshore Pinkies

The inshore fishing for pinkies will go from strength to strength over the next few months. This is a real bonus for a wide range of anglers as they can be readily taken on baits and lures in shallower depths of 3-10m.

Lynette Hogan from Launchingway sent me a recent report with her and her husband, Trevor, getting amongst some quality 1.5kg pinkies out from Ansetts on fresh squid, which is a great sign for the coming months.


There’s no shortage of squid either, and like last month I have been enjoying some insane sessions from the rocks as have several other anglers who have sent in reports of squid up to 2kg in recent weeks.

A recent boat trip also yielded some quality calamari, although they were a little flighty.

It’s pleasing to see so many other anglers out on the bay now in sport fishing boats enjoying the shallow water squid fishing on offer. At the moment I would recommend dark natural colours like brown, green or purple, and stick with 2.5size jigs. Most popular areas are producing well, although the numbers definitely get thicker the further south you travel.

Australian salmon

Plenty of Australian salmon have still been about, and from a couple of reports I have received they are also hunting quite large bait.

Mark Bolger played with a massive school of salmon out from Sunnyside recently in his Hobie. His best fish was 1.5kg, taken on a 3” Slug-go. Often these anglers are most productive on busting salmon, as their stealthy approach does not spook the school and cause them to go sub surface.

As hard as it often is to be cautious when you approach a busting frenzy of fish, try to lead the fish by some distance, as they will normally travel into the wind. Make long casts, and never drive through the school.

If you want to troll, pass around the edge and often this will be where the bigger predators are too, like snook and yellowtail kingfish.


Plenty of whiting are still around in the usual areas, and like the last couple of months, the size of the fish has been quite good. Typically most fish have been in the 30-40cm range.

There is still heaps of whiting action in the north of the bay, so maybe the southern migration will be a bit later this year than in the past.

Baits of peeled prawn tails, mussels and pipis are your best bet. I also spoke to an old bloke the other day that swears by fillets of pilchard, so that might be worth a try too.

Best areas are Wooleys and Frankston Reef, Canadian Bay, Hospital Shallow, Mount Martha and Mornington. Don’t forget too, that many of these areas fish equally well from the land.


I’ve even managed to tickle up a few bream on lures recently, and the breaming has been quite good after the recent rain.

My prediction is that this pattern will continue, so get out there and get amongst the action.

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