Pinkies school up at St. Kilda
  |  First Published: May 2016

I am a member of the Preston Northcote Angling Club, which hosted a competition in the Maribyrnong River. The Maribyrnong Master was open to entries from fishing clubs from the wider area – as soon as I heard about this competition I didn’t think twice about entering.

The competition

With the Maribyrnong River very close to the Yarra River (which I fish regularly), I knew what to expect fishing-wise. I entered the competition with a few mates who were both very keen. The day came and we hit the water (land-based) at 5:30am with the sun slowly rising. I figured as the weigh-in was just after lunch I had one prime time opportunity, as after the sun got to its highest, the fishing would become harder.

We used ultra-light/finesse rods with 4lb leader and started walking the banks with soft plastics. I noticed a lot of smaller fish in the shallows feeding, which was a good sign. I found an overhanging tree that formed quite a large shadow onto the water. I knew fish would be sitting under there, either using the tree as a form of protection or somewhere to feed. First cast – bang, I was on! This fight resulted in a beautiful 34cm bream. Shortly after, my mates and I managed a few more legal bream and before we knew it was time for the weigh-in.

Although my club wasn’t victorious overall, I was very happy to come first in the junior category. What I learnt from fishing in the Maribyrnong River was that first light is the best time to get the bream, that you should fish areas with shadow/cover that can hold good numbers of fish, and to use light gear such as 4-6lb fluorocarbon leader with an ultra-light rod and reel as bream spook very easily.

Species Wrap up

St Kilda Beach/Pier continues to impress me with outstanding numbers of pinkies and flathead. The size of the fish has been impressive. We have pulled pinkies up to 52cm and flathead that ranged between the 40-50cm mark. This is an awesome size to take home for a feed! Use soft plastics on low tide and your chances of hooking up is likely. Flathead are an ambush species and any form of drop-off is key, simply because they will sit at the bottom of the shelf and wait for baitfish to swim over. The same goes for pinkies – you should be able find a few pinkies where you catch flatties. Where you catch one you should be able to pick up a few more as they are a schooling fish.

Albert Park Lake has slowed down as the water temperature declines. This has affected the golden perch, which have become less active and harder to catch. You will still catch them, although a lot of time and persistence is necessary. My favourite lure to target perch in the lake is an Ecogear ZX40.

I had the opportunity to go camping for a few nights at Bemm River, which was heaps of fun! We caught good numbers of bream in the lake and Australian salmon off the surf. A highlight of the trip was catching a 68cm mullet on a lure. The fight on them is awesome. I fought this fish for at least 15 minutes, and even then it kept peeling line. Overall, I’ve had a great month of fishing and I look forward to what’s in store next month.

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