Snatch a Snapper
  |  First Published: October 2010


October is the start of not only another snapper season but the fishing season in general for most anglers.

I for one wouldn’t want to be a fish over the coming weeks as there are thousands of Victorian anglers that have been pent up over winter who are now busting to get on the water and find some fish.


As we are all aware September produced a whole lot of rain and bad weather, but in between this it also produced some good reports of early season snapper being taken out in 16-18m of water off Mordialloc and Ricketts Point. My own first trip for the season produced five snapper ranging 2.5-5.2kg in weight. These were taken in 18m of water out from Aspendale, and the same area has produced more fish over the past weeks.

Back on shore however Mordialloc creek has been fishing well for mullet and some small trevally, while the pier has had some Australian salmon being taken on baits and lures. It is the big snapper however that draw anglers to the pier at this time of year with some great fish taken off the pier over the past weeks. This fishing should only get better throughout October for both numbers and size of snapper.

Up off Parkdale Pinnacles there are squid on offer with some of the closer reefs being a bit affected by the rain and dirty water, while this slightly deeper reef tends to have cleaner water. With the squid there has also been some lovely snapper mixed in with the pinkies with numbers of 500g-1.5kg fish and some 4-6kg snapper mixed in among them.

Beaumaris Pier has been fishing well for squid with each day producing numbers of them in a range of sizes for the land-based anglers. For those who want to catch a land-based snapper, put a larger bait out in the deeper water off the end of the pier during October and you are in with a good chance of a big snapper.

Up off Ricketts Point and along the reef edge towards Black Rock the pinkies are still chewing with bigger fish now mixed among them, while the bait anglers have been getting their fair share it’s the kayak anglers who seem to be having excellent results by either trolling small deep diving minnows or casting 4-5” plastics.

Out deeper, the following weeks should see huge snapper catches in locations from the Gasso to the Fawkner Beacon. If you want to catch numbers of big snapper I would definitely recommend fishing in the shallower 8-12m of water rather than the 18-21m areas.

Sandringham To St Kilda

A genuine land-based hot spot, this part of the bay has produced some nice snapper over the past weeks, however it’s the month of October that should see it really start to fire with some big snapper making their way inshore around Sandringham Breakwall, the rock Groynes and definitely Brighton Breakwall.

The past weeks has seen these inshore areas producing squid and garfish when the water has been clear, while the rougher conditions especially around dawn and dusk have been producing some nice pinkies for both boat and land-based anglers.

Out deeper the Anonyma Shoal has held some lovely early season snapper with fish to 5kg in weight being taken just on the outside edge of the reef and one would expect this area to get better and better over the coming weeks, especially around that first light period of a morning or late at night.

Out wide in the 18-21m area all along the edge of the shipping lane running down towards the Fawkner Beacon and P2 area should see those huge schools of snapper once again hold up in this area giving anglers some red hot fishing for weeks on end.

Best of all in this area there are two ways you can fish, either find a fish or two anchor up and berley to bring the school of snapper to you; it will take anywhere from one minute to several hours. Or the other option is to keep moving every 20-30 minutes till you lob on a load of fish.

During October many anglers also spend a lot of time sounding to find the areas they plan to fish, so for a different option this season why not put a couple of deep diving minnows out the back, either on there own or with snap weight sinkers on them. If you have down riggers then you can seriously target the bottom 3m and really hunt the snapper. Best of all as you mark those single or pairs of fish that you don’t want to stop on you are now pulling a lure past them.

You will be surprised at just how much they love to eat lures.

ST Kilda To Port Melbourne

Flooding rains through late August and September have put a dampener on the fishing up in this area of the bay over the past weeks with water that looked more like coffee thanks to the billions of litres of fresh water pouring out of the nearby Yarra river.

On the upside the freshwater covering the shallow reef area will help to bring the big snapper to the shallow reef systems that are abundant from Elwood to Port Melbourne. Once the water clears it will also see the reefs begin to get abundant growth on them, which in turn should produce lots of squid and a much-anticipated whiting season here over the approaching summer months.

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