Snapper return to the coast
  |  First Published: November 2010

It’s time to get the boat out of storage and back onto the sea.

Snapper have returned to the coast in large numbers and have been taking squid and pilchard baits fished in 40-70m of water off Cape Patton and Cape Otway.

The average size has been around 2kg, which fit on the BBQ perfectly but there is enough bigger specimens being landed to keep anglers bragging that they might need to upsize their outside cooker this season.

The snapper are normally found on hard ground but not to far from the reef edges, while just out on the sand is the best place to tangle with the hard fighting gummy sharks. Gummies love fresh baits of cut fish or squid and tend to bite best around the slack water periods of the tide.

On a recent trip with Dean Candy from Ballarat we anchored up just off the reef edge in 40m and waited for the tide to slow. Sure enough as soon as the flow had slowed the gummies came on the bite and we quickly had three good specimens in the boat.

Thinking the fourth was just a cast away we kept hooking up and getting our hooks bitten off. This happened five times as a very hungry school shark moved in and had us searching the boat for wire traces.

With no traces to be found we tried ganging a few 6/0 hooks together but by time we got ourselves organized the tide was screaming back the other way and we never registered another bite for the day.

So remember to take some wire just in case as you never know when the toothies might turn up.

As the water warms up the flathead will come on the bite with the best places to try being 30-40m off Skenes Creek or the same depth from Marengo to Blanket Bay.

The flathead make great tucker and regularly grow up to 60cm in this part of Victoria. Use a two hook paternoster rig baited with though baits such as squid or octopus for best results.

King George whiting are being caught right along the coast around the inshore reefs. For the hottest bites close to Apollo bay try Marengo, Point Bumbry or the waterfall reefs.

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