Seriously Snapper
  |  First Published: December 2010

As we are well and truly into what is another great snapper season.

The persistent rain has continued to give the bay some serious flushes, and with high fresh water content and cooler water temperatures it has in turn produced some hot and cold snapper fishing.

Saying that though, the quality of snapper this season is well and truly a step up from last, with lots of quality fish to be found in amongst the numbers of school fish.

Here’s hoping that this month sees some good hot weather to get not only the snapper really chewing but also the influx of those other great summer species

Mordialloc To Black Rock

The land-based fishing from Mordialloc Pier for snapper has been a little slow over the past weeks, although when the dirty water stops flowing out of the creek and the water clears there has been garfish and squid to be found. Out in the boats, the shallow water areas from 6-12m of water have been producing some excellent fishing in the low light periods with areas such as Mordialloc Reef, Parkdale Pinnacles and The Hump holding consistent numbers of snapper of 3-7kg with a lot of 4.5-5.5kg fish among them.

Out wider the deeper areas have as they always do at this time of the year fished very well with huge patches of baitfish to be found all through the 17-20m areas. Out here the key has been to find a patch of bait that is hanging close to or on the bottom and it will have fish nearby, if you manage to mark a fish near or on the bait then even better.

From this point its matter of dropping the berley to get the fish firing.

Back in Beaumaris Bay there have already been some very promising whiting reports from Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron members getting stuck into the whiting at locations such as Parkdale Pinnacles, Brickies and up off the Scout Hall Jetty with the boys reporting that the best results have been on squid and mussel.

As for the garfish and squid, they have been around but not in great numbers over the past weeks, which is perhaps to do with the dirty/freshwater around the shallows. The coming weeks should see them really fire up off the piers as the water clears.

Up off Ricketts Point the snapper are still around on the inner reefs with the kayak anglers having some really red hot fishing by either casting soft plastics or trolling with deep diving minnows on snapper between 2-5kg.

The coming weeks should also see the whiting fishing really fire up along this big reef area.

Out deeper the Gasso and all the other favourite areas on the mud have been on fire with good numbers of fish to be found all day long. Just up off Mordialloc the bait out here is wall to wall with snapper happily chewing on it, this is also making for some great lure fishing with over the past weeks.

In fact the coming weeks often produces the best lure fishing with the warm water and active fish often sitting up off the bottom to the point where it can be more effective than with bait.

Sandringham To St Kilda

In on the shallow reefs such as Yorkies, the whiting have made an appearance over the past weeks and this should really get better over this month with both numbers and size of whiting getting better.

Out wider though, its still all about snapper for most anglers with plenty of fish to be found in a variety of locations. With the outer edge of the Anonyma Shoal and towards the red buoy producing some quality fish on or just before the first light period. Out wider, the edge of the shipping lane has been on fire with the TI, T2, T3 and T5 areas holding solid numbers of fish for the past weeks, and it doesn’t look like they are going anywhere at any time soon.

Further north anglers are finding similar results up towards the Fawkner Beacon and it surrounds. Just a word of warning to make sure you are anchored outside the channel, as fishing in it will see the Port Authority handing you a fine.

In closer to shore Green Point through to Brighton has been fishing well with the 8-12m area holding good snapper on first and last light. Brighton Breakwall itself has also had some very good snapper taken off it over the past weeks with one of those fish being caught by gun land-based angler Bashir, who landed a 6.5kg red off the breakwall at 5:30 in the afternoon.

Up off Elwood and towards St Kilda breakwall its shallow water, big snapper time with some very good fish being taken in the shallows late at night, while on the same reefs and in similar depths of water during the day there have been the odd decent catch of whiting, especially between Brighton and Elwood, with the reefs off North Road holding the best numbers.

Port Melbourne

This area has been a little slower to take off over the past months with the heavy flushes of freshwater keeping the water dirty in the shallows, which in turn has held back the garfish and squid.

In saying that however there has been snapper taken not far offshore as they hide under the freshwater blanket that has been up in this area.

Good reports have come from the edge of the channel just out from Station Pier and also in the shallower water between Station and Princess piers of a night-time.

The coming weeks should also see some great fishing start to unfold on the piers in this area for garfish and other species, especially if the water stays clear for a few weeks.

I am not sure about you but it seems that the last three months have been a blur of snapper and rain. Lets hope that the great fishing continues and everyone has a great and fish filled Christmas

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