Who would have thought this season would end up producing more snapper than most other years.
Despite some recent horrible weather, McLoughlins Beach and Port Albert has been an oasis.
Starting with inside, the whiting have really come on strong in the past few weeks and the good thing is you can just go down to your local tackle shop and grab some pipis to catch one of the best feeds you will ever have. There has been no need to do the extra work and pump nippers, just a pipi on a smallish hook, running sinker rig and you’re on the money.
They have been excellent quality as well, many been up to and over 40cm.
Also some anglers are getting some excellent by-catch in the form of snapper. Now this is snapper in shallow water, like 1-2m, so it’s not like catching one in 15m; these things pull like freight trains in such shallow water and on such light lines.
If you’re fishing the same areas, throw out a soft plastic or a small vibe and you will catch swag of flathead. There are plenty in the 35-45cm range and a few monster female fish over the magic 60cm mark.
In the entrance there have been some very big snapper caught for the size of the water you are fishing. There have been a few fish over 80cm landed and even bigger ones lost. The only hard thing about fishing the entrance that there are some days where the weed gets sucked in, with large clumps making it hard to fish.
Generally around the tide changes its very fishable and also these are the times when your most likely to catch a snapper anyway.
Offshore, there have been heaps of big snapper caught and plenty of big gummy sharks as well.
Some of the gummy sharks caught recently have been over 20kg. Most of the big gummies have been caught on fresh baits such as salmon, trevally and barracouta, however most of the snapper have been caught on pilchards.
There have been some outstanding catches of snapper in the entrance of port Albert recently. On some days, there are anglers catching and releasing over 30 snapper at a time. The average size seems to be around 50-55cm, however there are still plenty of 80cm+ fish out there as well.
Again, pilchards seem to be the bait to use, I don’t know why it’s been fishing so well this year, but it seems everyone is buying and using pilchards. The snapper anglers have been landing a few big school sharks in the same area, and this is generally around the snake channel.
Neville Lowe caught a 1.8m long blue shark just outside the entrance. If you like calamari, port Albert is the place to go at the moment, there’s plenty being caught over the weed beds at high tide, so get some squid jigs a give it a go.
I have also heard of some yellowtail kingfish hanging around the jetties again, so they are worth a look. They will be the first thing on my hit list in the new year. Let’s hope they are as prolific as last year.
For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Hotham St Traralgon on 51748544. You will get expert advice and some great deals on fishing tackle.Reads: 1931