There is a little doubt that this has been one of the best snapper seasons on record!
Huge numbers of fish have been caught with excellent average sizes of 3-5kg. And, anecdotally at least, the numbers of fish 6kg and above caught inside Port Phillip have been at record levels. So it is hard to think of much other than the snapper at the moment although they are certainly not the only species worthy of a look during December.
Locally, the fish turned on wide off Mornington in 22-23m before we saw the Fairway grounds off Mt Martha begin to fire early in the month. Although logic would dictate that the fish have to swim past these grounds to head further up the bay, it seems to be the annual cycle that it is only a few weeks after the fish are on fire at Frankston that we start to see good catches in the southern part of the bay. The Fairway, in 22m, beside the shipping channel has had a lot of bait this year – a sure reason to draw the fish.
Right throughout the month we also had good reports coming from the shallows off the peninsula, where good catches of snapper to 3.5kg have been taken around the Rye Wreck and through to the Rosebud Reef in 10-12m of water. If you want to fish this area it is a bit different to Mt Martha, where there is minimal current – you will certainly need to take some small bomb sinkers to keep your baits down.
With so much focus on the snapper it is sometimes easy to forget that spring is peak season for big squid – and it has been a ripper spring. The best fishing has definitely been in Lonsdale Bight in anywhere from 4-14m of water – which can take some getting used to. Fishing the deep water for squid is a bit of an art, but if you can manage to get your jigs down and find a couple of good drifts you are sure to find some monsters!
The entrance to Swan Bay has also produced some fantastic days of squid fishing where, at times, the squid have averaged 1kg! As we roll through Christmas and get into the school holidays, I’d urge all the fishing public to grab a jig and have a go at squid fishing. In is infinitely accessible and a day on any of our local piers on the peninsula will see you with just as much chance of catching a calamari as if you were out in a boat.
Another forgotten target at this time of year is the gummy shark. We had some good reports of fishing taken near the seal hut off Sorrento, on the south channel, where two of our regular customers, Travis Davies and Ben Johns, landed five good gummies to 15kg over two nights. From a little further afield we also saw some good fish taken fishing the southern end of the Symonds channel while a number were also picked up as by-catch out on the snapper grounds off Hovel Pile.
Finally, from all the staff at Peninsula Total Tackle we’d like to thank the readers for another great year - have a merry and safe Christmas and we hope to catch up with a few of you when you visit the peninsula over the Christmas holidays!
For more information feel free to drop in and see the boys at Peninsula Total Tackle, 11 Boneo Road in Rosebud or phone: 03 5981 1994.Reads: 3407