The crazy days of summer
  |  First Published: December 2011

What a crazy few months it’s been with this snapper season seeing some of the best land-based snapper fishing that any of the shore bound anglers can remember.

Just as expected the snapper fishing in Port Phillip has been out of control with many of the charter operators and hardcore snapper anglers regularly saying it’s the best fishing they have ever seen.

Best of all however is the general size of the snapper being caught with a lot of 3-4kg fish and more than the occasional 5-7kg reds being caught all over the bay.

Mordialloc to Black Rock

For the land-based anglers the changeable weather over recent weeks has seen some good opportunities to fish Mordialloc Pier, and not surprisingly there has still been some solid reds to 5kg being taken. Along with the snapper however, the pier has also had some salmon mixed in with the snapper and when the water clears the garfish are still about in reasonable numbers.

Squid are also making a bit of a presence with some anglers landing a few small ones again when the water is calm and clear.

Out in the boats the snapper are well and truly on fire, and best of all you don’t have to fish out wide with excellent numbers of snapper in the shallower areas of 8-14m. While these areas many not have had the massive schools of snapper, the average size of the fish is well worth it with a lot of 4-7kg fish to be found.

Over this month if you are chasing a big snapper head in shallow and fish big baits in the dark and you won’t be disappointed.

Out wider from Mordialloc to Ricketts Point in the 16-21m area often the snapper schools that have be seen to be believed, and the results are similar with many anglers reporting catching and releasing cricket score numbers of reds. I had several sessions out on the area known as the Gasso where four and six way hook-ups were more common than singles and doubles. (GPS Mark S: 38 02 689 E: 144 58 693.)

This is just a broad area of mud and shell bottom where X doesn’t mark the spot so just sound-around until you find a few fish or mark a ball of baitfish near the bottom, of which there is heaps. Anchor up and berley heavily with pilchard cubes and pellets to get the fish fired up.

Naturally this great fishing also makes for a lot of fun with lures, such as casting soft plastics or vibes or trolling, which all produces plenty of fish.

Back in closer this month will see a lot of anglers start to put attention back on the good old King George whiting and if November was anything to go by it may be a cracker of a season with some quality fish in the 35-42cm size already being taken in locations such as the Parkdale Pinnacles, Brickies and in close around Ricketts Point.

Finally working the reef edge from Ricketts Point to Black Rock will really start to fire over the coming weeks with this area holding good pinkies and some big reds, along with whiting and some decent salmon.

Black Rock To St Kilda

I love this time of year through this area as we really start to see the influx of summer species through the abundant reef that runs through here with the whiting starting to move into areas known as Brickies Reef and off the car park at Half Moon Bay.

Trolled lures such as a Rapala X-Rap Magnum 10 or a Tilsan Barra will find anglers some big snook, snapper and salmon when trolled along the drop-offs and around the Anonyma Shoal.

Out deeper the snapper have been fairly well stacked up along the edge of the shipping channel from the T1, T2 area all along to the Fawkner Beacon.

Back in close to shore the rock groynes off Hampton and the area known as the Gully have still been producing some good snapper in rough conditions for both land-based and boat anglers while further north off Brighton the cunjevoi beds and the area known as the spuds (GPS Mark – S: 37 54 522 E: 144 56 489) is a great place to be chasing a big snapper at night. Again this is a broad area so just quietly sound-around until you find a likely looking spot or even better drift through the area casting soft plastics.

Up off North Road boat ramp and towards St Kilda, especially through the Elwood area, now is prime time to be getting on the water through the night and fishing in the 3-8m areas with numbers of solid snapper moving into these parts to feed under the cover of darkness.

The coming weeks should really see these areas also fire up for the whiting and garfish, along with some decent flathead, which love to sit in the sand holes between the hard reef. This makes for some great soft plastic fishing as you can drift along casting to the likely looking areas in the clear shallow water.

St Kilda to Port Melbourne

The fishing in this part of the bay has been a bit up and down over the past months with continual bouts of rain often keeping this area dirty with fresh water, however as the temperature rises so should the fishing activity with some anglers reporting some decent snapper catches in the shallow areas.

Along the piers such as Kerford Road and Lagoon piers there has been some mixed bags of garfish, trevally and small salmon and hopefully if the water stay clear the upcoming weeks should see anglers add whiting to this list.

Further along at Station Pier the deeper water surrounding this structure has seen snapper of varying sizes, salmon, flathead and the odd big hook-up on some un-stopables happening, which could be anything from big rays to sharks or even big mulloway.

Out deeper there has also been some good reports of snapper along the edge of the shipping lane heading out from Station Pier. However as with all shipping lanes make sure you don’t anchor in it, not only is it dangerous but you will be fined.

Have a safe and fish filled Christmas and if you need any information call us at Fishing Fever – 9590 9888 or shoot us an email at --e-mail address hidden-- .

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