Snapper make way for whiting fever
  |  First Published: December 2011

With Christmas now behind us, the new year marks another annual target for many Victorian anglers.

Snapper have been an anglers staple over the last few months and while they will continue to chew their heads off, the delicious King George whiting will now have a lot of anglers trading in their pilchards and silver whiting for mussels and pips.


Snapper have been testing the patience of a lot of anglers recently with some unbelievable reports one day and disgraceful reports the next, having said that there has been some very nice fish caught indeed.

One of those unbelievable reports came from Paul Martin and Johnny. They fished just out of Tooradin and experienced one of those out of control snapper bites. They caught and released over 40 snapper with at least half of those fish going over 4kg. Just about every bait was a winner with scad, silver whiting, ‘couta and pilchards being standouts.

Up on the Quail Bank Amy Carlson proved that this is not just a cracker whiting area by catching a brute of a snapper that pulled the scales down at 6.2kg. This particular fish was caught on fresh squid. It would be well worth starting to sneak around the Quail Bank for a few whiting at this time of the year, as it is a favourite of many whiting anglers.

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s time to start poking around for a few whiting and the top end of Western Port holds some of the best whiting ground in the land. Places like the Tooradin Channel, Warneet Channel, Quail Bank and Joes Island will go completely whiting mad making them very hard to ignore for anyone who enjoys a good feed!


Gawaine Blake of Big Time Fishing Charters found a record fish in the north arm. His youngest daughter Poppy recorded her new PB snapper at 3.9kg and it was impossible to keep the smile off her face.

Peter Ferguson had an interesting trip out at Lysaghts recently. Amongst landing four nice snapper he had a screaming run from a thresher shark that did everything in it’s power to try and take off with 300m of very expensive braid! Lucky for Pete it ended up only busting off at the leader after a spectacular aerial display and left him to wind his 300m of braid back onto the reel.

T-Dogg and Stinga continue to call Yaringa home and continue to pull more fish than the local seal! While on a recent snapper trip they were presently surprised by a mammoth King George whiting that clearly thought it belonged with one of the snapper schools. It managed to wrap its lips around a whole Californian squid with a couple of 5/0’s buried in it!

Hastings is an area that has kicked into another gear lately with reports pouring in from this area of the port. Brendan King made the trip down from Sale to see what Hastings had to offer. He chose the shallow water approach and in only 5m of water boated a heap of snapper to 2.8kg.

If it’s whiting that you crave, then Hastings is where you need to be. There have been some true kidney slappers cruising around of late and good mate Rob Mitchell was lucky enough to catch a sneak peek at a couple of monsters. While getting his boat ready in the Hastings marina he saw a very pleased angler bring in two whiting that measured 55cm each and were as thick a skinny man’s (like myself) biceps!


Grab yourself a bait pump and a squid jig, that’s exactly what I would be trying this month!

I strongly believe that a true 1kg whiting will fall to a lucky angler using a few squid jigs and has blown the cobwebs off the old bait pump.

Fresh calamari, and Bass yabbies are the key. Calamari will continue to hunt down a well-worked squid jig and Bass yabbies are on every exposed bank at low tide, including at the Warneet boat ramp.

Like all forms of fishing, if you put in the hard yards in acquiring the best and freshest possible bait, then you are 3/4 of the way there to reaping the rewards of a once in a lifetime fish!

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