Victorian anglers will start to now turn their attentions to snapper once again. Everything is pointing to another bumper snapper season and with a few fish already on the chew it certainly has our hearts a flutter.
It’s not all about snapper as of yet though, and the fishing has certainly been very good, with a few whiting still getting about and the gummy shark fishing this year has been nothing short of phenomenal.
It has been a great off-season along the top end of Western Port with gummy sharks in plentiful numbers.
Our good mates Stuart and Shaun have been poking their noses around Grantville of late and have stumbled across a beach that has now become their home away home. The boys have been stirring up the gummies, with their most recent trip accounting for a handful of small fish along with a couple of nice table gummies. Fresh yakka fillets have been the successful baits.
Bouchiers and Boultons channels have been a little hot spot over the last month with some beautiful gummies getting amongst the shallows of a night time. Paul Jones snagged four gummies in a session through the Bouchiers Channel, the biggest going 6kg with salmon fillet doing all the damage and John Moss spent his time in the Boultons Channel for a similar result.
His bag consisted of two nice table gummies with his fish coming on fresh squid. The most important thing that these reports have in common is that both anglers found the best bite time within the last couple of hours of the run-out tide as the gummies came off the muddy flats back into the deeper channels.
If it’s an early season snapper that you crave, then Joe’s Island is the place to be. An unknown angler sent us a text via the Tackleworld Cranbourne reports hotline with a photo of a lovely early season fish of around 5.5kg: a cracker way to open the account for the season.
The calamari fishing has still been quite good with most of those tasty morsels still coming from up around the Quail Bank. Both artificial and baited jigs have been working well. Silver whiting or grass whiting has been the baits of choice under a float and artificial jig colours have really been dependent on the colour and clarity of the water.
After a good down pour the water tends to be a little discoloured and darker jigs have been better. Blacks and red foils being the standouts. As the water clears a change in jig to more natural colours has proven to bring better results, browns and greens have been working well through this period so it pays to have a few different coloured jigs up your sleeve.
It has been a pretty quiet month along the middle spit with the whiting getting a bit tougher to catch but the rewards can still be there for switched on anglers.
Steve Johnston is one of those switched on anglers whose years of experience has allowed him to track the whiting right throughout winter. The key to his success this month has been moving a little bit off the bank and fishing in 5m of water on the drop off. Though he reports the whiting are still not really firing he is still taking home a bag most trips.
Another of those switched on anglers is Ivon Irvine of Tackleworld Cranbourne and his methods to find the whiting have been a little bit different to those of Steve. Ivon has still been fishing high on the banks of the spit but with a smaller boat to handle he can use stealth to sneak up on fish.
The key is to take a wide birth of your desired mark and drop the anchor a good 50m away from the fish. Let out 30m of rope and drift back onto the mark before putting in a good long cast to keep the baits away from the boat. This technique has worked very well for Ivon and some of his bag of whiting this month have been reminiscent of those coming in through the middle of summer!
To finish up I would just like to briefly touch on a few little handy reminders for the up and coming snapper season. Many of your boats haven’t seen much water over the winter months so now is the time to get those boats in for a service to beat the snapper season rush and make sure the motor is ready and rearing to go for the upcoming season. Also ensure that all of your safety equipment is up to scratch and flares are still in date. Getting all of these things sorted now can save a lot of headaches later on that you really can’t afford to be dealing with while the snapper bite is going crazy! Good Luck!Reads: 1169