Many early birds have already been out searching and catching snapper. However, October is the traditional beginning of the annual snapper run on Port Phillip and Westernport Bay – the time of year where even fair weather fishers might be coerced from the couch to wet a line!
If the crowds and reds don’t appeal to you, then there is plenty of other action with big squid and gummy shark on the agenda.
The last few weeks saw plenty of anglers targeting gummy sharks on the Balnarring side of the peninsula. Fishing reasonably close in 9-10m of water saw anglers rewarded with plenty of gummies between 2-6kg.
No one did it better than Gawaine Blake from Big Time Fishing Charters who managed to catch 60 odd gummies in ten or so trips for his customers and friends.
For much of late winter the squid were fairly patchy over many of our favourite haunts off Sorrento, Blairgowrie and Rye.
Anglers fishing the deeper water – up to 20m – off Portsea, Point Nepean and up at Indented Head, seemed to have the best success. However, the reports from this week have been better with some decent fish produced to around 1.5kg. Hopefully we will only see an improvement in the size and numbers of calamari this month!
If you’re a squid fanatic keep an eye out for the new colours available in the Gancraft range as they are getting a lot of attention. Also Daiwa’s nude jigs look fantastic and are very well priced and have been flying out the door.
If you haven’t already done so, dust off the gear, re-spool your reels and get out there! Right through winter we had anglers reporting good schools of bait out on the snapper grounds off Mornington. This is always a good sign as once the fish are in the bay they will, without doubt, be found nearby.
To begin your hunt I would suggest that you focus on Mornington 18-21m and further north up to Frankston and Carrum. While there will be plenty of peninsula fishos who are keen to get out and fish the grounds off Mt Martha, there is no doubt that this area tends to fire a little later in the season, generally around December.
Later this month the surface water temperature of the bay should hit 16ºC, this tends to be ‘go-time’ where you will start to see fish caught en masse.
We have had plenty of customers catching themselves bait in preparation for the upcoming snapper season.
Using Sabiki rigs, with a tiny bit if pilchard or squid on each hook, guys have been doing very well in the Shark Hole in front of Blairgowrie.
Yellowtail scad are being caught pretty prolifically with occasional slimey mackerel mixed in. Keep in mind it is well worth keeping a bait jig handy as you will often be able to catch these same species out on the snapper grounds in 20m of water! And as they say, fresh is best!
It’s hard to think about anything but snapper at the moment, but the truth is that over the next month, with the increase in water temps, almost every available species will start to be caught in better numbers – so the options are limitless!
I would think about a few squid trips to mix up the snapper fishing as it is, without doubt, the best time of the year to target big calamari.
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: 872