The wait is finally over and the snapper season begins! The snapper reports are filtering in and it’s getting a lot of anglers very excited.
It has been a spectacular stretch for the top end over the last couple of months, the calamari fishing continues to fire and produce some very respectful sized squid and it’s through the top end that our first snapper reports of the season filtered through.
The calamari have really come to play over the Tyabb and Quail banks of late and quite a few anglers cottoned on to the recent activity.
Staff member of Cranbourne Tackleworld, Mark Keavney put in a few drifts over the Tyabb Bank armed with a few Ika squid jigs and managed a decent little bag of some very nice-sized calamari.
Local angler Ben Clear and good mate Richard Greven also put in a few hours over the Tyabb Bank and the squid were hungry and ready to go. Ben found his calamari took a worked artificial jig and also a baited jig, which is a deadly method in this area. Silver whiting on the baited jig was the go-to bait. Rich Greven went for the artificial jig approach and found jigs in a 3.0 size were outfishing their smaller counterparts.
The Quail Bank also produced some lovely specimens with customer John Peterson finding Ika jigs being favoured by the squid. He managed a dozen fish, nothing massive in the size department but still enough there for a beautiful feed.
Staff member Ivon Irvine made a quick dash out to grab a few freshies for one of the Tackleworld Cranbourne’s squid talks and found a dozen well-sized squid in shallow water. Ivon found his fish in 2.5m of water and baited jigs and artificial jigs were doing the damage.
The north arm has been a little bit over shadowed by the top end of late but all of that could change very quickly.
The whiting have still been a little hard to find but the results are still there for keen anglers. Adrian Blankford found a nice little patch of whiting over the middle spit. Whiting worm was the bait of choice and on the morning high tide Adrian found himself in the middle of a ripper little bite and ended up with 18 quality whiting ranging from 35-48cm.
Gummy sharks are another species that are still finding a few baits before the snapper really take over and make it harder for them to find a well presented bait. Tahleaha Shiels was fishing just out of Hastings and found herself locked in an arm wrestle with a sensational gummy shark. Along with a few decent calamari on the side, this rounded out a beautiful bag of fresh fish for the table.
It is finally that time of year again when those beautiful crimson machines make their way into the port and have us fishos up at ridiculous times of the morning to see those rod tips touch the water as the sun breaks over the horizon. The snapper are back and there are a few areas that you can set your sights on to hopefully snag a quality bag of fresh snapper.
The top end is an early season hot spot and, as I mentioned earlier, it’s here that our first reports of the season came in. Peter Ferguson loves this area of the port and after a few little passes over some old faithful marks the sounder showed him exactly what he wanted to see. He managed two lovely fish in two trips with one fish pulling the scales down at 4.5kg and the other at 3.8kg. Fresh calamari rings were the only bait getting a look in.
Early in the season the top end can hold some very reliable marks. The Bouchiers and Boultons channel traditionally produce some early fish and Joes Island has been a favourite among snapper anglers for a long time now. Team Jack Mac put in an early season trip just out of Tooradin and came home with a decent 4.3kg fish.
While we wait for the water temperature to creep up just a tad more and Lysaughts and Long Reef will start to dominate our reports, there are a few other secrets to help you open the snapper account in the cooler water.
Pilchards and squid rings are great baits as these softer baits tend to bag more fish than the harder ones at this time of year. Really focus your attentions around the change of tide as bite periods can still be quite short as they wait for the warmer water.
Good luck to you all and keep those reports coming!Reads: 1267