Get ready for reds
  |  First Published: October 2008

It’s amazing how the first few warm days of spring have snapped many anglers out of their winter hibernation. The talk of snapper and the upcoming season is on everyone’s lips. Each week has seen the reports and fishing in general improving.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

Mordialloc Creek has been fishing well, with mullet and good numbers of trevally to 30cm being caught. Local anglers are expecting the mullet numbers to increase even more over the coming weeks. Best baits have been whitebait, dough and small pieces of chicken fillet.

On the pier, good numbers of garfish have been providing both kids and adults with hours of fun and snapper baits. There have also been a few afternoons where the salmon have made a short but very welcome visit to the pier, and lure anglers have had a ball casting soft plastics and metal lures to fish of around 800g.

Further offshore, boat anglers are still reporting plenty of gars out deep, as well as a few snapper. One angler who dropped into the shop told me his mate got six snapper to 5kg in late August while fishing in 18m off Mordialloc.

Up at Beaumaris Pier the garfish are still going well and there are a few squid to be found by anglers fishing around dusk.

The Parkdale Pinnacles and surrounding reefs will begin to produce bigger snapper over the coming weeks, especially after or during a good blow. For the land-based fishers, the strong onshore winds will be the prime time to concentrate your efforts at locations such as Mordialloc and Beaumaris piers and from the beach off Parkdale.

Up around Ricketts Point and towards Black Rock there are still whiting to be found for those anglers prepared to make enough moves to find them. Here’s hoping we are at the start of anther bumper whiting season.

For the pinky snapper fishers, during the last few weeks there have been plenty of fish of 25-35cm. The good news is that mixed with them are some far bigger reds, with several fish to 4kg being landed, mostly by bait anglers. For the lure fishos, try upsizing your Squidgy and Berkley plastics to 4-6”.

Out off the Gasso there have also been scattered reports of snapper and in the next few weeks they should go ballistic as large numbers of fish move into the area to feed.

Sandringham to Port Melbourne

Early morning has seen a few pinkies taken from the end of the breakwall, especially in the rougher conditions. It shouldn’t be too long before some anglers strike it lucky with some bigger fish.

Along the groynes, pinkies are the main target. There are also quite a few squid in the area, as good mate Theo proved by easily catching a feed in the area on numerous occasions, while drifting through the broken ground just out from the shore.

Out on the Anonyma Shoal there have been some very nice whiting caught. Fishing the outside edge of the reef in 12-14m is a favoured area to find big snapper this month.

Brighton Breakwall is fishing well for garfish and squid, as well as pinkies, which are a welcome by-catch. Anglers are now fishing with heavier tackle and larger baits in search of the bigger snapper that move into the shallow waters at this time of year.

On towards the North Road area there are some squid to be found for both boat and land-based anglers. The shallow reef and cunjevoi beds through here and towards St Kilda have also been producing some big snapper during the night. The same shallow reef and rough bottom areas from St Kilda down towards Kerford Road and beyond have also been fishing well, especially at night.

Yarra and Maribyrnong

Bream are being taken high up in the Maribyrnong by anglers fishing with baits of peeled prawn and pod worm. Along with the bream there have been a few jewies hooked by anglers bream fishing with baits or the increasingly popular blade style metal lures.

In the Yarra there have been some big pinkies taken by anglers fishing around the Westgate Bridge and the mouth of the Maribyrnong River. Best of all they can often be easily marked on the sounder as they school up in this area and are best targeted with plastics like the 100mm Squidgy Wriggler or Gulp Turtleback Worm.

While the rivers are fishing well, it’s the Warmies, or the outlet to the power station, that is really on fire at present, with huge numbers of tailor on offer. It seems that the hardest bit about catching a few fish is finding a spot to stand and cast a bait or lure into the warm outflow that seems to have an endless procession of tailor in it.

Best baits here have been blue and whitebait, or small lures such as a 20g Laser or small diving minnow such as the Ecogear SX-40. There are also some far better tailor amongst the hordes of smaller fish, so a larger bait or lure can be the undoing of fish of around 2kg, which is a decent tailor anywhere let alone in sunny Victoria.

Williamstown to Werribee

It’s all about snapper all around the Bay and it’s certainly no different in this part of the world. Some of the better early season reports are coming from this area, with anglers finding pinkies and snapper feeding together on the shallow reefs around Altona and towards Point Cook. The pick of the spots seems to be an area called the Jaw Bone, where several local anglers have been having consistent success on numbers of pinkies and reasonable numbers of 2-3.5kg fish.

Out in the deeper locations, such as around P2, there has been a trickle of reports of some much better snapper of around 5kg. Needless to say the upcoming weeks should fire in this area.

The Werribee River has given up some exceptional bream lately. They have been biting on a range of baits depending on the day, so if heading down there I would recommend taking baits such as prawn, worm, whitebait and even chicken fillet. If you can get hold of some, then Bass yabbies, pod worm or softshell definitely work well too.

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