Snapper time near its peak
  |  First Published: November 2012

While the annual run of snapper has been the hot topic over the past few weeks, anglers also focused their attention on gummy sharks and calamari.

The Balnarring area was one of the most prolific locations to be searching out gummies and plenty have been caught and released. Though the nights have been cold, the fish continued to play the game, with gummies to 4-8kg with the odd larger fish mixed in.

As spring wore on anglers increased their focus to the run of snapper once the regular reports filtered through.

The Corinella area has been quite productive and will continue to produce some nice fish for the entire season. When fishing here, the prime locations are Blue Gum Point, Tenby Point and Spit Point. It pays to sound around until you find fish then lightly berley until they come on the bite.

This also goes for anywhere else in the Port. A little berley does help bring the fish on and if you’re in anything deeper than 8m of water, a pilchard cube trail will be successful.

Another location that gets a lot of attention and fishes very well is the North Arm. This is situated from Stony Point to Lysaghts.

There has been a solid school of fish around Buoy 21 straight out from Stony Point. Though they have been on the bite during the high tide change, those that have been nearby have caught some lovely fish.

If you are looking for more specific locations to find snapper then make sure you know how to read your sounder. When on the water you really need to study it and make sure that when you’re about to drop the anchor, you have found fish. There is no point fishing for fish when they are not there.

At this time of year, locations such as the area around Buoy 15, Buoy 21 and the shallow flats from Rhyll to Coronet Bay are all worthy places to search for fish. If you’re keen on fishing the shallows, the Coronet Bay area in 5m of water is a productive location on first light during a rising tide. Some big fish can be caught in here so make sure you’re quiet. Fishing during the night is also productive.

The waters around Observation Point also attract a lot of fish and there have already been some solid fish pulled from this area. I have had some cracking sessions here in the past and it is a matter of setting the anchor, tossing in some berley and waiting for the bite. Most of the area is 10-14m deep so you will require substantial lead to hold on the bottom. Nevertheless, the fish you’ll catch here can be BIG!

Although the reds will be the hot topic, some anglers may like to continue to catch whiting. While they have been a popular catch throughout winter and spring we are just about to really get into the whiting season in the coming weeks. The reports I have received have been promising with the Coronet Bay area yielding a good catch for kayak anglers fishing near Reef Island. In saying that, the Cleeland Bight area has also got some solid fish about with the run-out tide being the most popular time to catch them. There has also been some nice calamari over the weed beds too.


Land-based anglers have also had good success with gummies being the most targeted species of late. Shoreham Beach has produced some nice fish, especially of a night.

Somers Beach has also been on fire with some nice fish on offer. Luke Mellor sent in a report after fishing land-based from Somers Beach one night. Luke said he fished with a few mates where they landed four nice sized gummy sharks. All fish were caught on squid rings during the top of the high tide.

Snapper are also a possibly from the land and if you’re keen to try, fish from the Stony Point pier, Cowes Pier or from Stockyard Point. All these locations provide access into deep water were the fish pass by.


There is no point in suggesting something other than snapper this month, but why not try catching them on lures. Soft plastics are highly effective, yet in Western Port there a very few anglers that try to catch them using this method.

While the Port does have strong tidal flow, the prime time is to use plastics around the tide change. If you have located a school and the tide is approaching the change, grab a plastics outfit and flick around.

Ideally you will still need to use a heavy jig head such as a ¼ or ½oz with 3/0 hook. Productive plastics are the Squidgy 110mm flick bait in Evil minnow and Pilly or the D.O.A 5.5” jerk bait in the Alewife and Green Pumpkin. These plastics are proven snapper catchers and work a treat when the tide has slowed.

Simply cast as far as you can behind your boat, allow the lure to hit the bottom and in a jerking motion, retrieve the lure, allowing the plastic to bump along the bottom back to the boat. The more casts you put in the higher your rate of success.

Catching snapper on bait is one thing, catching them on lures is a whole lot more fun.

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