It’s definitely all systems go on the snapper front. We have been shown some calm weather and many anglers have made the most of the opportunity.
Joes Island should officially be named Snapper Island with the amount of snapper reports that we have received of late. Pete Ferguson is a name that you would now be familiar with if you have been following my report over the last few issues and this is because I haven't seen too many anglers capitalize on a cracker season as much as this man. He studies tides, barometric pressure and conditions to not only pick a spot but to also maximize his chances of landing fish on any given day.
He has been at it again this month covering quite a vast area of the top end and has found fish on most occasions. The largest of the month tipped the scales at 7.1kg from around Joes Island, with the fish taken on Pete’s trusty fresh squid ring. Another of the more interesting reports from Joes Island came from Joe (no relation to the island) and his mate Matty.
They fished in the shallow water, only 6m, and managed a nice red as well. It is very interesting just how many snapper get caught in shallow water, particularly after a bit of rain when the water is quite dirty.
Warneet is another area of the port that has produced a lot of fish so far this season. Just outside of the Warneet channel has been another of Pete’s favoured spots and so far 6.1kg has been the best fish he has pulled out of this area.
For those anglers that have yet to give in to snapper fever the squid reports have still been pretty good around the Quail and Tyabb banks. Artificial jigs have been the favoured method and every one will be pleased to know that the average size of the calamari has also increased. Col Nickless has found some success on the Tyabb bank while fishing with mate Paul Coulton. They landed some very nice specimens with white Shimano sephia jigs being the go-to jig on the day.
This is where you will find most boats heading to this time of year, and with very good reason. This is where the majority of the action will take place in the northern part of the port. Snapper reports will be dominated by places like Lysaghts and long reef and closely followed by reports out of Hastings itself. As we rapidly approach Christmas the whiting reports from around the middle spit will really pick up to.
When Pete isn’t right up the top end he is generally hanging around the long reef somewhere and he has picked up quite a few fish from along this stretch. There is really no big secret here; just keep a close eye on the sounder and it will take you directly to where the fish are.
Snapper to 4.5kg have been taken from this area and fresh squid and Australian salmon fillet has worked quite well for Pete in this stretch of water. Linda Dennehy is another who has struck red in the same area. She has managed fish to 3kg quite recently and it was the top of the run-in tide that produced the goods this time around.
As I mentioned earlier, whiting reports will start to heat up and Shaun Furtiere has already had a poke around with a very pleasing result. In a cracker little session on the run-in tide Shaun managed to get his clients a bag of 50 whiting for the afternoon. Best bait was pipi and Shaun said it took him quite a few moves to find them but the rewards for his persistence really paid off!
As you read this we will be coming into the best part of our snapper season, so now is the time to make the most of it.
If you are a beginner, my best advice would be to keep things as simple as possible. If you do not know how to read your sounder now is the time to get it sorted, as it will be your best friend while snapper fishing. Hit up your local tackle store for some quality advise on reading your sounder and it will go a long way to bringing home a nice feed for the family.
For those of you who have already got a few fish on the boat, now is the time to hone your skills on other methods to get these fish. Trolling, soft plastics and slow vertical jigging are techniques that are deadly and with the abundance of fish down there and perfect conditions to get the fish going now is the time of year to change it up and still get rewards for your efforts!
Good luck to you all and keep the reports coming!Reads: 1035