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It’s all about snapper – it’s a frenzy
  |  First Published: December 2012



I am constantly amazed at just how good our fishery is. Whiting, gummy sharks, snapper, what more could you want.

When is comes to fishing, nothing beats this time of year, hot weather and fish to boot, does it get any better?

Basically, the fishing seems to be all about snapper and why not when they have been ravaging baits from all corners of the Port.

A good friend of mine, Peter Jacobs decided it was time to soak a bait for the reds and decided to hit the Cleeland Bight area. Thinking that a flood of fish may enter this section of the Port, he wasn’t wrong. Fishing the run-out tide one Saturday, Peter hit the jackpot early in the morning producing three lovely fish going 7.2, 5.6 and 4.9kg. These fish were all caught on pilchards and were released.

The shallow waters around Rhyll have also been fishing well on the high tide change. A regular customer from landed a couple of nice snapper estimated at 2.5kg. He also managed a nice little gummy to go along with them. Nathan fished the deep water and found squid and pilchards to be the best baits. He said it was a long time between bites but it was worth persisting.

Ivan Irvine also fished off Rhyll to land a couple of nice snapper to 4kg. Ivan was using red rockets for bait on the new lumo hooks and said the fish went well on the tide change. A high tide change, good baits and a rising barometer and you’re bound to be hooked up. Don’t forget to berley though as this will bring fish to the area.

The tidal flats of Corniella have also fired up in a big way. Good snapper reports are filtering through with some fish to 6kg being caught. Although this is a good model, the average is around 3-4kg. Glen Potter had a cracker session landing four nice fish with the biggest weighing 5.3kg. He said that fishing the shallows was the key and all fished were caught within a 40-minute bite time. Gun baits were fresh squid and scad. Paul De Lisle also had the same fate when fishing around Corinella, landing some nice snapper to 5.5kg along with a nice gummy of 4kg, with all fish taking squid rings. The last 2 hours of the run out tide was most productive.

While I am yet to hear of any fish caught around the Silver Leaves area, stay tuned. While this area may mean little to some, it dose produce some monster reds in the coming weeks. Fish to 12kg have been caught here in past years and I am just waiting to here of the next thumper that does.

In saying that, the North arm from Stony Point to ESSO has been one of the hottest locations to be fishing for those XOS sized fish. Warren Carter and Brendan Wing have been out and about to manage a pair of snapper that weighed 6kg along with a thumper gummy in excess of 20kg. Both fish were released after a couple of quick photos.

Furthermore, there has been a huge school of snapper hanging around Buoy 27 to 25. These fish have been biting really well on the last two hours of the run-in tides with pilchards and red rockets the most tempting baits to be used. I have had numerous reports about these fish and while some have been up to 7kg, the average is around 5kg.

While this is just a small sample of what I have received, I am dreading next months report as we go right into the absolute thick of snapper fishing. In saying that, many anglers would have had their fix by then and will stray to the bank in search of whiting and other tasty treats.

Although few whiting have been reported over the past few weeks, it is not that they have gone anywhere; it’s just due to 90% of anglers fishing for snapper. I did get two reports of whiting being caught along the Middle Spit. These were caught by Dylan Anderson and another angler John Peterson who both fished on the same day. Dylan managed 19 whiting from 36-39 cm and John managed 12 whiting all around the 39cm mark. In the two separate reports, all fish took pipi and whiting worm baits.

December

If you are looking to target something else besides snapper, don’t go any further than the humble King George whiting. Although the winter fishery was exceptional summer is sure to be a huge hit. Concentrate along the Middle Spit or the Tortoise Head Bank where they congregate in numbers. Berley is the key with mussel, pipi and whiting worm being the top baits. Fishing around a tide change will see most success and if you want to try something new, grab the new Instinct Prowler Rig, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how productive this little pre-tied rig is.

Everyone is always looking for an advantage over other anglers and this locally designed and tested rig is sure to put more fish in your boat. Best of all, the hooks are forged so there is no need to worry about breaking or straightening hooks.

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