Best snapper in December as other species strengthen
  |  First Published: December 2012

There are a couple of reasons I love December every year.

And it’s not for the obvious reasons – parties and presents – but rather it generally heralds the best snapper fishing off our local grounds at Mt Martha and deep off Rye. The other reason is that it is a fantastic month for gummy sharks. Often multiple, good size gummies will be taken in a single session. It is something about the water temperature and maybe influenced by the lack of boat traffic (before the January madness) which seems to make this a special month on the gummy shark calendar.


It’s that time of the year and the season has run in a fairly similar way to last year. Fish early in the month were spread for the most part between Mornington and Chelsea, with plenty of particularly good captures off Mt Eliza in 16-18m of water. However, there is no doubt we saw the fish spread and recently there have been some pretty good fish taken off Mt Martha. During December it is also worth fishing on some of the inshore reefs such as the wreck off Rosebud and the Rosebud Reef itself, which will see plenty of fish between 1-3kg.

Southern Calamari

The last month saw some a continuation of the big calamari that were taken through early spring. Without doubt, some of the biggest were taken on the trusty old handline with frozen silver whiting or tommy ruff used for bait. Queenscliff was probably the hot spot, although some good fish were taken at Point Nepean and in under 8m at Lonsdale Bight.

The Minor Species

For land-based anglers, the bait fish are in good supply at many of our local piers. Blairgowrie Marina has seen plenty of good size tommy ruff after dark, while slimy mackerel are also making an appearance amongst these school fish. This is certainly the time to equip yourself with a bait jig – whether in the boat or land-based! The bait schools are abundant from the shallows right out to the snapper grounds and can provide some of the best bait for your target species or a nice meal, whatever your fancy!

Looking Ahead

After a ripper year on yellowtail kingfish last year, there will be plenty of punters keen to test their metal this year and see if they can catch a ‘Melbourne’ king. A word of warning though, for those fishing the Rip please take note of the container ships.

Word on the street suggests that the Port Authority are looking very closely at trying to get fishing banned in the Rip if recreational fishing boats continue to pose a danger to the big boats coming through.

Finally, we wish everyone out there a fantastic Christmas. It’s been another big year of fishing and we thank everyone who submitted their fishing reports to the shop and helped keep us informed of what’s biting! See you in the new year!

For more information feel free to drop in and see the boys at Peninsula Total Tackle, 11 Boneo Road in Rosebud or phone: 03 5981 1994.

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