Bumper season rolls on
  |  First Published: December 2012

As another bumper snapper season rolls on, leaving many anglers once again shaking their heads at just how good it has been.

And while for many anglers it’s still all about those big red fish, for others now is the time to focus on other species that come out to play with in the warmer weather and water.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

Snapper reports filtered in from Mordialloc Pier over the month on an almost daily basis, however now with the warmer water in December we will see the land-based fishing on the bigger fish slow down, however as an upside the pinkies should be around in good numbers and if all goes well and we get some calm warmer weather there should also be the start of the whiting moving in around the reef on the right hand side of the pier.

Out deeper, boat anglers are having no problem finding snapper in the 18-20m area with big numbers of fish still on the chew on the mud. The trick seems to be quite simple to getting a bunch of fish – locate one or two on the sounder, anchor on them, dump a heap of berley then get ready as the whole school moves in to eat all your baits for several hours of rod bending fun.

In shallower water around Parkdale and up to Ricketts Point, kayak anglers are getting stuck into the snapper by trolling and casting plastics all along the reef edges with the additional surprises coming from salmon and some solid flathead. These areas are also prime locations to be looking for some whiting over the coming weeks with perhaps one of the tricks being not to berley too hard, as it will bring in the hordes of pinkie snapper.

Up off Ricketts Point the reef is holding everything from pinkies to big snapper, along with some solid Australian salmon and big snook. For anglers who like to cast lures will find this fishing will only get better as the month rolls on.

If you want more of a snapper fix then the Gasso is a top place to be looking as the snapper hold up in this area in great numbers during this month. The added bonus to this area is that it often fishes well during the middle of the day so it’s a great time to get the family on the water.

Sandringham To St Kilda

For what ever reason the patch of reef that lies between Half Moon Bay and Sandringham Breakwall known as Yorkies often produces the first good catches of whiting for the season and this year it seems is no different with some sneaky reports filtering in from this area. The added bonus however is that it has also been holding a few squid and for the lure anglers working the reef edge in towards the shoreline has also turned up some very nice flathead in the 40-55cm size.

Moving north, snapper can still be found out on the edge of the shipping channel with the big attraction being that there are plenty of good garfish to be found out there also. With some of the better reports and definitely the better sized fish coming from those anglers who are fishing with live gars.

In closer to shore the Anonyma Shoal and the reef up off Green Point will be well worth a look for whiting and red mullet along with some big garfish that moved into the area during late November. Now is also the time to get serious with live bait suspended under a float, as at any time from now on those very exciting kingfish could make their presence felt.

Brighton is just going from strength to strength with everything from snapper to salmon and even a few small gummy sharks being taken from the breakwall over the past weeks, not to mention some of the very big snapper that have been caught in the shallow water by boat anglers fishing late at night.

At Fawkner Beacon and its surrounds some anglers have still been finding god success on the snapper however it can often be a case of needing to spend some time sounding to find the patches of fish as they are moving up and down the channel edge with the tides.

Up along the reef edges between North Road and towards St Kilda now is the time to get out and wade in the shallows or even better if you have a kayak or small boat to work the likely looking gutters or weed and reef edges in search of some seriously good flathead that will be chasing the bait fish in the shallows.

Some of the reports I have seen and heard of already indicate it is going to be a belter of a season, especially if we don’t get any floods during summer.

Best lures to try are hardbodied lures such as the Rapala Max Rap 7cm and the new BX minnows, while on the plastics front its hard to go past a Squidgy Fish 70mm in grasshopper or an 80mm Squidgy Fish in Black and Gold.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

Late November and into this month is the time to find yourself in the chance of finding a whole pile of very big snapper in shallow water around locations such as Elwood and through to St Kilda Breakwall with the hot tip being to fish no deeper than 8m of water late at night. And while this area is great there are also plenty of other good locations all along to Station Pier. This month should also see heaps of garfish school up in this area that also gives anglers a good fresh source of bait. Not to mention the salmon which have been getting stuck into the whitebait.

All of which just makes the area so much more inviting to big reds and best of all you dont have to have a boat to be in the running for some great fishing.

Up at Station Pier their has been an assortment of fish being taken from this structure with small baits fished close to the poles finding a few bream and trevally while bigger baits cast out have found flathead, salmon and snapper. On the down-side some decent schools of snapper have been moving into the area between Station and Princess piers only to get cleaned up by the netters which just doesn’t make sense to me as to how they can still be allowed to net these snapper on mass.

Lets hope the fishing this month is great and the big man in the red suit brings you all the good new fishing gear you wish for.

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