All the talking’s been done. November is finally here. This is the month that most Victorian anglers wait all year for, because it is the peak of snapper season. With two great seasons already under our belts, all the signs are there that 2008 will be as good or if not better.
Mordialloc Pier and the creek continue to fish extremely well, with good numbers of mullet and trevally in the creek, while the real fun has been had with the schools of salmon that move in around the mouth of the creek and around the lower half of the pier when the weather is rough. Most are around 30cm although there are a few fish to 1kg amongst them. Most are being taken on small soft plastics and hardbodied lures such as Ecogear SX-40s and Zipbait Kamsin minnows, while the bait anglers are doing well on whitebait suspended under a float.
One morning recently all the staff from Fishing Fever went to the pier and had a good laugh watching the local anglers hooking up to 1kg salmon on their 8m squid poles.
In the evenings over the last few weeks, the pinkies have started making a return to the pier with local anglers getting fish to 1kg. Hopefully the incessant northerly winds will push around to the south this month and we will see some big snapper being caught from the pier in the rough weather.
Out in the boats there are large schools of snapper in 13-15m, with some exceptional fish amongst them being taken mostly on fresh squid.
Up off Beaumaris the pier continues to fish well for squid in the evening, with small brown or luminous jigs doing well in the rough conditions or during the dark. There have also been good pinkies to 50cm and the occasional fish up around 3.5kg being caught on squid and pilchards.
There have also been rumours of kingfish being seen from the pier so, over the coming weeks, if you are fishing land-based or close to shore in the boat it’s well worth having a live squid or garfish out under a float. You just may get a rod-buckling, tackle-destroying surprise!
The area between Ricketts Point and Black Rock has fished really well over the winter and it just continues to get better as the water warms up for summer.
The pinkies have been good, with lots of small fish over the reefs and the last few weeks have seen some of the big snapper moving in amongst them to feed on the shallow reef that abounds through this area. Bait has been the most successful method for finding fish between 2.5-4.5kg, along with the odd 6-8kg fish, however one lucky angler caught an 8.2kg red on a 3” Gulp Minnow in nuclear chicken colour. There have been several others between 2-3.5kg caught on plastics.
The upcoming weeks should see some awesome fishing for both lure and bait fishers in the area.
Out in the deeper areas, such as at the Gasso, the snapper schools are starting to fire up with some good catches coming from the deep. A good tip out in these areas is to look for the smaller patches of fish on the sounder, as often marking just one or a few scattered fish will indicate there is a number of fish in the area that are spread out and feeding.
Through late September and October, this area has fished extremely well for snapper with the best results coming from the land-based anglers
Sandringham Breakwall and the rock groynes at Hampton have had some top snapper coming from them when the wind blows from the west or south and stirs up the coastline. There are good numbers of pinkies around 1kg and a few of 4-5kg to spice things up.
Just down the road the Brighton Pier and breakwall continues to be a stand out land-based location with some big fish being caught in the rough weather. Fishing Fever customer Bashir has taken snapper to over 6kg from the breakwall and has witnessed several other big snapper being caught.
Towards North Road and St Kilda there has been an exceptional run of massive garfish, with many anglers stating they are just too big to use for bait and so they are ending up on the dinner table.
The upcoming weeks should see the shallow reefs in the area fire up with big snapper at night. For those in the know it can be some of the best snapper fishing in the Bay, with big fish in water that is often only 3-5m deep. Trust me, when you get a fish on in these areas the first run will have you wondering what you have hooked.
Up at Kerford Road Pier there are mullet, bay trout and a few squid on offer for those anglers prepared to berley and bring the fish to them. There are also tonnes of whitebait up in the top of the Bay, so this should help anglers fishing this area in November, as snapper follow this food source.
In the Yarra River the best results for bream seem to be further upstream as they school up for spawning, and while it can take a bit to find them there is some good fishing to be had on soft baits such as peeled prawn and sandworm.
For the lure anglers the bridge pylons are fishing well and there is still more than the occasional mulloway amongst them.
In the Maribyrnong the bream fishing is similar, with some good fishing being had upstream around Caulfield.
The Warmies at Newport is fishing quite well for bream and mullet with best baits being chicken fillet and whitebait fished on paternoster rigs.
Up at Altona the boat ramp is back in action now that it has been dredged. Anglers can get out among the fish without fear of losing the leg of their engine as they try to get inside the breakwall.
The shallow reefs in the area have been fishing well for pinkies, with the key being to fish in 1-2m of water. Soft plastics are doing the real damage as they allow you to fish the area without getting snagged as often.
Out deeper, areas such as P2 have been producing some good snapper and over the next few weeks should produce some excellent fishing
Out from Point Cook there have been some good reports of big snapper on offer in 8m of water during the strong winds. Reports in this area seem to indicate a mix of resident big fish (possibly coming out from Corio Bay) and new season, brightly coloured snapper from Bass Strait.
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