The snapper run this year is a few weeks behind last season’s, but they’re starting to fire up at last.
The Tea Tree Competition, which usually highlights the start of the snapper, season saw 1700 anglers catch about 990 fish, the biggest being 7.2kg. The catch rate was down by about half due to bad weather on the Friday, and fewer snapper about. Water temperatures are lower this year compared to the same time last year, which slows the fish down.
In Port Phillip most of the fish being caught are coming from Mornington all the way up to Brighton, between the 12-20m lines. Try fishing in close early in the morning and late in the evening, then moving out deep during the day.
In Western Port the hot spots have been the Corals, Corinella, Observation Point, Silverleaves, Temby Point and around Buoy 13. The best baits have been pilchards and squid, and the best fishing times have been late evenings and into the dark.
I have had very few reports on the beaches (everyone’s chasing snapper) and the indication is that not a lot of salmon are being caught. There seems to be more mullet on the beaches than salmon at the moment.
Below the bridge there are some big barracouta to 1.2m being caught just outside the entrance. Good-sized flathead can be caught on the drift here too.
Above the bridge some of the locals have been catching bags of whiting to 34cm. The Dickies Bay area and around Reef Island have been the most successful spots.
The local jetties are starting to fire up with the Newhaven and Cowes piers producing snapper and trevally, while the San Remo Pier is providing some good calamari.
Further round the Port, both the Tortoise Head Bank and the Red Bluff off Cowes are producing whiting.
There are still quite a few big calamari about at Flinders. The best method is to use baited jigs fished close to the bottom (use weight to get them down).
There is just the odd report of a few bigger whiting about, but they should start to fire up after Christmas in this area.Reads: 987