September spells the start of the red tide
  |  First Published: September 2013

Talk about being confused, I’m not sure if it is summer or winter with all these snapper, whiting and calamari being caught.

I guess there is a bright side to it all though, it’s September and the reds have arrived.

This winter was undoubtedly the best winter I have seen for so many snapper. Each week there has been at least 5-6 fish caught that I have heard of. Go back 5 years and it was the odd one here or there caught during only a span of a week or two.

While the Port itself fished extremely well a group of keen anglers decided to venture offshore to see what they could wrangle up. Reece and Moffa certainly had a day to remember after heading down the Western Entrance. The boys managed a few nice calamari before heading offshore into 30m of water. Within an hour, they hooked and landed a 15kg gummy shark.

Having dispatched the fish, the boys then took some time to have lunch and were chatting about mako sharks when all of a sudden a sizeable mako showed up under the boat. They quickly tossed out a squid bait and hooked the mako. After a 20-minute battle they landed the shark, which went 50kg on the scales.

The following week, they headed out again but this time to a different location. This time the boys were in search of a mako and began a drift just out from Sunderland Bay. Shortly after, they managed a 30kg mako shark; who said it was winter!


Cleeland Bight is a neat location to catch a wide variety of species and is a great location to go in search of calamari. The past few weeks had been very productive in this area with plenty of anglers catching some good models. Whiting have also been on the chew with the last of the run-in tide and first hour of the run-out being the prime time to catch them. Berley is been an essential part of the equation with pipis working a treat.


The Corinella area produced some very nice snapper throughout July and August and is continuing to do so. Lee headed out in search of gummy sharks but instead managed two magnificent snapper of 74cm and 69cm.

Gummy sharks have also been taken in the Corinella are right through to the Tenby Point Channel. Anglers fishing the edges of the banks have been catching some good fish in the 4-6kg range. The Mosquito Channel has also been producing some nice fish for those fishing in 5-6m.


This is a very productive time for land-based anglers to hit the shoreline in search of gummy sharks. Lang Lang is one of the most productive areas and has been fishing very well. Though shallow, it is imperative a high tide be fished. Silver trevally, salmon and calamari are a top choice of baits to be used.


Local fishing identity, Ron Smith fished the Western Entrance in 16m of water in search of gummy sharks. After finding some rubble on the bottom, Ron set anchor and began to set out his baits. Using pike, squid and tuna baits, Ron managed some very nice gummy sharks.

The Western Entrance has really stepped up a notch on the snapper front. Anglers fishing the run-out tides have been catching some very impressive fish. Glen Palmer fished near Buoy 12 when he managed a cracking 6kg red which took a yakka chunk bait.

From the fairway buoy to Stony Point, snapper are being caught on a weekly basis. Those, who would normally be targeting gummy sharks have been catching sizeable snapper instead.


Cat Bay is a well known calamari haunt as well as delivery some very large whiting from time to time. Gerhard headed to Cat Bay one glorious afternoon and locked horns with some impressive calamari. Though he didn’t find any whiting, he was content with a feed of fresh calamari rings.


It is September already and we are all champing at the bit to get some more snapper action. September is a great time of year to be on the water but can be windy. The first catches of snapper generally begin around the middle of the month but with the large amount of fish already catch, who cares right?

If you’re into getting yourself an early season fish it will be best to hit the early season marks. Long Reef just south of Crawfish Rock, The North Arm and Corinella with undoubtedly be the prime locations to try your luck. The best piece of advice I can give is to really get to know your depth sounder. This little piece of technology will become your more reliable friend and if you want snapper, it will show you the way.

When you do find a fish or two on the sounder, anchor appropriately, fish good baits such as calamari, pilchards and yakka fillet.

Early season snapper fishing is a lot of fun and there are plenty of big fish about. This month is sure to be outstanding with plenty of snapper on offer, all you need to do know is spend the time on the water to find their hang outs.

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