You have to love this time of year! After the long, cold winter those first days of spring filled with the smell of fresh cut grass and warm weather always remind me that snapper season is just around the corner.
It is certainly a time where fishing, once again, becomes a hot topic! With that said, there has been plenty of action over the last month so let’s do the rounds.
If you have had your fill of salmon fishing over the winter, another species which has come on the chew over the last month are the humble old garfish. Most anglers have been enjoying catching them land-based with the main piers between Rye and Portsea all holding fish in the afternoons. Either tide seems to produce, a slick berley trail really being the key to getting in on the action. Maggots and silverfish are the best baits. While they are good eating, collecting a few gars and vac-sealing them for the upcoming snapper season is also worthwhile.
Squid have continued to fish well throughout the southern end of the bay and at any second if feels as if we could encounter a solid run of the really big breeders. While most anglers have been able to pinch a few big ones in each session we should see a much more consistent run of big squid sometime in the next month. Drifting in front of the rocks at Mt Martha has proved productive, as has fishing around the Blairgowrie boat moorings.
They may not be everybody’s favourite species but they certainly make good snapper bait. Over the last month lots of anglers have been encountering schools of barracouta ideally-sized for snapper bait around the Port Phillip heads and also over around the western entrance to Western Port. Try trolling 80-100mm hardbodied divers whenever you come across a suspect patch on your sounder. Other notable areas these fish have been encountered recently are wide of the Flinders Pier and in the shark hole at Blairgowrie which has been productive for these fish.
Brent Rietman, who is an exceptional snapper angler, has already been plucking a few fish from around Black Rock, which is a good sign for the next month or so. Brent has had good success using ultra-fresh baits, caught in the same session, and has done well on the tide changes even in the middle of the day. We also heard of a few fish picked up in close in 10m of water between Mt Martha and Mornington.
It all starts to happen from here! For me spring really signals the beginning of the season, not only for snapper but the plethora of other species we enjoy through the warmer months. Reel servicing and re-spooling, rig making, reconnaissance missions are all on the agenda this month – us anglers are starting to get excited! If you’re really keen it would be worth a trip off shore to try some of the marks around Barwon Heads to see if you can find a nice red before they enter the bay.
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.Reads: 1903