It’s fair to say the snapper would be well and truly in the starting gates for the beginning of snapper season 2013/14.
Many anglers would agree that it is a fairly grey area that defines the end of the last season, and the one ahead, with numbers of them being taken at various parts of the bay in every month of the past year.
I love the upcoming month, as this is where we should see the first of the big snapper for the season being taken by land-based anglers, as they brave the strong south and southwest winds that usually hammer Mordialloc Pier during September.
Interestingly, during this month land-based anglers will have far better success on snapper than many boat fishers as the big reds seem to love getting in the very shallow water.
Keep this in mind if you are heading out in the boat, as is often the case when the bay is rough, if you are fishing in over 8m of water you may be out past the fish.
Over the past weeks however the pier has seen decent numbers of pinkies coming in of an evening and along with them are good numbers of calamari, while during the rougher conditions its almost been a fair bet that the salmon are going to turn up, offering great sport and heaps of fun for anglers casting small metal lures around like the River2sea Sea rock metals in 14g and 25g.
In the creek it seems that there is still plenty of mullet to be found with the local float anglers catching them on a daily basis. However as the water starts to warm up over the coming weeks one would expect this run of fish to slow.
Boat fishing as with land-based options has been fairly exceptional with good reports of pinkies and some big flathead to be found up in Beaumaris Bay. It’s the squid however that are still the shining light for many anglers as they continue to get around in good numbers on all the shallow reef areas, and for the guys who are throwing the larger 3.5 sized jigs in deeper water of 7-10m there is a much bigger class of squid to be found.
As you would expect with such good number of squid on offer Beaumaris Pier is almost black with ink as each day sees numbers of calamari hit the deck for lots of anglers.
Out off Ricketts Point, pinkies are on the chew but now it’s the call of bigger snapper that will have many anglers getting excited, although for some like one of Fishing Fever’s casual staff members snapper season has been going all winter with Neil ‘Cocko’ producing reds between 3.5-6kg on almost every trip he has been doing over the past weeks. Neil said his best results are coming out in the 16-18m area on the tide changes, with pilchards producing the fish. I have also heard several other reports of good snapper in the area between Mordialloc and Ricketts Point recently and best of all, its only going to get better.
Boat and land based fishing through this area should see you getting plenty of action with pinkies being taken in on the Anonyma Shoal, especially by soft plastic anglers who generally keep moving around the reef till they locate the main schools of fish. I also heard of some anglers getting better pinkies in this area with a few fish around 2-3kg. As an added bonus the Anonyma has also been a top location to begin a search for the schools of salmon that have been in the area, with one of the best ways to find them being to troll small diving minnows till the school is found.
Back closer to shore the breakwall at Sandringham and the rock Groynes at Hampton have been producing squid of an evening when it’s calm; during rough weather pinkies are quick to get into the shallows to feed.
Further North at Brighton, now is the time to get really serious in your search for a big early season red. Just like Mordialloc Pier, the Brighton Breakwall is as good a location for big snapper as they move into this area on the big onshore blows that are so common throughout September. The whole area for boat fishing around Brighton and up to North Road boat ramp is idea snapper territory in the 3-8m area, and even if you don’t get big fish then you are just about guaranteed a good feed of pinkies.
Out wider there should be the odd school of snapper starting to gather along the edge of the shipping channel, however you may need to spend a bit of time sounding to find them. As with early season fishing, concentrate your efforts around the tide changes, especially if they fall early in the morning.
This is such an unknown quantity in the coming four to six weeks as the success of this part of the world is strongly governed by what amount of spring rain we get and how much fresh water is pumped into this part of Port Phillip via the Yarra River.
In the meantime however the fishing has been quite good with a few sneaky reports of some very good ling being taken out between St Kilda and Kerford Road in 12-14m wherever there is a good bit of reefy bottom. While further along towards Station and Princess Piers I have been hearing more than the occasional report of some decent reds of 2-3.5kg being taken with some sort of regularity.
Over towards Princess Pier and the mouth of the Yarra River the past month or so has also seen consistent schools of salmon busting up on baitfish through the area providing plenty of fun and fresh bait.
Fingers crossed that we don’t get too much rain up here in the coming weeks, then hopefully we will see big schools of snapper move towards the top of the bay in October, so that some of those ultra-shallow night time locations can produce big snapper for anglers at night.Reads: 1421