Snapper spurt into gear as the red tide surges
  |  First Published: October 2013

A challenging few weeks of fishing with unrelenting winds and a fair smattering of rain hasn’t deterred optimism about the next four weeks as we head deep into peak snapper season.

Australian salmon

We have seen Aussie salmon appear in excellent numbers along many of peninsula piers whose structure acts as a natural attractant to these schooling fish. Dromana pier saw plenty of action when the wind was onshore as did Blairgowrie Marina which has probably been the pick of the bunch, with huge numbers of fish coming in around the dawn bite period.


Already the word on every angler’s lips is snapper, which have been caught in fits and spurts throughout. There have been a couple of early patches off Mt Martha but we also saw the charter operators catching some of the new fish schooled up down off Barwon Heads; clearly part of the population entering the bay.

This year keep an eye out for a new craze which I am sure is going to get a lot of attention in the next few months – jigging for snapper. Using an array of small knife jigs between 60-100g, guys such as Nick Bailey have been finding some serious success using a slow jig style and drifting to catch reds. No doubt this will open up an array of new possibilities for the guys who have found themselves a bit tired of bait fishing for our beloved snapper!


On the other side of the peninsula, even through the periods of heavy wind, there have been some excellent captures of big southern calamari. Fishing the Tyabb and Quail bank has been productive as have some of the reef and weed patches around Cat Bay and Flinders when conditions have allowed anglers to get there.

Gummy Sharks

Another great target as we roll through spring are gummy shark. These fish have been outstanding with plenty being caught land based or from those out in the boat. The stretch of land between Merricks and Somers has fished very well, with plenty being taken from the shore while the sand holes in about 10m have also proved effective.

There have been good mid-size gummies on the shallower weed beds off Rye and Blairgowrie, while those taking the time to soak big baits on the south channel have been rewarded with some nice gummies to 16kg. The swell or draughtboard sharks have started to disappear too, which is always a good sign that the water temperatures are on the incline!

Looking Ahead

With plenty of scattered reports of snapper already it would be hard to imagine that October will not see complete snapper madness engulf most of the fisho residents of the peninsula and surrounds. Having said that, it can also be an excellent time for big squid; so pack a few jigs each time you head out, you may be well rewarded!

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.

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