It’s all gone red over the past few weeks with snapper season really just consuming the majority of the Melbourne based fishing community.
And why wouldn’t it with a long, cold and very winter that kept most anglers in front of the telly.
While there is plenty starting to happen at present if I can give you any tips for the coming weeks it would be to put a lot of effort into the morning sessions when its calm.
On the rough days afternoons can be great but in many cases if you fish in deeper than 10m of water you can be past the snapper as they push into the shallows to feed.
How the past years have changed. A few years back there was just a few hardcore anglers who would brave the windy weather in search of a few land-based reds. Now ‘a days its all different with this pier producing big numbers of snapper during September and October each year. In fact on some days catching a land-based red here is almost the easy bit, getting a spot to fish, that’s a different question!
The past weeks have seen a few good snapper taken from the pier when the big south-westerly winds have blown, but the coming weeks should really see it fire up. While when the wind has backed off the pier has fished well for heaps of garfish and when the water is clear there have been consistent squid to be found.
Boat anglers are finding a good mix of solid pinkies and some big snapper among them on the shallow reefs, while out in the deeper water anglers who are fishing on structure are finding some cracking early season reds.
The coming weeks however will really see the action start to heat up on the snapper front for boat anglers, and like all other years its well worth working the shallower water in dawn and dusk as this is where the big fish are definitely being taken at present.
Up into Beaumaris Bay the whole area has been fishing well with big snapper being taken off the pier during September. Anglers fishing close to the mussel farms in rough weather are finding some quality snapper. As an added bonus from Ricketts Point to Parkdale the garfish have been exceptional, and there are also plenty of squid around so getting fresh bait isn’t a problem.
From Ricketts Point to Black Rock the focus has now really changed from the pinkies to snapper, And while there are still plenty of pinkies on the shallow reef, anglers who have been casting plastics in the 5-7” size especially the 5” Zman jerk baits in the Copper Penny and Nuclear chicken colours are having some outstanding success on snapper of 2.5-4.5kg.
Out wider some good catches coming from the marks known as Two Fingers and out wider on the Gasso.
While in close off Black Rock in 8-12m there has been some good reds being taken in rough weather or before first light of a morning.
For the land-based angler now is the time to get serious off the breakwall and rock groynes, and generally speaking the harder it blows the better it will be for the snapper.
A good tip is to also fish all along the front of the Sandringham breakwall as while it doesn’t look like much when its calm there are plenty of sand crabs in the area and when its rough the big reds come in here to feed on them.
Out wider the Anonyma Shoal has been holding good numbers of squid, with two separate anglers reporting some better sized ones to 1kg on the deeper reef edges.
Fishing around here is also a great option for early season snapper as it’s a substantial piece of reef that lies in the middle of nowhere, so it naturally attracts food and predators.
Out wider again I have been hearing reports of some good numbers of snapper being taken along the edge of the shipping lane. This month however should see this area go mental, with the T1, T2 and up towards the Fawkner Beacon holding tonnes of snapper.
Further north, the Brighton breakwall has been a little slower on the big reds. However it will come into its own this month for land-based fishing, and no doubt it will produce multiple big fish as it always does. As a by-catch there has also been good numbers of garfish for those who prefer a bit of fun with the lighter gear.
Up off North Road and towards St Kilda the shallow reefs are still producing pinkies, but this month should see an influx of often huge snapper push into this area of a night to feed in ridiculously shallow water. Right behind them will be a crew of anglers that head out late at night to fish in water that is at times only a few metres deep in search of these big reds that really do take off when you hook them.
Rain is often the determining factor up in this part of Port Phillip as it will either bring the reds in numbers or keep them away if we get too much rain.
For the most part however the early reports indicate that a few of the more hardcore anglers have been getting the odd good snapper both land-based off Kerford Road and Lagoon piers, while those in the boats have been a bit more consistent as they can move about to sound up the snapper in the area.
Up off Station Pier I have heard a few reports of the odd small barracouta being caught, which is a great sign as if they hang around there is a fair chance the big snapper will be right on their tails.
It’s snapper season, the footy is finished so get out there and have a crack.Reads: 801