Snapper season is here and it’s about time. Snapper fever will grip Victoria for the next couple of months and the calamari continue to fire and a small sprinkling of early whiting are also starting to poke about.
In October there is no place you would rather be than the top end of Western Port. Bouchier and Boultins channels and Joes Island come alive with snapper and the Quail and Tyabb banks continue to throw calamari in excess of 1.5kg at us. Bouchier and Boultins channels have fished, and will continue to fish, extremely well in the coming months.
Even with the snapper now in huge proportions there are still a few good-sized gummies in the area. I have heard whispers of gummies to 8kg taken on fresh squid. Joes Island may as well be a giant snapper beacon at this point of the year.
The easiest way to approach Joes Island is to pick the side of the island that is sheltered from the tide. As the tide rips through and hits the island it creates an eddy on the back end and is a nice sheltered spot for the fish to sit and rest out of the tide. This makes it easier for them to pick off any food that gets swept their way. Some charter operators are regularly finding fish ranging from 3-4kg with fresh bait, (generally the fresh calamari rings) seem to be be accounting for most fish.
The Quail Bank continues to produce some great sized calamari and for those that can look past the sea of red or want to find some easy fresh bait before a snapper trip, all you need is a size 3.0 to 3.5 sized squid jig and cast away. Working from the bottom of the tide generally produces best results.
They may as well change the North Arm to the snapper runway at this time of year! The Long Reef out of Lysaghts is a snapper hot spot and will only continue to get hotter as the season really gets going.
Before we talk snapper I just want to remind everyone that the calamari are still in great numbers and the size is still well up there as well, with some crazy sized calamari up on the Tyabb Bank and it will remain pretty consistent for those gathering some fresh bait before a snapper session. The colours of the jigs are varying day to day with the white jigs being a winner on most trips, size 3.0 to 3.5 getting it done in the size department.
As I mentioned earlier this is the snapper capital of Western Port. All of the usual haunts around Lysaghts, Long Reef and Crawfish Rock are well populated with fish and fresh bait is always best, but the humble pilchard is still taking its fair share of fish. I know it is still rather early but we are already starting to hear whispers of some rather nice whiting hanging around the Middle Spit.
Just keep this in the back of your mind as it’s another something to have a go at once you have met your quota of snapper.
For anglers looking to try something new, micro jigging and bay jigging are two forms of fishing that is massive in Western Australia and is slowly catching on here in Victoria. It is very simple and is very effective on our snapper.
Lures used are very small profile jigs and your more traditional type Lucanus jigs. Though the jigs may only be between 60-100mm long they are still very weighty, varying between 30-150g, which makes them very fishable in Western Port especially.
The tide will not affect the heavier jigs as much as soft plastics so fishing the bottom is a hell of a lot easier and you will be surprised at how light the rods are which guarantees loads of fun on the hook up. I know I will be out there giving them a red hot crack this snapper season and it is a form of fishing that is sure to take off here in Victoria over the coming seasons.
Make sure you drop into your local tackle store and get the low down on these small jigs, you will be rather surprised!Reads: 787