Located along the 17m line out from Frankston lies one of the most popular areas that anglers fish in search of snapper.
Ansetts as it is known to most anglers is an old plane that crashed into Port Phillip many years ago and now is the home to all things with a shade of red, and a big knobby head. Holding plenty of fish all year around it is a very popular area to start when chasing snapper in the bay.
Prime time for snapper in Port Phillip is when the footy season is over. September through to December are when the snapper are at their thickest, schooling up in the thousands. Fishing tide changes and at dawn and dusk is more crucial outside of these months but during the months anytime can be a session where rods will buckle all day.
A 4-8kg rod matched with a 4000 sized reel with 6-8kg mono is the ideal outfit for snapper fishing in Port Phillip. The time has gone when the need to fish heavy with bait runner reels and 10kg rods, and have been replaced with light sport fishing tackle. If targeting snapper on artificials, then a graphite rod with a 3000 sized reel with 10lb braid is more than ample in tangling with a few knobby headed reds.
A lightly weighted running sinker rig is the most used and popular method targeting snapper. Use 40lb leader about 1m long with two 5/0 octopus hooks on one end and a rolling swivel tied to the other end. Now it comes down to preference on where you want to put the sinker, above the swivel or below it running down to the hooks. I personally prefer below the swivel running down to the hook as its easier to cast and you will get maximum distance with your cast as it doesn't want to slide all the way back up your line while in the air.
In season, silver whiting and pilchards are the two most popular baits by far. Other baits such as scad, garfish and squid all work well but the other two baits if the question is asked, majority of anglers will name these ones.
Squidgy Flickbaits in the 110mm Pillie is a standout as well as 7"Gulp Jerk Shads. With the plastics it all comes down to what anglers feel confident using. But the two mentioned are very good starting points if you haven't used them before.
Snapper fishing, whether it be early in the season or during it, the best method is to sound around until you find a couple of solid marks on your sounder before dropping the anchor. This may take 5 minutes or it could take 50 minutes, but you don't want to be fishing where the fish aren't.
Once you are happy with the soundings anchor ahead of them and get some berley in the water before the rods go in. This will get the fish feeding, and hopefully once the first rod goes down it'll be singing with the sound of the drag before the next couple of baits go down.
I’m sure I’ve said this before, but always check the weather report the night before and just before you venture out onto Port Phillip. As well as checking the weather, let someone know where you are going, and a rough time you will return home, because if you don’t come back and something goes wrong, at least the person waiting at home will know something is wrong and send help.
As mentioned above the use of a sounder is a MUST HAVE item when targeting snapper. Look for feeding fish which may be scattered along the bottom rather than a group of fish holding tight together. Why you would look for this is because the scattered fish are cruising or grazing, in a feeding mode, these fish are normally easier to tempt than a group of fish tight together which maybe sitting there not feeding and shutdown.Reads: 3388