Snapper, snapper and more snapper is all I am hearing, and why not when we are in the peak of the season? There is nothing better at this time of year than belting the alarm clock at 3am to rush out of the house and into the car eager to hit the water before daylight to crack a few reds before sunrise.
The influx of snapper has really stirred things up with anglers all getting out and having success. The usual haunts have seen plenty of snapper action with particular mention payed to Corinella, Lang Lang, Elizabeth Island, The Corals, The Western Entrance and Stony Point.
The Corinella region is one that should always be fished at some point throughout the season. The last few weeks have really fired up and while it has seen snapper caught within the area since back in September, it is still firing. The entrance to the Tenby Channel has been particularly productive as there is a fair section of reef that holds fish throughout the season. Anglers Ted and Peter fished the area to catch and release 14 snapper to 7kg. The boys found squid to be the top bait.
Local angler and professional fishing guide, Gawaine Blake had a night out with one of his clients. The boys fished ‘the top end’ and had a fantastic night catching snapper to 6.2kg. Gawaine’s client Nikko caught the largest fish, which was his personal best snapper to date.
Lang Lang is a productive location but fishes best on the high tide. When the tide is high and the tide floods the shallow banks, the fish begin to explore looking for anything worth eating.
Anglers wishing to fish this area should fish within 100m of the main channel in 3-4m of water. Fresh baits are the key such as squid and small yakka chunks. Most of the action will be midway through the run-out tide as the fish retreat back into the deeper water.
Peter Dobson managed 4 snapper recently with his largest fish measuring 84cm. The fish took half a yakka head.
Elizabeth Island often flies under the radar throughout the snapper season. It is quite a productive location for gummy sharks, seven-gill sharks and bronze whalers; as well as a very productive location for snapper. Anglers wanting to tangle with a red need to set anchor on the edge of the drop-off in around 8m of water. The bottom is quite reefy so take some spare sinkers as you will lose a few.
Berley can be used but stick to using it around the tide change where the water pressure is at its least.
Tackle World customer Tyson Smith fished close to Elizabeth Island one Saturday morning resulting in a very successful session. Fishing the run-in tide, Tyson and his dad Mark managed 6 snapper to 5kg and an 8kg gummy shark. All fish took squid baits.
The past few weeks have seen a huge increase in anglers fishing The Corals area. November is a great time to fish here as huge schools of fish take up residence until late December. Even though it’s shallow, around 6m, the bottom is quite rubbly and fun to fish due to the lighter grade of tackle required. The last of the flood tides have been more productive.
A little north from The Corals, around Observation Point, has also been firing well. Many of the larger charter boats have been working this area in 10-13m of water and have managed snapper to 6kg. Squid has been the top bait.
The southern end of the North Arm or just out from Stony Point has been another popular location for anglers. Those fishing close to the middle spit in 14m of water have caught a number of snapper with some of them weighing 6kg; the average is around 3kg.
Most of these fish have been caught early in the morning with squid and garfish baits working well. Dean Burton fished in close to the edge of the spit in 5m of water to catch 4 snapper ranging 2-6kg. His fish were all caught during the run-out tide.
Anglers fishing during the night have also been doing exceptionally well, mainly due to less boat noise. Gawaine Blake has been catching quite a number of snapper in the North Arm of late with some fish over 6kg. Fresh calamari has been the best bait.
Those fishing a little further north than Stony Point have also caught some great fish. Tackle World Cranbourne customers Chris and his dad Stuart fished in 15m of water to catch 2 snapper between 4-5kg. Both fish were caught an hour before the top of the tide.
Although it may all be about snapper now, there are quite a number of anglers already making the switch over to whiting. The whiting fishery is also in full bloom but with everyone’s mind is on the reds, they are taking precedence.
Tortoise Head Bank is fishing very well with the fish biting better over the first two hours of the run-out tide. Most of the whiting average 38cm but some larger models of 43cm have been caught. Pipis have been one of the most popular baits, but squid strips and mussels are always worth using.
Despite being difficult to fish in a raging tide, the most productive fishing in the Western Entrance has been 2 hours either side of the tide changes. There have been plenty of snapper in good numbers with particular focus on Buoys 14, 11, 5 and 2. These areas hold good fish throughout November and have been fishing exceptionally well of late.
Adrian Thomas fished Buoy 14 to catch 8 snapper to 4kg and a 48cm whiting on a 5/0 snapper hook.
If you’re looking for somewhere to try this month you really can’t go wrong at The Corals. Even though it does get very busy, another location close by is between Observation Point and Cowes Pier called Silverleaves. This sandy stretch of coast can deliver some sensational fishing early in the morning.
Over the past few years there has been at least one snapper over 9kg caught during November at Silverleaves. After going back over my records, three of the last four fish caught from Silverleaves have been during the run-out tides and on squid baits. This location has a lot of potential and, providing you sound up some fish before dropping the pick, you’re in with a fair chance.Reads: 966