Warm weather should stay as fishing heats up
  |  First Published: December 2013

The recent harsh spring weather is not all doom and gloom by any means, as the regular run-off and injection of food and freshwater does wonders for the health of the bay, and the ecosystem in general.

The downside from the recent weather has been that angling opportunities have been sometimes limited, and that water temperatures have been generally lower than they were at the same time last year, especially along the entire eastern shoreline of the bay.

The summer months are all about snapper, and if the recent captures in the northern reaches are anything to go by, we have plenty to get excited about this year. Many anglers have predicted a bumper summer snapper season after all the winter and spring rains, and with the condition the snapper are currently in, I would have to say they are right on the money. Most of the reports I have received recently feature stunning snapper mostly in the 4-6kg range, with a few bigger boys and girls thrown in to keep the trophy hunters keen.

Many of the usual and more popular marks have been turning up their fair share of nice reds, and both in the deeper and shallower depths. The key seems to certainly be the use of a good steady stream of berley, and also the willingness to try a good range and spread of baits. More than a few anglers have been telling me lately that the bait of choice can change from session to session, and that the snapper have been more than a little selective at times. Perhaps they have enlisted the services of some old trout professor who has taught them a few tricks.

Of special note was a report that I received right at the time of writing was a local angler Tony, who beat his previous PB twice, with his first two snapper of the season. Both taken in less than 8m of water, Tony’s fish weighed 6.5kg and 7.2kg, and were both taken on fresh yakkas.

Once again it has been very encouraging indeed to see the quality, numbers and regularity of the snapper being taken by land-based anglers. Recently, the weather has been more suited to fishing from the shore and the local pier and rock brigade have been cashing in. Mornington Pier has been very popular, as well as Frankston and even Seaford piers as well. The rock platforms right along from Mornington to Dromana have also been very productive, but care needs to be taken from these areas, especially during adverse conditions. Just like the boys out in the boats, changes of light and tide are the prime times for hooking a red or two off the bank, and the use of a variety of fresh and locally caught baits, even onsite, is nearly always a winner.

The inshore fishing along the reefs and shorelines will also improve over the coming months as the water warms up, and this will widen the options for many of the bays anglers. It will also make the collection of fresh baits, and a feed for the table more productive. Expect the squid fishing to really fire up this month, as the calamari will become more active and follow the schools of bait closer to shore.

The inshore reefs will also provide some early morning and evening options for anglers chasing snapper and other species on lures as well. These areas that are in close proximity to the deeper water seem to be the most productive, as the fish seem to use them as a quick source of food during timers of low light. They also provide other by catch as well, especially flathead, which seem to have really improved both in size and condition over the past couple of seasons in the bay.

And with plenty of salmon and other species still hunting around, there are endless opportunities for the bays anglers; all we need is for the weather to co-operate for more than a few days at a time. No doubt we’ll be writing about how hot it has been in a month or so!

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