The snapper bite across the top section of Port Phillip set a cracking pace early in the season and all signs suggest we’re in for plenty more action over the summer months.
The stretch from St Kilda through to Port Melbourne has produced phenomenal results to date with some cracking reds taken in relatively shallow water. Renowned local snapper guru, Pete Mesto, says he can’t believe how big the snapper are this season with most encountered recently averaging 4-7kg. In conjunction with a steady stream of berley comprising cubed pilchards to entice the fish to feed for longer, silver whiting has been the stand out bait.
Both day and night seem equally successful. Even the local land-based brigade has been amongst the action at times, but more so during periods of strong onshore winds, and we certainly had our share of wild weather through early to mid-spring!
Aside from snapper, snapper and more snapper, Australian salmon are expected to be more active this month, particularly across the western shores of Port Phillip through to Corio Bay. Key target areas for salmon include the mouth of the Yarra River, Altona Bay, Point Cook, Point Wilson and Point Henry, but they’re likely to show up anywhere there’s a congregation of baitfish. Similarly, both blue spot and rock flathead should start to fire in the shallows this month.
Bouncing flesh baits across the bottom whilst on the drift or casting soft plastics is a sure bet for a feed of flatties at this time of year. Some lengthy snook have been on the chew throughout Corio Bay for several weeks now and these toothy customers usually provide good sport during summer. Finally, King George whiting are expected to start figuring more prominently at the cleaning benches this month, provided you can drag yourself away from the snapper grounds of course.
West of the Yarra River at Williamstown, Joe Mallia found a good school of reds willing to play the game as he and his fishing companions each bagged out whilst anchored in 7.5m of water. Joe says it was his first bag out session for the season with a total of nine snapper to 4kg shared amongst the trio. Most fish were taken either side of the high tide change at first light. The remaining few were encountered later in the day at the bottom of the tide cycle. According to Joe, the best bait on the day was pilchard and squid, despite offering sauries and sand whiting as well.
In similar fashion, Simon Insolia and Clint Sellars also put together a nice bag of reds whilst fishing along the 9m line off Williamstown Football Ground.
On the charter scene, Fab Peda ventured out from Williamstown where the snapper were about in good numbers. Clients Peter and John Martin along with Gene Gillam accounted for eight reds to 6kg plus, as well as three nice blue spot flathead. According to Fab, he and the boys fished on their own with very few other boats in the nearby vicinity. The best baits were pilchard, silver whiting and Australian salmon.
As the warmer weather gradually heats up the shallows, larger breeding flathead are expected to arrive at Werribee South in better numbers. The new Wyndham Harbour rock wall down towards Duncans Road really seems to be attracting all manner of species, with gummy sharks and even snapper taken along the nearby beach recently.
Further west, Corey Gallagher has been amongst the action throughout Corio Bay’s outer harbour region with snapper averaging 3-6.5kg responding to soft plastics on most outings. The key to Corey’s success of late has been locating concentrations of baitfish and feeding salmon, under which some serious reds have been lurking and no doubt mopping up the scraps. Corey says afternoon sessions have been productive with the last hour of light often generating the hottest bite.
Whilst most anglers seem firmly fixated on snapper, Frank Benvenuto continues his quest for bream in the Maribyrnong River. Once again, the inlet at Edgewater produced several bream for Frank, the largest of which was up around the 30cm mark. These fish have been responding well to live tube worm, Bass yabbies and soft plastics.
According to Brad Hodges, the Werribee River bream population have largely been in spawning mode over the past few weeks. For the most part, this has made them difficult to tempt with many anglers struggling to raise a scale. Come December, the action should improve as these post-spawn bream look to put on some condition.
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