Spring has been challenging this year with plenty of wind and a lot of rain. Down at the southern end of the bay this has been particularly noticeable where strong northerly winds have meant that bay fishing has, at times, been difficult.
However, December is a different month and traditionally one where we see some of the best snapper fishing deep of Mt Martha and Rye.
After good bites off Port Melbourne, the fish, as expected swung down around Carrum and Frankston. We have since seen good bites off Ansetts as well as the deep grounds of Hearn Rd, 21-23m. Sticking a little closer to home there have also been some good numbers of pinkies on the east side of the Rosebud Reef, while fishing between the Dromana mussel farm and the turning bell at the South channel has produced some better size snapper in the early mornings.
Given the strong winds we have had, we have also seen over the last month an exceptional number of snapper caught land-based from the rock platforms off Mt Martha and Mornington. This trend started early in spring and was pleasing to see continue right throughout the period – as long as the winds were strong and on shore, you were in with a chance!
Most customers fishing from the rocks have used a surf setup with a Western Port style rig. Pilchards and Californian squid have proved to be the best baits.
While we have not seen huge numbers of gummies so far this year, December is without doubt one of my favourite months to target this species. The summer crowds have not yet arrived so you can find a nice quiet stretch of water to target these fantastic fish. I have certainly had some of my best captures fishing the south channel through December. If you want to look a little further afield, the Symmonds Channel is also a great spot to target gummy shark. At this time of year you will also get occasional snapper by-catch too.
While the focus has certainly shifted away from squid fishing over the last month or so we have still be lucky to have very consistent fishing for the species. The drop-off at Tootgarook has been producing well, as have many of the inshore beds off Rye and Blairgowrie on the calm days. Lonsdale Bight has been the most consistent for big with most taken on baited jigs down in this area.
Many customers are already commenting on the vast schools of bait on the snapper grounds and even inshore areas of the peninsula. If you have never used a sabiki rig, get into your nearest tackle store and buy one. They make bait catching a breeze! A fresh supply of yellowtail scad or slimey mackerel can be deadly on all manner of fish and when there are so many in the bay, why not give it a go!
Christmas on the peninsula means one thing and that is mayhem! As we head deep into the month the Christmas crowds descend and we wind into the busiest period of the year. For my money it’s a great time of year to do a bit of off shore fishing where you can find a plethora of species and also get a bit of space. Not to mention that the crowing jewel of Melbourne fishing – yellowtail kingfish – could start to turn up at any second! Good luck!
For more information feel free to drop in and see the boys at Peninsula Total Tackle, 11 Boneo Road in Rosebud or phone: 03 5981 1994.Reads: 1506