I cannot remember a year where the average size of a snapper has been so big! Reports of 5kg snapper and bigger are the norm, and they seem to be spread right across the whole top end of the port.
Calamari have slowed up a little bit but some big pillow case sized models continue to be caught. The King George whiting are also really starting to hit their straps!
Some monster snapper have been a frequent capture along the northern end of the port, and some very nice eating sized gummies have also been a welcome by-catch.
The shallow flats of Lang Lang have fished quite well, with some very nice table-sized snapper and gummies being caught. The general consensus seems to be that anchoring on the edge of the channel and fishing back into the deeper water is the best approach. Dion Foreman had a cracker little session where he got 6 snapper to 72cm. Californian squid got the job done on that particular day.
The Bouchier Channel has fished very well, with both snapper and gummies working the bottom. I really like this area as you have just as much chance of getting a nice gummy as you have of getting a good snapper. Fishing around the yellow stick at the mouth of the channel on the run-out tide has been the most productive time to fish, and the size of the fish hasn’t been too shabby either. John Anderson landed 3 snapper to 5kg and 3 gummies to 8kg in the one session, which is pretty awesome if you ask me!
Joe’s Island has easily been the snapper mark of the month, with more reports coming from here than anywhere. Snapper have varied from pinkies up to 8.5kg monsters, with the bigger fish coming from shallower water. With the amount of coota that have been recently in the area, coota fillet has been an exceptional bait along with calamari rings, fresh garfish and the humble old pilchard. Local boys Ben and Andrew were the lucky anglers that netted the 8.5kg fish, but Mickey D and his son are in at a close second with a lovely 7.5kg fish.
Tooradin is where the whiting action is starting to heat up. The long banks of the Tooradin channel are starting to produce some really nice fish and it won’t be long until the whiting reports start to outweigh the snapper reports in this area. A run-out tide to catch the fish coming off the banks is a great place to start. A little sprinkling of berley and bit of whiting worm or fresh mussel is a deadly combination.
The Quail Bank has some beautiful whiting spread over it now as well, and Paul De Lisle has taken full advantage. Paul had a bag of nice, fat whiting to 42cm and a welcome by-catch of a very tasty 58cm rock flathead. Pipi and mussel did all the damage.
Snapper are absolutely everywhere in the north arm, and though the average size does not match what is happening in the top end, it certainly makes up for it in numbers alone.
Some thumping calamari still continue to glide over the Tyabb Ban as Dave Loric found out. Throwing around a small 2.5 size squid jig in pink got it done with a massive 1.75kg calamari.
Snapper have been swarming all over Lysaghts in anywhere from 10-14m of water. Local angler Troy fished in 13m and landed a cracker 6.6kg snapper. Tide changes are the key, and fresh baits are easily the stand-out. Fresh calamari rings and fresh couta fillet have been the favourites.
If you are over the snapper already I think it’s best to head right on over to the home of the King George whiting. The middle spit is the most well known whiting hot spot on the port, and it’s only just starting to hit its straps. Just like I mentioned earlier, a little berley plus a little bit of fresh mussel equals to a lovely bag of whiting. Moving water is an absolute must for whiting, so remember the old saying: “No flow, no go”.
Before I sign off for another month, I would like to wish all of the VFM readers a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.
Thank you to everyone who has sent in a report, and thank you to everyone who has sent in a photo over the last 12 months. And last but not certainly not least, thank you to all of the people behind the scenes who put this massive publication together every month. It’s a big operation and they do a bang-up job at turning the jumbled mess I send them each month into something that actually makes sense! Well done team VFM! [Aw, shucks! – Ed]
Like always, keep those reports coming – and here’s to a fish-filled 2014!Reads: 730