It’s hard to imagine but we are only a month away before spring arrives and anglers begin to get all caught up in the snapper hype for yet another season. Although the weather by then will be on the improve, the past few months have been spectacular on the snapper front. Anglers braving the arctic conditions have proven that it is still worth heading out during winter in search of reds.
While the fish might not be in abundance, they are showing signs of holding in specific areas. The Corinella are has been one of the most popular locations to find a red with even some land based anglers hooking into a few from the rocks at Settlement Point.
Jacob Phillips and his dad fished the low tide at Settlement with good success one Sunday afternoon. The fished the bottom of the low tide and pulled in two snapper each around 3 kilos.
Tackle World Cranbourne staff member Scott Harper fished with North Melbourne AFL star Ben Cunnington. The boys fished a little north from Corinella in 8m of water and had no problems in finding a few reds to 5kg. All of the fish took salmon fillet.
There were also some other nice reds about with Tackle World customer Alex King catching a magnificent 72cm snapper out from Stony Point.
The Western Entrance also saw its fair share of reds being pulled with a good sized school held up around Buoy 11. These fish have been in the area from mid-May and have been caught up until two weeks ago. Squid baits have been working well.
Even offshore in Bass Strait some snapper have been caught. Angler ‘Kozzie’ was drifting offshore in 45m of water catching flathead when he hooked into a nice snapper of 4.5kg.
Fishing for snapper at this time of year will require a lot of patients but due to the large amount that have been caught throughout the winter period, don’t write this off as a liable fishing option when you’re looking for something to catch over the coming weeks.
Whiting have been a little quieter recently but there have been a few sneaky reports that have filtered through. John Matthews fished in the entrance of Gardners Channel during the run out tide in mid-June. In search of gummy sharks, he managed to catch 3 whiting to 45cm on squid baits with a 5/0 hook. He then put out a lighter rod with squid strips and caught a further 6 whiting ranging from 38-42cm.
Mark Armstrong also tried his luck fishing for whiting a did so working around the last marker on the southern end of the Middle Spit. Though he did put in a long day, his end result was 7 whiting ranging from 35-40cm all of which took squid strips.
Traditionally anglers have worked locations such as Cat Bay, Flinders and Balnarring for winter whiting but with the recent captures further up the Port, it seems that fishing in the deep is a good spot to try your luck.
If there is one species you can count on to be in abundance throughout the winter period, the calamari reign at the top of the list.
Not a week has gone by that I haven’t heard of numbers of calamari being caught throughout the Port but they do tend to be more difficult find after a strong blow or decent downpour.
Of the reports I have heard, the top locations have been on the Tortoise Head Bank, Hen and Chickens Reef and along the edge of the bank between the Stony Point boat ramp and Hanns Inlet. The calamari that have been caught recently are quite large in size and are more than happy to engulf larger size jigs in a 3.0 size. From the reports gathered, the most popular jigs have been the Harimitsu AR and DW 3.0, Yo-Zuri RBWD 3.0 and the Duel EZ-Q Cast in the Boil colour. These jigs have certainly been a standout.
Tackle World Cranbourne staff member Nathan Peterson fished with his mate along the southern end of the Middle Spit. The boys drifted over the shallow weed beds to catch their bag of calamari in just under an hours fishing time. Once again, the Harimitsu AR jig got the job done.
I also headed out and fished with Nathan in the Tankerton area one rainy day. Drifting in 2m of water along the edge of the bank, right of the pier, we managed some impressive models during the last of the flood tide.
I’m putting the lack of gummy shark reports down to the weather this winter as gummies are a year round affair. Though some have been caught, anglers don’t seem to be targeting them like they used to a few years ago. Maybe it’s because many anglers are still off down the west coast pursuing tuna but despite that, there are still good gummy sharks about if your keen on targeting them.
Tackle World Cranbourne staff member Dylan Sutherland hit the muddy shoreline at Tenby Point recently with good success. Out fished by his girlfriend, they caught and released 5 gummy sharks to 5kg using silver trevally fillet.
The Western Entrance has also produced some nice fish by those fishing from their boats. During the lead up to the June full moon, Andrew and his mate Paul managed 3 gummy sharks to 10kg just near Buoy 14. They fished the run out tide and used fresh calamari for bait.
As we approach the early snapper season, I suspect there will be many anglers getting everything ready to get out early to catch a few nice fish. One thing to remember though, there is no point burning your self out early. Sure do a few trips but this time of year is best spent gathering fresh baits for the long season ahead.Reads: 963