Christmas comes early for red anglers
  |  First Published: November 2014

November is like Christmas to a snapper angler! This month sees the reds generally go a bit silly as the water hits that perfect temperature that will have them biting, in many cases, all day long. Either way if you want to get on the water and a catch snapper, now is the time.

Mordialloc to Black Rock

The pier continues to fish well with some seriously good sessions being had by the land-based crew. In fact on some nights you really have to wonder if it’s worth having a boat at all when almost every angler on the pier gets one or several shots at catching a big snapper in a night.

The past month has been just like this and doesn’t look like slowing down at any time soon. Best of all it’s a fairly simple formula of getting onto the pier when there is a good southwest blow happening, then fish with baits of pilchard or squid and hang on.

In the boats, the reports are starting to flow in from out wide with some better fish being taken in shallower 6-9m areas off Mordialloc and up to Mentone. These areas have been good at night and when it has been rough. A few anglers mentioned that it’s best to fish with unweighted baits as some of the ground through this area is fairly heavy.

Out slightly deeper, places like the Hump and up off Ricketts Point the fishing has been very consistent for snapper in the 2-4kg size, which has also made them the prime target for anglers to cast plastics, troll or even jig them up with small metal jigs.

Up in Beaumaris Bay there has still been the odd snapper caught land-based but for the most part the squid and garfish are keeping most land-based anglers busy.

Out off Ricketts Point the deep area known as the Gasso is once again a top place to be fishing for snapper, and while it has been producing a few over the past weeks, it’s this month that will see it go crazy as big schools of reds move over this food rich mud bottom to feed.

Back in a bit closer the 16m line up towards Black Rock has been fishing very well over the past weeks. A lot of anglers have been reporting that they are doing well here on baits of garfish and couta, both of which are around in decent numbers.

If you have been getting stuck into the snapper or are looking for something different to do this month get hold of some micro jigs and a light outfit, then head out and chase the reds on small metal jigs – it’s deadly effective and a whole load of fun. I got into it myself last season and had a ball catching numbers of good snapper on them, in fact it became fairly standard practise that the bigger fish of the trip were on the metal jigs.

If you want to give it a go call into Fishing Fever and the boys can help you get started.

Sandringham To St Kilda

Off sandy breakwall and up at Brighton there has still been the odd snapper being taken in the rough weather. However, it’s the boat anglers who have been fishing here in the 6-8m area that have had some great fishing at dawn for some very good snapper in the 4-5.5kg sizes.

As an added bonus, the flathead have been quite spectacular in the area with heaps of anglers reporting numbers of flatties caught in the 40-50cm size.

Out on the edge of the shipping lane the snapper fishing has been very good for those anglers who are willing to find the patches of fish as they seem to be moving up and down the channel between Ti and T2 and the Fawkner Beacon.

Out in the 14-16m line there has been lots of bait showing up in the sounder, in fact at times it has been so thick it has been hard to mark a snapper. If you find this sort of thing happening try fishing in the area as usually the snapper are in close proximity waiting for an easy feed. The other thing I love about the snapper that are holding on the bait is that they are actively hitting baitfish, so they will naturally love to eat a lure especially a soft plastic. It’s also well worth checking out the new Samaki 20g Vibelicious lure, it’s a soft plastic vibe that is deadly on snapper.

If the past weeks are anything to go by then the next few weeks should be a winner further north up towards St Kilda. Even more big snapper are pushing into the shallow areas in front of St Kilda marina through to the breakwall and along in front of all the piers. The best bit about this however is that it offers great fishing opportunities for both land-based anglers, kayakers and of course the boaters.

Other areas that need attention this month are the cungevoi beds that run along the front of the Elwood area and back towards North Road. While these shallow areas fish best under the cover of darkness, during the daylight hours the deeper areas off St Kilda and the Fawkner Beacon have been holding huge numbers of reds. It really is just a case of sounding around until you mark a bunch of fish that are feeding on the mud bottom.

St Kilda to Port Melbourne

Some heavy rain in October put a serious stain of freshwater into this part of the bay. After the fresh had settled a bit it kept the snapper chewing with good reports of some very big fish taken off all the piers in the area.

Out in the boats, the same areas that fish so well through winter are now producing numbers of quality snapper in the 3-8kg range. What could be better than fishing under the lights of the city, especially on a calm night?

The real surprise packet for snapper anglers in this part of the bay however has been the continued run of fish to be found around Princess Pier.

There are also a few other species of fish around at present but for the most part it’s snapper season in Melbourne so let’s get into it.

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