With snapper season in full swing there is no doubt that this year has seen better numbers of big snapper than ever before. There have been plenty of fish in the 5-7kg size along with big numbers of school fish that have turned up in the past week.
Even though there are some other species on offer as we head towards Christmas, with plenty of big snapper around, anglers are still finding it hard to tear themselves away from snapper season.
The pier has continued to produce the odd big snapper over the past weeks however in the calm weather it has been great for squid. The warmer water this month will see the land-based fishing on the bigger fish slow down, however as an upside the pinkies should be around in good numbers and if all goes well and we get some calm warmer weather there should also be the start of the whiting moving in around the reef on the right hand side of the pier.
Out deeper the boat anglers are having no problem finding snapper in the 18-20m area with big numbers of fish still on the chew on the mud. The trick seems to be quite simple to getting a bunch of fish – locate one or two on the sounder, anchor on them, dump a heap of berley then get ready as the whole school moves in to eat all your baits for several hours of rod bending fun.
In shallower water around Parkdale and up to Ricketts Point the kayak anglers are getting stuck into the snapper by trolling and casting plastics all along the reef edges with the additional surprises coming from salmon and some solid flathead. These areas are also prime locations to be looking for some whiting over the coming weeks with perhaps one of the tricks being not to berley too hard as it will bring in the hordes of pinkie snapper.
Up off Ricketts Point, the reef is holding everything from pinkies to big snapper, along with some solid salmon and big snook for those who like to cast lures and this fishing should only get better as the month rolls on.
If you want a bit more of a snapper fix then the Gasso is a top place to be looking as the snapper hold up in this area in great numbers during this month. The added bonus to this spot is that it often fishes well during the middle of the day so it’s a great time to get the family on the water.
For whatever reason the patch of reef that lies between Half Moon Bay and Sandringham Breakwall known as Yorkies often produces the first good catches of whiting for the season. The added bonus however is that it has also been holding a few squid and for the lure fishers working the reef edge in towards the shoreline has also turned up some very nice flathead in the 40-55cm size.
Moving north snapper can still be found out on the edge of the shipping channel with the areas from T1 and T2 up to the Fawkner Beacon seeing some crazy fishing over the past weeks.
In closer to shore the Anonyma shoal and the reef up off Green Point will be well worth a look for whiting and red mullet along with some big garfish that moved into the area during late November. Now is also the time to get serious with a live bait suspended under a float, as at any time from now on those very exciting kingfish could make their presence felt.
Up off Brighton it seems that this area is just going form strength to strength with everything from snapper to salmon, not to mention some of the very big snapper that have been caught in the shallow water by boat anglers fishing late at night. As and added bonus the 3-6m areas around Brighton still continue to produce numbers of flathead in the 40-50cm size.
Out at the Fawkner beacon and its surrounds, some anglers have still been finding good success on the snapper. However, it can often be a case of needing to spend some time sounding to find the patches of fish as they are moving up and down the channel edge with the tides.
Up along the reef edges between North Road and towards St Kilda, now is the time to get out and wade in the shallows or even better if you have a kayak or small boat to work the likely looking gutters in search of some seriously good flathead that will be chasing the bait fish in the shallows. Some of the reports I have seen and heard of already indicate it is going to be a belter of a season, especially if we don’t get any floods during summer. Best lures to try are hard bodies such as the Bassman Sugar Deep 70mm or plastics such as the Z Man 3inch minnows.
Now is the time to find yourself a whole pile of very big snapper in shallow water around locations, such as Elwood and through to St Kilda breakwall with the hot tip being to fish no deeper than 8m of water late at night. And while this area is great there are also plenty of other good locations all along to Station Pier.
Hopefully this month will see some garfish turn up in the area along with some salmon that should move in to feed on the abundant white bait. All of which just makes the area so much more inviting to big reds and best of all you don’t have to have a boat to be in the running for some great fishing.
Up at Station Pier through to Princess Pier has still been excellent for snapper for both land-based and boat anglers. Fingers-crossed it should continue for a few weeks.
I hope you all have a great Christmas and enjoy some a very fish filled break with your families.Reads: 1013