Big reds for the New Year
  |  First Published: December 2014

Snapper should continue to fire across the northwest flank of Port Phillip Bay. Moving into the New Year, King George whiting are also expected to show up in the shallows at Point Cook and Werribee South over the coming month. Flathead are another prime target and some lengthy snook and plenty of Australian salmon have been on the chew across the western reefs for several weeks now and should provide good sport through the middle stage of summer.


The snapper fired at Port Melbourne, Williamstown and Altona in a big way during the early to middle parts of the season and although the hot bite is likely to slow somewhat through January, there will be plenty of reds still to be had in this area. Among those to do well in the lead up to Christmas, Darren Ryan has experienced a string of successful mid-afternoon sessions just out from the ramp at Altona. Deliberately steering clear of the crowds and sounding in 6-8m of water has paid dividends, with snapper to 4kg taken on most occasions. The best bait has been fresh salmon fillet presented as a strip bait on a 6/0 circle hook.

Darren also reported the sambos have been responding well to his homemade soft plastics and metal slugs on the troll.


According to Jason Farrugia from Magnet Fishing Charters, the snapper season took a little longer than anticipated to really get going on the western seaboard, but in more recent times it’s been firing on all cylinders. Jase says he and his clients have been experiencing a superb run over the past few weeks with big reds averaging 4-6kg, with some up to 9kg, taken from Point to Cook through to Corio Bay. Fresh baits, including squid, salmon fillet, silver whiting and of course pilchard have been equally successful.

After putting in some big hours recently in search of Corio Bay snapper, young guns Nick Whelan and his mate, Nick Treloar, finally found a school willing to feed and promptly bagged out. According to Nick, silver whiting and squid were the baits of choice after sounding up some promising marks along the edge of the channel in 10m of water. In the end, the boys were rewarded for the patience and efforts with 6 strapping reds ranging from 4-7.5kg.


Local land-based enthusiast, Nathan Wright, has been putting in plenty of hours at the mouth of the Yarra River at Williamstown in search of snapper and bream. After a series of disappointing encounters on the reds, it all came together for Nathan when, on the night of the full moon, his whole pilchard bait was snaffled by one of Melbourne’s highly elusive metropolitan mulloway. Stretching the tape out to exactly 1m, to say he was ecstatic with his first mulloway would be an understatement. A few pinkies rounded out an unforgettable night for Nathan.


The Maribyrnong River has been turning up some solid bream with quite a few anglers securing 40cm+ specimens on a range of lure fishing techniques. Pitching shallow diving minnows and surface presentations at the rock walls and adjacent mud flats just up from the Yarra junction has been productive on the incoming tides. Likewise, crab imitations flicked alongside the floating pontoons and bridge pylons have also been productive. Fishing from his pedal powered kayak, Dale Baxter managed a beauty of 47cm during one of his Thursdale expeditions.


According to Michael Felsovary from Hooked on Bait and Tackle, the Werribee River has been somewhat inconsistent in recent times with some good quality bream available, though difficult to tempt. Mick says the best fishing has come from the mouth of the system at Werribee South through to the first bend.

Further upriver, Roy Cusani and his 3 year old daughter, Gabriella, managed bream to 1.1kg on live tube near the golf course.


Finally, as we move into the festive season I wish all V&TFM readers all the best for Christmas and the year ahead. Thankyou to those who have taken the time to email reports and images over the past 12 months, it’s always very much appreciated and I look forward to hearing more about your success stories throughout 2015.


Reports and images are most welcome and may be submitted via email to --e-mail address hidden-- .

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