From my observations, it’s been a bit of a bumpy start to the snapper season. Both bays have been patchy with only some anglers bagging out, with others struggling to get a fish.
In Western Port, the fish seem to be in small schools and are moving around a lot, making them difficult to locate.
Port Phillip seems to have the same problem and it has the added problem of undersize pinkies, which are in big schools. I have encountered these as far out as the 20m line, making it extremely difficult to keep any sort of bait on for the larger fish. In fact, I have never seen such large concentrations of small pinkies over such a big area of the bay. Hopefully, most of these fish will grow to adults and we should have some great fishing in years to come, but we’re still hoping the big ones will start to fire up in good numbers soon.
Beach fishing is improving as the weather warms up. Salmon to 2kg are being caught at Baxters and Williamsons beaches and a few gummies and the odd flathead are coming in as well.
If you want to try for a gummy, fish a rising tide that peaks just after dark. Start fishing a couple of hours before dark, try to catch some salmon or mullet and use those as fresh cut strips for gummy bait just on dark and you should be in with a chance.
Outside the Entrance, flathead are about in good numbers.
Just inside at Cleelands Bight, calamari are about in good numbers and some good bags of pinkies have been taken. The last of the run-out tide has been the most productive.
There are snapper spread out all over the bay, most are in the 2-3kg range, but you have to move around all the local hot spots to find them. Fishing after dark has been most productive.
The whiting are still a bit patchy and a lot more undersized fish are showing up with the bigger ones. As the water warms up, the fishing should pick up.
Gummies are also showing up in better numbers and bigger sizes.
Reasonable catches of 40cm+ whiting at Ventnor, Cat Bay and Flinders have been reported. The whiting are in big numbers but not such quality fish. You do have to move around a bit to locate them.Reads: 597