Season warms for snapper haven
  |  First Published: September 2015

Are we allowed to totally dislike winter? I for one am sick of it, the weather has just really put a dampener on actually being able to go fishing.

Anyway winter in Melbourne is supposed to throw a few curve balls at us, and as this month sees us heading towards spring let’s cross our fingers for some good weather and the start of the upcoming snapper season.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

Due to the weather being fairly ordinary over the past weeks, we’ve probably seen a bit more focus on the fish actually in Mordialloc Creek, and it’s been well worth it! Anglers are finding some great mullet, and in among them are some big specimens. There has also been the odd trevally and some decent bream landed as well.

As per usual the best method has been to attract the fish with a very fine bran style berley that has tuna oil mixed through it. Then it’s a matter of fishing with a well-balanced small float and tiny baits of peeled prawn, dough or chicken fillet.

On the pier itself the pinkies have been biting fairly well over the past weeks, and while there hasn’t been much that we have heard of in the way of size, it’s only a matter of time before the big reds start to make their presence felt.

When the weather has settled for long enough or we have had northerly pattern winds, which allow the water to clear up, there has also been a few squid on the chew.

Out in the boats being able to move around has allowed anglers to get into some reasonably good fishing, with the Parkdale Pinnacles producing some good hauls of pinkies to 45cm in length.

One customer who called into Fishing Fever said he had been doing best by having a steady berley trail going, then fishing half pilchards unweighted and casting them as far behind the boat as possible. He said this way he got less small fish as they were closer to the back of the boat, where the berley is.

Up off Beaumaris Pier the squid season is well underway, however now it’s also a popular area to find a few early season land-based snapper.

If the pier gets a bit busy or you prefer to try new areas then try fishing along the shoreline around the pier for both squid and snapper.

Up off Ricketts Point and towards Black Rock this is an exciting time of the year as the winter run of smaller pinkies begin to have a few larger mates move in on their territory. So this month is the time to fish some bigger baits or lures to get yourself connected with an early season snapper.

Out deeper in the 12-16m areas, it’s also a good time to start looking for some patches of bigger snapper, with locations such as the Mordi Hump and Two Fingers prime locations to start looking.

Sandringham To St Kilda

Land-based fishing off the Sandringham breakwall and the nearby Groynes will really ramp up this month and for good reason as anglers look forward to the run of big reds that will move through this area, as they do every year.

In the mean time however, the past weeks have seen some good fishing for squid around this area, and on the right day both boat and land-based anglers have found some good numbers of garfish. Fingers-crossed they will hang around for the snapper season – what I would give to have a year when you could consistently catch gars while you are out snapper fishing.

Further north the shallow reef areas off Green Point and up towards Brighton have been holding squid and there has been some excellent pinkie fishing on the shallow reef areas on the south side of the Brighton breakwall, especially during windy conditions – this hasn’t been hard to find lately.

As this month rolls by, if you’re keen to have a look for some bigger snapper, try fishing the shallow areas during the night when it’s rough, or look out deeper along the edge of the shipping channel with the T1 and T2 areas often holding good number of early season fish.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

It’s a bit of an each way bet with this area over the coming month as it will depend on how much rain falls around Melbourne and if the Yarra floods, spewing dirty water into the top end of the bay.

On the snapper and pinkie front it shouldn’t make too much difference, and in fact it can often see the land-based crew rubbing their hands together as the fish feed in the shallows even in during daylight hours as they feel safe in the dirty water.

Over the past weeks there has also been some reasonably good squid fishing in this part of the bay, but if the water gets dirty with rainfall it will put a dampener on them. So in a perfect world a bit of rain would be great – but not too much, that way you can get fresh squid for bait to use on the pinkies and snapper.

Up at Station Pier land-based anglers have reported a mixed bag over the past weeks with pinkies, flathead and even a few barracouta being taken, especially at night.

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