Snapper stampede through Port Phillip
  |  First Published: October 2015

After a long miserable winter this month sees anglers’ eyes go red with thoughts of early morning starts and those big red fish that come on the chew at this time of the year. It’s October and that means its snapper season.

One of the things I really love about this month is that its also when the land-based crew generally see some amazing fishing, and for those anglers that like to fish the shallows in their boats it can and usually provides some of the best fish of the season.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

As it always seems to do at this time of the year the Mordialloc Pier should see numbers of solid snapper coming in for the land-based anglers, with a lot of the fish being caught ranging from 4-7kg. And while it’s the rough conditions that generally produce the best fishing, there will often still be the odd big fish taken in calmer weather, often in the middle of the day, so you should always have a big bait out at this time of the year.

In the creek itself there has been a good run of mullet for the anglers fishing small baits suspended under floats, while a small soft plastic thrown around the mouth of the creek has also seen some small salmon being taken.

Out wider the snapper are the focus for anglers with areas like The Hump and out to the 16m area have been producing some good fish early in the mornings, while the 18-20m area have been producing solid numbers of fish during the day and into the evenings.

For those who want to chase some big snapper, now is also a great time to get in really shallow water, about 4-6m, during rough conditions with places like the horse paddock and Parkdale Pinnacles being perfect areas to look at. Best of all, when it’s really rough you can catch solid reds in these areas all day long.

Up into Beaumaris Bay the garfish have also been in good numbers along with patches of squid, and while you may need to move around a bit to find them when you do good numbers of them can be taken.

Up off Ricketts Point and through to Black Rock there are still plenty of pinkies on offer with a good mix of better snapper in among them to keep anglers on there toes, and while a lot of guys and girls are fishing bait and plastics for them, another very effective method has been trolling with deep diving minnows or downriggers to work the reef edges. Best of all, with this technique and by using slightly bigger lures you can avoid a lot of the smaller pinkies and get bites on the better class of fish.

Out deeper, the 14-16m area is holding snapper with locations like the two fingers mark through to Black Rock holding snapper. Now is also the time that places like the Gasso and its surrounds will really fire up as the snapper move into the area to feed on the mud bottom.

Sandringham To St Kilda

This stretch of the bay can be awesome at this time of the year, especially if you like to fish really shallow, with places like the Anonyma Shoal and the area known as ‘the gully’, which is the area just out in front of the rock groynes at Hampton producing excellent fishing at night and when it is rough.

For land-based anglers the rock Groynes at Hampton and the end of Sandringham breakwall will and have been producing snapper in the rough weather, and when it’s calm and the water is clear there has been some good numbers of squid to be found through the area.

Out wider the edge of the shipping channel will start to hold good numbers of snapper this month, with the T1 and T2 area through to the Fawkner Beacon well worth fishing, especially if you want numbers of school sized fish in the 2-4kg size. The trick that has been working well in this area over the past weeks has been to berley hard and be patient as the snapper aren’t necessarily feeding for long periods, but when they do the action has been fairly flat out, especially on dawn and dusk periods.

Up off Brighton breakwall, pinkies have been good and while I haven’t heard any specific reports of bigger fish from the land-based anglers, I am sure a few have been taken and this coming month should see plenty more as the big reds move in to feed on the heavy bottom through this area.

The great thing about these shallow areas in this part of he bay is that while you are snapper fishing there are generally plenty of garfish that you can berley up and catch while you are waiting, or casting a squid jig around will often turn up a few calamari for fresh bait.

Up off North Road area and towards St Kilda, reports have been a little leaner, however this month should see these locations really fire up and fingers crossed it will be with those big snapper that love to get in the very shallow water at night through places like Elwood and towards St Kilda breakwall. If you have never done it I seriously suggest doing a late night session in this part of the world as the snapper are generally big and they fight so hard in these areas you will think they are bigger than they are.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

This month should see some good fishing on offer in around the boats on swing moorings behind St Kilda breakwall, with soft plastic anglers finding pinkies, bream and some nice trevally over the past weeks. In along the other piers and land-based locations anglers have been finding pinkies and small salmon, while the boat anglers are starting to work the shallow areas at night between St Kilda and Station Pier, with some customers saying that one fish will be a kilo and the next over 5kg, which makes for some very exciting fishing.

Anglers fishing wide at areas like P2 and along the Shipping channel that leads towards the mouth of the Yarra River are also starting to see better numbers of snapper in the area and there would be little doubt that in the coming weeks this area will go crazy with a bulk amount of snapper pushing up to these areas as they always do during this month.

You have to love this month as snapper season is really on now, so get out there!

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