Snapper fishing at cruising speed
  |  First Published: November 2015

You’ve got to love November as I think its fair to say this is the month when the Victorian snapper run really hits a new level. The water warms and the fish get very active after thawing out from the cold winter conditions.

The thing I love about this month is that with longer days, it’s also the prime time to get the family and friends on the water to experience what snapper fever is all about.

Mordialloc to Black Rock

When conditions have been right, Mordialloc Pier continues to fish well with some seriously good sessions being had by the land-based crew. In fact, on some nights you really have to wonder if its worth having a boat at all when almost every angler on the pier gets one or several shots at catching a big snapper in a night.

And while the past weeks have seen some varied weather between hot calm conditions, through to southwest blows, when the onshore winds have hit the fish are there. It’s a fairly simple formula of getting onto the pier, when there is a good southwest blow happening, then fishing with baits of pilchard or squid.

In the boats the reports are starting to flow in from a wide area, with some better fish being taken in shallower 6-9m areas off Mordialloc and up to Mentone. These areas have been good at night and also when it has been rough with a few anglers mentioning that its best to fish with unweighted baits as some of the ground through this area is fairly heavy. While out slightly deeper, places like the Hump and up off Ricketts Point the fishing has been very consistent for snapper in the 2-4kg size, which has also made them the prime target for anglers to cast plastics, troll or even jig them up with small metal jigs.

Up in Beaumaris Bay there has still been the odd snapper caught land-based, but for the most part the squid and garfish are keeping most land-based anglers busy.

Out off Ricketts Point the deep area known as the Gasso is once again a top place to be fishing for snapper, and while it has been producing snapper over the past weeks its this month that will see it go crazy as big schools of reds move over this food rich mud bottom to feed.

Back in a bit closer the 16m line up towards Black Rock has been fishing very well over the past weeks, with a lot of anglers reporting that they have been doing well on baits of garfish and couta. Both these baits are around in decent numbers, especially if you spend the time fishing around the Anonyma Shoal, which is where most of the couta and garfish reports have come from.

With the water warming up and the fish biting on a more consistent level, its also the prime time to be getting out on the snapper with light metal jigs in the 20-60g size, add some flashy assist hooks and work them in the bottom 3-4m of water for some awesome fun on often bigger snapper.

If you want to give it a go call into Fishing Fever and the boys can help you get started.

Sandringham To St Kilda

Off Sandy Breakwall and up at Brighton there has still been the odd snapper taken in the rough weather, however it’s the boat anglers who have been fishing in the 6-8m area that have had some great fishing at dawn for some very good snapper in the 4-5.5kg sizes.

As an added bonus, however, the flathead have been quite spectacular in the area with heaps of anglers reporting good numbers of flatties being caught in the 40-50cm size.

Out on the edge of the shipping lane the snapper fishing has been very good for those anglers who are willing to find the patches of fish as they seem to be moving up and down the channel between Ti and T2 and the Fawkner Beacon.

Out in the 14-16m line there has been lots of bait showing up in the sounder, in fact at times it has been so thick its been hard to mark a snapper. If you find this sort of thing happening try fishing in the area as usually the snapper are in close proximity waiting for an easy feed. The other thing I love about the snapper that are holding on the bait is that they are actively hinting baitfish so they naturally love to eat a lure with a soft plastic being the most deadly option. It’s also well worth checking out the new Samaki 20g Vibelicious lure, it’s a soft plastic vibe that is ridiculously good on snapper.

Heading further north up towards St Kilda, if the past weeks are anything to go by then the next few weeks should be a winner as even more big snapper will push into the shallow areas in front of St Kilda Marina through to the Breakwall and along in front of all the piers.

The best bit about this, however, is that it offers great fishing opportunities for both the land-based anglers, kayakers and of course the boat fishers.

Other areas that need attention this month are the cungevoi beds that run along the front of the Elwood area and back towards North Road. While these shallow areas fish best under the cover of darkness, during the daylight hours the deeper areas off St Kilda and the Fawkner Beacon have been holding huge numbers of reds and it is really just a case of sounding around until you mark a bunch of fish that are feeding on the mud bottom.

St Kilda to Port Melbourne

Some heavy rain in October put a serious stain of fresh water into this part of the bay, which by all accounts after it had settled a bit has kept the snapper chewing. There’s been some good reports of snapper and some very big fish are being taken off all the piers in the area. Out in the boats, the same areas that fish so well through winter are now producing numbers of quality snapper in the 3-8kg range, and what could be better than fishing under the lights of the city, especially on a calm night.

It will also be interesting to see if the very top end of the bay in around Station and Princess piers get a big run of snapper like they did last season.

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