If the previous weeks of fishing are anything to go by, then it looks like the snapper run may end up continuing up to when the big man in the red suit slides down the chimney with lots of new fishing gear for everyone! Great news as I am sure we can all agree there is nothing better than getting stuck into some crazy snapper action on those hot December days.
While the fishing hasn’t been out of control, its been more consistent than last season and best of all there have been the overall great size of reds, with about one in four fish caught weighing around the 5-6kg mark. If the warm weather continues we should hopefully start to see patches of whiting, salmon and fingers crossed the odd kingfish.
The fishing started slowly in November, but the past few weeks have really heated up on all the known areas such at the ‘Hump’ off Mordialloc and all through the surrounding 14m line. Out off Ricketts Point, the 16m line, and out wider at the Gasso have seen very good fishing with a mix of fish taken in the 2-5kg size. However, there’s no doubt that this season is seeing a lot bigger snapper in the 6-9kg range, and more often. A lot of these bigger fish have been taken on bigger baits such as squid heads and big silver whiting or garfish.
Once again, one of the techniques I employed last season has been working well for me so far this season, especially on some of the bigger fish. Best part of this method is that it’s simple! While most of the baits are cast away from the boat I now drop one straight down and unweighted on a single Black Magic 6/0KL hook – I bait the hook with a squid ring or half silver whiting, but most of the bites on this start with just a few taps and then load up on a solid fish.
Closer along the reef edge between Ricketts Point and Black Rock hosts a great fallback location with lots of 1-3kg snapper on offer, and more than the occasional 4-6kg fish among them to keep the lure and bait fishermen on their toes. Best of all, this area often fishes well when it’s rough which means that you don’t have to travel too far if you are launching at Mordialloc or Half Moon Bay.
We’ve also had some great success over the past weeks with a new style of fishing that is proving to be deadly on snapper. We’ve been using 40-60g metal jigs on light rods to vertically jig over the schools of snapper and one thing is for sure, they love it! This allows you drive around sounding up fish then dropping on top of them, if they don’t bite after a few drops you can move to the next patch.
For the land based brigade, the sandy break-wall and the rock groynes, then up at Brighton break-wall have all produced snapper during the very occasional strong onshore blows, but I have also heard of the odd good fish taken late in the night even in calmer weather. However, it’s the boat fishing that has shone over the past few weeks with lots of good snapper fishing on offer in this part of the bay. The shallow reef areas in 6-10m of water off Brighton produced some great fishing at night while out wider the Fawkner Beacon should just be called the snapper beacon as it has produced some excellent fishing over the past weeks. While it seems that some days the snapper have been doing a disappearing act, when they are along the edge of the channel around here and back south towards T1 and T2 the fishing has been at times a little crazy – and so has the boat traffic.
Warmer conditions over the past weeks and clear water has also made for some ideal squid conditions with some anglers finding patches of calamari between green point and North Road. I’ve also had some good reports of decent sized schools of salmon beginning to pop up over the past few weeks which, with fingers crossed, will hopefully continue with a warm summer, and then roll into some kingfish.
Some decent snapper fishing came out of this part of the bay during November with very solid fish taken late at night. With all factors looking good on the weather front this should continue during December. The thing that I am sure the anglers are looking forward to however is clean, warm water and hopefully lots of whiting and salmon in this part of the bay over the coming months.
With the warm weather we are also hearing some good reports from anglers casting plastics and small hardbodies around the boats on swing moorings in behind St Kilda break-wall. Wading the shallows has already been producing the odd nice flathead to 55cm.
Have a great and fish filled Christmas break.Reads: 545