Luckily the snapper haven’t seemed to have noticed how cold and wet it has been during the long winter! This would have to be one of the best snapper bites I have seen in quite a long time for this time of year, which is truly exciting and great to see. To make it even better, the big calamari have well and truly been on the hunt, making bait collection for snapper all too easy!
I just can’t believe that I’m sitting here at this time of year and writing about how good the snapper fishing is. There is a common theme as to where the fish have been caught, which is rather interesting. Joes Island is always a solid place to start looking for snapper as it’s the most basic form of structure that these fish sit on. Tania Sandy was fishing with Jason Munro in an early morning session recently when at 10am her rod buckled and the reel started singing harder than a young contestant on ‘The Voice’! It wasn’t long before a whopping big red was safely in the boat and as the scales read 9kg the excitement on Tania’s face was enormous!
Colin Thompson also put in a few hours on the east side of Joes on a completely different day and interestingly again at 10am off his rod went and old mate snapper, this time at 7.38kg, hit the deck of the boat. This catch definitely made sitting it out in the cold a hell of a lot more worth it. Fresh squid did the trick for Colin.
There have been a lot more snapper caught throughout the top end and the average size has been unbelievable. Chris Preston got into it on a recent trip, and after presenting a freshly caught calamari ring on the bottom an incredibly healthy snapper which stretched the tape to 91cm came up to say ‘hello’. Local angler and snapper whisperer, Heidi, popped into Tackle World Mornington to show us her awesome winter red from a recent trip. This capture was Heidi’s first ever snapper and when the scales told us that the fish weighed in at 7.6kg there was smiles all round!
Lysaughts is generally an area that doesn’t get too much coverage at this time of year – but that is all about to change! Matty Stewart, Jarrad Kennard and MJ went out for a few hours on Lysaughts in search of a winter red and boy what a session did they end up having. Jarrad was first up to the plate when his reel started screaming and after a short, adrenalin-pumping fight a massive 9kg fish made its way into the net. No more than 10-minutes later MJ had a crack at knocking over the high bar set by Jarrad. MJ’s fish came in at 6kg – to have two fish in 10-minutes with a combined weight of 15kg in the middle of winter is just an extraordinary effort! Both fish couldn’t turn down a fresh squid head, so if you are keeping your calamari for a feed, never throw the heads out, they are just too good a bait to waste!
The snapper aren’t the only species in the midst of a little purple patch at the moment. It seems the big calamari have turned up in good numbers throughout the top end and they seem really hungry. Pat Ellaby has been fishing up on the Quail Bank and among his bag there was an absolute stonker sporting a 42cm hood. Now that’s a big squid!
The Tyabb Bank is another area that holds a lot of squid at this time of year and quite a few anglers have been making the most of the opportunities presented by these unique critters. Kristian had a cracker of a session up on the bank and left with a new PB calamari at the end of the day. He also managed another eight that were all of similar size. Daiwa nude jigs did the trick for Kristian. The nudes are a great choice in Western Port, they are a hardbodied jig and without the traditional cloth coating on the jig they tend to cut through the water without the drag. This comes in handy when the tide is humming or you need to get that jig down just a little bit deeper.
Jake Gamble has been dominating a few calamari up on the Tyabb Bank with his biggest measuring 47cm over the hood. Any bigger than that and we will have to start referring to them as ‘krakens’!
Well done to everyone who braved the elements and come home with a trophy fish over the last month and thank you for your reports. Keep them coming and good luck!Reads: 199