Kick footy out for fishing!
  |  First Published: October 2016

We’re wrapping up the AFL footy season for another year and that generally means it’s time to fire up the outboards and start hitting the water!

While there has been plenty of people fishing over the last month, we are set to see the boat ramps full again in the coming weeks. After a pretty horrendous winter in terms of wind, we started to see some more fishable weather through the last month and certainly a change in temperature. There can be some very chilly mornings still, but the sun is starting to take the sting out of it a lot quicker.


While the traditional period that some people call ‘snapper season’ doesn’t fire up until mid-October into November, we have certainly seen some really good fishing. Mount Martha has been a great stomping ground for reds right through from about August. Both land-based and boat anglers have enjoyed a range of snapper from 1.5-4kg fairly consistently. The deep water fish are still biting and as the year progresses, expect to see more on your sounder closer in and further up the peninsula.


Southern calamari have been a standout species for the whole year, and for the last month we have seen better than average sizes in areas normally associated with small model squid. Mornington Pier has seen squid with hoods to 30cm taken on size 3.0 jigs and Mount Martha rocks has been a similar story. Anglers in their boats have been enjoying good patches of squid around the weed beds out from Sorrento, Blairgowrie and Rye.

It’s quite difficult to pinpoint a standout jig, as most conditions suit different colours. Mornings seem to be productive using browns and reds, the Yakamito red and black jig in 3.0 has certainly been one that’s dominating. Daylight hours are good opportunities to use the old faithful whites like the Shimano Sephia and Harimitsu ranges.


I feel like this year has been as good as I can remember in a long time for King George Whiting. Places like the Pinnace Channel, Tootgarook and even shallow water off Mornington and Mount Martha have been exceptional and anglers have enjoyed a great feed to go home with. While the next few months will predominantly feature snapper in most people’s minds, whiting shouldn’t be over looked. The boat traffic will thin out slightly on the traditional whiting grounds so it will open up a great opportunity to chase a feed of ‘ting!

Gummy Sharks

What an amazing couple of months we’ve had on big gummies. Good numbers of quality sharks has been a feature and with fresh bait and fishing the right tides, landing these beasts has been a reality. As much as a squid jig is a hot product at the moment, Dan Lee from Compleat Angler Rosebud assures me hooks in sizes 4/0-8/0 have been as popular at the shop.

Looking Ahead

I guess it will be hard to not get excited about snapper this month, but the reality is the species on offer for us along the Mornington Peninsula are many.

Squid shouldn’t slow down, in fact the big models we’ve seen through September should hang around for a while.

As stated above, whiting are a great option in shallow water and gummy sharks are set to fire again this month. Deep water squid fishing is a great option at the moment and the water down toward Port Phillip Heads can be as good a place to look as any. Using jigs starting at 3.0-4.0 and fishing the tidal deep water that can be anywhere from 8-18m is where these large calamari hang out. You can get drop weights, or chin weights, for the squid jigs if you feel you need to stay in the zone longer.

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