In the swing of snapper season
  |  First Published: October 2016

As October rolls by, we are now in the swing of snapper season, with solid fish already being taken by some anglers in boats and some quality land-based reds by the shore bound crews over the past weeks.

Adding to the excitement of the bigger snapper and what the coming weeks will hold, there is plenty of other fishing options on offer, with lots of squid around and even a few catches of whiting over the past weeks.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

Now is go time for the pier as the local land-based angler wait eagerly for any good onshore wind. And while there has already been some decent reds landed over the past weeks, this month is the time that generally produces the best results.

In the calmer weather, Mordialloc Pier and its surrounds have seen good squid fishing at dawn and dusk and these same low light periods have also seen pinkies and salmon being taken.

The good news, however, has been consistent numbers of garfish on offer with a bit of berley and small baits of dough, silver fish or pieces of prawn proving to be very effective when suspended under a carefully weighted float.

Out in the boats, it’s time to get serious on the snapper, and best of all over the coming weeks you shouldn’t have to travel very far, with some of the best snapper fishing often being under everyone’s nose.

I love fishing out off Mordialloc in 6-10m and up to the Parkdale Pinnacles. There’s good reef runs through here and the big snapper love to feed at night or in rough weather. So it’s no surprise the pier fishes so well.

Further along and up into the bay Beaumaris Pier has been good for squid and will also produce snapper this month. While out the front from Ricketts Point to Black Rock, pinkies have been in good numbers along with bigger snapper among them. Add to this good numbers of squid and garfish and there is plenty to keep you busy while on the water.  

Out deeper, the 14-16m line is also a top place to be looking for big snapper as there is good patches of reef and rubble all through this area that hold fish.

At this time of the year through, I don’t tend to go looking for big numbers of fish, instead preferring to find just a couple scattered in an area. From there I’ll anchor up and get a steady berley trail going, then it’s a matter of getting a few baits in the water.

It’s also worth fishing a good variety of baits early season, with sauries being a personal favourite at this time of the year. It’s good to treat any bite like a snapper while the water is cold, as often the tip will just move or rattle like it’s a flathead, so don’t strike too soon.

Sandringham To St Kilda

This month will see lots of great land-based fishing options with strong onshore winds producing some thumper snapper off places like Sandringham break wall, while in calmer weather places like the Hampton rock groynes will produce fish during the night.

Out in the boats, the shallow reef back towards Black Rock known as Yorkies has been excellent over the past weeks for garfish and hopefully this will continue.

Further north Brighton Breakwall is hot property over the coming weeks, with some good early reports of both solid pinkies and some big snapper being taken, and there is no doubt it will just get better as the month rolls by.

Out wider, the rough ground that extends off Brighton and out towards the Fawkner beacon is well worth spending time sounding through. Although it’s only relatively shallow all the way to the beacon, about 8-14m, last season it held numbers of bigger snapper, and while it can take a bit of time to sound up the fish the results can be well worth it.

As we get toward the end of the month, the edge of the shipping lane between Black Rock and the Fawkner beacon will also be top places to be searching for snapper.

St Kilda To Port Melbourne

As we slide into October it is also time for big reds to move into the rough shallow ground that runs through this area, and if there is two things that are certain in this part of the bay, it’s that it’s never too shallow and big snapper are not uncommon.

Places like Elwood drain through to the breakwall at the marina are prime areas after dark, with heavy bottom in 3-8m of water producing steam train snapper.

Other great snapper locations in this area are off St Kilda Breakwall for both boat and land-based anglers and then, of course, all that rough ground between Kerford Road Pier and up to Lagoon Pier. Just remember to give the land-based anglers a bit of room if you’re in the boat.

Out wider, the edge of the channel will fish well off the Fawkner beacon and further north towards Station Pier. Just remember to stay out of the shipping lane.

The other prime area this month is around Princess Pier. It produced a few solid fish in September and there is every chance it will have a bunch of fish move into the area this month.

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