Springtime red-emption
  |  First Published: November 2016

Even though I reported with much pleasure that, spring had definitely arrived in last month’s VFM, the weather treatment authority has certainly handed out a few timely reminders of the past over the last month for anglers on PPB.

Typical of our spring weather patterns, a normal week can and will vary between glorious blue-sky days with no wind, to gale force winds with mountainous seas and horizontal rain. Sometimes this all happens in one day! All joking aside, the smaller windows of weather and opportunity are prime times to get out on the bay and get amongst the action, and these times will get more common and last longer the closer we get to the summer months.

For all of us true blue Victorians, and especially those who live in and around the bays, this time of year is all about snapper. When I was growing up in Western Port as a kid, the end of the footy season was the signal to start getting the gear together, and Cup Weekend was the big trigger for many anglers as well. Not much has changed these days for most of the snapper heads, only that more and more anglers are getting amongst the action earlier, and even right through winter, with great results.

I’ve had a big rush of reports coming in over the past month, and especially over the last few weeks. Last month, the AFL Grand Final had just been won and heaps of boats and land-based anglers are hitting the bays in earnest. What’s been very encouraging so far has been the amount of good quality snapper already being taken by anglers fishing lures and soft plastics around reefy areas, especially fishing from kayaks, and smaller tournament style boats.

I’ve had reports of several fish being taken around the 6-7kg mark and lots more in the 3-5kg range as well. You need to put up with the smaller fish at the same time, and they can be pretty annoying at times. But when the big one grabs your lure, you’ll know about it, they really pull the kinks out of your line!

Keep an eye on your sounder, and stay close to structure. Peak bite times will be early and late in the day. The usual areas up north near the mouth of the Yarra and further south are producing well, and there are also plenty of reds down our neck of the woods as well.

Areas close to and around prominent reef and other structure will be key zones over the next month or so.

Not to be outdone, the bait anglers have been getting amongst the snapper action as well. Many of Matt Cini’s customers on Reel Time Charters have been walking away with big smiles with some ripper fish up to and over 7kg. Many of these fish have been coming in from the Mount Martha area, and I have also had several reports of good fish coming from around Mornington as well.

Expect the usual land-based areas to be very productive over the next couple of months, especially during and after big onshore winds. Also expect the wider grazing areas to become more heavily populated as we move into summer, as the snapper will tend to leave the protection of the structure and look to put on condition before they spawn.

As always at this time of year, I run out of room to write about all the other good fishing, and the good thing about that is, most PPB anglers couldn’t give a toss about anything else but snapper! For those who do, I’m very happy to report that the early season whiting action has continued over the past month, especially in the south of the bay, and many of the popular summer areas along the eastern shoreline are already starting to produce. For many of us (especially me), this news is equal to that of good snapper fishing, and many believe that this season will be another good one in PPB. Lets hope so!

The squid are also really starting to load up on our local reefs and further inshore, and will continue to do so in the months ahead. I have already noticed that they have been hanging around in tight groups, which is probably due to the proximity and timing of spawning areas, and also that they are loving green and red jigs at the moment.

No doubt the great fishing we have experienced already in the bay is only the beginning of things to come for the rest of this year. Here’s hoping that your humble author can keep getting out amongst the action, and that the weather gods are kind.

Keep the reports coming in!

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