With the football season finishing last month, anglers from all over the state have been getting out on the water more, especially with the weather slowly improving in temperature as well, besides a wet couple of months. Along with some fantastic snapper reports from the boaties, the land-based fishing for reds over the past month has been nothing short of sensational. Land-based fishing in general is really good right now and exciting for anglers without boats.
Boaties had a great start over the last few weeks and decent breaks in the weather have meant the chance to soak baits. Anglers using hard baits like yakkas, silver whiting and even cuttlefish have found success. Fish whole baits out the back and drop paternoster or snapper snatcher style rigs straight down from the boat with strips of squid or pilchard chunks.
A few smaller fish are being taken on this kind of rig. Anglers fishing early mornings under the cover of darkness have found good fish in the shallows of Seaford and Frankston. This is also a great time to cast soft plastics. Squidgy Flick Baits are dominant again this year, as are the Whip Baits in pilly colour. Remember to fish as light as possible in the conditions you’re fishing, in regard to your jigheads. This allows a slow sink and plenty of time in the strike zone.
There’s no shortage of southern calamari this spring. Lots of anglers are getting among some squid action. The usual haunts around Mornington and Mount Martha have been great spots, especially from the land. Portsea and Queenscliff have proven once again great grounds for big squid, while areas off Blairgowrie and Sorrento are a real mixed bag. Dan Lee from Peninsula Compleat Angler reports, during some of the overcast days, it seems red foils and purple foils are much more effective than really bright colours.
The humble gars are elusive at the moment and inconsistent reports all year have made life tough when planning a trip out. Most recent success seems to be on piers all along the peninsula in late afternoon using light, crumb-like berley. One of the most important things when chasing garfish is the quality of your hook. Use small sharp hooks. Gars are skittish and will be easily turned off if they have a rough, blunt hook poke them in the face.
Make the most of opportunities. Using quality sharp hooks will pin the fish first time, every time. Long shank hooks are good as they’re the easiest to remove from the fish once you’ve landed it. I would recommend silverfish as bait and fished under a lightweight pencil float.
It’s crazy to imagine, but kingfish are not far away. Anglers will start to look soon, but I find this is the time to prepare and make sure your gear is up to scratch. If you got among the action last year, you might want to strip your line off and load up with brand new braid or mono. These fish do more damage than many anglers think. Before you know it, kings will be here and you’ll want to be a part of it!
Snapper are on. The fish we love this time of year are chewing and we love it. It’s not always epic sessions, but keep an eye on reports and use your electronics – you’ll soon find some. I love seeing the good number of anglers trying their hands at lure fishing this year. Soft plastics, soft vibes and trolled hardbodies are definitely worth a go.
Land-based angler Jake with a beautiful snapper taken from a pier in the top part of Port Phillip Bay.
Jarrod Day from Compleat Angler has been finding good sized squid through Spring.
Land-based anglers have been enjoying squid from the stones all year.
The Shimano Bottomship Jig is a great lure to try for snapper this year.Reads: 910