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Big abundant snapper month
  |  First Published: November 2016



Awful weather smashed us during October, but in between the bad there’s been plenty of good. Exceptional snapper have been taken over the past weeks, with multiple fish over 10kg in weight. Interestingly, the ones I’ve seen have been taken by land-based anglers.

While bad weather over the past weeks has been great for land-based fishing, boat anglers are getting plenty of fish too. Let’s hope that the coming weeks see a solid bout of good weather so everyone can get out on the water more and get into the snapper.

On another note, there’s no doubt that the fishing has so far been better than last season, which to be honest, was a long way off being amazing. The really interesting part is that fisheries said that last season and the one before were not going to be great, due to the lack of spawn recruitment 8-10yrs ago, which are now the fish that come into the bay in big numbers to spawn.

They said this season would be a lot better than the previous two and over the next three seasons, fishing will get better each year – it’s all to do with the spawn and recruitment in earlier years.

Mordialloc To Black Rock

On with the good info on the fishing front – good numbers of pinkies and plenty of big snapper have been taken off the pier over the past weeks. Any good onshore blow has anglers lined up for the abundant reds that move into the area to feed. While this action often slows for the land-based anglers, it’s well worth getting on the pier during a good southwesterly blow.

Out in the boats, many anglers are reporting a really good old season feel. Solid fish can be found in the shallow water in 5-10m during low light periods and rough weather. Work out deeper during the morning and day, as big catches are coming from out on the 20-80m area off Mordialloc and up to Black Rock.

Other prime areas to fish are the 14-16m line that runs through Mordialloc and up past Ricketts Point. This area has lots of broken ground and blue mussel beds that tend to not only attract the snapper, but also hold them there for periods of time. A top area for baitfishing, it’s also a productive part of the bay for lure fishing. Anglers have great success on soft plastics and small metal jigs.

On the bait front the good old pilchard has been catching plenty, as it always does. As the water warms this month, silver whiting will really start to play a big part in anglers’ success, especially on bigger snapper. Through November its time to be getting out wider, especially during the day to fish the famous deeper areas known as the Gasso and further north to the edge of the shipping lane. In this area, I like to find bait near the bottom. If I mark one or two fish nearby, I anchor up and get the berley going – quite often there’ll be a few fish in the area.

Sandringham To St Kilda

This area has been a standout over the past weeks with loads of snapper taken in this part of the bay. Land-based anglers have been getting big numbers of snapper through this area for weeks. Best of all, its not just about being on the Brighton Breakwall or the Rock Groynes at Hampton. They’ve been great, but we’ve also received several awesome reports from anglers fishing off the nearby rocky shoreline, even on the sand and when it’s rough.

Out a bit wider, boat anglers have had good success in the dawn period between the Anonyma Shoal and further north along that line with bigger fish in the 4-7kg bracket. If it’s numbers you’re after then the edge of the shipping channel from T1 up to the Fawkner Beacon has held schools of fish in big numbers. This month should see some red hot fishing during the afternoons and into the evenings.

Up off North Road and towards St Kilda Marina, shallow reef areas are the place to find big snapper at night. Often, big numbers of 4-8kg fish move into these areas at night to feed on the heavy reef bottom that runs through here. In this area, it’s all about stealth, as you’re generally fishing in 4-6m of water. Keeping quiet and fishing unweighted baits is the key to good fish and stacks of fun.

St Kilda to Port Melbourne

It never ceases to amaze me the way this part of the bay produces big fish. The past month has been no different with several 10kg fish taken up in this area. The breakwall at St Kilda has produced good reds in the rough weather with a lot of boat anglers fishing in close proximity to it and having good results on very solid runs of snapper. While they’ve been dong that, land-based anglers are getting their share off Kerford Rd, the lagoon and Station Pier.

Out wider, bigger numbers of fish are to be found on the edge of the channel up at the Fawkner Beacon. For those who stay out at night, move back towards the shore to keep on the fish, as they move into the shallower water at night to feed. It’s a matter of repeating the process in reverse at pre-dawn and into the morning.

If you’re looking for another area to fish, it’s well worth a try around both sides of Princess Pier this month, especially in close to the shore in 4-8m of water. Have fun and get a bunch of snapper.

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