Red-hot start to summer
  |  First Published: December 2016

It’s hard to believe the weather we’ve had over the past couple of months, but I feel like the worst of it is behind us. In front of us, we have summer!

This summer is set to be a cracker and the lead up through December is a transitional period for a lot of our local fisheries. The Mornington Peninsula sees a change in temperature throughout the bay and this brings a whole new wave of fishing options.


The snapper in Port Phillip Bay so far has been outstanding and many big fish have been landed throughout spring. The Mornington Peninsula is no exception, and snapper land-based have been just as good an option as they have from the boat.

Land-based anglers are enjoying a good run of fish from places like Mordialloc through to Mt Martha. The blowier conditions are ideal for land-based fishing, as it pushes the snapper in close to shore.

As we move deeper into December and then through the warmest part of summer, anglers are finding snapper in the usual haunts in deeper water off Mt Martha and Dromana. Fishing the tides has been effective and fresh squid is producing good quality snapper.


The snapper madness can easily put the blinkers on anglers and make the focus primarily on reds, but this is a fantastic time of year for calamari. Big squid are hanging around the broken ground around Portsea, and these calamari are in really solid numbers.

Anglers are finding early mornings before too much boat traffic to be really productive. Given the time of day and state of light, darker jigs with red foils have once again been the go-to squid jig.

King George Whiting

As with a lot of species in the transitional period, the KGW have gone from red-hot, to hard to come by, to gaining momentum once again heading back towards red-hot. Anglers fishing out of Sorrento and heading toward Mud Island are finding good patches, and so too are land-based anglers fishing from Mt Martha rocks.

From all reports, fresh squid with a touch of pipi or mussel is the standout cocktail bait. Berley pots are a must and don’t forget your red beads!

As we head into warmer times of the year, don’t be scared to look deeper than you normally would.


The Rip is already getting some attention and anglers are finding some fish. As much as I love our yellowtail friends, I can’t stress enough; The Rip can be a very dangerous place. If you are fishing the areas in or around The Rip, please take every precaution possible to be safe. Know the tides and know where you are fishing. Not only is The Rip a dangerous bit of water, it is also a shipping channel. Ships can’t stop in a hurry, so you must be aware of any ships coming through! No fish is worth risking your life for.

Having said all that, kingfish are being taken on jigs in this area, but if you can get your hands on some slimy mackerel, they are even better fished as live baits.

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