What a time to be a snapper fisher! Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a very testing season for most fishers so far – the weather has been absolutely horrible, the fresh water running into the port from all of the rain has got water temperatures all over the place and it’s been far from warm and comfortable, but the size of the snapper coming in has been exceptional!
Jumbo snapper will be an ongoing theme throughout this report and the exciting thing is a lot of these big snapper have been in your normal everyday fishing spots. There hasn’t been a big secret ‘Spot X’ for these big fish. A local legend by the name of Seado absolutely smashed his PB recently with a whopping 9kg red on a Saturday night.
Seado cut nice, fresh yakka into chunks and this big healthy snapper just couldn’t resist. Chunked up beautiful fresh yakka would have to be one of the best snapper baits going around. There’s nothing technical about it, just take your fresh yakkas, lop the head off and cut chunks about an inch wide – it’s sensational bait!
Dean O’Keefe also set a new PB in the top end of the port – another whopper fish. Fresh bait did the damage again, but this time it was a beautiful salmon fillet. Shaun Furtiere has been completely dominating the top end and has put his clients onto many great snapper. Shaun is a massive believer in fresh bait and no doubt he’s getting most of his fish on fresh squid, yakka or salmon.
It’s not just quality snapper that have been hungry in the north arm, as Jason Varadi found on a recent trip. Jason had a yakka chunk sitting on the bottom in 12m of water intended for a snapper, but a cracking gummy found it first. I’d take a nice by-catch of gummy any day of the week, so well done Jas!
Lang Lang is one of those shallow water spots that really thrive when water temperatures are low. The afternoon sun can be enough to lift the water temperatures ever so slightly in that shallow water and big fish will get up there to feed in better conditions. Darren Nibbs took advantage of one of the better days we’ve had recently. He left with an awesome 5kg snapper that was up there grazing on the mud flats.
Joes Island continues to produce many snapper as you’d expect. It’s another spot that has thrown jumbo snapper at us. Dave Vandenbroek and Kane enjoyed a beautiful afternoon on the port when a pair of rods took off together. The smaller fish weighed in at 5.6kg while the bigger of the two touched 9.1kg! That’s not bad when your small fish is 5.6kg – well done boys. Both fish were taken on the humble pilchard.
Eagle Rock has probably been the pick of the port over the last month and generally a place we don’t hear too much about. That’s definitely changed – Alan Hodges had a great little session off the rocks and landed a pigeon pair of beautiful snapper. Locals, Brad and Todd putting in a morning session on the tide change scored a couple of 5kg fish for their efforts. The winning Tea Tree fish of 11.8kg also came from somewhere around Eagle Rock, so that big trophy fish isn’t far away!
The snapper have finally started to school up in pretty good numbers around the grounds off Lysaughts and it won’t be long until we start seeing some big catches from this area. Pat Ellaby got the daily double from here on a recent trip and went home with a nice snapper, an even better gummy and a big smile on his dial after another successful mission.
One of the more interesting reports came from Kozzi and Huff who hit Lysaghts for snapper, but after having no luck in locating the reds, decided to drop a couple of whiting lines and ended up with a few healthy KGs to 44cm. It just proves that if you’re willing to change things up and adapt to what the day gives you, you can still leave with a few fish to make it worth the effort. Well done, boys.
Hastings has also seen the snapper turn up with some nice fish schooling up just outside the channel. Deki and Rade got stuck into a few pinkies and scored a big 10kg gummy that took a liking to a snapper bait. I’d like to finish by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and enjoyable new year. Thank you to the amazing crew at Fishing Monthly and a big shout out to Jacqui for putting up with my very late reports that I manage to submit every month!
Dean O’Keefe with a beautiful top end snapper.
Jason Varadi with a whopper of a gummy.
Darren Nibbs and his 5kg of Lang Lang snapper.Reads: 167