Dasher, Dancer, snapper, Prancer, Vixen
  |  First Published: December 2016

Fine weather, plenty of food and warm water hve fired up quality snapper in a big way along the northern and western aspects of Port Phillip Bay. While the traditional snapper season has been slow to start, due to our late, wet and windy winter, it’s all behind us now and the fishing is magnificent! The prime areas have been consistent from Point Cook all the way through to Hobsons Bay and some serious fish are about.

Regular anglers that spend quality time on the water have had great success. To state the obvious, there’s no better way to improve your catch than being on the water! Movement and feeding patterns of fish can be formed, proving valuable information for years to come. Keep a fishing diary and you’ll be amazed at the amount of information you gather.

Adrian Azzopardi has worked hard this season and it paid off recently. Adrian landed a great bag of fish – the best fish weighed 7kg and pushed 80cm in length. Fish of this calibre are earned. The silver whiting proved the best bait.

Plenty of anglers have had sensational fishing, but occasionally you can sense the excitement and exhilaration through an email report. According to gun angler Ziad Mesto, he was sounding along the shipping channel between the T17 and T19 markers, when his Furuno sounder lit up with a large school of fish. He didn’t waste time in anchoring and in 5 minutes, the first rod was in the water and screaming off!

The second and third reels were out of control – rods going off everywhere and drags screaming! The fish started around 6.30pm and didn’t stop until just after dark. The best bait was silver whiting and they kept the berley up the whole time, which kept the fish around the boat.

Ziad went on to say that he had a great friend, Emad Alameddine come down from Sydney to fish our snapper for the first time, and he was totally shocked at the size of the fish, and the amount of fish. Who needs to leave Melbourne? Ziad reinforced a couple of golden rules that consistently make the difference – advice well worth taking. Always sound up fish before anchoring, even if it takes 15-20 minutes. It’s worth it instead of just anchoring anywhere and wasting time.

Generous amounts of quality berley have consistently provided the difference. Don’t sit in one spot for more than 30 minutes if the fish aren’t on the chew. While the areas out wide near the transit lanes are fishing well, don’t anchor in them. Shallow areas are also well worth an effort with great fishing to be had. If you don’t have a boat, one of the best things about our bay is the wealth of quality specialist charter boats that you can choose to jump aboard with.

Steve Napoli from Able Fishing Charters in Williamstown reports that they’ve had sensational fishing in shallow reef areas around Altona in 9m, all the way out to Fawkner Beacon. Recent fishing has been so productive, the crew have been able to guide customers onto a great feed of snapper and then enjoy the remaining time by releasing fish in the shallow areas, which maximises the survival rate. Pilchard was a great bait.

Steve has also enjoyed some great fishing with mates Emro Abazovic and Mick Karastanovic. After all, when you aren’t working to fish, why not fish in your spare time? Evenings have been great with 3-4 hour bite windows in as shallow as 6m of water delivering epic snapper fishing. Tackling big snapper in the shallow reef areas is sensational fun and they certainly know where home is!

Tony Spiteri form Two Up Fishing Charters from Werribee South also reported great snapper fishing. While Tony has been sharing his time between the Cairns black marlin season and Melbourne’s snapper season, he’s been getting great fish over a large area. Tony mentioned that with increased water temperatures and finer weather conditions, good numbers of snapper have moved into the area, all the way between Port Melbourne and Hobsons Bay, right through to Point Cook.

December delivers countless options for anglers. Don’t limit yourself to snapper. There are plenty of flathead, calamari, salmon and assorted species in the bay. Our metro rivers have settled and the bream are moving back to the edges and feeding more aggressively. A long hot summer is just around the corner and the fishing is only getting better!


I’d love to see and hear fishing experiences in the local area! Send through fishing reports and high-resolution photos of your great catches to --e-mail address hidden-- with as much detail as you can share.


Adrian Azzoaprdi with a serious Port Phillip Bay snapper!


Old man knobby! Gnarly fish aboard Two Up Fishing Charters.


Steve Napoli from Able Fishing with a lovely pair of reds.


Great bag of fish for a quick evening session by Ziad and Emad!


Ziad Mesto with a sensational evening fish.

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