Top End fishing it’s finest
  |  First Published: December 2016

Happy New Year everybody! I hope you all had an enjoyable and safe celebration, and I am happy to report that many anglers out there have already enjoyed a very fish filled start to the year.

The snapper continue to bite extremely well, and as a result of a delayed season and with water temperatures staying quite low, a lot of anglers have resisted the urge to trade in the snapper rods for whiting rods – which turned out to be a good move, as the snapper are biting better than they have all season.


I will open up the year’s reports with an absolute cracker from Gav Methers, who got stuck into a few snapper with the family during the holiday period. Fishing a few of his special marks throughout the top end, Gav joined the 20lb club with an absolute beast of a red. And because one huge fish is never enough, in the same trip, Gav’s young bloke, Tyler, also boated a 7.63kg beauty – congratulations!

Some really nice fish have been schooled up in the Lyalls Channel, and though this is mainly a gummy shark area, some really nice snapper have also made their way in to feed. Archie Dwyer and his old man Russel spent a great day out at Lyalls with good mate Darren Bull. Young Archie showed everyone how it’s done, with a spectacular 5.6kg snapper, while Darren just quietly snuck into the corner and dominated the gummies, while Russ helped deal with Archie’s snapper.

The Tooradin Channel has had a great little patch over the last few weeks with not only the whiting starting to turn up on the banks, but also a nice school of snapper have been sitting at the entrance to the channel. Steve Anderson took advantage of one of the few perfect days we’ve had, and got stuck into a few nice fish on the change of tide. The whiting have been biting well up on the flats of the channel edge during the high tide change. The size of the fish isn’t overly big, but this is an area that will only continue to get better. Pipi and squid are the preferred baits, and berley at this stage of the game is a must.

Crawfish Rock has been one of the better top end marks for snapper this season, and Kallan Braid-Ball from Tackle World Cranbourne, took advantage of a rare night off and got amongst the action with his old man. The very end of the run-out tide turned the fish on, with the team boating six quality snapper to 4kg, in quick succession. The fishing was that crazy that the boys pulled anchor and left them biting, as they had all they needed for a quality feed.


The North Arm of Western Port has finally joined the party after a pretty slow start to the season. Old man Don took Jesse, one of the young whippersnappers from Tackle World Cranbourne, out onto the home waters of Western Port, and taught him a few things about poling in snapper. Dony parked the boat just out from Esso, and it wasn’t too long before Jesse was holding a new PB, weighing in at 5kg, taken on a fresh squid ring. Good to see the old boys still teaching the young grubs a thing or two.

The snapper have finally schooled up along the main channel and a lot of anglers are enjoying some solid sessions out from Lysaght. Lachy Henstock, another of the fine team at TW Cranbourne, got amongst it and had one of those sweet sessions where it was hard work keeping a bait (pilchard) in the water. It was a short bite period, but when fish are bottoming out at 6kg, you’d take that any day of the week!

The Middle Spit is where all of the whiting action has been over the last few weeks, and for those that have had enough of trying to find a snapper, this is where you want to be. There is no one particular spot where you will find them – simply work the 4m-6m ledge of the spit and stay on the move until you find the fish. Shaun Furtiere has already got the whiting gear out for a few trips, and the results have been more than exciting. Keep the berley going, as it can be hard at times to keep the fish around you. Being well prepared will help – have the fresh squid already stripped, and the pipis and mussels shucked and ready to roll. Because when these slimy little critters decide to chew – you want to be winding in fish, not trying to sort your baits out.

That’s it for another month, and like I mentioned at the top, Happy New Year to everyone and let’s make 2017 the year of the PB! Keep the reports coming, and good luck on the next adventure.

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