Geelong Snaps Into Action
  |  First Published: December 2006

What a cracking summer we’re into! Snapper to 5kg have been found in 10m+ but I expect quality fish will be around the shallower areas in January. Pre-dawn has been the best, but anglers fishing into the night are also doing well. Silver whiting, fresh squid, cuttlefish, sauries, pilchards and whiting or barracouta heads are the best baits. Bigger baits will land bigger fish and you’re less likely to cop a flogging from the small flatties.

Corio Bay

Snotty trevally have arrived along some of Geelong’s piers. Early morning on high tide has been the best time with raw chicken and pilchard fillets the best baits. Anglers at the St Helens boat ramp at North Geelong have scored snapper to 6kg after dark on pilchards.

The Garry Clarke Fishing competition was held in November with all proceeds going to Relay for Life. This year the 100+ anglers raised around $400, which is an awesome effort. If any one is interested in being a sponsor please email me.

Jamie Behrens from Barwon Heads has fished Corio Bay a few times with mixed results. He says the fish are all over the place and the best bait has been salmon heads. Jamie has caught several fish to 5.7kg.

Andy from Ray Long’s Tackle World reports that Clifton Springs has been packed with anglers chasing 2-5kg snapper around the edge of the channel. The best baits have been pilchards and squid. Larger fish are still there to be taken when the weather allows it. Some lucky anglers also landed gummies to 5kg while soaking baits for snapper.

Bellarine Peninsula

Drysdale Sportfishing Club held their annual ‘Three Species’ comp out of Portarlington Seaside Resort where the president Wayne Trewin bought home a 6kg+ snapper taken on 2kg whiting gear. Veronica Olsen managed a few decent flatties and other members scored a few smaller snapper.

Paul and Ben McGregor fished during the Garry Clarke Shield and caught flathead using squid. Ben scored a 5kg snapper that took out the heaviest junior snapper. Ben also weighed in a 42.5kg seven-gill shark that took out the ‘mystery prize’. Barbara Clarke’s 39cm was the longest whiting and Leigh Potter’s 5kg+ snapper took out the senior prize for heaviest snapper. Heaviest land-based fish went to Craig Ballard with a 460g flathead. A fair few anglers weighed in snapper from 800g-3kg, with the two 4kg and 5kg fish easily winning the division.

I spent half a night out off Portarlington recently with Daniel Kent chasing snapper. We hit a few reefy areas and I lost one thanks to pulled hooks. I left 12am and gave Dan my hand held GPS and a few marks to try. He quickly caught nine calamari off Indented Head. He then went to 20m line and landed a solid 4kg fish.


Andy also reports that calamari are still going strong at Queenscliff on baited jigs and Yo-Zuris. Good salmon have been around The Rip, with early morning bust-ups a daily occurrence. Most fish are 1.5kg with the odd 2kg fish reported. Plastics have been the pick, but trolled white occy skirts with a tinsel head insert have also worked.

Pike are being taken on soft plastics in shallower areas, along with flathead to 50cm and pinkie snapper to 1.3kg. Areas from the outer harbour to Queenscliff have been productive. The area outside of Swan Bay has produced some nice salmon on plastics and metal slice lures. Berkley Gulp Minnows in smelt colour and pink Gulp Minnow Grubs have been good fish producers across the whole area.

Barwon Heads

I fished the Barwon River Estuary with Ken Stevens recently. A few toadies, one 31cm bream and a few under-size salmon and flatties took our bass yabbies. Veronica Olsen and Gav Moloney joined us later in the day and landed a 36cm silver trevally using pilchard fillets.

Trevally were running hot last month, but have since dropped in size and numbers. Plenty of other anglers were fishing the river with mixed success and the best baits were pilchard fillets followed by pipis. Some land-based fishers have taken some nice silver trevally fishing from the platforms along the Sheepwash on the incoming tide.

Steve Taylor and Bob Kirkwood drifted for big King George whiting recently with bass yabbies in 14m of water. Bob actually hooked a 3.5kg snapper with his very old Jarvis Walker Black Queen rod, Mitchell 300 reel and 9lb line down to a No. 6 tinned limerick whiting hook.

Barracouta have been thick off Barwon Heads. Flatties from 1.5kg have been biting in 30-45m of water off Barwon Heads, Breamlea and Torquay. Jamie Behrens fished the mouth of the Barwon River and caught seven salmon to 52cm on whole pilchards.

Ken reports that 2kg pinkie snapper have been thick off Barwon Heads but you’ll need to move to find the fish and using tough baits if you want a 4-5kg fish. A local landed a 2.2m thresher shark in 40m that followed a ‘couta and leapt out of the water. Ken scored six nice sized bream using bass yabbies at Sheepwash and believes they will stay on the bite in January. Big King George whiting have arrived at the Barwon River mouth and the outgoing tide has been best right in the river mouth and in the shallows off RAAFs Beach, Ocean Grove and Collendina.

Tim O’Loughlin caught an 82cm ‘couta using pilchards off Barwon Heads recently.


Snapper have been biting very well off Torquay with 4kg+ fish quite common. The odd larger fish has been landed by anglers fishing bigger baits.

John Albrecht from Torquay Angling Club caught two nice snapper (2kg, 3.5kg) when drifting with soft plastic lures. He also managed a few nice flathead of 35-36cm and a 3.5kg gummy that smashed his soft plastic.

King George whiting are still biting, but most anglers are chasing large snapperBig whiting have been taken by anglers fishing the low tides after dark from Fishermans Beach.

Big flathead to 1.5kg are also available for anglers drifting in deep water.

Shark chasers will be in for a bumper season if the last few months are anything to go by. Threshers and blues have been following schools of yakkas inshore.

Andy reports that his regular customers have been catching snapper to 7kg off Torquay floating pilchards down a light berley trail.

Anglesea to Lorne

Anglers fishing off Anglesea have also enjoyed a good run of snapper from 3-5kg and plenty of 6kg+ gummy sharks. Big flathead should also be in full swing early January.

The Anglesea River has been hit and miss. Bream fired for a very short period before the mouth closed over again.

Spare captions

Ryan sambo.jpg: Ryan from Anglesea with a ripper salmon from Point Roadnight

Matt’s snapperDS.jpg: Matt from Apollo Bay with a pair of nice Portarlington Snapper

Puddy snapper.jpg: Wayne ‘Puddy’ Trewin with a 6kg snapper he caught on 2kg line off Portarlington

Kenty snapper.jpg: Daniel Kent from Apollo Bay with a nice Portarlington Snapper.

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