The word on every angler’s lips down at the Island is snapper! Every year is the same. Snapper season always starts with a frenzy, and this season is shaping up to be another good one.
The only drawback is difficult access and limited boat ramps. Some local councils have hiked up the ramp fees once again, which does nothing to help relieve anglers’ frustrations at having to wait hours just to launch and retrieve a boat. This eventually turns into ramp rage. It seems the only thing the councils want to relieve you of is what’s in your back pocket.
The surf beaches have been only average lately, due to the blustery conditions we have been experiencing. Woolamai Beach has been producing salmon to 1kg, while further round at Anzacs better fish to 1.5kg have been taken. At Williamsons Beach one bloke put in the hard yards and was rewarded with a 10kg gummy shark in the wee hours of the morning.
Below the bridge, just outside the eastern entrance, there have been some good flathead, barracouta, salmon and squid. Just inside the entrance, the whiting are about in bigger numbers. Fish from 36–40cm are being caught, with a few trevally, pinkies and salmon in the mix as well.
Above the bridge there have been some good whiting to 45cm caught on baits of pilchard strips, squid and pipis. The deep water off Rhyll has seen some good snapper to 6kg, with a few of the local fishos bagging out. Further north, near Ram Island, there have been a few good snapper taken as well. The best area to bag a gummy at present is Lang Lang, with eel or trevally fillet being the best baits.
The Newhaven Jetty has been popular with land-based anglers of late. Trevally have been around the structure in good numbers, along with salmon and mullet. A couple of snapper to 4.5kg have also been landed.
Further around between Red Rocks and Cat Bay, the big whiting are beginning to show up in numbers, and the in the deep water off Ventnor some good snapper and big gummies are about as well.
The big calamari squid are still being caught. I watched one local angler catch seven big ones (2–4kg) in about 10 minutes, while I could only manage a couple in two hours. It can be very frustrating! You think you know all the tricks to fool a squid, but let me tell you, fishing is a learning game whether you are 10 years old or 60. It’s always the little things that make the big difference, so you have to adapt your style of fishing to different areas and always keep an open mind.
The whiting in this area are scattered. You will do OK one day and catch nothing the next. The fish have been around 45cm.Reads: 543