Gee, I wonder what we will be talking about in this report? Yeeeehhhaa it’s that time of year again where we all get a chance to become a little loopy, a time when rational thinking about anything other than snapper fishing is almost impossible!
Whether you’re a full on snapper legend or just starting out, you can’t help but get excited about the first few reports of snapper being caught in the bay, and this year has been no different. In fact, the snapper have taken what seems to be a very similar path across the bay and have turned up in similar locations and at similar times to the past few seasons.
The area between Beaumaris and Black Rock continues to be one of the most productive areas of the bay. The first decent run of snapper in the bay fired up in the area between Mordialloc Pier and Ricketts Point. What’s more, with the rough weather that early spring tends to produce, land-based fishing from piers has been very productive. In the past weeks, excellent numbers of pinkies and some genuine snapper to 4.5kg have been landed late in the afternoon and at night.
The only down side to all of this is that the fishing really only fires up when the wind is churning the bay into an angry, cold mess. Having said that, the results are there and I have to admire the brave and crazy souls who put in the hours to catch those fish.
Fishing from boats is also producing some great fish, especially during or just after a big blow, as the bigger snapper move onto the hard reef areas of Parkdale Pinnacles, Ricketts Point and down towards the Black Rock area. Anglers fishing along the edge of the reef in these areas have been taking good numbers of pinkies, with plenty of bigger fish in amongst them. The coming weeks should see some even better fishing through these spots, especially at night.
Out deeper, anglers are marking plenty of snapper on their sounders, and catching a few. But soon the deeper areas, such as the 16m line and out around the Gasso, will really fire up. For those of you who like to sleep in, or who think that if you don’t get a snapper early in the morning than the day is over, head out deep as quite often these spots can fish best during the middle of the day.
After many years of lean snapper fishing in this area of the bay, the past few seasons has seen the bay returning to its former glory as a premier spot to chase big snapper in shallow water.
Land-based anglers have been taking plenty of pinkies, plus more than the odd big snapper from locations such as the rock groynes at Hampton, Sandringham and Brighton Breakwall.
For the boat anglers there is no need to fish out too wide, as the majority of fish and especially the big snapper are taken in water as shallow as 3m at night. Now if you really want some fun, try putting the breaks on 5kg snapper that is hell bent on getting out of there after feeling the hooks. I guarantee you will think its every bit of an 8kg fish.
There are also excellent numbers of garfish on offer, so it pays to have a fine berley trail and small baits suspended under floats while waiting for the reds.
The shallows have been holding reasonable numbers of squid, which are in no doubt attempting to hide from a hungry red predator.
Down towards St Kilda, the pier has been producing good numbers of garfish and a few flathead, however it is also a great time to be getting a bigger bait out off the pier at night. Even though the water is shallow and the bottom is mostly sand, the area does have lots of crabs that make number one snapper tucker – so they will move into these areas in rough weather at night to hunt.
Over the past weeks all the piers, such as Lagoon, Kerford Road and Station piers, have been holding their fair share of garfish, however the coming weeks and months will also see them as top spots to do a bit of night fishing for, you guessed it, snapper. Kerford Road is one of the better spots to target big snapper. In fact I know of one angler who has taken several over 10kg from here in the past 4 years.
If boat fishing then I would suggest fishing in 4–6m of water over the rough bottom of mussel and cungevoi beds.
The bream fishing is really starting to fire up as the water slowly gets warmer, with both boat and land-based anglers finding bream of various sizes in and around the rockwalls and bridge pylons in the Maribrynong River.
The Yarra itself is fishing well around the Docklands for bream and the occasional pinkie snapper. For the bait fisher, peeled prawn, freshwater yabbies and Bass yabbies have been producing the goods, while the lure fishers have been smacking the fish with the River2sea Baby Vibes.
The Hotties at Newport Power Station is still producing bream and mullet, and hopefully the coming weeks will see good numbers of tailor move into the area. In turn, the big silver will predators right behind them!
Some of the early snapper reports came from the Altona and Werribee areas, with local fishers finding some to 5kg while hunting pinkies in shallow water
Matt Hunt, of Matthew Hunt Fishing Services, lives and fishes the area extensively, and reports plenty of pinkies behind the footy oval at Williamstown and good numbers of squid along the shallow reefs, especially in the Point Cook area.
Whiting have turned up sporadically at night on the Altona and Werribee reefs, although for the best results it pays to have some fresh mussels for bait.
Finally, there have been good reports of gummy sharks coming off Wedge Spit at Werribee.
It’s a busy time of year so get out there and get into the fish that are on offer.Reads: 1885