Western Port has been fishing so consistently over the past month I don’t know where to begin! Snapper… gummies… whiting… they’re all being caught and it wouldn’t surprise me that much if barramundi start showing up in the Tooradin channel!
Ok, the barra probably won’t turn up. With many anglers already saying that this has been the best snapper season for 10 years we don’t need them, anyway!
Good reds are being landed everywhere but the most productive places have been Lysaughts, Eagle Rock and Buoy 17. Huge schools of snapper have been sounded up with some patches of fish extending for over 100m. Squid, sauries and yakkas are the pick of the baits as they are all fairly tough and resist pickers.
A frequent complaint from anglers fishing in the deep stuff for snapper has been the poor hook-up rate associated with fast currents and heavy sinkers. A large snapper lead gives the fish an advantage here, as they shake their head against the weight of the sinker, pulling free of the hooks. In this case simply changing the hook pattern to a circle hook (like an Owner Mutu) can make all the difference. The hook-up is often much cleaner and they don’t fall out like traditional J-hooks can.
On a sad note, it has been disappointing to see that some ignorant people have been keeping far too many fish, often exceeding bag limits. I have no problem with anyone taking home some fish for tea, but we have to remember that these snapper are here to spawn. If you know someone who is doing the wrong thing by killing countless numbers of next season’s fish, please do us all a favour and put pressure on them to stop.
Regular customer, Anthony, has had success fishing from Stony Point pier recently landing several mullet, salmon and squid. Casting and retrieving his beloved Shrimp Hunter jigs accounted for most of the calamari.
It is important to work the tides when fishing from piers like Stony Point or Warneet and the last half of the flood tide is often the most productive.
I managed to fit in two whiting sessions after work recently (I love daylight savings). With Cranbourne Fishing Tackle staff member Don Smith aboard, we ventured around to the mouth of Watson’s Inlet, landing some lovely whiting to 43cm.
Again it was the last of the flood tide that saw the fish enter the shallows and we found that pipis were the best bait. Oh, and yes Don, you did catch one more whiting than me!
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