With some good rain, the bay has had a decent flush of fresh water and a proper stir-up from some strong westerly winds.
Over recent weekends, fine weather has seen many bay anglers dusting their boats off for the first time since last season. And what a sight! Pods of boats could be seen at anchor at several popular marks. At the ramp, clouds of blue smoke, flat batteries, bungs left out and other comedies unfolded. This sudden increase in activity is a small taste of the chaos we can expect when the snapper run gets into full swing.
If you listen to experienced anglers, many are predicting the best snapper season for years. All the factors are pointing toward a bumper run of our most popular bay target species. If you listen hard enough at night you can almost hear the sounds of line spooling, rig tying and gear servicing as diehards get set for action.
Many anglers are already gathering stocks of fresh baits like barracouta, squid and salmon. Last year’s run of winter garfish has not been repeated in the same numbers this year, so anglers have had to work harder and look further afield for this quality snapper bait. The best land-based locations for most target bait species are Frankston, Mornington, Rosebud and Sorrento piers. Perfect bait sized, juvenile Australian salmon have been on the chew during the rougher weather from Dromana Pier.
Quality pinkies are still on the bite in many areas, especially during early morning and late evening. Reliable areas are Mount Martha, Fisherman’s Beach, The Hospital and the Frankston Reef. Unweighted baits of half pilchard, tuna fillet or cubed sauries have been very effective, especially when fished down a berley trail. Although this attracts smaller fish as well, the rewards are worth it. As always, 3-5 inch soft plastics worked around the shallow reefs will also take plenty of fish, especially when the water is slightly more turbid and choppy.
Calamari are still in good numbers, and many areas are still producing some lovely specimens. The land-based crew is still finding the going tough but the numbers will soon increase. Boat anglers have been taking lovely bags from Ansett’s, Bird Rock, Wooleys Reef, McRae and south of the Sorrento pier. In calmer shallow water, use 2.0-2.5 size jigs. Further south 3.0-3.5 size jigs are preferred to contend with the depths and the current. As always, remember to observe the 10 fish possession limit.Reads: 521