Snapper, snapper and more snapper!
  |  First Published: December 2008

Both Port Phillip and Western Port are giving us a snapper bonanza this season, with most fish in the 1-3kg bracket. In both bays the annual snapper run was a little slow in starting, but it’s certainly here with a big bang right now.

My last couple of trips has seen me bag out in an hour and a half, so I had to pull up the anchor and leave them biting. I believe in catching your three fish and leaving them for another day because if you start playing catch and release, unless the fish are lip hooked, you kill unwanted fish.

In Port Phillip Bay the 15-16m line from Mt Eliza to Mordialloc has been the hot zone. In Western Port, The Corals, Silverleaves, the deep water off Elizabeth Island and Lysaughts have all been hot spots. There was a report of a 12kg fish taken in Cleelands Bight and a 20kg mulloway in the deep water off Corinella.

Surf Beaches

With all the snapper activity going on, surf rods are in garages gathering dust. Kilcunda, Williamsons and Woolamai beaches are producing salmon in the 500g to 1.5kg range. As soon as we get some settled weather it will be a good time to start chasing the gummies and bigger sambos right on and just after dark, but you need to fish a rising tide to be successful.

San Remo

Outside the entrance there are still reasonable flathead to be had on the drift.

Whalers, makos and thresher sharks are starting to show up and it’s looking to be a good shark season.

The Cleelands Bight area has seen some big snapper taken, along with whiting to 45cm.

Above the bridge, whiting are starting to make an appearance and good catches have been reported behind the police station, off Reef Island, in Coronet Bay and the Tortoise Head Bank. As mentioned earlier, snapper are pretty well everywhere.


Newhaven Jetty is fishing reasonably well, with snapper, trevally, whiting and salmon being caught. San Remo Jetty has seen some big calamari taken on baited jigs and snapper and trevally as well.


There are still some big calamari about and the whiting are just starting to show up. There are always bigger fish in these areas but as yet they are not in the big numbers that you get further up the bay. If you persist, you might get five or six in the 45-50cm bracket: more quality than quantity.


It now looks like South Australian pipis will be available this whiting season but, at $15 per kilo, it’s getting to be expensive bait. I have tried the New Zealand pipis and they work just as well as the Australian ones. Gotcha Baits have ample stocks of these at about half the price of the Australian ones.

A word of warning when buying your pipis, a lot of bait suppliers are selling bagged pipis as large or small and you think that you are paying for 1kg when in fact you are only getting 700g.

Both Western Port and Port Phillip are giving up good numbers of snapper. This one was caught by Frankie Natoli.

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