Thumbs Up for the snapper
  |  First Published: October 2009

After some of the best spring rainfalls we have seen for several years another bumper snapper season is unfolding in Port Phillip.

Mordialloc to Black Rock

During the atrocious weather recently anglers fishing from Mordialloc Pier caught some great early season snapper to 4kg along with some decent salmon, not to mention the thousands of smaller salmon that were holding up under the pier: plenty of squid and garfish are also on offer.

Further out from shore the boat reports steadily are coming in from areas such as the Parkdale Pinnacles, the yellow buoy in 16m and various other areas such as the Hump – the following weeks will produce plenty of fish in these areas and many others in between Mordialloc and Beaumaris.

Beaumaris Pier has been consistent with squid; in fact the pier looks like it has been shot with a paintball gun! While many jigs have been popular, there have been a few standouts with the 2.0 Yamashita in red colours and the Harimitsu 2.5 in EWC and EMR colours.

Up towards Ricketts Point the snapper have been making their presence felt as they have moved into the reef edges to feed, while numbers of fish are in the usual areas of the Gasso and down towards the Fawkner Beacon.

At and around Black Rock itself there have been excellent numbers of snapper, with the pier and the rock wall around the car park at Half Moon Bay producing several snapper to over 5kg when the winds have blown hard out of the southwest.

Out in the boats the snapper have been coming from a range of depths, with the 16-18m line being exceptional, especially on baits of silver whiting and garfish.

Sandringham To Port Melbourne

The breakwall at Sandringham and the rock groynes in front of Hampton have produced some lovely land-based snapper throughout October, and will be well worth a look during any strong winds that may come through during this month. Out wider the Yorkies reef system and the Anonyma Shoal have produced the odd whiting and snook for those who can tear themselves away from the snapper.

Out on the edge of the channel and towards the Fawkner Beacon snapper have been plentiful over the past weeks and this month should see large schools of fish on offer out there.

Brighton Breakwall is always a great spot to target land based snapper, with some good fish being taken here through September and October, along with squid and garfish which have been around all winter.

Out in the boats there have been some very good snapper taken close to shore on the reef areas at night and during rough weather. Out deeper, anglers working the 14-16m line towards St Kilda have found plenty of snapper between 2-4.5kg, with some much bigger fish among them. Most of the bigger snapper are falling to larger baits of squid or whiting heads and one of the most popular South Australian baits – the Tommy ruff which are now available from tackle stores that sell Gotcha bait.

After the good rainfall we received that turned the top of the bay brown in October everything is looking perfect for this month, which should see some top fishing in very shallow water (3-6m) off Elwood and St Kilda for big snapper during the middle of the night. It’s exciting fishing and the snapper are generally big, so if you don’t mind a lack of sleep and can fish quietly the results are there.

Yarra and Maribyrnong

Bream, salmon, mullet, pinkies and even a few mulloway are on offer in the rivers at present. The rain has given the systems a flush out that will provide excellent fishing throughout the summer months.

Upstream in the Nong the bream fishing has been exceptional with some big bream taken above the racecourse on baits of freshwater yabbies, scrub worms and peeled prawn.

While the lower reaches of the river have provided a few sneaky reports of mulloway being hooked and either lost or landed, these fish are no doubt sitting down lower in the Maribyrnong gorging on the baitfish as they are pushed downstream with the freshwater.

In the Yarra the bream have been found higher in the system but should start to move back to the lower parts over the coming weeks.

For the lure angler it’s well worth checking out the new bream lures called Cranka Vibe, designed and distributed by gun Tassie bream angler Steve Steer. These small bibless rattlers are already proving deadly on the Yarra River bream as they work on the same principles as a standard vibe or blade but being fatter in the body they sink slower and having rattles certainly helps the fish to find them in low light or dirty water.

Williamstown to Werribee

The rock walls around Williamstown have provided excellent land based options over the past weeks for pinkie snapper, no doubt from the dirty water offering cover to the fish as they sneak into shallow water to feed.

Up at Altona there are plenty of snapper to be found with some great fishing at night in locations such as the stick out from the boat ramp and up behind the footy oval.

Many of the better snapper taken over the past weeks in the shallows have been on soft plastic lures, so if you have a few baits out, why not throw a plastic around while you wait, you could be surprised.

Out deeper P2, the Dumper and similar locations will be well and truly on fire over the coming weeks.

In the Werribee River the bream fishing has been great through October with the pines producing good bags of fish on soft baits of peeled prawn, scrub worms and softshell.

Out in the bay the deeper marks have plenty of snapper on offer, but a good option at present is to head to the shallow weed beds before heading out in search of the snapper to get a few squid in the tank. They are still in great numbers and as any angler will tell you fresh squid live or dead is hard to beat at any time.

If you have any reports, pictures or questions send them to --e-mail address hidden--

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