Quality snapper have once again made an appearance in the waters off the South West.
Anglers fishing 30-40m of water off Warrnambool and Port Fairy have been taking fish around 2-4kg with a few bigger fish thrown in.
Anthony Ljubic encountered one of these fish when he landed a fantastic 80cm, 7kg snapper recently. Not to be outdone, his daughter Eliza caught a massive cray on her snapper line but did the responsible thing and released her catch as it was still closed season on the crays.
Come December though, the cray season will be in full swing and divers, snorkellers and hoop netters will be out in force on flat days targeting the succulent southwest crays.
The bigger snapper will be more elusive during December with swarms of pinkies that invade the inshore areas making up most of the snapper catches.
Making the decision whether to line fish for snapper or hoop net crays is often a difficult decision, particularly when flat days were few and far between. By the time you anchored up, got your rods in, maybe berleyed a little often it was then time to go check the hoop nets again. However now using soft plastic techniques in between pulls of the nets is a far more efficient way of putting a mixed bag of snapper and crays in the boat.
Two other fine culinary delights in calamari squid and King George whiting are also prevalent during the month of December around the inshore reefs.
The Killarney area is already producing some good captures of King George whiting in the 40-45cm range.
Careful anchoring here is essential not just for safety in heavy swell but to also avoid the plagues of wrasse.
Drifting or using an electric outboard around the shallow bay areas in calm, clear conditions sight casting to squid is a great way to get a quality feed but great fun too.
December is often a great month to target estuary species before the holiday crowds really come out in force. Warmer conditions often see shallow water and surface techniques providing some spectacular luring action.
Big bream hooked in shallow water at this time of year really know how to make a drag wail.
The newly formed South West Sports Fishing Club held its first competition recently on the Hopkins River. A three fish bag could be made up of a mix of bream and perch.
The winning bag by boaters were Stewart McKinnon with a bag of 3/3 weighing 2.260kg.
Heaviest fish was a bream of 1.475kg taken by Carl Dougherty.Reads: 2323