So the proof is in the pudding, Western Port is the home of big snapper in Victoria.
The past month has certainly seen a very healthy run of reds through the Port. They have been so good, that more snapper over 20lb were recorded in just one week than I have ever heard of.
Both Gawaine Blake and Brendan Wing had a stellar month’s snapper fishing. The boys had a simple plan: fish fresh baits, put in the hours and target big fish.
They certainly put in the hours sussing out where the fish would be and sitting on them until they came on the chew. Their clients were even more pleased with fish between 5kg and 10.35kg.
As well as smaller fish, four mulloway between 8kg and 25kg were taken. Gummy sharks were also caught as a by-catch but most were around the 5kg mark except one nice fish of 14kg.
Meanwhile the rest of the port was also producing some great fish. Paul Worsteling fished with his wife Cristy and son Jet just 4.8m of water west of the Corals in glass calm conditions. They had a cracker day out, landing 10 snapper to 9.16kg. All fish took squid and salmon baits.
The area surrounding the Corals has been the stand out location to catch a good feed of snapper. On numerous occasions, hoards of boats were at anchor right through Rhyll, Observation Point and down towards Silver Leaves. While the fish have been quite spread out, they seem to be concentrated in this area.
While Western Port has been busy during daylight hours, nighttime is no different. Plenty of snapper and the odd elephant fish have been caught by anglers fishing into the dark hours.
Corinella has been fishing well, as Brendan Stokes discovers. Brendan headed out with his family and had a great day on the water. After packing up they tried to get the boat back on the trailer but with a line a mile long, they opted to head back out and wait for everybody to leave. Brendan managed a 9.3kg snapper on a pilchard while he was waiting – a great reward for patience.
Justin, who headed out with his 12 year old son Josh, went on the search and managed to catch and release 12 snapper from 1.5 to 4.1kg, releasing all but 4 fish.
With all this snapper action it wasn’t long before mulloway became a target. Many anglers tend to hang up the snapper rods in December, however the first mulloway report came as a by-catch.
One angler, while fishing for snapper just happened to be in the right spot at the right time. While the exact information is sketchy, the angler managed a 31kg and a 29kg mulloway.
Gawaine Blake and Brendan Wing from Think Big Charters have recently been targeting mulloway.
True to form the boys managed two mulloway weighing 18.5kg and 25kg in one hectic session.
By now you would think that it was just the bottom end of western port that was firing. While that is almost true, some good fish were still taken in the north.
I headed out with Gawaine Blake for an all-nighter in search of a larger model snapper. In excellent conditions we had a great night with three gummy sharks around 5kg and two snapper, one at 5kg and the other 8.5kg.
There is no question about it; this season has been the best and biggest on record for Western Port. A 20 pounder here, a 20 pounder there, a 60pound mulloway here and 30 odd pound mulloway there – how good is that?
In January we should see some awesome King George whiting fishing, where hopefully we see some 1kg models. Best locations to start your search are Cat Bay and Balnarring while Tortoise Head and the Middle Spit will be good locations to get a nice bag.
The snapper will begin to quieten, while the offshore scene will continue to fire with mako and blue sharks, threshers and bronze whalers all being heavily targeted.Reads: 4342