Snapper reports have been pretty good considering it's late June. The snapper in the bay have fired up somewhat since Melbourne copped some ugly weather a little while back, so if you're a snapper freak then now's just as good a time as any to go out and try pin a good sized fish. The best part is that the snapper action hasn't been too confined to any certain areas of the bay; there have been fish caught from Geelong to Port Melbourne and Brighton to Mount Martha. Customer Vic made use of some ugly weather earlier in the week and perched himself along the rocks down towards Mornington. Vic was targeting snapper and lost a couple of fish, but the fish that he did land was a beast. Fishing with a whole pillie on 60lb leader Vic managed to land a thumping fish of 10.2kg - not bad for landbased in June hey...meanwhile across near Williamstown in only 8m of water customer Reece caught this nice 7kg fish on pilchard while drifting along a small dropoff with flatties in mind. That's the shoreline and city in the background.

Along pretty much every reef patch in the bay the pinkies have been in plague proportions. While there have been heaps of fish to attack a bait, a lot of them have been on the small side. A lot of the fish have been around the 30cm size, with a few bigger models mixed in. Larger baits and bigger hooks are a good idea if you're after a few bigger fish for the table. Soft plastics are a good option when chasing pinkies, and brands like Zman are excellent when the smaller fish are chewing other plastics to bits. If you're lucky you might even get some by-catch like customer Shane did. Shane was fishing out around Mordi with a 4" plastic when he landed a rare catch. This strange fish is an Australian Angel shark, which can reach around 1.5m in length.

For the squidding enthusiasts, the calmer weather we have had has been perfect for hitting some of the piers and rock ledges in search of a few. The southern end of the bay has been the best recently, especially along Mornington, Blairgowrie and Portsea. Staff member Don headed down to Portsea pier during the week and found some nice squid and cuttlefish. Don found that size 3.5 Yakamito's in gold foil were the best on this occasion, with all squid and cuttlefish caught on similar jigs. Customer Ryan has also been catching a few squid from the rocks around Mornington recently. Ryan has had to work hard and hop around in search of a few but he has been getting good numbers in the end. Size 3.0 and 3.5 Gancraft and Yamashita jigs have been the best, with green/gold tones/grass whiting patterns working the best. Most of Ryan's squid have been in the 300g size lately. 

Port Phillip Bay has really hit it's straps over the last few weeks on the snapper front. The temperature of the bay has risen to the hover around the same as bass strait and this is the trigger that really sets the snapper off. Over the last few weeks there have been fish caught all over the bay, from 10m through to 21m. At present the more consistent areas seem to be the 17 - 20m ground out from Mornington - Mordialloc, with the deeper parts out towards P2 in the north of the bay producing fish as well.

Baits of all sorts have been working with scad, whiting, saucy, cuttlefish, gar, salmon, couta, pilchard and squid all producing fish  - but that being said it is very wise to take a selection and definitely make sure there are some pillies and squid in that mix, along with pilchard and squid scented berley pellets. There have been too many fish caught to list each and every one, so from here on we will let the pictures do the talking. 



If you're wanting to catch a snapper in Port Phillip bay, now is pretty much the best time to get out there! In the last couple of weeks the water temperature has risen to around the same temperature as Bass Strait, and that is when the snapper feed a lot more actively. The peak times are still generally the early morning bite, with the first few hours of daylight being the best. However in saying that, with current temperatures the fish are also feeding more throughout the day with midday and afternoon bite windows as well. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been smashing the snapper with customers, with some thumpers coming aboard. James has found fish anywhere from 16 - 22m out from Frankston and Carrum, with big schools of fish out deep. James sent in a pic of his Furuno screen lighting up on a massive school of fish, with hookups of up to 10 fish at a time off schools similar to the one in the photo. If you can find them and present baits to them more than likely they will go off!

Customer Zoran went out off Carrum on the weekend where he fished in 17m of water. Zoran had some prime quality WA pilchards out and by the time the 4th rod was in the water the first one went off. Zoran kept 3 fish in the 3 - 4kg mark for a feed and headed in. Customer Be fished out wide of Black Rock just recently, where he got on the sounder and looked for a few better sized fish than the school fish in close to the reef. Be got out to about 17m of water when he marked a few nice fish, and bagged a good one at around 4kg on fresh squid head. 

Customer Bill had a look around Black Rock last weekend in the 16m area and grabbed two nice fish around the 6kg mark on fresh squid heads. The 15-17m area wide of Black Rock has been consistent over the last week. Customer Mana caught some salmon in close from Oliver's Hill last Saturday and then ventured out around Wooleys' reef in search of a red. After berleying up with cubed pilchards, Mana threw out a few rods with pilchard rigged on 6/0 circles and managed a couple of nice fish.

Compleat Angler Ringwood staff member Steve went out with a mate just recently in Port Phillip looking for a snapper, and out from Black Rock was a good area for them. Fish to 6kg came aboard using pilchard, cuttlefish and squid. Neil from Noble Park Angling Club took his son Nelson out on the bay last weekend to see if he could catch him a snapper. After a bit of cubing, a couple of the rods went off and resulted in Nelson's first snapper at 3kg. The fish were caught out in 17m off Chelsea and took pillies. 

The squid fishing in Port Phillip bay has been good over the last few weeks. Generally good conditions and water clarity has given most anglers some good bags of squid both from many of the piers and also on inshore weedbeds. The southern part of the bay has been excellent for larger models up to 2kg, while from Black Rock down to Mornington there have been plenty in the 400g size range. 

Customer Andrew fished around Mornington Pier during the week to land his bag of squid on small size 2.0 Yamashita jigs. Greens and Oranges were the best performers for him. Staff member Kozi has been getting a few nice squid from the area as well, with pink and also black working well.

Customers Zoran and James fished out from Sorrento chasing some snapper baits over the weekend where they caught some quality squid. The guys moved around a fair bit to get their bag of squid and found natural brown coloured jigs along with blacks were the standouts. 

As snapper season starts to heat up more and more the fish (especially more so in port phillip) will have longer and more frequent bite 'windows' which is good news for all snapper anglers. Most anglers out there will be targeting the reds with bait fishing techniques, but artificial lures also work very well on them when used in the right scenario. You can catch snapper on plastics and other lures in virtually any area that you would normally catch them on bait, the trick is to use the right equipment. The main feature for catching snapper on plastics consistently is having a high quality, light weight graphite rod and compact but powerful reel spooled with quality braid. Snapper will soon find faults in your outfit, so having a very smooth drag along with good quality fluorocarbon leader and quality jigheads is the only way to go. 

Customer Alex has been landing fish to around 4kg on lures while out in his kayak from the northern end of the bay. Alex has also had larger fish on that have rubbed him off and chewed through heavy leader. Recently Alex has had to use 40lb leader to keep hooked fish from hitting structure. Soft plastics have been the order for Alex, with 4'' flickbaits and worm patterns doing well. 

Customer Daniel has also been out during the week chasing the snapper on plastics. Most of the fish Daniel has been catching have been around the Ricketts Point area, with 4'' plastics getting hit more often than larger presentations. 

The last couple of weeks there has been a good run of school sized snapper moving around the bay, which excellent numbers being caught from the shore. Most of the fish have been in the 1 - 3.5kg size, but there have still been a good amount of fish from 5kg + being landed from the piers and rock walls. Most of these spots have fished best during a rough southwesterly wind, which can be uncomfortable and difficult to fish in - but these are the conditions that bring the fish close enough to the shoreline to be caught. These onshore conditions also stir up the bottom which creates food for the hungry fish so it is a good time to target a snapper with your two feet still on land. 

Staff member Kozi has been targeting the snapper from the shore up around the St Kilda/Brighton section of the bay, where he has seen fish to 4kg. Most of the fish have been caught after dark, with a mixture of baits working well. Locally caught squid and also pilchard has been effective, and Kozi has been fishing a simple running rig with 5/0 circle hook with these baits. 

Customer Ahmad has also been fishing from the eastern shoreline of the bay where he has been doing well on snapper up to 5kg. Ahmad has been fishing from both rock walls and piers, mixing it up when the fish move about. Ahmad has found that the most effective baits recently have been pilchard, squid and also harder baits like yakka and salmon. Cocktail baits with yakka or salmon have been good on the larger sized fish, keeping the small pickers away. Customer Jun also caught a very nice snapper from the shore recently. Jun has been fishing from the piers around Mordialloc and he landed a lovely fish at night just recently. Jun caught the one fish on pilchard, estimated at around 6kg. 

Squid fishing around the bay has been good recently for anglers from the shore, kayak, or in the boat. Most of the usual haunts are producing squid, from one side of the bay to the other. There have been some nice squid coming from the top of the bay around Altona and Williamstown, as staff member Ian found out. Ian fished over the weekend with mate Bruce in search of a few squid and possibly a snapper. Ian fished in various locations from Williamstown to Altona and down to St Leonards, with squid coming from all locations. Various jigs worked best, including size 3.0 Gesolas and Yamashita Sutte-R. The most successful depths were around the 4m mark, with the ultra shallow too glassed off during the day. After catching their squid, Ian and Bruce moved out a bit deeper in search of a snapper, but with no avail. They did however land a few good sized flathead and salmon on snatcher style rigs fished with fresh squid. 

Along the southeastern side of the bay, staff member Kozi reports some good numbers of squid coming from Bighton, Beaumaris and Mornington piers. While Brighton can be a bit patchy, darker coloured jigs work well when there hasn't been too much angler traffic along the pier. Staff member Dylan has caught some nice squid to around 1kg from Beaumaris during the week, with dark coloured Yoshikawa jigs in size 3.0 working the best.

Australian salmon have been thick in the bay at the moment, with schools being caught along both east and west sides of the bay. Customer Ryan reports that Beaumaris bay through to Sandringham has been boiling with fish to 2.5kg on some days. While the salmon may not be visible some days, they are more than likely working 'deep' and harassing bait schools that aren't on the surface. Ryan has been out in his kayak and has found a few patches of fish pushing bait towards the surface, where he has been smashing a few with soft plastics. Whitebait imitation soft plastics in the 2 - 4" size have been dynamite, especially in white/pale yellow/pink colours.

Further down along Frankston and Seaford there have also been salmon working along the shoreline. Staff member Kozi has been down on more than one occasion and has done well on fish around 1kg on flickbait style plastics around 3" in length. Days with a strong southwesterly wind have brought the fish right in close to shore.  

It might sound funny that the days are starting to get warmer and, coincidentally so are the snapper reports. The increase in sunshine slowly warms the water temperature, to the point where the snapper will feed for longer. At the moment, the temperature along the eastern side of Port Phillip is hovering around 14.5 - 15C, which is starting to fire the snapper up. The fish will generally go from a very short and fickle early morning bite to hitting the baits with more gusto as the month rolls along. Towards the end of the month we will see more frequency in their bite windows, with morning and afternoon sessions seeing some action. Customers Peter and Matt went out from Frankston earlier in the week in search of a red, and the morning bite saw them land 2 nice fish at 65 and 67cm. The guys were fishing out along the 16m line, and their pilchard and fresh squid head baits both went off at around 7:30am.

Staff member Dylan went out on Friday morning with customer Dave, in search of a couple of reds on the plastics. Laucnhing from Mordialloc, they fished out around Ricketts Point and Beaumaris Bay to land a nice fish of 3.2kg, amongst a heap of smaller fish. Best depths were 6 - 9m of water, with small plastics working much better than large offerings. Zman grubs and jerkbaits in the 2.5 - 4" size have been good, as there are lots of schools of small baitfish around. With lots of small baitfish in the bay, the snapper have been opportunistic - feeding on this bait. Because of this, a lot of school sized fish have very sharp, pointy canine teeth, as you can see in the photo. If you're bait fishing, make sure you beef up your leader to at least 60lb - and 40lb up if using fluorocarbon.  

With some calmer conditions recently, Port Phillip has fished well for squid. The areas from Frankston south have been the best, as the more northeastern sections of inshore reef have been churned up with onshore winds, which has made the water a bit milkier and the fishing a bit tougher. Not to say that the squid aren't there, but the most effective method for the northern section of the bay is to use a baited jig under a float or a bright coloured UV or luminous jig, smothered in scent like Egimax spray. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been out chasing squid on charter with customers, and while the numbers of squid have been hard to pick through, there have still been some quality sized specimens coming aboard. James has been using jigs with strong silhouette or bright cloth colours to get his bags out from Altona and Williamstown. 

Port Phillip bay is starting to produce a few nice snapper. While water temperatures are still down the fish are starting to switch on and give anglers opportunities or bite 'windows' Generally early in the season the most productive time is first light through to about 8am. Getting out earlier rather than later and locating fish, berleying and baiting up is the go as most anglers who locate feeding fish will be back at the ramp by 8:30am. A few nice fish have been taking plastics and lures as well. Customer Luke fished out in the shallows over on the western side of the bay from his kayak recently to land fish to land a nice fish of around 5kg. Luke was fishing a Gulp Jerkshad on a 1/4oz head, in around 7m of water.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been getting a few early season snapper while out on the bay. James hasn't really started full blown snapper trips but he is noticing that they are becoming more and more active every week. James was out with customers early in the week fishing some shallow ground on the eastern side of the bay where he landed a couple of nice fish up to 78cm in length. Pilchards and squid strips have been his favourite baits at the moment.