Port Phillip remains the number 1 choice for many anglers when it comes to catching snapper. It can be less daunting for anglers who haven't done as much snapper fishing as others, but can also get quite rough when strong winds rip up. This week we have had plenty of strong winds and rainfall which has kept all but the keenest anglers off the water, but it has really knocked the snapper bite up another gear.


Early in the week as the Southwesterly blow backed off the fish bit very well, with good numbers moving about and right up into the shallower murky water to feed. Customer Phil made the most of the bite and scored fish around the 6kg mark fishing out from Chelsea. Baits of squid and silver whiting were the most effective for him. Customer Bashir has also been capitalizing on the good bite since the rain with fish to 5kg coming from 13m of water out from Black Rock. Pilchard and gars have been the best baits for him.


Customer Dominic and mate Gary fished out wide from Mt Martha over early during the week to land some nice fish. The largest fish weighed just over 8.5kg and took silver whiting. The hard baits have been a definite preference for the snapper over the last few weeks, with silver whiting deadly. Other hard baits worth fishing have been small salmon or yakkas, with the pickers normally leaving these alone. Customer Sylvio fished out from Black Rock using silver whiting and pilchard over the weekend and reports fish to 5kg biting well around the 12m area.


Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished Port Phillip recently and most anglers reported snapper back at the weigh in. The largest fish weighed around 4.5kg, with plenty more caught between the 1-4kg mark.


While the snapper are the main focus at the moment, there have been some nice King George Whiting caught around the southern end of the bay. Customer Michael fished around Tootgarook with mate Dominic and some nice solid were caught. Fishing around 6m of water was best, as the pinkies would take over in the deeper water. Pipi and fresh squid was also very successful, with the squid giving some substance to the bait when the pinkies were hassling eh whiting off the baits. The whiting should only improve from now on, with the Mt Martha-Rye-Blairgowrie region a good place to focus on.

 


The run of snapper continues to fire for anglers with reports coming from both bays and Welshpool too. The hot fishing should continue for the next month or so before the fish slow up a bit. Customer Donna landed a lovely fish of 7.1kg out from Sandringham over the weekend. Donna was fishing in 14m of water and using fresh squid for bait.


Staff member Chris got out during the week and had a fish around Mt Eliza in 16m of water. Chris marked good numbers of fish on the mud and set baits out. Silver whiting was the go, with multiple hook ups and nothing going on pilchard. Chris landed fish to 4.8kg on the whiting.

Young gun Frankie landed a lovely conditioned 4kg out from Chelsea in 10m of water while on the drift. Freshly filleted flathead was the bait of choice, and a good option as this area holds lots of smaller prey sized flathead.  


Out from Black Rock the snapper have been pretty good. Customer Jason fished out in 15m looking for a early morning bite. The most productive bite time was daybreak with 8 fish coming aboard and taking a mixture of pilchard and silver whiting. In the same area customer Paul threw a few plastics about and scored a good bag of fish from 1.4kg to 5.5kg. The most effective soft plastic size were 4 inch, which matches most of the snappers' forage food.


Out in Westernport customer Bill has been catching fish to around the 5kg mark over the weekend. Bill has been fishing the North Arm around Lysaughts and has been using a variety of baits. Bill has found that the smaller fish have been picking pillies, while the better fish have taken a liking to strips of fresh couta.


Further up the port past Joe's Island customer Chris and mate Ben have been landing snapper to 7kg. Fishing the start of the run in tide has been the most productive for them, with the snapper biting early in the tide. Nearing the top of the tide was a bit slow for them, but some smaller table size gummies made up for it and were a welcome addition to the bag.


Down at Welshpool the snapper have slowly started firing. Customer Justin caught some nice fish to 8kg. Justing was fishing the Singapore Deep area and found that pilchard and squid were the two most effective baits.

 


Port Phillip's snapper bite has picked up over the last few weeks, and even moreso this week. The fish have been more active and bites have been occurring around first light and also in the afternoon. The northern section of the bay has been more productive with Patto - north the real better section. Customer Harry and mate Stephen fished around the reef off Black Rock in 7m during the week to land a couple of nice table fish on silver whiting. Silver whiting has picked up dramatically over the last week as a bait also.


Customer Sam got out on Thursday morning and scored a nice fish in 15m off Frankston in flat conditions. The Frankston - Seaford area has been holding smaller patches of fish but certainly not as much boat traffic as further north around Black Rock. Customer Danny has been bagging fish to 3.7kg off Black Rock himself with both pilchard and garfish working well.


Staff members George and Chris fished out from Black Rock on Sunday afternoon. With sloppy southwest conditions and a late tide change the fish were going to bite. The guys found some small reef ledges in 13m that were holding fish nearby so started berleying. After about 15 minutes a few rods went off and the guys had a decent bite for about 2 hours, with 8 fish to around 4kg coming aboard. The smaller fish were around 40cm but still happy to nail a whole silver whiting on tandem 5/0 and 6/0's.


Out from Carrum on the mud there have been fish to be caught. With a lot more moving about to find active fish and a bit of intuition as to which direction to head in, there hasn't been as many boats. The areas that seem to be holding numbers of fish seem to be around the 15m line from Carrum, 13m off Seaford and again 15m out from Mordialloc. Customer Zoran got out with his Dad a couple of times over the weekend and scored some nice fish to 4kg out in 15m from Carrum. Silver whiting and pilchard worked equally on these fish.


There have still been some quality squid on offer in the bay, especially from Frankston south. Around Mornington there have been some better than average squid about, so upsizing to bigger jigs is a very good idea. Around Sorrento and Portsea the large squid have been about, with slack water producing more for anglers the shallower water. Across at Queenscliff the big squid have still be about, as staff member George found out. George fished with mate of the store Bruce and AFL footballer Bachar Houli. The boys fished just outside Queenscliff harbour over the grass beds in 3m of water to land over 20 big squid. Hayabusa and Shimano jigs were the best performers of the session.


After cleaning up on the squid the guys targeted whiting just north of Queenscliff. Fishing the tide around last light in 3 - 6m of water some nice whiting were caught on pipi and fresh squid. With the bite a bit slower than normal changing to lighter leader and smaller hooks converted a few extra fish.

 


Things have heated up in Port Phillip over the past week or so, with snapper reports increasing each weekend. There have been a few hot areas, with schools of fish moving about - but a constant eye on your fishfinder and keeping in touch with the reports two helpful pointers to score you some fish. Customer Steve bagged a nice fish just under 4kg out from Black Rock over the weekend. Steve was fishing in 15m and using silver whiting.


The Black Rock area has been a good place to start, with good numbers of fish moving out wide from the area. The 10 - 14m area has been holding good schools of fish to 5kg, as James from Unreel Fishing Charters has found out. James has been finding good patches of fish along this area, with many on the chew. Silver whiting and squid have been the most successful baits.


From the top end of the bay there have been patches of fish caught, with customer Phil one such lucky angler. Phil was fishing out from Altona in 10m of water when he landed a nice fish of 5kg. The most successful bait salmon fillet. Customer Bashir also fished the top end of the bay around Brighton to land fish to around 5kg. Fishing the shallow reef filled area, Bashir landed some nice conditioned fish on freshly caught garfish.


Out from Mordialloc, customers Kristian and Milos caught some nice solid fish to 6kg. Fishing in 12m of water the guys marked some nice fish after a strong onshore blow. Again fresh garfish were successful and the fish were on to them straight away.


South around Mornington there have still been patches of fish holding out wide. The 18-20m area has been the 'go-to' region with some solid fish to 6kg coming from the schools. Customers Mick and Jason fished the area over the weekend to land a couple of nice fish on pilchard. Young Jack from Mornington also fished out in 19m back towards 'Ansetts' to land a couple of nice fish also. Silver whiting and pilchard were the best baits on Sunday morning.

 


With some warm weather present over the past week, things have heated up on the snapper front. Both bays are producing quality fish with 4-5kg common. Another 3 weeks or so and things should be almost red hot, but there are fish out there ready to catch now! Bill from Mornington got out and scored a nice 4kg fish in 18m on pilly. The Mornington area has been well worth a shot especially out in the 18-22m area.


Customer Mana scored a ripper fish at 7.8kg out from Mornington also in 21m towards the channel. Mana caught the fish on pilchard and had to bring the fish via handlining method as the braid-spooled reel knocked into freespool and caused a massive knot which meant the fish had to be retrieved old school style!


Out in Westernport the fish have been going fairly well, but the hoards of anglers haven't flocked to many areas of the port just yet. The 'top end' is the place to be concentrating - with the area around Joe's Island attracting numbers of anglers and also producing some nice fish. The surrounding channels have been harbouring fish to 8kg, with many around the 5kg mark also. Customers Jason and Brent were fishing the area over the weekend and caught fish around the 5kg mark using freshly caught yakkas.


The deeper water out from Rhyll and Cowes has been holding some nice fish with some good gummies mixed in. Fishing in 18m of water around 'Silverleaves' is a pretty good way to connect to a nice fish at present. Customer Johnny has been landing fish to 6kg from the area on freshly caught squid. Silver whiting can be a good bait option here also and pilchards are just plain silly to forget also!


A bit further around towards Warneet there have also been some nice fish caught. The shoals of Bagge Harbour and Long Reef at Lysaughts have had fish to 8kg popping up, with the shallower areas producing the better fish. Customer Zac has been having fun on fish to 7.5kg out along the area between 8 and 15m. Pilchard, squid and pike have all accounted for fish this week.

 

 


Reports from Port Phillip bay have been a little slow over the last few weeks. Water temperatures in the bay have reached a level where a lot of the snapper will start to spawn, so the bite has slowed down, especially from Carrum north. The better areas of late seem to be around Seaford/Frankston and further south right the way to Mount Martha, where the water temperature is a fraction cooler.

Customer Jason got his bag of snapper during his last trip out off Mt Eliza. Pilchard was the go and the 18m area was the more productive depth.


Peter and Matt McCoy have been out wide from Frankston lately where they have been getting some nice fish. The guys have been putting in the hours but have had fish come through from between 11am and 2pm, so super early starts aren't needed at present. The 18m area out from Frankston was the most productive for them, with silver whiting being the best bait.


James Rogers from Unreel Fishing Charters has found the going tough out in Port Phillip at present, but he has still been getting some nice fish. James has been concentrating out wide from Mt Eliza through to Mornington for the best results, with silver whiting and pilchard doing the job on most fish.

 

Well it's been a fairly slow start to the snapper season in Port Phillip Bay, as most would agree. The fish have been scattered and the bulk of the catches have been coming from the northern end of the bay between Altona deep and Brighton. Over the last week or so the fish have pushed a bit further south and the mud out off Carrum is starting to see a few more reports. As we reach the peak of the warm weather over the next week the reports should get better and better.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been following the fish around a bit and while the top of the bay around P is still producing fish, there are more and more fish between Carrum - Black Rock every day. Most of James' captures over the last few days have been in the Aspendale 14 - 18m area through to 16m off Black Rock. Pilchards are proving ever reliable.


Customer Mark has also been finding the fish out from Carrum. Mark has had fish to 5kg over the past week, with depths of 12 - 18m all holding fish. Some of these groups haven't been feeding but once you find the right patch of fish pretty soon you'll know that they're feeding. Pillies again have been the go-to.

 

 

 

 


As the days slowly start to get longer here in Melbourne the one thing that is on many angler's minds in the crimson tide of snapper that have slowly started to infiltrate the bays. The fish that enter Port Phillip at this stage of the season are generally larger than that of typical school fish which appear a bit later in Spring. These fish are subtle feeders generally, and this coupled with colder water temperatures - especially compared to this time last year, can make them a bit more challenging to catch. At this stage of the season the fish generally don't eat as often compared to when the water is warmer, so that fish you've marked off Frankston might only eat every couple of days. In saying this, there will be another fish close by that will eat sooner - especially if your bait is A1 and you have paid attention to your rigging.  


James from Unreel Fishing Charters and mate Daniel have both been doing some early work out on the bay in search of a few reds and a couple of areas have held feeding fish. The Carrum area has been holding a few fish that have been responding to quality pilchards and also squid.


Customers Zoran and Ned have also been doing some early recon on the Port Phillip reds. The guys have been fishing the Chelsea/Carrum area and so far have found fish to around 4.5kg. Pilchards and squid have been good at the moment.


There have also been plenty of smaller pinkies hovering around many of the inshore reef areas lately as well. While a lot of the fish can be either undersize or smaller than 30cm there have also been pockets of better fish amongst them. The bigger fish tend to move about a bit more and not station themselves in one area of reef, but patrol the edges more frequently - and this is where to look for them. Small cut baits of pilchard and squid are deadly, but soft plastics also claim their fair share of fish. Small minnow patterns have been effective lately, especially when fished on reasonably light jigheads - for pinkies even in relatively deep water 1/4oz is the heaviest you'll need. Arm yourself with some 3'' minnow and curl tail/worm patterns and fish them around reef structure and you'll most likely come into contact with some fish like this.   

 

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. 

 

Most anglers fishing Port Phillip at the moment are seeing red. Pinky snapper are very prolific at the moment and are being caught in just about every corner of the bay. The better areas have been around any reef structure but these fish will also cruise around over sand and mud if the food is there. The hotspots recently have been around Williamstown and Brighton through to Beaumaris Bay, and then again from Frankston through to Mt Martha. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has found the fishing for pinkies excellent over the last month, with some nice fish caught again this week. James is having no troubles finding fish in the 40cm size range for his customers - with the odd fish up around 1.5 - 2.5 kg finding the baits as well. James says that constant moving has been the key to finding active schools of fish, and having a good supply of baits has been helpful as well. Baits of salted pilchard along with squid and cuttlefish have been excellent, especially when fished lightly weighted on 2/0 circle hooks. More often than not they are smashed before they hit the bottom. 

While there have been plenty of smaller fish about, there are also good numbers of better sized 'snapper' between 4 - 7kg that have been roaming about. Not as many anglers have been targeting these fish, but they are around. Mt Martha, Carrum and Williamstown are good areas to search, with baits of pilchard or fresh squid.