Snapper anglers hit the traditional big time amid the chill of winter

Brian Long
CONDITIONS in the past week returned mixed results in both salt and freshwater.
Winter’s traditional big snapper catches have resumed, although most of the best results have been in the cold hours after dark.
Jacob Knowles landed his bag limit catch from the inner-harbour twice during the week on pilchards while fishing close to Rippleside Jetty.
Dan Fernley also had success, landing a quality snapper of 8.2kg on the Stingaree Bay spoilgrounds on Monday night along with another fish of 3kg.
Boat anglers who worked between Cunningham Pier and the ruins of the Yarra Street Pier caught fish mostly between 900g and 3kg.
This area has also produced salmon, some pushing 2kg, on bait and soft plastics.
Steve Dmytrenko had success with soft plastics along the Geelong waterfront, taking small snapper, salmon and bream. Steve managed a nice snapper of around 2kg fishing on first light this week.
Fisherman’s Pier produced a couple of quality snapper to bait anglers, the best nearly 3kg. This area will be worth fishing early this weekend for a few hours on the high tide running off despite the cold.
St Helens rewarded a couple of hardy anglers with nice snapper. Pilchard and squid are are working here, with first light the most productive time.
Paul Barnett fished the North Shore rocks where salmon were thick, taking his soft plastics as soon as the lure hit the water. Paul also caught a nice snapper of 1.2kg while using Gulp three-inch minnows in the Mouldy Cheese colour.
Peter Noble fished a few hundred metres off Bird Rock to find whiting on the boil. Peter landed his bag limit in just two hours, with all fish between 30cm and 33cm.
Even anglers fishing the outer-harbour found snapper. John Uwland landed a cracker of a fish off Clifton Springs close to the channel on pilchard early in the morning.
Henry Hyland also boated a nice snapper of 4.5kg along with a few small fish while anchored up close to Point Wilson Spit.
Squid are generally still in good numbers all the way along the south shore, with ever more anglers walking the shore casting jigs over the shallow grass beds for top results, particularly between the Clifton Springs and Hermsley.
Swan Bay again produced small gummy shark from the jetty after dark. Soft plastics anglers fishing the bay also caught silver trevally to 900g on worm-pattern lures.
Queenscliff cut was the best area for trevally, particularly on Turtleback worms on a 3.5g jig heads. Two hours either side of high tide has been best, while bait anglers need to fish close to the time of slack water with pilchard fillets and berley.
Salmon have appeared in the Barwon River but well upstream. By all reports, the best numbers have been caught between Lake Connewarre and the break but a canoe or very small boat is required to access this area.
Large surf again frustrated surf anglers in the past week, with sandy, discoloured water in close limiting caputres.
When the water cleared salmon were in good numbers at all the major beaches, so anglers should keep an eye on this fishery in coming weeks.
In freshwater, the western district lakes have been clearly the best option.
Lake Purrumbete produced fish for both bait and lure anglers. Trolling with Tassie Devils, especially in the gold wing colours, produced good results on both brown and rainbow trout.
Mudeye fished close in to the weed beds was ideal, producing browns close to 3kg.
Lake Bullen Merri was the best bet for land-based anglers using Powerbait fished on a running rig just close to shore. Trolling with Tassie Devils was also working well, with the rainbow trout close to 2kg at present.
Tuna continued running anywhere from Apollo Bay to Portland, with Port Fairy a clear favorite.
Fish to well over 10kg were again caught. This fishery should continue for another month or so if the conditions allow.
Most fish are between 10kg and 30kg, which is ideal for most anglers to catch for the table.
Steve Reed and mates Trent Leen and Travis Tournier have been typical of anglers fishing Port Fairy, loading up all the light spin rods on their last outing as they moved into 180m of water. A pass over the same grounds produced a similar result a short time later.
Send reports and photos to or visit Brian at Ray Long’s Fishing World, 105 Shannon Avenue, Manifold Heights.

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