Port Phillip Bay Snapper How To catch a Melbourne Snapper Video

Melbourne snapper turn up in Port Phillip Bay to spawn and 2019 seasons will be no different. On this page I’ll be talking about fishing from a boat, but if your a land-based fisherman you may learn something.  I have included some video’s from rig tying, to me fishing out on Port Phillip Bay.  I’ve tried to include the most important information that you would want to know when your starting out. I’ll admit I’m not the best writer, but I’m a real fisherman.

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Fishing Port Phillip Bay in November. How to video

There are many way’s to catch a snapper, this is simply how I do it.

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December January February can be productive for reds. Below towards the bottom of the page is a map where I like to fish in these months.

Rods, Reel & Tackle: A rod of 6/8 kg with a 4000 size reel can easily get the job done, but if you’re inexperienced maybe use an 8/10 kg rod with a 6000 reel. Both combinations will stop any snapper the bay has to offer.  I’m not going to get into too much depth about brands and best rods and reel combo’s because I fish a fairly cheap set up. All I will say though is you should at least get a reel with a half decent drag system on it.  I use a Shimano Sienna 4000 spooled with mono 17/lb on a Sonic Pro 6/8 kg stick which is reasonably cheap.  A bait runner is a popular reel combo on a fiberglass rod, but that’s really entirely up to you and your budget.

Fishing shallow an after a big blow. 

Video here i catch snapper after a blow

Fishing Bait i use mono Line from 15lb to 20lb. Lure Fishing Braid is my Choice.

Snapper bait or which lure should I fish in Port Phillip bay?

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How you bait your Pilchards Half Hitch on the End to secure your bait.

I would suggest fishing your maximum of 4 rods in Victoria. I would recommend having 3 rigged with snelled hooks and the other with a Reedy’s Rigs. This is my main set up when I’m fishing out wide on the mud and sand. When I’m fishing in shallow water on a reef ground, I may use 2 of each rig style.
For bait I prefer to use Sandy’s silver whiting and Gotcha Supa pilchard. If you have fresh bait, by all means, use that. I find a salmon head or fresh garfish works extremely well. Try not to worry too much about your bait in snapper season as I have found snapper aren’t fussy, especially during the spawning and migration period. As for lure’s it’s my opinion that only experienced fishermen should use them. I believe that using a lure is not a more productive way to catch a red, its simply another method to use when your sick of catching them on bait and you feel you want to challenge yourself.

Once you have your tackle and bait ready the next thing to master is timing. I find the first run of snapper in Port Phillip bay is just before early September or late August around the full moon. Snapper uses the big spring tides around the full moon to migrate into the bay and over the next two moon’s leading up to November. This will continue every month through late August to early November. School by school they move in and around PPB, eventually peaking early November or late October depending on the moon. Then the spawning process starts, this is when you begin to find “Christmas Tree’s” on your sounder (school’s of snapper spawning that looks like a Xmas tree image’s below), which will continue up till around Christmas, then the majority of the fish will leave the bay. Some reds will stay and exit closer to Easter when the water temperature starts to cool down. So basically its the same every year that the reds will be scattered around the bay until late October / start of November before they start to school up for the spawning process. I find from Mordialloc to Carrum are the great place’s to fish in November, then towards Frankston/Mornington in early December.
Around the early (Sep to Mid October) season they can generally turn up anywhere, but I prefer to fish up north towards Melbourne and Altona.

Early / Late Season Snapper  

Once you have your tackle and bait ready the next thing to master is timing. I find the first run of Snapper in Port Phillip bay is just before early September or late August around the Full Moon. Reds use the big spring tides around the Full Moon to migrate into the Bay and over the next two Moon’s leading up to November. This will continue every month through late August to early November. School by School they move in and around PPB, eventually peaking early November or late October depending on the Moon. Then the spawning process starts. This is when you begin to find “Christmas Tree’s” on your Sounder (school’s of Snapper spawning that look like a Xmas tree image’s below), which will continue up till around Christmas, then the majority of the fish will leave the bay. Some Reds will stay and exit closer to Easter when the water temperature starts to cool down. So basically its the same every year that the Reds will be scattered around the bay until late October / start of November before they start to school up for the spawning process. I find from Mordialloc to Carrum are the great place’s to fish in November, then towards Frankston/Mornington in early December.
Around the early (Sep to Mid October) Season they can generally turn up anywhere, but I prefer to fish up North towards Melbourne and Altona.
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Early Season Snapper Port Phillip Bay A video Catching September Reds 

Early season is from end of August( around the full moon) to mid-October map below.
Below is 91cm snapper I caught at the start of September on 4/0, 5/0 snelled hooks. I have caught literally Hundreds of big snapper on 4/0 Snelled Hooks.


Image of some early season spots in close 5-7 meters up near Melbourne looks for reef edges.
View Map Early Season Fishing Spots Bigger Click Here

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To tie fishing rigs with snelled hooks perfectly for Port Phillip Bay.  I have made a simple video to show you guys how I tie a snapper rig easy and I guarantee it will fish excellent in Melbourne. Knowing which rig is best & when to fish it can be somewhat tricky.  Over the years fishing, Port Phillip Bay is generally considered to use a snelled twin hooks to rig a full pilchard bait.  The other rig

 

 

 

 

 

Snell Hook Rig I Fishing In Port Phillip Bay Snapper  How To Tie it Video.

Snelling Hooks to Make An Awesome Fishing Rig for Melbourne Bay ‘s Snapper, Hook size i use is 4/0 for snell rig & 5/0 or 6/0 on the Reedy’s Rigs Ultra Rigs the Choice is up to yours

Sounding up Snapper in Melbourne Port Phillip bay.  A few tips to get you fishing.

Below are some images taken on my Lowrance Hds & Ellie Chirp sounder, the setting I use is auto & simply adjust the sensitivity up & down depending on the return & clarity of the water. When I am moving faster than a slow trolling speed I turn the sensitivity up, just so there’s a little clutter on the screen. When I find the fish on my sounder  I mark the GPS spot & I like to put the sensitivity back to -4 and re-sound over the fish to confirm what I have found. At night turn the sensitivity right back. I can’t cover using sonar in depth here though I would prefer to make a video on sounding. Stay tuned.

Reds generally display fairly large on your sounder, pinkies will look the same but smaller.*Spawning Snapper will stack up and look like a Xmas tree, like in the images on my sounder, the Xmas tree itself will wide say 2-3 meters and as high, smaller trees are pinkies blobs are bait.*Last but not least believe in what you’re trying to do, as modern technology progresses its still the same way in fishing, the best way to catch a snapper still hasn’t been found yet, so keep trying new things and techniques. You will become a better fisherman for it, cheers and good luck this season.

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Burley: Making it Yourself Easy Fishing Hack

A simple video on how I make cheap burley can be found on my YouTube channel, hopefully, one day a tackle company can make 20kg bags then I would support their products because the size of the smaller quantity bags & buckets doesn’t cover my usage. I lower my pot to the bottom of PPb in combination with throwing cut up pilchards up current (towards the front of the boat when anchored).

* Be on the water at the right time – Sunset & Sunrise are fantastic, but in the season the fish will bite any time of day its generally just a matter of finding them so don’t just give it up .
* Move/Try somewhere new if your not catching after 15-30 minutes – this is when an electric anchor winch really comes in handy.
* After rough weather try fishing in shallow, on the edge of a reef – Mordialloc and Ricketts Point are great Area’s. Please Note After Xmas I fish deep
* Always use Burly Except when reef fishing – I made a video on how to make your own Burley Below
* In Port Phillip bay there are many Scallop Beds that hold fish.  observe your Anchor when it comes up, in the past, I have found scallop shells in the clumps of mud on the Anchor.  A Sure way to know your in a good spot, Mark it on your GPS. You can also see them on your Sounder.
*When sounding for Snapper, a little faster than trolling pace is the best put the sensitivity up a little think it as a volume knob to give you more power. but don’t over it .
* When there is wind against the current/tide you can bridle your boat if its not rough weather, or do what I do and change the rigs to 2 flasher rigs and 2 Snell rigs

*Always check your drag setting’s, before casting your spread of rods, I set mine to under 1kg of pressure maybe 3/4 of kg , in recent times I prefer lighter drags & going easy on the fish ..
*Don’t confuse bait on the sounder with snapper. there is bait everywhere out there Pilchards & Scad try catching the Scad on a Sabaiki jig & using them for fresh bait.

* In mid-December go South, look for scattered arches not so much the Xmas tree’s on the sounder.  As the Reds will be Heading back out to sea, intercept them .. Symonds Channel, Mt Martha, Intended Heads are key spots around January & February.

December Jan & February march Snapper Area’s I Like To Fishing in Port Phillip Bay Late Season

In December around Xmas 2/3rds of the Snapper will start to filter out the Bay (according to Fishery’s Charts). If your looking for a Christmas Snapper for the dinner table or are on holiday’s over at Rosebud Caravan Parks, below are some great areas to fish. My favorite spot this time of year is just on the drop off out the front of Symonds Channel as you see in the image below, Just click on it to enlarge the Map. I don’t sound the fish up here, I simply set up, and wait for them to come thru its normally a pretty good area to fish this time of year. You will come across Gummy Sharks and Big Flathead and Whiting. There are a few extra bits of tackle you need in this part of the Bay, the current starts to run, so it’s important to upgrade your sinkers (lead) and Leaders to at least 60lb. I prefer 80lb in this area just because there’s Gummies & other sharks ..

Winter Snapper Fishing Port Phillip Bay 

Over winter the fishing will be tough but not hard, I normally fish calm days with a high barometer. Local reef’s like Carrum Outer and the Airplane are the common reef’s where I  fish over winter, some day’s you won’t get a bite, maybe 1 in 3 trips will produce a decent size Red. but still, there is no guarantee. Try fishing the shallow reef’s, they will produce Pinky Snapper all year.

December Jan & February March April Snapper Area’s I Like To Fishing in Port Phillip Bay Late Season

In December Around Xmas 2/3 Of the Snapper will start to filter out the Bay (according to Fishery’s Charts). If you looking for a Christmas Snapper For the Dinner table Or are on Holiday’s Over at rosebud, Caravan Parks, below are some great area’s to fish. My Favorite Spot this time of year is just on the drop off out the front of Symonds Channel as you See in the Image Below, Just click on it to enlarge Map.  , I don’t sound the fish up here, i simply Set up, and wait for them to come thru, its normally a pretty good area to fish this time of year. you will come Across Gummy Sharks and Big Flathead, whiting There is a Few extra’s bits of tackle you need. In this Part of the Bay, The Current Starts to run. So it’s important to upgrade your Sinkers (lead) and Leaders to atleast 40lb, i Perfer 80lb in this area just because, gummys & other sharks ..

Big January to June Snapper In Port Phillip Bay

General tips to help you catch a Port Phillip Bay snapper

Catch a fish :
* Be on the water at the right time – Sunset & sunrise are fantastic, but in the season the fish will bite anytime of day its generally just a matter of finding them so don’t just give up .
* Move/try somewhere new if your not catching after 15-30 minutes – this is when an electric anchor winch really comes in handy.
* After rough weather try fishing in shallow, on the edge of a reef – Mordialloc and Ricketts Point are great area’s.
* Always use burley – I made a video on how to make your own burley Below
* In Port Phillip bay there are many scallop beds that hold fish, observe your anchor when it comes up , in the past, I have found scallop shells in the clumps of mud on the anchor, a sure way to know yours in a good spot. Mark it on your GPS you can also see them on your sounder.
*When sounding for snapper a little faster than trolling pace is the best, put the sensitivity up a little think it as a volume knob to give you more power, but don’t overdo it .
* When there is wind against the current/tide you can bridle your boat if its not too rough, or do what I do and change the rigs to 2 flasher rigs and 2 snelled rigs

Click On Map To Enlarge 

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 December Reds At Frankston  / Mornington

You will Still catch reds  Leaving the Bay. Around the Start of December i Like to fish frankston / Mornington Mt Martha they all can be productive. though Summer tho it gets harder to catch a red the later into summer.  But with a decent effort you still Catch them. but Saying all this just make the effort and go South Mt Martha as i said above.

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12 thoughts on “Port Phillip Bay Snapper How To catch a Melbourne Snapper Video

  1. Matt Lawry says:

    Hey reedy,
    Love your work mate, awesome stuff. Hopefully get a crack at some early season ones soon.
    Noticed youve got a furuno sounder which is what I’ve got. Not much chop at using it though.
    What settings do you run on it?
    Cheers

  2. Snapper Fishing Tackle says:

    Thanks mate appreciate it . to be honest mate i dont use it a great deal & definitely not the person to be give you the best settings. the times i have used its been in auto, i have been able to find snapper , i do struggle with the small screen size as you would know its very small. but i know it’s a good sounder , im just not that experienced with it .. sorry i couldn’t help more , cheers and best of luck for the season.

  3. daniel pratt says:

    What settings do you use on your sounder I have a Lorance elite 7x hdi and em having trouble setting it up any tip would be great.

  4. Jono says:

    Cheers for the tips, keen to give them a crack this will be my third season of going for a big red, so far have only managed pinkys the biggest ones only being around 30cm. Have been hooked on what has felt like two big reds before but lost them out of impatience and excitement.

    • Snapper Fishing Tackle says:

      some would already be here mate . and they keep coming up until start of November .. you see alot of catches around ether side of the next moon , oct 6 , they will also be scatted around the bay until start november .. then usually up near ricketts to carrum is the place to be .. cant wait to get out and have a crack .. best of luck cheers

  5. Russell says:

    G’day Reedy,
    First of I love your work.
    I have only just got a boat, and been out a few times but only get flatties.
    I’m told that Pinkies should be my target this time of year.
    Any tips on Pinkies near Port Melb/ Williamston area,
    thanks your page helps newbies like me out heaps.
    Rusty

    • Snapper Fishing Tackle says:

      just look for shallow reef , area’s fish sunrise & sun set & tide changes , there is few reef’s up that way that hold pinkys , i like altona reef just around the conner .. or ricketts ponit if you can get down that far .. just use pillys or squid chunks , small baits for pinkys , here is a image with a bit detail

      Pinkys Year Round Reef Of Altona

      Cheers Russell & Good Luck

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