Melbourne’s anglers are renowned for their snapper fishing from late September until Christmas. However, snapper can still be caught after the festive season until the water temperature reaches around 20 degrees. Some fish tend to linger in the bay after spawning before returning offshore. While the high-water temperature makes them harder to catch during summer, it’s still possible to target them.
Late February/early March marks the beginning of Port Phillip Bay’s second run of snapper, which can extend until early June Winter, depending on weather and water temperature. Snapper prefer water temperatures between 17 and 19 degrees, making autumn an ideal time for catching monster snapper. A useful tip is to fish before and after the full moon of Easter, particularly for land-based fishermen targeting big reds from piers or rocks around Mornington and Mount Martha. After Easter, snapper can appear in shallow waters anywhere across the bay, from Melbourne to its peripheries. It’s a well-kept secret of the bay that shouldn’t be missed.
When it comes to bait choice, the usual baits that are used in snapper season work very well, but using king George whiting heads, freshly caught squid heads, salmon chunks, or silver whiting may land a bigger snapper. As the water temperature cools, switching to softer baits such as pilchard and squid seems to get a better result. Gummy sharks are also great bycatch during autumn and respond best to fresh baits. Using a berley bucket filled with cut-up pilchards and pellets can entice the fish, but be mindful not to use too much berley.
During early autumn, snapper slowly start to leave the bay, and the most productive areas are deep Mornington, Mount Martha, St Leonard’s, and Indented Head. Concentrate on areas between 16 and 24m where fish gather in big schools on the mud just prior to exiting the bay. As the water cools right down, don’t be shy to try those shallow marks where fish seek out warmer water, especially after a blow in the early morning or afternoon. Also keep in mind the bay has resident fish you can target year-round.
if you’re planning on going snapper fishing, having the right gear is crucial to your success. In this article, we’ll discuss the essential snapper gear for bait fishing.
Terminal Tackle For Bait Fishing Snapper
Rod and Reel:
The first thing you need is a rod and reel combo that is suitable for bait fishing. Snappers can be caught with a variety of gear, but a medium-heavy spinning rod paired with a spinning reel is a good choice. Look for a rod that is around 7 to 8 feet long with a fast action, and a reel with a good drag system to help you fight these hard-pulling fish.
Snapper can be found in a range of depths, so your fishing line will depend on where you’re fishing. For shallow water, around 20 to 30-pound test monofilament or braided line is a good choice. For deeper water, you’ll need a heavier line, around 50 to 80-pound test, to handle the weight of the sinker and the snapper. Use a fluorocarbon leader of around 30 to 50-pound test to help prevent snapper from biting through your line.
When fishing for snapper with bait, circle hooks are the most popular choice. These hooks are designed to hook the fish in the corner of the mouth, reducing the chances of gut hooking the fish and increasing its chances of survival if you plan on releasing it. Use hooks between sizes 4/0 and 7/0, depending on the size of the bait you’re using.
You’ll need a weight to get your bait down to the depth where the snapper are feeding. The type and weight of the sinker you’ll need will depend on the conditions you’re fishing in. In calm conditions, a simple Ball sinker will do, but in rough conditions, you may need a heavier sinker, like a pyramid or bank sinker, to keep your bait in place. easy Clips are great.
When it comes to bait, snapper will eat a variety of offerings, including live bait and cut bait. Common live baits include pilchards, Silver whiting, and garfish, while cut baits like squid, fillets, and KGW heads are also effective. Use a bait knife to cut your bait into the appropriate size and shape for the hook you’re using.
In conclusion, snapper fishing with bait requires specific gear to increase your chances of success. A medium-heavy spinning rod and reel, suitable fishing line, circle hooks, weights, and bait are the essential components to your gear setup. Remember to follow local regulations and best practices for catch-and-release fishing to help conserve these valuable fish populations.
Reedy's Rigs Fishing Tackle