Victoria’s annual run of the Mighty Red is one of the Peninsula’s biggest highlights for local anglers. From October until early next year, thousands of Reds will migrate and grace us in their quest to feed and spawn.
And while catching Snapper can seem like a fickle undertaking, they are inherently food driven, inquisitive, and responsive to weather patterns, making it feasible to track and harness their whereabouts.
We’ve compiled a few memory joggers to help you get the most out of this year’s Snapper season:
Keep A Diary
While the best time to land Snapper is typically during tide change, dusk or dawn, keeping a diary can provide insight into their variable behavioural patterns, particularly as the season progresses and feeding interest levels fluctuate from area to area. Tracking patterns surrounding weather activity, bait success, and tide and moon phase, will give you a better indicator of their likely movements.
Quality, Fresh Bait Is Paramount
Remember, Reds are drawn to quality bait such as pilchards, squid or garfish. The fresher the better – and of course, match your bait with your hook size. Some anglers have had success with hooking both squid and a small piece of pilchard simultaneously, and those looking to catch larger Snapper target them with fish heads.
Drop Multiple Lines In
Drop in up to four lines per angler. Invest in some 3000/5000 size reels and 5-8kg rod combos. You should be able to pick up pre-made rigs to simply clip onto your line.
Get A Grasp Of Sounders
A cluster of boats in the one spot doesn’t necessarily indicate success. Boats can sit there for hours without a bite under the chain reaction derived assumption that there must be a feeding school nearby. Investing in a decent sounder – and understanding how it works – is the best point of call. In short, your best bet is to find your own Snapper rather than follow the crowds.
Drive Feeding With Berley
Snapper are opportunistic feeders and behave according to their moods. Experienced anglers will know that a decent berley trail, or pilchard cubes thrown out by the handful, will increase your chances of drawing a school in. A moderate current will help with dispersing and if you keep noise to a minimum you can usually land them fairly close to the trail.
Where In The Peninsula?
Snapper disperses as the season progresses and can be found anywhere across Port Phillip Bay, Portsea to Sorrento, Rosebud, Capel Sound, Shark Hole-Blairgowrie, Pinnacle Channel, Morrisons Fault Line, Ansetts, Perseverance Wreck, Mornington Pier and Western Port Bay.