Snapper Fishing in Port Phillip Bay & Western Port
Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Melbourne, located in Victoria, Australia, are renowned destinations for snapper fishing. These bays offer anglers an unparalleled experience. Today we'll cover the thrill of snapper fishing, the prime fishing times, key locations, and the best rod, reel, and bait options for a successful catch.
Snapper is a highly sought-after fish prized for its size, strength, and delicious flavor. With its pinkish hue, sharp teeth, and dorsal spines, the snapper can reach impressive lengths and weigh over 10 kilograms. Known for their cunning nature, snapper provide an exciting challenge for all anglers.
Snapper fishing is best during their migration season from spring to autumn, typically between October and April. During this time, as the water warms up, snapper move closer to the coast in search of food and breeding grounds. Anglers flock to Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Melbourne to capitalize on the abundance of snapper once the water temp starts to rise above the ocean temp.
Fishing can be successful either from land or from boat, some of the largest fish have been caught off the jetty's, particularly following rough weather.
The Mornington Peninsula in Port Phillip Bay is a favorite among anglers. Areas such as Mount Martha, Sorrento, and Rye offer productive reefs and drop-offs where snapper often congregate. Outer bay reefs, including Ansetts, Popes Eye, and the spoil grounds near the bay entrance, are also known hotspots.
Western Port Melbourne, east of Port Phillip Bay, also offers fantastic snapper fishing opportunities. Coastal towns like Stony Point, Hastings, and Warneet serve as popular starting points. The extensive network of channels, deep holes, and weed beds within Western Port provides a diverse habitat for snapper, with Corinella and Elizabeth Island being prime locations. However when fishing Western Port, you need to consider the strength of the current and the fluctuations of tides as this will impact your fishing experience. If you time it right, some of Victoria's best snapper fishing can be found in WP.
When targeting snapper, it is recommended to use a medium to heavy spinning rod with a sensitive tip for detecting bites. Match the rod with a reel capable of handling larger fish and providing a smooth drag system. Popular reel choices include spinning reels in the 4000 to 6000 size range with a high line capacity.
For bait fishing, fresh options like locally caught pilchards, squid, or silver whiting work well. Baits can be presented using a running sinker rig, paternoster rig, or a snapper-specific rig like a Snapper Snatch or Flasher Rig. Soft plastic lures in natural colors, jigging spoons, and metal jigs are also effective alternatives.
When fishing either bay it's important to dress well. Melbourne weather can be unpredictable and you can often layer up for winter at first light to then only wearing summer clothing by midday. Always prepare for the worst and consider your FYNX fishing clothing to help you, the Black Hoodie and Beanie is a good combination to keep warm and a White Fishing Shirt underneath so when the sun comes out, you can reduce your layers while keeping the UV rays at bay. You can also try a FYNX cap for later in the day when it's too warm to wear the thick beanie.
Snapper fishing in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Melbourne offers anglers a thrilling and rewarding experience. With their stunning coastlines, abundant fish population, and suitable fishing gear options, these bays are true paradises for fishing enthusiasts. Prepare your rods, reels, and baits, venture out to these breathtaking locations, and embark on an unforgettable snapper fishing adventure.