We put our new boat into the salt water for the first time last weekend. We went to Clifton Springs and put in at the boat ramp there. The bay was very calm – probably too calm, in fact.
We were targeting squid/calamari and hoping for some early season pink snapper.
Southern calamari are a year round prospect in Port Phillip Bay and have become a very popular target amongst many fishermen. Calamari inhabit shallow weed beds and reef structure as well as piers that attract baitfish. The popularity of squid fishing has brought about an influx of prawn style imitation jigs in various sizes, colours and weights.
We used a larger pink squid jig, and two smaller shiny white jigs. The pink one caught nothing, but the white jigs were pretty hot. Bag limits can easily be obtained once anglers come across a good patch of squid. We got a few, and thought we’d found a good patch, but then a seal turned up. The seal probably scared everything away, because after that we got nothing more!
We also fished the edge of a drop off, in the hope of getting some snapper, but we must have drifted right onto a patch of flathead, because we were just hauling in flathead after flathead. They were all under sized, but very healthy and hungry!
The deeper regions of Port Phillip Bay are populated with small sand flathead that can be a great nuisance to snapper fisherman. The bigger flathead inhabit the shallows and are more often caught by those target whiting. These bigger flathead are either lingoes or yank flathead. There is another flathead with sharp teeth that is very closely related to the tiger flathead of Bass Strait. These are an agreessive breed of flathead and will take lures freely.
The snapper season generally runs from the end of September through to April, but the best of the season tends to end in mid-November. Snapper tend to concentrate their feeding times around the change of tide, from first light until sunrise, and from sunset until it gets dark. But they do feed during the day and night as well. We look forward to having plenty of footage of snapper fishing for you, and filling our freezer with the meat.