The basics of snapper – Part 1
The Victorian fishing scene comes alive towards the end of September. This is the time of year we anglers look forward too, with warm early mornings, calm waterways and plenty of hungry snapper waiting for a bait tossed into their domain.
Throughout the season, anglers from all levels of experience head out to try their luck. Some have instant success while others plod around, wondering what they are doing so different to others that are successful.
When it comes to selecting good snapper baits, there are plenty that are recommended. The best piece of advice I can give is to take a selection of different baits out with you. You never know which will be favoured on a particular day. Depending on where you are fishing, different baits will work in different areas. Calamari and pilchards are two baits you have to take out on every trip.
Fresh calamari is a killer bait, but not all of us have the time to go bait gathering before searching for a red. This is where bait collection over the winter/spring months pays off. I use this time, like many keen anglers to stock up on calamari for the season.
To keep them as fresh as can be, they are frozen down in sealable bags of saltwater. This prevents freezer burn and keeps them from deteriorating.
Aside from pilchards and calamari, frozen USA boxed squid is a great alternative but have found it to work better with the head removed and a pilchard trunk stuffed into the hood.
If you’re fishing in Western Port, sauries, calamari, pilchards, garfish, barracouta fillet, salmon fillet, mullet fillet, tuna and cured freshwater eel works a treat. The oil content in these baits continually expels in the current, attracting fish to the source. These baits can be fished in numerous ways, whole, as strips, fillets or chunks.
In Port Phillip, pilchards, silver whiting, sauries, garfish and calamari are the most common. Depending on what section you are fishing, these baits are prime in the upper reaches from Mornington to the Yarra. If you’re fishing the southern end, you might want to revert to the baits recommended for Western Port as the tide flow is stronger and you’ll want your bait to sit straight in the current rather than spinning as whole baits do.
SUITABLE RODS AND REELS
When it comes to rods and reels the decision is never ending but I’d look for something up to the task. While a $20 combo will catch a fish or two, I