This month, Chappy looks at the southeastern Melbourne Suburb of Carrum. This well-known launch site provides comfortable surrounds for visitors and some top access to Port Phillip Bay.
Carrum boat ramp is located on the banks of the mighty Patterson River. The facilities it has to offer include bait, food, drinks and petrol, which are readily available and this is what appeals to most snapper fishers. With 4 double or triple lane boat ramps and plenty of parking, it is the biggest boat ramp on the bay. While you're there, drop in and have a chat to local legends Trevor and Lynette Hogan who manage the facility. They will be more than happy to help you with just about anything.
The prime time for snapper around here is November and December, but don't discard September and October. The fish this time of year may not be in such big numbers but what they lack in numbers, they definitely make up for in size.
Early morning or late afternoon with a tide change is a key factor and will double your chances of hooking up to a few big reds
A lightweight 4-8kg spin outfit is the perfect match for snapper fishing in Port Phillip Bay. The Shimano IFISH Port Phillip rod married up with a spin reel from 4000-6000 size, spooled with 15lb mono is ideal for bait fishing. If you prefer to cast soft plastics then a 3000 size spin reel with a 3-6kg graphite rod is the go-to combo spooled with 10lb braid.
A running sinker rig is the most commonly used way to catch snapper in the bay. A small no. 1 ball sinker running down to a twin hook rig of 5/0 hooks works well. A good abrasive resistant leader like Instinct 40lb Supple will help stop fish bite offs and rubbing you off around structure, but still supple and soft enough for tying up rigs.
It always pays to take a variety of baits out because one day they will hit one bait then the next it will be something totally different. Pilchards, silver whiting, yellowtail scad and squid are all up there as go-to snapper baits.
For the lure brigade it is hard to go past the squidgy range of soft plastics with 110mm and 145mm flick baits in pillie and evil minnow all taking their fair share of fish throughout the season.
A quality sounder like any of the new Lowrance units is essential and is your best friend when it comes to snapper fishing. Have a plan in mind as to what depth of water you want to start fishing. If fish are being caught along the 16m line then head straight out until you hit that depth and sound along that line until you find fish. You don't want to throw the anchor out and hope the fish come to you. You want to go find the fish and start fishing once they are located.
Always check the weather reports before going out. Port Phillip Bay can be a very dangerous place when the weather turns sour, so take care. It can really chop up so if you do get stuck out there when it’s ugly, always attack the waves on a 45° angle, don't go over the waves head on as the nose of your boat can go under and take in a lot of water.
Berley is the difference between an average trip and an awesome trip, but don't overdo it. A little berley often, is better than a lot of burley less. Snapper are grazing fish and a little burley often will keep the fish around wanting more food, rather than filling up on lots and not wanting to eat at all. Remember this tip and watch your snapper fishing results skyrocket.Reads: 1978