Well, it has certainly been a big week for Victorian anglers this week. The kick off began last weekend with the annual Tea Tree snapper fishing competition. Each November, the Tea Tree Snapper Competition which is held by the Snapper Point angling club is to commemorate the annual run of snapper into both Western Port and Port Phillip Bay and this year was just as productive as past years. Just thirty anglers down on last year, some 1971 anglers and 218 junior anglers flocked to the water ways all in search of the biggest snapper that could be caught between 5am Friday and Saturday with the official weigh in at 3pm Saturday afternoon at the Mornington Racecourse.
Open section winners Vic Way, David Steen and Rob Zenz
It was good to see so many anglers enjoying the fruits of good weather with many staying out over night to hopefully catch the winning fish.
I also joined in the fun but rather than compete because I still had to work during the day, headed out on the Thursday night with a few mates.
We found the fishing a little tough. A high barometer with run out tide was in our favour but with the past few weeks of continuous rain kept the water temperature hovering around 14 degrees which is less than optimum to get the fish feeding. At around 3am and two hours into the run out tide we had the majority of our fish, two gummy sharks around 5 kilos and five snapper to 4 kilos.
Other anglers experienced much the same action as us but it was local anglers T-Dog (Travis) and Stinger (David) that found the beast they longed for and took out heaviest fish for the comp. Their prized snapper pulled the scales to 10.26kg’s. The second heaviest fish was a 9.43kg and caught by Vic Way and third heaviest was a 9.28 caught by Rob Zenz.
For the juniors section the heaviest fish was caught by Sofia Howard with an 8.25kg model, followed by Harry Dettmann with a 7.75kg fish and third went to Derbincat with a 6.64kg snapper.
Random prizes went to Justin Seabrook who won the major prize of a Quintrex 4.81 metre FISHABOUT with a Quintrex trailer, fitted with a 60hp four stroke motor with power tilt and trim. The boat comes complete with painted hull, anchor well, fold down seats, rear folding lounge, folding drink holders, Ace All Covers Canopy, Lowrance depth sounder, navigation lights, registration and safety gear.
Second Random capture Prize went to Mile Gorgioski – A 3.7 metre Quintrex Dart and Dunbier trailer fitted with a 15hp Suzuki two stroke motor, complete with registration and safety gear from JV Marine World.
And Third Random Capture Prize went to Lee Lansdown who won a Quintrex 4.0 metre Dart and Dunbier trailer with a 30hp Suzuki two stroke motor complete with a bimini from Ace all covers.
In total, 1856 snapper were weighed in of which 758 came from Westernport.
Following that was the Melbourne Cup which with the glorious calm weather, saw hundreds of anglers head back out in search of more reds. The season has been a little slower to start this year mainly do to the slow increase in water temperature. Still though, each day is busier than burke street and once that water temp increases it will be on for young and old.
This week, while everyone is going snapper crazy, I took to the garage on one occasion and decided to dissect a relatively new lure into the market place. Lure manufacturer, Zerek have produced their newest soft plastics, the 6' Cherabin. With the already successful Shrimp, the Cherabin is a lure that is bound to be deadly.
Fisheries Victoria have already been finding anglers doing the wrong thing when it comes to fishing for snapper just three weeks into the season.
Recreational anglers are being reminded to obey bag and size limits for snapper following the seizure of another boat on Port Phillip Bay by Fisheries Officers this week. Fisheries Victoria Acting Education and Enforcement Director Ian Parks said Fisheries Officers had already seized two boats on Port Phillip Bay as a result of anglers exceeding the bag limit just three weeks into the snapper season.
'In the latest case, Fisheries Officers allegedly found 17 snapper aboard a boat this morning at St. Kilda,' Mr Parks said.
'When the Officers inspected the boat, the two men on board presented six snapper over 40cm in length, which represented the maximum legal catch.
'But a subsequent search allegedly revealed a further 11 snapper over 40cm in length concealed in a compartment of the boat.'
The two men had their boat and fishing equipment seized and will be charged on summons with exceeding the bag limit for snapper.
The daily bag limit for snapper over 40cm in length is three fish per person.
Also, the Abalone season is now open. The Department of Environment and Primary Industries has announced the 61 days on which recreational fishers can take abalone from central Victorian waters during the 2013-14 season.
Fisheries Victoria Executive Director Ross McGowan said the number of open days had been increased from 60 to 61 to ensure a continuous recreational open season which included all public holidays.
The 61 nominated days for central Victorian waters for 2013-14 are:
16-17 November 2013
23-24 November 2013
30 November – 1 December 2013
7-8 December 2013
14-15 December 2013
21-22 December 2013
25 December 2013 – 5 January 2014
11-12 January 2014
18-19 January 2014
25-27 January 2014
1-2 February 2014
8-9 February 2014
15-16 February 2014
22-23 February 2014
1-2 March 2014
8-10 March 2014
15-16 March 2014
22-23 March 2014
29-30 March 2014
5-6 April 2014
12-13 April 2014
18-21 April 2014
25-27 April 2014
Recreational abalone fishing regulations can be viewed at DEPI Official Website
Until next week,