Fishing Mag Publisher and Southern Fishing Personality.
Kosta has been in the fishing publishing game for a long time and it’s led to him living, working and fishing across the country. These day’s he’s based in Melbourne where his magazine “Hooked Up” is printed and distributed to tackle stores around the country. Summer in Melbourne is all about snapper fishing, so that’s what this episode is focussed on!
Kosta’s Top Tips For Port Phillip Bay Snapper
- October to February is prime time for snapper fishing around Melbourne, but sometimes they start a little earlier or stay a little later. The bay is not the normal home of snapper, although there are a few residential fish. Most of them come into the bay to spawn and feed and don’t live there year round.
- There is not a lot of structure in most of Port Phillip Bay other than the odd inshore reefs. It’s important to use your sonar to find fish because there is no structure to hold them, you need to keep moving until you mark fish.
- Finding your own fish that aren’t anywhere near the heavy boat traffic that’s common during snapper season. The inshore reefs are definitely a good place to start if you’re new to the bay.
- PPB snapper are often quite light biters and you need to be able to strike quickly to set hooks. Often a gentle nibble will turn out to be a sizeable fish.
- A key to fishing any soft plastic lure for snapper in Port Phillip is to keep the jig weight as light as you can get away with. The fish tend to stick pretty close to the bottom, so the lure needs to get right to the bottom. Kosta uses anything from a 1/4oz on the inshore, shallow reefs up to 1oz when he’s fishing in 20m or more of water.
- Side imaging is useful for finding reef edges when you’re fishing inshore but it’s not critical. Kosta switches to 2D once he’s found the reef as it’s easier to see the fish. The idea is to set the boat up to drift along the reef edge so you can cast ahead of the boat and towards the reef and work the lures back through where the fish sit. If you’re not seeing fish on 2D, move on to another spot.
- The fishing conditions are less important when lure fishing than when bait fishing and a bit of cloudiness to the water can help on the shallow reefs. Kosta avoids fishing on Northerly winds, but any other direction fishes fine. Calm days are great, but the fishing can sometimes be really good when the water is rough, provided you have the boat and experience to handle it safely.
- If there’s a congregation of boats fishing for snapper it’s not a bad strategy to go 80-120m down current of the boats because the berley will have washed down and created a congregation of fish. Respect other anglers though and don’t motor through where they’re berleying and fishing.
- First light seems to fish better earl in the season, later in the season the dusk can fish well. A tide change is also a good opportunity, especially when it coincides with low light periods.
Kosta’s Melbourne Egging Tackle
- A 7’ to 7’6” 3-6kg (inshore) or 4-8kg (in deeper water) rod with matching 2500 or 3000 size spin reel, 15lb braided line and 14-16lb fluorocarbon leader is a good setup for PPB snapper.
Kosta’s Top Snapper Lures For Port Phillip Bay
- Berkley Gulp 5” Jerkshads are good for the shallow inshore reefs, while the 7” Jerkshad is great in deeper water. Rigged on 1/6 and up to 1 oz 3/0 and 5/0 hooks for shallow and deep water respectively. Use heavy gauge hooks Cast the lure ahead of the drift, let it sink and then work it back towards the boat with a series of short hops and slow rolls. Nuclear chicken and pearl white colours work best.
- The 3” Paddleshad is a recent addition to the Berkley range and can be rigged on a 2/0 jig head. Kosta has been finding this lure deadly when slow rolled through shallow grounds and likes the black/gold and black/silver sparkle.
- A Keitech Easy Shiner 3.5” or 4” in rigged on similar hooks and fished in the same ways as the Gulp often fish well.