Paul is a tournament bream specialist who won the ABT Grand Final in 2013 with his father. He also won the Victorian Bream Classics Team Series team of the year in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 and represented Australia in Louisiana for the Hobie Fishing Worlds 6 in 2016. A Melbourne resident, when he’s not fishing bream tournaments Paul is exploring previously untapped sport fishing opportunities around his home town – like winter snapper from a yak and luring mulloway, for example.
Paul’s Top Tips For Melbourne Snapper
- Paul finds that UV paints works well on Port Phillip bay Snapper, whether it’s painted on hard bodies, soft plastic tails or jig heads.
- Learning to fish a semi-taut line is a useful skill when fishing for snapper in the Melbourne metro area. Lures are often taken on the drop, but bites are subtle and can be missed if the line is allowed to go slack. Conversely, keeping to tight a line causes the lure to swim unnaturally or be dragged away from the fish holding structure.
- Take the time to figure out how to set your sounder up properly and learn how to use it properly. Being able to reliably locate fish will save a lot of wasted time. Turning the sensitivity up will help identify fish that the auto settings won’t pick up.
- Beginners to this style of fishing often go ill-equipped. Having the right gear for this style of fishing is super important.
- When the fishing is slow, downsize your leaders and cycle through your lures. Think outside the box and try something different until you can entice the fish.
If you’re finding fish but they’re not biting, try moving around, trying different structure, currenty etc until you find active fish.
- In winter Paul focuses on structure such as pylons, boat hulls and morings the top end of the bay, unless there has been a big blow and some heavy rain which can push fish out of rivers and onto the shallow reefs.
- First light and last light are the prime bite times for this species. A rising tide works best, Paul finds low tides to be unproductive. Avoid the couple of days leading up to and away from the full moon, other moon phases are all good.
- Overcast days with a breeze of 10-15km/hr are perfect for Port Phillip Bay snapper fishing. Winds over 25km/hr make life tough from a kayak, but there are still options in parts of the river systems that are sheltered by the CBD skyscrapers.
- Mixing and matching lures even when you’re catching fish will extend the bite period and result in more fish.
Paul’s Snapper tackle Recommendations
- A Millerods 6’9” Beast Buster Rod (3-6kg line class) coupled with a Daiwa 2508 size spin reel spooled with 17-20lb braid and a 14-20lb leader is Paul’s go-to for fishing heavy structure.
- A Millerods 6’7” Bream Buster Brawler (2-5kg line class) paired with a Daiwa 2508 Spin reel spooled with 14-16lb braid and an 8 to 12lb leader is a great all round bream and snapper outfit with.
Pauls Best Snapper Lures For Melbourne Metro Fishing
- 4” Berkley Gulp Turtle Back soft plastic camo coloured curl tail worm is a good choice. Jig heads vary up to ¼ oz, but 1/12 oz is probably the average size of jig head required for Port Phillip Bay, with hook sizes between 1 and 2. The trick is to get a reasonably fast sink rate to get the lure into the zone, but no so much that the action is affected. Cast these tight to structure and allow them to sink to the bottom on a semi-taut line, the impart a couple of short, sharp twitches and allow it to sink again on a semi taut line. From a drifting boat or kayak, cast downwind ahead of the drift. Be alert for “ticks” on the line, and be prepared to set the hooks at any such sign. Snapper are more aggressive than bream, so lures can be worked a little faster than bream fishermen might be used to.
- 65mm Cranka Crabs in olive green are a great snapper lure for the bay. Cast them tight to structure, allow them to sink on a semi-taut line and then work them very slowly across the bottom. Set the hooks by winding into the fish, rather than striking. Paul likes to add Procure Bloody Tuna scent to the crab to increase the appeal.
- The ZMan Slim Swimz in 2.5” size is a small profile paddle tail. Motor oil colour is a good choice for this application.
Lowrance produce top end sounders and fish finders including the 9″ Elite TI that Paul uses on his Kayak when targeting snapper
Millerods is a line of high performance, hand crafted fishing rods from Australia’s master rod builder, Ian “Barra” Miller, including the Beast Master and Bram Brawler range that Paul uses for Port Phillip Snapper.
BerleyPro is a Melbourne-based global success, bringing a world class range of accessories for kayak fishermen, but also for anyone using marine electronics such as sounders and GPS.