Catching and Cooking Snapper in Queenscliff

22nd February 2016

Beacon team-member, Lorraine, provides her thoughts on snapper fishing in the Queenscliff region and how to make a delicious snapper Thai red curry fish cake mix from your catch. 

The annual snapper migration to Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay begins in spring time (usually between late September and mid-October), with the peak catch period falling between November and December.

If you are trying to catch a snapper from Queenscliff, I recommend using a 6kg spinning reel with a 5-10kg line. Your best bet is to use fresh bait of silver whiting or pilchards. You can purchase these from the BP Springs Convenience Store, just around the corner from us at Beacon or Dive Victoria at the Queenscliff Harbour.

Once you've got your catch, you wll be looking for lunch. When cooking lunch, I look for quick and tasty items that keep well in a sealed plastic container, which is why I recommend these Thai fish cakes. They are a favourite and are so versatile: serve hot or cold, dipped in sweet chilli sauce.

If you’re out on the boat and need a more substantial meal, pre-steam rice and store it in a thermos-type container, as the meal will still be warm hours later.

The key to this recipe is in the preparation. Take the time to prepare small patties and place them in a plastic container in the freezer or fridge, with baking paper in between. This allows you to take out what you need for the trip as required. Enjoy!


Snapper Thai Red Curry Fish Cake Mix (GF)

1.5kg fresh firm fish fillets 
1 dozen frozen beans finely chopped
2 x tbs Red Curry paste (Buy GF)
3 x spring onions finely chopped
1 egg
2tbs x Grape seed Oil
1x 250ml sweet chili sauce


Cut fish fillets into very, very small pieces.  Mix together mashing together with your fingers to soften and blend the fish into a rough paste with curry paste, beans, onions and egg into a stainless bowl. Heat pan on the stove or a gasmate BBQ if you are camping on a medium heat.  Oil pan or plate place a desert spoon size flattened patties and turn once.