Offshore Options Aplenty
  |  First Published: April 2009

The weather is cooling down and the days are getting shorter, but the fishing is heating up around central Bass Strait.

We have had a fine run of weather of late which means we have been able to get out to a few of the deep reefs offshore. The effort has paid off with some fantastic catches of snapper taken from reefs in 60-plus meters of water out from Barwon Heads. Keep a shark rod handy while you are fishing these deep reefs as we have had thresher sharks follow fish up as we have been reeling them in.

The snapper are also on the way back out of our Bays and we have been picking up some nice fish to 2.5kg at the back of the Rip at the end of the ebb tide. Remember that this is a no anchor zone and keep an eye and ear out for the big ships coming in and out while you are fishing. The chances are they won’t see you!

Whiting have been around in good numbers in Nepean Bay and also Lonsdale Bay. Squid is still the stand out bait. Give these spots a shot an hour either side of the change of tide and we have found that you need to move around a bit until you find a patch of fish, but once you are on them, then the fun begins. The whiting have been in good numbers and the fish we have taken on board have been up 46cm long!

The shark fishing is starting to slow down but we have managed to get a couple of makos and blue sharks in 70m of water. If you look hard enough you will still find patches of water around the 18C mark. When you find this warmer water start your berley trails.

Good numbers of calamari have been taken off Bell Reef and around the front of the Pilot Jetty. We have found that the flood tide has been best when the water clears and the squid have a better chance of spotting your jigs. Pink and green jigs are working the best for us. Keep the boat on the drift and once you find the squid as you will cover more area, catch more squid and you can reposition and keep drifting over them.

We have managed to pick up a few yellowtail kingfish from some of the offshore reefs using knife jigs of late. These fish are loads of fun and have been around the 3kg mark. Work those jigs hard and fast for the best results. It’s tough work but well worth the effort when you hook up.

Tiger flathead have been fishing well in 35m of water down towards the east. These fish haven’t been very big but it doesn’t take long to get a good feed of tails. A single strip of squid as bait is the way to get amongst them.

The salmon bust ups have all but stopped which is a bit sad as they are great fun. But we have started trolling for them along the back of the breaking waves along the beaches with good results.

Stay safe and warm and I’ll see you on the water.

If you have any reports or cool pictures you can contact me at --e-mail address hidden--

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