A Spectacular Capture Keeps the Blues Away
  |  First Published: October 2011

I'll start this report with news of a spectacular late season capture of a massive bluefin tuna off Apollo Bay.

While most anglers had given up on any fish still being out there after weeks of bad weather, there were a handful of boats out on the day Andrew Mangion from Get Wet Outdoors in Traralgon realised his dream.

Fishing 50km south of Apollo Bay in the Big Reef area, Andrew and crew hooked up around 3pm on a live yakka using 37kg line and running 10kg of drag pressure.

With help from a good crew in Kevin Bahuager and Daniel Kemna the fish was boated in just 45 minutes. After a long drive home Andrew got the fish weighed at Leongatha that night on official scales and the beast came in at 131.5kg. This fish is now a pending state record. Well done to all involved! It also makes me wonder if there are still any tuna hanging around offshore this late in the year?

On a much smaller, but just as tasty, note: schools of King George whiting have returned to our coast. Already large numbers of fish have been taken from the Bunbury Reef edges and the rocks at Marengo.

Casting off the rocks into the sandy channels with pipis for bait has seen some good bags of fish landed with some bigger specimens coming close to 50cm.

Take along some berley to throw into the wash and you could also encounter Australian salmon and silver trevally.

Dean Candy from Ballarat says gummy sharks are biting well off the Lighthouse in 40m of water, with most success coming right on high tide. Dean anchors up and puts down a heavy berley bomb to attract the sharks. This must be a great way to land a few gummies because Dean told me his wife requested he go whiting fishing, as she was sick of eating flake every night.

Squid fishing should fire up again this month with the local boat harbour being a favourite for both land-based and boat fishos. Prawn style jigs in natural colours work well when fished slowly over the sea grass beds at high tide.

Freshwater anglers are having a ball casting soft plastics in the local streams such as the Barham, Wild Dog and Skenes Creek.

The local brown trout population is very healthy and catching 20 or more fish in an outing is common. While they are not big fish, averaging around 300g, they are visually spectacular and the occasional 1kg model will have you coming back for more.

Lower down in the estuary systems bait fishers have reported black bream to 37cm taking scrubworms and prawn baits fished unweighted on the bottom.

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