Winter and summer rolled into one
  |  First Published: April 2008

April is one of the best months to fish around Apollo Bay, as both summer and winter species grace our shores at this time of year.

April marks the start of the annual salmon run, which should continue right through the winter. Beach fishers have reported better captures recently, but the big fish still haven’t arrived in large numbers as yet.

Boats can target the salmon schools with trolled or cast lures, and this can make for some very exciting fishing. I prefer to pull up alongside the salmon school and cast metal lures just ahead of the feeding fish. Don't drive your boat through the middle of the school, or get too close to them, as they will dive deep and stop feeding. If there are other boats in the area, keep your distance and work together, leapfrogging each other to get ahead of the moving school.

The estuaries of the Barham and Aire rivers have been fishing very well for black bream. Cast lures fished with a stop-start retrieve have been very successful when fished around structure such as fallen tree branches or bridge pylons. The best fishing has occurred just after the rivers break out to sea and all the food is flushed out from the riverbanks. With the colder months approaching and more rain likely, this should occur more frequently.

Fishing the sand flats at these river mouths has also been productive. Soft plastic sandworms twitched along the bottom on a size 6, 1.5g jig-head should catch you a few fish.

Bait fishers are having good success using spider crabs and shrimp baits fished on the bottom. The King George whiting are still around in good numbers on the inshore reefs, with the golf course and Marengo being the hotspots. Use pipis for bait and concentrate your efforts along the edges of the reef and sand. Small amounts of berley help to keep the fish around, and will also attract any trevally that might be in the area. Some of the King George whiting have been thumpers, with fish up to 50cm on offer.

Shark fishers have been hooking plenty of mako sharks out in 75m of water. This season we have seen many more makos then normal, which I believe this is due to the high water temperatures we have experienced, which have been up to 20oC. Lots of berley is the key to attracting them, and a squid head is good bait. Use a heavy wire trace of 300lb, as there have been a few reports of anglers having their traces bitten through. Squid can be caught on location, as there has been huge numbers of arrow squid out in the deep water. Prawn style jigs will work, but a baited jig is much more productive for these big aggressive squid.

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