Offshore fishing hits a peak
  |  First Published: December 2011

The offshore scene is going off in a big way at present with plenty of summer species making their presence felt.

From 20-30m of water, gummy and school sharks are falling to bottom bouncers as well as good snapper averaging between 1.5-3kg are falling to baits such as whole baby squid. The odd sand flathead to 1.5kg are also being landed along with some solid King George whiting.

While bag limits are rarely being filled, the whiting are coming on board well over 40cm.

Concentrating efforts adjacent to weed beds, reefs, in fact any structure such as drop offs could bring on some serious action. Using berley is an absolute must as basically most of the ocean is a desert and the fish often need to be enticed to come visit ‘your area’.

Don’t forget that the ‘toothies’ are also about: 30-40m depth with plenty of berley going over the back of the boat can often bring and enquiry or two from mako, seven-gill and thresher sharks. Fishing a large bait in the berley trail under a balloon is the proven method.

Estuary Action

The Curdies River at Peterborough has been consistent for solid bream with fish measuring up to 43cm. The number one bait has been local ‘greyback’ minnow, which have entered the system in recent times to spawn. Otherwise a variety of lures such as blades and plastics have also accounted for many fish.

The lower reaches of the river are still the prime areas to wet a line but the bream have spread out and even upstream from the Curdievale boat ramp should not be left out of the equation.

The Gellibrand River at Princetown has bream to 36cm and plenty of estuary perch to 32cm. The bream can be found from down near the mouth opposite the camp ground upstream to where the river narrows near the ‘Kangaroobie’ canoe launch site.

The perch are mainly active from the mouth of the Latrobe Creek, which is just next to the bridge downstream to the mouth.

The bream are taking shrimp, scrub worm, spider crab and local live bait while estuary perch love any surface or sub surface lure fished fast.

Although anglers do catch their share of fish at times during the day, this system actually fishes extremely well at night for both species. Just don’t forget the mosquito repellent!

Last but not least, I’d like to wish all readers a safe, happy Christmas and a prosperous 2012. I hope Santa leaves some fishing tackle under the tree for you all and please stay safe on the water.

A solid Curdies River bream taken by the author on a deep diving hardbodied lure.

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