Dress for success
  |  First Published: August 2008

With the winter weather blasting us with strong winds and squalls, most people have put the rods away and prefer to watch the footy in favour of getting drenched out on the water. Notice I said ‘most people’, as a few diehard anglers are still getting out amongst it, myself included.

When the winds back off enough to get the boat on the water, gummy sharks have been the main target, along with Australian salmon for those fishing closer to Apollo Bay. The salmon have thinned out a little but there are still enough around to make them a worthy target.

Trolling metal lures along Wild Dog Beach and up to the waterfall has been productive. The salmon are ranging from 500g to 2kg, with the occasional bigger specimen also attacking the lures.

Large schools of barracouta are also present off Skenes Creek in 25m of water, and while some people love them, others absolutely despise their existence. Whichever category you fit into you can either go and get yourself an easy feed, or just avoid the area all together.

Some dedicated baitfishers have been braving the elements to fish off Wild Dog Beach and are being rewarded with salmon captures around nightfall. Remember to take your waders and a warm, windproof jacket, as it can get very cold at this time of year, especially after the sun has gone behind the hills. A paternoster rig with a surf popper on the top hook and bluebait on the bottom has been very effective.

Further down the coast around Cape Otway the gummy sharks have been biting very well on baits of fresh barracouta fillets or squid heads. Fishing in 40m of water requires big heavy sinkers of at least 8oz, and even bigger if the tide is running hard.

I find the gummies bite best around the slack water periods of the tide but you never know when one will turn up. I have caught them at most stages of the tide but slack water is definitely the prime time when fishing deep water. I believe in the theory that if you have a bait in the water you’re in with a chance.

So get up off the couch, pack a radio to listen to the footy, rug up and give the winter species a try around Apollo Bay this year. You just never know your luck.

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