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Spring stream spectacular
  |  First Published: October 2012



Good flows of clear water have flushed out of the Otway Ranges making the local rivers look spectacular.

Trout season got off to a good start in September and continues to keep freshwater anglers happy with plenty of fish taken from the smaller streams, such as Skenes, Smythes and Kennett.

These streams hold large populations of small trout and are well worth casting a few lures in just to pass some time. My go-to lure this season has been a 3" Berkley soft plastic rigged on a 0.9g jighead. I like to cast it upstream and let it float back down with the current employing a few small twitches to tempt the trout. When in the mood the trout have no hesitation in chasing down this lure, which makes for some fantastic sight fishing and surface strikes. Other lures, including a wide variety of small hardbodies, soft plastics and flies, will also catch trout in these small streams.

The larger rivers such as the Aire and Barham hold plenty of small trout in their headwaters, however it's lower down in the system where the big browns hide.

The upper estuary of these two rivers comes to life each spring as the tinny whitebait move out of the ocean and into the rivers to breed. The trout love gorging on this tasty little baitfish each spring with October being the best month for anglers to target the whitebait feeders.

Casting small hardbodied lures close to snags or the bank will bring results, but the best action occurs if a trout can be seen actively chasing the whitebait and sight-casted.

Bream also get in on the action and it is not uncommon to catch both species in the same location while fishing these coastal rivers.

This month should see the ocean fishing improve as species such as King George whiting, snapper, flathead and gummy sharks frequent the coastline again.

The best locations for King George whiting is off the Waterfall or Marengo inshore reefs. Marengo is already producing some good numbers and the fish should only get more concentrated in the coming months. Try casting a pipi into the sandy channels that break up the reef system and, if possible, fish the early morning or late afternoon.

Flathead are being caught in 30-35m of water over any sandy bottom structure. Use a two hook paternoster rig baited with squid or fresh fish fillet.

Drifting is a good way of covering more ground, which will help to find the fish, and once located use your GPS to return to any hot spots.

Gummy sharks and good numbers of snapper are coming from 40m of water off Cape Otway. Fishing the slack water period of the tide is best for gummies, but the snapper will continue to bite right through the tide cycle. Again the key here is to have fresh baits such as fish fillets or squid heads.

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