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Red hot reddies
  |  First Published: October 2012



The Barwon in Geelong is as high and as fast as I’ve seen it in a long while. It’s so dirty, local farmers are growing spuds in it! I’d be hoping things clear up a bit mid to late October as the lure fishing for reddies can be red hot this time of year.

A little out of town, Wurdi Buloc Reservoir near Moriac had been fishing very well for redfin and trout, but the water was quite dirty due to the heavy August rains in the Otways.

Anglers fishing the rock walls and southern shore had enjoyed captures of redfin to 1.8kg and trout to 2.2kg casting lures. One of the most popular lures is the Pegron minnow in tiger colours. I’m not sure if it is just because almost every lure that hits the water there is one of these or they do work exceptionally well. I’ve still caught a few good fish there using other minnow styled lures, so just pack a wide range of lures if you don’t have one.

Corio Bay

It’s been a heck of a cold winter so we’re owed a decent snapper season! Inside Corio Bay takes a little longer to get the really big snapper but stick to your guns and keep concentrating your efforts first and last light in water under 5m and deeper for daylight hours.

The last lot of cold months have been okay for snapper inside Corio Bay. They only really tapered to near nothing late August, but it seemed there was always some keen anglers catching a snapper above 4kg somewhere in Corio Bay.

Australian salmon have been spotted cruising in schools on calm days. Every now and then they tear into a school of hapless baitfish on the surface and this sure makes for some exciting lure casting.

Salmon to 1.2kg have been caught by anglers trolling lures and casting to schools around Point Henry, Bird Rock and the Geelong waterfront. They are a little harder to spot along the waterfront as they seem a little less likely to smash into baitfish here.

Clifton Springs and Portarlington

This is where all the October action is for snapper anglers. Boat ramps are full at 5am, October is to snapper anglers what a 4kg packet of unguarded snags is to a Labrador!

It’s been a long cold winter so expect water temperatures to remain low until late October. Traditionally, the snapper arrive en masse around mid-October but expect them in dribs and drabs from late September. Top possies to try include ‘The Turn’ (a buoy marking the kink in the shipping channel off Curlewis), Clifton Springs near the shipping channel, the Portarlington Pier after dark (take a squid jig and check under the lights for cheeky cephalopods), Steele’s Rocks east of the Portarlington Pier and northwest of the channel at Portarlington.

St Leonards to Queenscliff

The Bellarine Peninsula has had a great cold water whiting season with the fish biting with reasonable consistency and size right throughout winter. August and early September saw them taper off a bit and the size dropped below 40cm.

Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says that the weather had been so rough that not too many boats had been out. Rod said that there were schools of small whiting at St Leonards over August and into September but you had to move around a lot to find any above 32cm. He said they were biting best when the tide was at its fastest on the incoming and outgoing tide.

Inside Queenscliff Boat harbour has been a little bit hit and miss for silver trevally but there has been the odd calamari in the protected waters of the boat moorings.

There are some great deep water reef areas straight out off Queenscliff that offer some top class snapper and gummy shark fishing in October. Sound around for 7-10m of water with reef nearby and you’ll be in with a good shot.

Barwon Heads and Surf Coast

Surf Coast anglers often get first bite at the snapper cherry as they come along the coast and into Port Phillip Bay.

Late September and early October can be the best months to target big snapper off the Surf Coast. Try anchoring in water close to reef in 15-20m of water and see if you can time an outgoing tide to coincide with dawn or dusk.

School and gummy sharks also make an appearance along the Surf Coast this time of year so packing some light wire will make sure you stay connected to the local ‘schoolies’.

Surf anglers have had a good season chasing Australian salmon with Thirteenth Beach, Jan Juc Beach and Fairhaven all producing early morning and late afternoon. Whitebait have been the standout bait, followed by pilchards and raw chicken. Anglers casting small baitfish style lures into the nearby wash have done very well on fish either side of one kilogram.

The Barwon estuary has been fairly dirty with all the rain over the last month or two. The incoming tide sees a bit of clear water head upstream and this brings with it hungry Australian salmon and the odd silver trevally. Try casting lures from the Ozone and Fishermans Jetty and in between on the incoming tide for salmon.

• Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to --e-mail address hidden-- (note the new email) with “VFM” in the subject field or give me a call on 0408 997348. Please include where (without giving away your secret spot!), when, what on and who caught the fish. Pictures are always great, but please make sure they are at least 1mb (file size).

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