The fishing is definitely improving as the weather and water temperatures start to increase and the days get longer.
Black bream have been taken from the Barham and Aire rivers on scrubworms, prawns and small hardbodied lures cast around submerged snags. Bream to 40cm have been caught and at this size they really test your gear, especially when fishing near structure. These rivers have been fishing best once the water clears after heavy rainfall and while there is still a good flow coming down from the hills.
These conditions are also very good for trout and the fishing has been excellent in the Aire and Ford rivers, with fish taking a liking to Rapala lures cast from the bank. The best fishing has occurred downstream from the Great Ocean Road, although some trout have been caught on lures just above the Great Ocean Road Bridge in the Aire River when the water level has been low. There are plenty of logs in the river here so be prepared to lose a few lures in the snags.
The smaller streams around Apollo Bay, such as the Wild Dog Creek and Grey River, are also producing plenty of feisty little trout. Most have been taken by anglers flyfishing with small nymphs, although bait fishers are still landing their share on worms cast into the rapids and let drift down into the deeper pools.
On the saltwater side of things, species such as King George whiting, snapper, flathead and gummy sharks have moved back along our coast and should hang around well into the New Year. Blanket Bay and Cape Otway are proven areas to dangle a line in 35-40m of water, with both areas producing snapper, gummy shark and some decent flathead to 45cm.
The King George whiting have been found closer to shore in areas such as off Marengo and the Elliot River reefs, with pipis fished on a running sinker rig being the most productive method. Fishing the slack water period at the top of the tide has been producing the hottest bites. Berley made from pilchards, bread and tuna oil will improve your catch rates while fishing for whiting, and will also tempt any silver trevally in the area.
On calm windless nights, schools of yellowtail mackerel have been congregating around the light on the end of the pier and these are easily taken with small pieces of unweighted pilchard for bait, or on tiny soft plastics twitched just below the surface.
October is a great time to target squid in the harbour. They can be taken right throughout the day from the pier or while casting from a boat inside the harbour. I have been having most success by casting my jig over the seagrass beds, as this is where the squid like to hide during daylight hours.
Both the Aire and Barham rivers have been giving up plenty of bream for anglers fishing with worm and prawn baits, or small hardbodied lures such as the Ecogear SX-40.Reads: 843