Bream, whiting and offshore heavies add up to great action
  |  First Published: February 2013

Anglers fishing the back of the golf course, Marengo and the waterfall reefs have caught good numbers of whiting up to 48cm on pipis.

The use of berley made from bread, pellets and tuna oil gets the whiting fired up and will keep them around your boat for a longer period of time. Light lines of 2-3kg and a small running sinker are the best way to rig up for the King George and any soft bait such as pipis, squid or mussels will make excellent bait.

Flathead are being found in abundance right along the coastline with the majority of fish being landed from 40m of water. There have been some big specimens of up to 65cm caught and the good news is that they will eat just about any bait you send to the bottom.

The Cape Otway Lighthouse area continues to produce excellent fishing for both gummy and school sharks. Fishing on the slack water periods of the tide with fresh squid or fish fillets has been very productive. February is known as one of the better months to be targeting gummy and school sharks so the good fishing should continue in the coming weeks. Don’t forget that there is a combined bag limit of two gummies and/or school shark per angler as this can be reached on most occasions.

This area also produces some big snapper and is worth fishing until the tide starts running too hard for your bait to hold the bottom. To target snapper, make sure you are right on the reef edge which is easy to find with the use of a modern depth sounder. Boats fitted with electric anchor winches have an advantage as they can hold themselves right on the mark but drifting over an area and then diving back and retracing your drift is also very effective.

Whole pilchards or fresh squid seem to be the most effective bait on the big snapper and you will also pick up plenty of by-catch species such as morwong, gurnard and flathead. Anglers fishing out wide in 70m plus of water have been seeing plenty of blue sharks and the occasional mako swimming up their berley trails. Fresh arrow squid can be easily caught out in this depth by leaving bait or jigs suspended mid water and these make great bait for the sharks. If the sharks are playing hard to get then downsize your bait and hooks and they should grab it without hesitation. I have found that they sometimes refuse a whole squid but will happily grab a single squid tentacle or even a whole pilchard fished on a small hook and light wire trace.

The river estuaries have been producing plenty of bream on soft plastics and small hardbodied lures fished close to the bank. The Aire River and the Barham River fish best when the mouth of the river has just opened to the sea. As the river level drops the shrimp and small baitfish get flushed out of the grass and back into the main river.

This gives the bream an easy feed along the banks, making it the best place to concentrate your angling efforts. In the past two years February has been sensational for bream fishing in this region so I can’t see why this year should be any different.

Good luck and tight lines.

In the past few years February has produced excellent fishing for bream in the Aire River, and with some good captures being recorded in recent weeks things are shaping up for another bumper month ahead.

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