This spring has been an excellent one for the local freshwater streams around Apollo Bay.
Good flows of clear water have allowed for some excellent trout fishing opportunities right throughout the Otway Ranges. I've had success on many occasions this season and have really enjoyed the favourable river conditions so far this year. November should continue to produce more hot trout action before the summer heat starts to kick in and things slow down.
A whole range of lures will take trout from local waters but I can't go past soft plastics due to their versatility when fishing the ever-changing contours of these small streams. Any 2 or 3” minnow style soft plastic will work and I tend to use either Berkley Power Bait Minnows or Yep! Tassie Tackle Minnows.
After several successful trips in recent weeks my nearly 3 year old daughter now has the trout bug and loves to follow dad along the river helping to wind in the hooked fish. We find it is a great form of exercise and way to spend some family time while still getting the chance to catch a fish. Highly recommended for anyone with young kids that don't mind getting wet and dirty and let’s face it, whose kids don't?
Just like every other port along the Victorian coastline, Apollo Bay is in the middle of a snapper fishing frenzy. It seems that every man and his boat are out there looking for a secret patch of reef that holds a bounty of plentiful snapper. I have already witnessed some fine captures and heard rumours of plenty more and it seems this season that if you put in the time you will be rewarded with a few quality reds.
Fresh baits of squid heads or fish fillets drifted along the reef edges in 40–70m of water have brought some fine specimens of up to 6kg to the surface. Switched on anglers are locating fish on the sounder or by drifting and then deploying the anchor with berley attached.
This helps keep the snapper under the boat and will greatly improve your results especially when the tide is running or wind is blowing. The other advantage of this method is that gummy and school sharks will also respond to the berley and will often take bait that was intended for snapper. Blue and jackass morwong and the occasional nannygai are other welcome by-catch when fishing the deep water reefs off Cape Otway.
Anglers fishing the inshore reefs have reported good numbers of King George whiting and Australian salmon. Marengo, the Waterfall and the Bumbry Reef have all been fishing well on the turn of the tide. If the tides are running then your best bet is to head a little wider and drift for flathead over the sand. The thickest concentrations of flathead seem to be holding from 30-35m of water.
Don't forget that mid-November each year sees the crayfish season open and I for one will be out there trying to dive up a tasty feed of these crimson crustaceans. The rocky coastline from Lorne to Port Campbell is home to good numbers of crays and offers some excellent diving opportunities when the ocean is calm. Remember that there is though bag and size limits and to be extremely careful whilst diving. Always dive with a partner and if the conditions aren’t suitable then give it a miss and wait for another day.Reads: 973