Fishing keeps improving as gummies reign supreme
  |  First Published: December 2012

The fishing is improving as the weather keeps warming up with snapper and gummy sharks being the targeted species.

Snapper to over 5kg have been taken from wide of Cape Otway in 40-70m of water. Drifting to locate the fish seems to be the preferred methods so make sure you have the sounder and GPS switched on to locate any marks when a fish is sighted or caught. The use of a sea anchor will also help slow down your drift if the wind is blowing or the tide is against the wind making it so much easier to keep a bait down on the bottom.

This same area is also producing plenty of gummies and a few big school sharks. Anchoring up with berley tied to the anchor chain has been bringing these tasty sharks around. Try to fish either side of the tide change so the current is not too strong and resort back to drifting for snapper once the tide starts moving to fast. A light wire trace will stop you from being bitten off by the school sharks and doesn't seem to put off the gummies, in fact I have even caught snapper using a wire trace in recent weeks. 

December will see the flathead stocks increase out of sight and these can be easily caught from 30-45m of water over a sand bottom. King George whiting are being taken from the inshore reefs around Blanket Bay and Marengo and should only get thicker in numbers as the summer heats up. Squid are the other big attraction at this time of year and are a real winner for anyone fishing of the local pier. Just watch the crowds between Christmas and New Year, early morning and late afternoon will produce the best captures of calamari.

Although the weather and water are warming up it's still not too late to target the trout from the local streams but as the river levels drop it is a good idea to change your tactics from lures to dry flies. Dry flies such as Red Tag, Royal Wulff and Klinkhammers are proven fish takers in this region but the fish are far from fussy and will take a wide variety if presented correctly.

Try to avoid the midday sun and fish early morning or late afternoon to improve your chances. The estuary systems of the Barham and Aire Rivers are producing good numbers of bream on prawn and worm baits along with small metal vibe lures. Fishing the incoming tide when the river mouth is open to the sea has been the most productive time to land a few fish.

Small boats can be launched in the Aire River and this will help you navigate the river to find where the bream are feeding. As you travel up the river keeps an eye on the sounder for fish holding close to the bottom, if you locate a school tie off to the bank and throw in a bait or toss around a vibe style lure.

Using a vibe is simple and very effective, first let it sink to the bottom then give it a couple of quick hops before letting it rest on the bottom again for a few seconds then keep repeating this process. There are many different brands on the market and they all work but try to go for a small 35mm size if you can find one, bream love them!

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