The Barwon River in Geelong was still running discoloured in late October but the big European carp were starting to move with anglers catching fish up to 5kg on corn and earthworms.
Redfin are starting to pick up with the stretch in between Fyansford and Shannon Avenue bridge the best for fish up to 600g on both live minnow and minnow imitation lures.
Quality snapper have dominated boat ramp chat with fish either side of 5kg available inside Corio Bay with dawn or dusk on a run-out tide the peak of the bite. Soft plastic enthusiasts have caught fish drifting and casting minnow profile lures and larger worm patterns. Most soft plastic anglers have caught fish but there are a few tiddlers to get through before you latch onto a decent fish.
Snapper around 1-3kg are a real option if you concentrate your efforts in 3m of water during low light and as the sun comes up; head out to around 5-7m of water. Some quality rock flathead to 50cm have also been taken by anglers fishing with soft plastics for snapper.
Not a bad by catch as these fish are excellent eating. The odd Australian salmon schools are poking about the Corio Bay inner harbour. They are not breaking the surface in a feeding frenzy all that often so best bet is to troll around with surface lures until a school is located, then cast lures into the pack and hold on.
Larger snapper are now moving in and around Clifton Springs en-masse. Getting them to bite can be a little tricky and often it is just a matter of the tide changing to galvanise them into action. Not all fish have been caught on the shipping channel. Anglers should check out the ground they are driving over to get to the channel as some quality fish have come from the shallows immediately before the channel after dark.
Anglers fishing Portarlington have also done very well on large snapper with some lucky anglers bagging fish over 8kg. Biggest fish have been caught by bait anglers fishing after dark with fresh pilchards, squid, cuttlefish and silver whiting. Anglers drifting couple of 100m northeast of Steeles Rocks have caught a few quality flathead using pilchard tails and whitebait. There aren’t too many over 40cm, but they make up for it in numbers and make for a great feed.
Closer in to Grassy Point there has been a few schools of calamari squid kicking about and the deeper holes here have yielded some silver trevally which is great news for kayakers as it is relatively close to land and they make a great soft plastic target.
Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says the local flathead fishing has been quite good with boats at anchor sending out berley doing the best. Rod says anglers should try anywhere from the Prince George Light to the St Leonards Pier with deeper water the best.
Rod also notes the St Leonards Pier has been fishing well for snapper late evening and after dark with the best fish he has seen pulling the scales down to 6kg! Not a bad effort fishing from a pier!
Rod says that the whiting fishing has been tough around St Leonards with lots of small bait stealing fish but thing should pick up again once the water warms up.
Anglers fishing out off Barwon Heads have been enjoying a good run of tiger flathead in between 30-50m of water. Some of these fish have been up to 2kg in weight and are some of the best eating flathead available. The heavy reef areas from Point Lonsdale to Torquay have provided some good snapper fishing with fish from legal length to 4kg biting on cuttlefish and pilchards.
Cumberland River is fishing well for small brown trout. These fish are not so big and max out around 30cm but they sure are exciting in that shallow water. They will take all manner of dry flies and lures on a good day and are very feisty. The rock platforms along the Great Ocean Road are well worth a look this time of year as Australian salmon cruising up and down the coast will come in very close searching for baitfish. Most of the time they are in the top third of the water column so casting lures through this area can be very rewarding.
This is also the time to start targeting big Surf Coast whiting form the rocks. Pick a day of low swell and try casting to sandy patches around dawn or dusk. Pilchard filets, fresh squid and pipis are prime bait. Be prepared to catch plenty of parrot fish and leatherjacket before you bag one of these big fish but they are well worth it sometimes exceeding 50cm.
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).Reads: 1103