Calm conditions allow for comfortable and production angling
  |  First Published: April 2013

These past few weeks I have been taking advantage of the calm conditions and spending just as much time under the water as I have on the water.

Snorkeling for crayfish has long been a favourite pastime of mine and Apollo Bay and surrounding coastline is the perfect place to dive up a feed. I often get asked where my secret spots are and the answer is there are none. Crayfish love hiding in rocky caves and crevices so as long as you are diving over reef then you’re in with a chance.

My only advice is if you stumble across a crayfish then keep searching in that area as they tend to live in small colonies. Where there is one there is usually more not far away.

The other thing that has grabbed my attention while swimming around has been the large numbers of Australian salmon frequenting the coastline. Schools of salmon are dotted right along the coast from Moonlight Head to Lorne and both land-based and boat anglers can get into the action.

Casting metal lures from the beach or rocks will soon tell you if the salmon are around but if you keep a keen eye out the schools can be seen from the Great Ocean Road before you even leave the car. The schools can appear as either a dark mass moving through the water or as a patch of rippled water on the surface.

Boats travelling along the coast will often come across salmon at this time of year so it pays to have a rod ready rigged with a lure just in case.

This April is shaping up to be another bumper season for King George whiting with plenty of captures being reported in the past weeks. Fishing the patchy reefs around the waterfall, Bumbry Reef, Marengo or Blanket Bay will put you in with a chance of landing some quality fish this month.

Pipis fished on a light running sinker rig is all that is needed to tempt the whiting in this area. Snapper, flathead, gummy, mako and blue sharks are also still biting and there have even been some early sightings of southern bluefin tuna. Hopefully by time April ends the tuna fishing will be in full swing again with boats fishing wide off Cape Otway in search of these magnificent fish.

The estuaries along the coast are fishing well for black bream with the Aire and Barham rivers being the most consistent. Bait fishing with river shrimp or peeled prawns has accounted for plenty of fish as has small hardbodied lures when fished with a jerky retrieve. These rivers also contain large numbers of mullet and small salmon that respond well to a light berley and are great fun for novice anglers to test their skills on.

Further upstream in the freshwater reaches the rivers are in desperate need of some rain, once they get a good flush I am sure the trout will be back on the chew and feeding up before the winter kicks in.

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