The fish are back!
  |  First Published: December 2008

Boat anglers have been taking advantage of the great weather and are catching plenty of fish for the table. Species such as snapper, flathead, King George whiting and gummy sharks have been regular catches over the past few weeks, and should continue to entertain us right through until Easter.

Fishing in 70m of water off Point Franklin has been a great way of finding snapper, along with other reef species such as morwong and nannygai. Fishing in water this deep requires heavy sinkers, thin braided lines and the conditions to be just right.

The best fishing usually occurs on days with little tidal movement and no wind. If the wind is up use a sea anchor to slow your drift so your bait doesn’t lift off the bottom. Tough baits such as squid or fish flesh with the skin still on are recommended so you don’t have to keep checking your bait after every bite.

Gummy sharks have been a regular capture from 40m of water out from the Cape Otway Lighthouse. Fish the top or bottom of the tide and use fresh fish baits such as barracouta or flathead.

Flathead can be taken in large numbers from any sandy areas deeper than 30m, and they make great table fare. Use a two-hook paternoster rig baited with squid or bluebait, and drift along making sure your sinker is always on the bottom.

King George whiting have been schooling up along the inshore reefs again and can be caught with pipis fished on a running sinker rig. Make sure you are fishing around the edges of reef, as this is where the whiting will be hunting for food.

Squid have been taking jigs fished over the sea grass beds inside the boat harbour. They are easily caught from the pier or boat and make great food and bait, but remember that there is a bag limit of 10 a day per angler.

The Aire River is fishing very well for bream down around the campgrounds, with prawns or shrimp being good reliable bait. Fish the incoming tide when the river is open to the sea for best results.

Further upstream around the Great Ocean Road Bridge, brown trout have been caught on Rapala lures fished amongst the logjams. Warm, humid afternoons are best for this style of fishing, but watch out for the local snake population.

Quality table fish such as snapper and nannygai have been taken off Apollo Bay in recent weeks.

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