Bang on for bait
  |  First Published: June 2014

Tuna fever has hit Apollo Bay with consistent captures of fish coming from south of Cape Otway. Large schools of baitfish are attracting the tuna to this area and once you find the bait the tuna are never far away.

Sometimes you may have to hang around and wait for the tuna to start feeding on the surface before you can locate them, but usually if you can locate the bait then trolling is a good option in between surface bust ups. Trolling a mix of diving and skirted lures should see you get onto some fish.

If there are not many boats around try casting lures into the bust ups for some more exciting fishing. Metal lures are handy for casting long distances and I have been using 100g knife jigs for good results this season.

The other standout has been 1oz jigheads rigged with 7” soft plastic stick baits. Any colour seems to work and if the fish are actively feeding, and with a well placed cast, you will usually get a strike as soon as the lure hits the water.

The tuna have been ranging in weight from 15-25kg, which are the perfect size and great sport on a 10-15kg spin outfit. It does also pay to put in a couple of heavier trolling rods just in case you are lucky enough to encounter any of the 100kg+ models that have been taken from this area in the past.

If you’re thinking that you don’t have a big enough boat, or any boat for that matter, then don’t despair as the local beaches are producing Australian salmon. Bait and lures can be used when fishing off the beach, and dusk and dawn seem to be the prime times.

If you do have a boat then trolling out behind the waves will see action right throughout the day.

The average fish is around 1kg but each year salmon over 3kg are caught off Apollo Bay; at this size they put up a great fight.

King George whiting are still being caught around the inshore reefs but are proving hard to locate with some anglers getting good numbers of fish while others are left fishless. The best idea is to keep moving every 10 or so minutes if you haven’t caught a whiting, eventually you will stumble on a school and then it just seems all too easy.

Trout season closes after the long weekend this month so make sure you get out for a fish before it comes into effect. This is a great time to fish the Aire River up above the Great Ocean Road Bridge as the fish start moving up into the rapids to spawn. Small hardbodied lures cast along any sunken timber or into the larger pools up around the bush line should get the interest of the resident brown trout.

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