Bang! Just like that the fishing scene off Apollo Bay goes full crazy. The return of 100kg+ tuna off Cape Otway has the fishing world in a spin. Large numbers of school tuna in the 15-25kg range are being sighted everywhere from 30m of water off Blanket Bay to right out on the big reef some 40km offshore.
I’ve had plenty of questions regarding how to catch them as trolling just doesn’t seem to be working for some anglers. When the tuna are in this funny mood, casting small metal lures or soft plastics into the bust ups is your best option. You need to pull the trolling rods out of the water and be ready to blast over to the next patch of feeding fish.
The tuna move quickly so keep an eye on the birds to help direct you to where the next feeding frenzy is about to take place. Don’t drive the boat into the bust ups instead stay just wide of them and make long casts into the action and you should have no trouble hooking them up.
The big tuna have been in 55-70m south of Cape Otway. Trolling a mix of diving and skirted lures around the bait balls has worked best. There have even been several yellowtail kingfish caught as by-catch in this same area. Nobody knows how long these fish will stay in this area so my advice is to get out there asap.
Anglers bait fishing 40m off Cape Otway have been getting an easy feed with plenty of small snapper and gummy sharks on the bite.
Large schools of salmon are working the coastline with some boats reporting excellent captures off the back of Marengo and along Wild Dog Beach. These fish can also be targeted from off the beach with either bait or lures.
The Aire River estuary is back to its best with bream and trout being caught from the Ocean Road Bridge down to the mouth. This part of the Aire River is unaffected by the trout closed season and as young local Ben Rippon found recently it holds some big old trout.
Trolling from a small tinny or casting from the banks with small hardbodied lures is the best way of hooking onto a trout. Bream have been most active further down towards the camping grounds and will take baits of prawn or worms. A wide variety of lures can also be used to target these bream and work best when fished with a slow stop-start action.Reads: 1592