The salt is the scene to be seen
  |  First Published: August 2014

The Barwon River in Geelong is brown and cold however a few patient anglers have caught some large carp fishing up near Buckley’s Falls.

Wurdi Bulloc Reservoir near Moriac has been the focus for Geelong freshwater anglers with some quality redfin and trout being caught there over the reporting period. Michael Evans has been haunting the place and has caught some ripping fish. Using Fish Arrow soft plastics and Daiwa Double Clutch lures, Michael has caught some cracking redfin to 45cm and 1.6kg plus a brown trout of 55cm and 2.3kg.

Corio Bay

The good news for pier fishos is the snotty trevally made an appearance around Cunningham Pier recently.

They have been biting best on the run out tide around dawn and dusk. Most fish have been around the 400-600g mark but a few have been over a kilogram. Best baits have been raw chicken and pilchard fillets and try to use either unweighted baits or floats set deep as they aren’t too keen on baits anchored to the bottom.

Australian salmon have been terrorising baitfish around Corio Bay. They aren’t always on the surface so sometimes you need to flog the water blindly with lures before you get stuck into a few. Some lucky anglers have caught them casting baitfish profiled lures from the Geelong waterfront and Griffins Gully Jetty and boaties have enjoyed their company near Point Henry, Grammar School Lagoon and Geelong Waterfront. Soft plastics have done the job when they are hard to locate. These lures are easily worked deep and slow when they are difficult to locate while chrome slice lures ripped through a school going nuts on the surface receives the attention it deserves too!

September should see a few snapper reports start to trickle in. The best bet this early in the season is to hit the deeper areas in Corio Bay where the sounder shows a bit of underwater structure. It can be as simple as heavy weed growth down deep or small rocky outcrops, but you can be sure the fish won’t be too far away. Try fresh pilchards and squid for bait and time this with an outgoing tide. There is a good population of garfish inside Corio Bay and these are also very good bait if you can catch a few.

Bellarine Peninsula

Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says the squid have been going great guns around the Bellarine Peninsula. While there are no real record breakers, they have made up for it in numbers with a few boats enjoying bag limit captures.

Rod says that the flathead have also been biting well out in the deeper water with fish either side of 45cm keeping anglers happy. Rod notes that first and last light has been by far the best times but plenty of clients have caught fish during the day.

The Bellarine Peninsula is blessed with some of the finest snapper fishing in Australia when it is really booming. Let’s hope that this season is as good as the last few we’ve had. Please remember to stick to your bag limits and respect other fisherman at the ramp and on the water to make sure we all have a good time. Past Septembers have seen big snapper caught around the five meter mark where there is good reef structure. Armed with this information, you should concentrate in this depth and fish first and last light. September can be notoriously windy but don’t let this dampen your snapper enthusiasm as this time last year there were some notable captures off both St Leonards and Portarlington Piers after dark.

Swan Bay has seen a few gummy sharks to eight kilograms caught in the entrance after dark. They have been caught on a wide variety of baits including squid and pilchards. Slack water has been best here.

Barwon Heads and Surf Coast

The Barwon River at Barwon Heads has been fishing well for Australian salmon from legal length to 45cm. They have been biting best on the incoming tide when the clear sea water pushes up into the estuary. The odd school mulloway either side of legal length has been caught by anglers fishing after dark from the bank with squid near the Sheepwash.

September on the Surf Coast has anglers licking their lips with excitement as the snapper season draws closer. The first few fish will show up around mid-September and those in the know will be waiting for them. They always seem to bite best on the run out tide and larger fish are often caught in water deeper than 10m. Reef areas off Barwon Heads, Torquay and Anglesea can see early season fish above 5kg so it is well worth a visit if conditions allow.

Jan Juc Surf Beach has been fishing well for both Australian salmon to 900g and gummy sharks around 4kg. The salmon have been biting best on dusk and if you borrow a few fillets from them, they make awesome gummy shark bait as some anglers have found.

Fish Hard – Die Happy!

• Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to --e-mail address hidden-- 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).
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