Jump in and go cray-zy
  |  First Published: November 2014

Snapper season is well underway with many boat anglers reporting quality fish from both Cape Patton and Otway.

Try to use your sounder to locate the schools, which tend to be in the largest concentrations in around 35-60m of water and holding over reef systems. Drifting with fresh baits of squid, salmon or barracouta fished on a 2/0 hook paternoster rig could see you landing fish of 6kg or more, although the average size is usually around 2kg.

If you drift off the reef system, then the flathead will move in and catching a feed of these tasty fish should be no hassles at all. These flathead will be around right throughout the summer months and can reach respectable sizes with 65cm being common.

Other species that patrol around these deep water reefs include gummy shark, several morwong species, nannygai and to a lesser extent yellowtail kingfish. All of these fish can be caught while targeting snapper so if all goes well, expect a mixed bag by the end of the day.

The inshore reefs around Apollo Bay should be holding schools of King George whiting, which are just starting to flood back into this region for the warmer months ahead. Some quality whiting are available each season with fish of 50cm on hand and an average size well into the 40cm bracket. Pipis are my preferred bait and work well when fished on a light running sinker rig and slowly retrieved along the bottom. Make sure you are fishing close to but not on top of reefy structure. Any narrow sandy channels that run amongst the reef systems are likely places to find King George whiting.

Mid November sees the crayfish season kick into action and diving up a feed of crays is a favourite pastime of mine. Hoop nets can also be used but please check the rules and regulations before heading out. I'm often asked where my secret spots for Cray diving are and the answer is that there aren’t any. Any reef system in this region can hold crayfish and it’s just a matter of getting out there and having a look around. Some monsters of 3kg or more are taken each season but specimens of 1kg are a common fare and considered better eating at this size.

The rivers along the Great Ocean Road have been fishing well for brown trout but are starting to dry up quickly. Unless we get some much-needed rain in the coming weeks they will start to clog with weed and the fishing will taper off very quickly. If it does rain, then expect the trout to continue feeding and the fun fishing to skip into summer months.

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