‘Fluke captures’ become target species
  |  First Published: March 2015

What a bumper season we are experiencing along this part of the Victorian coast.

Large schools of salmon have been patrolling the coastline and can occasionally be seen breaking the surface as they chomp into the baitfish schools. If you’re lucky enough to be out in the boat and come across a feeding frenzy then catching a fish should be as simple as casting a metal lure in amongst all the action.

This season has also seen large schools of yellowtail kingfish along the coastline and these have also been mixed in with the salmon. The kingies have been caught trolling and casting while targeting the salmon schools off the Marengo reefs and along the back edge of the Bumbry Reef.

Some more dedicated anglers have also had great success on kingfish to 95cm jigging metal lures down off Cape Otway.

Some early rumours are starting to circle about bluefin tuna already so keep an eye on the weather charts for an early season tuna session. Whoever would have thought that Apollo Bay could be a reliable place for yellowtail kingfish and bluefin tuna? In years gone by these species were considered ‘fluke captures’ or only occasionally sighted and then gone before anyone had the chance to target them. In recent years they just keep growing in numbers, so let’s all hope this trend continues.

King George whiting are still frequenting the inshore reef edges off Marengo, Elliot River and Blanket Bay with some fish up to 48cm being taken on recent outings. The whiting should be here for another month or so before they slow down through the cooler months, so make the most of the next few weeks if you’re keen for a feed.

Silver trevally and squid have also been taken from the whiting grounds, so make sure you have a jig ready in the tackle box.

The Aire and Barham river estuaries have been fishing extremely well for black bream, which have been biting on small hardbodied and soft plastic lures. The fish are widespread throughout the river systems, so don’t be afraid to move around until you locate good numbers of feeding fish.

These rivers fish best when the mouth of the river is open to the sea and the tide is nearing the bottom of its cycle. As the water recedes from the reedy edges it leaves nowhere for the shrimp and baitfish to hide so the bream move up onto the edges looking for an easy feed. Needless to say that’s where you should be casting your lure. I do quite a bit of this style of fishing and always look forward to the spring tides in March as bigger tidal movements give longer bite times each day, which means more fish can be caught.

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