SBT still sizzling drags
  |  First Published: October 2015

A late run of big bluefin tuna off Cape Otway has been a bonus this season and they now seem like a year round prospect.

Fish of 90kg to well over 100kg have been taken along with some heartbreaking stories of anglers fighting fish and loosing them. Trolling skirted lures has accounted for most of the big tuna with the area between Point Franklin and Cape Otway being the most productive.

The deep-water reefs off Cape Otway are fishing well for gummy and school shark, which have been caught up to 20kg in recent weeks. Fresh fillets of salmon or barracouta are excellent baits and even the odd snapper has been caught on these baits too.

There are still plenty of flathead over the sand bottom in 30-40m and they are well worth targeting for a feed.

Further inshore around Marengo the King George whiting are starting to return in numbers for the summer months ahead. Light paternoster rigs loaded with pipis tend to work very well and other species such as silver trevally, sweep and leather jackets are common by-catch.

Wild Dog beach is producing excellent surf fishing for salmon. Both bait and lures can be used from the beach and the salmon aren’t fussy about what you offer them. Early morning or late afternoon are prime times but the fish will bite right throughout the day on occasions.

The Apollo Bay boat harbour should be full of squid by time October ends so pack a squid jig and test your skills at catching a lovely feed of calamari or fish the inside of the breakwall for a King George whiting.

The Aire and Barham rivers are great places for all the family and with bream, mullet, salmon and estuary perch biting you are sure to catch something. If you are into bait fishing then try some peeled prawns or scrubworms fished on the bottom with little or no weight. Lure casters will have success with soft plastics or small floating hardbodied lures. Make sure you fish your lures around structure or along the bank drop offs as this is where the fish will be hunting for food.

These rivers are also great options further upstream in the freshwater for trout. In fact, any river you come across in this area will hold good numbers of trout. A general rule is that the bigger the waterway, the bigger the trout you will catch but some of the smaller streams will catch you more fish. I like to walk Smythes Creek or the upper Barham River casting soft plastic minnow lures and find this to be a very effective method of catching trout.

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