Options open in October
  |  First Published: October 2015

October is a heck of a time to be alive if you’re a snapper fisho on the Bellarine or Surf Coast. If this season is anything like the past five, we’re in for another treat. The lads down the west coast were ripping in snapper mid-August so they could be well and truly on fire by the time you’re reading this.

If all goes to plan, anglers should be enjoying snapper from Lorne to Geelong. Known hotspots include Torquay, Barwon Heads, Queenscliff, Portarlington and Clifton Springs. Sure, they are caught almost anywhere when they are right on the chew, but these locations do consistently produce quality snapper this time of year.

Geelong Fishing, Diving and Cray Yoinkers Club are running a snapper competition that finishes up at the end of this month, and there has been some ripping fish caught in the region so far. For more information on the competition, contact Brian Scarlett on 0400 812 348 or lob on over to their Facebook page.

The calamari were going bananas out off Queenscliff last month with rippers measuring in over 40cm hood length. Brendan Brown travelled all the way from Ballarat to have a crack at them and boated a few quality calamari with one measuring in around 44cm hood length.

Inside the Queenscliff boat harbour there has been Australian salmon from legal length to 48cm and silver trevally caught from 30-40cm. Both species have taken raw chicken and pilchard fillets plus single-tailed grub style soft plastics.

The Barwon River estuary has been teeming with small Australian salmon from legal length to 45cm. There are a couple of whoppers caught around the 60cm mark but they are few and far between.

Keen fisher Brenton Hodges runs a fishing program at Lara Secondary Collage called ‘Connections – Fish for the Future’ where he teaches them about local fish stocking initiatives, recreational fishing guidelines, effects of introduced species, marine parks, commercial fish harvesting processes and various other marine and environmental issues. The program also aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop their angling skills, including learning to tie basic knots and rigs, the importance of bait presentation, casting and retrieving, correct release techniques to ensure an undersized or unwanted catch has the best chance of survival and the effects of wind, tide and current within an estuary environment.

Brenton has had his students fishing in the Barwon estuary at Barwon Heads and Spring Creek at Torquay where they have enjoyed catching a wide variety of species including yellow eyed mullet, Australian salmon, silver trevally and the ever-present toadfish. The lads used a variety of soft plastic lures and baits, which included pipis, peeled prawns and Berkley Gulp 3” Nemesis.

Wurdi Buloc Reservoir near Moriac is hard to ignore with quality trout and redfin coming to anglers prepared to put in the time with quality bait and lures. Michael Evans loves nothing better than casting until his arms go numb out there but he does get rewards. This month, Michael sent in a report of another big redfin he caught casting lures from the bank. This big reddy was 44cm and caught on a Daiwa Spike lure. Michael noted that at the time of capture, the water level was on the rise and the fish were biting well.

David Brogen hadn’t been fishing for about ten years and his lads had been on his back about going. So David got on a Facebook group called ‘Victorian Trout and Redfin Fishing’ and asked a few questions about fishing techniques for Wurdi Buloc trout. A few willing chaps kicked in their ideas as did I. loaded with this advice, David and his ten year old son Ashton, had lines in the reservoir by 8:30am one Saturday morning. They used a mudeye under a float and cast lures about. Around 8:45am, they hooked up on a very large trout and after a good fight, they were both looking at a 63.5cm, 2.23kg (4.92lb) brown trout! David says Ashton is just about doing backflips and cannot wait to catch another fish.

The boardwalk leading down to Moggs Creek Beach that has been in disrepair for a while has now been earmarked for replacement. The replacement boardwalk is one of the projects funded through the Labor Government’s Target One Million plan, which aims to get more people fishing, more often. The Great Ocean Road Coastal Committee of Management, with support from the Association of Geelong and District Angling Clubs, obtained the grant, which will use local contractors to undertake the works and is expected to be completed by spring.

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 997 348. 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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