Calamari Christmas joy!
  |  First Published: December 2015

As the year’s end approaches and summer officially kicks into action it’s time to charge up the boat batteries and get back out on the water.

December usually sees the flathead stocks increase out of sight and these can be easily caught from 30-45m of water over any sand bottom. Try drifting out from Skenes Creek or wide of Marengo on a day of light wind. Tough baits such as squid or fish fillets with the skin left on are my favourites as this means multiple captures can be made without having to re-bait all the time.

King George whiting are already being taken from the inshore reefs around Kennett River, the waterfall and Marengo and should only keep getting thicker in numbers as the water heats up. Pipis fished on a light running sinker rig will get the whiting biting along with a host of other inshore species.

Calamari squid are another big attraction at this time of year and are a real winner for anyone fishing off the local Pier or Breakwall at Apollo Bay. They can also be targeted from boats drifting over the sea grass beds inside the harbour and this has been working for me in recent weeks. I find small size 2 jigs are best for tempting the flighty squid at this time of year.

The rocks at Wye River, Marengo and Skenes Creek also offer good platforms from which to target King George whiting, salmon and small snapper. Early morning or late arvo is the most productive times from the stones and an incoming tide is also preferred.

The Barham and Aire rivers estuaries hold excellent numbers of black bream and mullet and are great options if you are fishing with the kids. Simply cast out a peeled prawn or scrub worm and wait for a fish to bite.

If you like to keep busy then soft plastic grub lures in 2” size also work very well in the rivers on a wide variety of species. Make long casts and slowly hop the lure along the bottom pausing for a few seconds between each hop. The bite will come when the lure is paused!

Snapper and gummy shark are the other prized captures at this time of year with the Cape Otway area being the most productive grounds for these species. The reef edges in 30-50m of water seem to hold the largest concentrations of fish and a berley bag tied to the anchor chain will help your chances dramatically. So too will fishing around the changes of the tide.

Have a happy Christmas, stay safe and I’ll catch you all in the New Year.

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