Trout fire up in local rivers
  |  First Published: May 2016

There has been a noticeable change in weather patterns this month, with offshore westerly wind systems dominating the coast, which makes for better boating conditions. This month should see the winter systems kick into gear and hopefully create favourable conditions for chasing offshore species such as bluefin tuna.

There are large amounts of bait holding off the entire coastline, and everything looks in place for a bumper bluefin season. I know I’ll be out there searching in the coming weeks, and with reports of fish just down the coast I’m sure May will produce the goods once again.

Gummy sharks and snapper continually show up for the anglers who fish over reef patches in 40m+ of water off Cape Otway. Fresh cut fish baits or squid have done the damage, but by far the most important thing to look out for is the slack water period of the tide. Anglers who concentrate their efforts around the tide changes have found that the fish really fire up when the tidal flow is at its slowest. Once slack water has past and the tide starts running hard try moving your boat out over the sand flats and drifting around in search of flathead. Use the same baits and rig (paternoster) as you do for snapper and gummies and you should have no trouble putting some big specimens in your boat. King George whiting are still taken from the inshore reefs such as The Waterfall and Bumbry Reef. Pipis fished on a running sinker rig is all that is needed to hook into a feed of these tasty critters.

The local rivers are very low with only minimum flow, so hopefully the change in weather brings some much-needed rain with it. I have caught some nice brown trout from the local coastal streams on dry flies but as soon as the rain comes it will be time to start using soft plastic lures. The trout will be hungry as they feed up in preparation for the annual spawn run. It’s time to make the most of the trout fishing as the season closes next month.

Black bream have been caught from the Aire River estuary when the mouth is open to the sea. The fish have been very aggressive and take a wide variety of lures and baits. It is great fun catching lots of fish, but when they are on the chew make sure you remember your bag and size limits.

Bream are slow growing and large specimens can be over 20 years-old so catch and release is advised.

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