The tuna have arrived with plenty of reports of fish being caught and sighted south of Apollo Bay. There are large baitfish schools stretched right along this coastline from just offshore to 40km south of Cape Otway, which are keeping the tuna in this area.
Point Franklin out to the Nine Mile Reef has been the most productive, but always keep an eye out for bird or fish activity, as you just never know where they will turn up next. Trolling a spread of skirted lures is the best searching method, but if fish can be seen breaking the surface then casting lures is also a fun and productive way to catch a few fish. Most fish caught so far this year have been in the 15-20kg range, but I have heard of two separate stories of fish being fought for around an hour and lost. For the really keen guys with big boats, there has been large numbers of albacore caught out on the continental shelf, which is a 100km run from Apollo Bay boat ramp.
If catching tuna is not your style, then give the gummies a try in 35-40m of water off Cape Otway. The gummy fishing has been excellent in recent weeks. Using fresh baits of squid or fish fillets and fishing around the tide change is the key to catching a feed of flake. A berley bag deployed on the anchor rope is also an effective method of bringing the sharks to your area. Don’t be surprised if you land a feed of snapper and flathead while fishing like this either.
The inshore reefs at Marengo and Point Bumbry are home to large King George whiting at this time of year. Fish the sandy holes and channels along the reef edges with pipis for bait and you should get into the action.
The Aire River is still the spot to fish for black bream, especially when the river is open to the ocean. As the river drops with the outgoing tide, fish close to the bank as this is where the bream are searching for food.
Another thing to note is that trout season closes after the long weekend this month, so make sure you get out for a fish before it comes into effect. This is a great time to fish the Aire River up above the Great Ocean Road bridge, as the fish start moving up into the rapids to spawn. Small hardbodied lures cast along any sunken timber or into the larger pools up around the bush line should get the interest of the big resident brown trout.Reads: 1861