Barrel rolling off the Cape
  |  First Published: July 2016

Bluefin tuna continue to be the main focus of trailer boat fishers off Apollo Bay. There have been some bigger models around, with an 82kg and a couple over 100kg landed recently. This is in addition to plenty of stories of drawn out battles and lost fish.

The school fish of 8-20kg are abundant and spread right from Cape Otway out to the Big Reef. The Nine Mile Reef seems to be the most productive with bait, birds, dolphins, seals and tuna all holding in this area. Hopefully the tuna will move in around Point Franklin and Blanket Bay areas as they have in the past few seasons. This will make them more accessible to smaller craft.

Con from Hit N Run Fishing Charters has reported good numbers of snapper on the deeper reefs off Cape Otway along with other by-catch such as morwong and nannygai. Gummy sharks are also being taken from 35m of water off Cape Otway. Using fresh fish bait has been the key to hooking up these bottom dwelling sharks. The flathead have been patchy but what has been caught has been of good size. Fish to 60cm are caught wide of Point Franklin but you will need to drift around until you can locate where the fish are holding.

Beach fishers should see an increase in the number of Australian salmon this month. I have heard of salmon to 6lb off Marengo already so let’s hope it’s a bumper season casting lures from the beach.

The Aire River has been firing for black bream with both bait and lure fishers catching good numbers of fish in the lower reaches around the camp ground. Try fishing at low tide when the river is at its lowest level as this has been when the bream feed most vigorously. This river is also still available to fish for brown trout below the Great Ocean Road Bridge as the closed season does not affect this part of the river.

Try trolling or casting small hardbodied lures from the junction with the Ford River up to the Ocean Road Bridge. Another good option for trout is the West Barwon Dam at Forrest. Here both brown and rainbow trout can be caught from the banks. Casting winged lures or small hardbodied lures works, as does bait fishing from the dam wall. Most of the trout caught have been brown trout, but there should be some big rainbows is this system too as Fisheries continue to stock this water every year.

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