Winter has lived up to all expectations and delivered plenty of freshwater in the Apollo Bay region. All the signs are pointing to an exceptional spring season for bream, estuary perch and trout in our coastal estuaries and streams. After such a good flush out, the rivers will thrive, and anglers can’t wait for trout season to open on the first Saturday in September.
Fish places like Smythes Creek, Skenes Creek, Kennett River, Barham River and the beautiful Aire River. Cast small soft plastics or hardbodied lures for plenty of feisty trout, and also drift unweighted scrub worms. With such large, open mouths on the rivers, the tidal flows will push in large amounts of saltwater. This drives the bream and estuary perch nuts, and there is no better time of year to be chasing these species. Try hopping a small grub soft plastic along the bottom as the tide pushes in, or a hardbody around any structure, as the water rushes back on the receding tide.
The Barham and Aire rivers are prime places to tangle with these hard fighting estuary species. This time last year, we had an amazing late run of jumbo-sized bluefin tuna. Will it happen again this year? It’s looking good out there, with plenty of bait and school tuna still around. I’m tipping the big ones will be there too. Troll a spread of skirted lures around any signs of bait, or over the reef systems on the tide change. It’s been an excellent season on the tuna already.
Gummy sharks and snapper are biting on fresh cut fish baits, off Cape Otway in the 35-45m water. For the best results, fish tide changes.
The boat harbour has been giving up some quality calamari on small prawn style jigs, fished over the sea grass beds. Schools of salmon have been travelling through the area. Both beach and boat anglers are catching good numbers of fish, once a school has been located. Keep an eye out for dark patches in the water, or areas of rippled surface water, as these are both sure signs of salmon. Another good option for September is to berley up the shallow reef edges along the coastline. Silver trevally and King George whiting are common captures, as are species such as cowanyoung and Australian salmon.
Jarvis Kent caught this ripper black bream under the Great Ocean Road Bridge, in the Barham River at Apollo Bay.Reads: 1888