Estuary and reef species playing ball
  |  First Published: October 2016

The trout season kicked off with a boom, as all the coastal streams have excellent flows and plenty of hungry fish.

Casting soft plastics in the rapids has been working, as has casting small hardbodies or drifting worms. Kennett River, Smythes Creek, Skenes Creek, Wild Dog River, Barham River and the Aire River are all excellent options at this time of year.

I took the boat down to the Aire River on a couple of occasions recently and can report that the sea-run trout are biting in the estuarine reaches from the Great Ocean Road bridge down to the mouth. Trolling or casting small hardbodies caught me the most fish, although the biggest trout I caught was on a cast soft plastic lure.

Look for signs of feeding trout, such as baitfish jumping or trout swirling on the surface and then concentrate fishing in that region of the river.

Estuary perch continue to be caught from the Barham River estuary on dark while using small soft plastic grub style lures. A lift and pause retrieve, bouncing the lure along the bottom will see the perch attacking your lure. A few fish have also been caught on scrubworm’s fished on the bottom.

inshore reefs firing

King George whiting have been caught on pipis in large numbers off Point Bumbry and Marengo. Bags of 15-20 fish are being reported, and with this being just the start of our whiting season, the next few months look very promising.

Mixed in with the whiting has been schools of silver trevally. These hard-fighting fish are great sport on light line and a welcome by-catch when chasing King George.

The calamari continue to bite in the Apollo Bay boat harbour. A prawn style jig in 2.0 or 2.5 size is a perfect way to catch a feed.

Gummy and school sharks are being caught in 35m of water off Cape Otway. Fresh cut fish baits fished on the bottom around the tide changes will see you heading home to make some batter.

A few snapper are starting to show up on the gummy grounds as well. If you are targeting the snapper, try drifting along the reef edges with pilchard or fresh squid baits. This is a great option once the tide change passes and starts running hard again.

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