Finally we’re seeing an improvement in the weather, fishing-wise that is. We’ve seen a bit more activity off the beaches with the salmon and reports of reasonable catches of up to 2kg, with the odd bigger one. Blue bait or squid are the most common baits, using a paternoster rig, single or double. Many fishos like to use a double paternoster rig, with bait on the bottom hook and a surf popper on the top dropper.
If there’s a problem with crabs stealing your bait, then reverse the setup. Spinning off the beach with metal slugs is still the most popular with the locals and visitors alike. The best setup for this is a 9ft graphite shore spin rod, say 6-8kg rated, 20lb braid on a 5000-6000 size reel. I always put 20lb fluorocarbon leader on the end of the braid.
Wild Dog Creek Beach is still a favourite spot, but I’ve had a few customers to the shop tell me they’ve done very well off Johanna Beach.
Out wide, gummies, schoolies, snapper and big flatties have still been about in reasonable numbers. Bald Hill and Blanket Bay reefs have been very productive for the gummies and schoolies in 40-50m of water. There have also been some good reports coming from off Cape Paton in the same depths.
King George whiting are still being caught in good numbers off the Bumbry Reef and off the Waterfall in that 8-10m mark. There have also been good catches of whiting in Apollo Bay harbour. Pipis remain the best bait on a running sinker rig.
The local streams and rivers are fishing well, with some nice bream being caught. An unweighted prawn or scrub worm is a very tempting bait for the bream, using a baitholder style hook, or a light gauge circle hook, size 2 or 4. If you’re into lure fishing, then it’s hard to go past the Rapala 4cm X-Rap, or the Ecogear SX40. The Squidgy Bug in bloodworm on a 1g or no. 6 jighead is a good soft plastic to try as well.
January should see a further improvement in the weather, but also an increase in the number of people out fishing. If you’re going to be chasing calamari or whiting in the harbour, get there early. Likewise, if you’re going after salmon off the beach, get out early to ensure you get a good spot.
•If you’re coming to Apollo Bay for a fish, be sure to pop in to get all you bait and tackle needs, as well as an up to date report. You can call us on (03) 5237 6426, or check out our website, www.surf-n-fish.com.au.Reads: 152