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Hard work or fishing?
  |  First Published: February 2007



I think a lotof the holiday revellers have found it hard to pack up and leave Apollo Bay this year as the fishing has been nothing short sensational. Heading back to work or school when the sea is flat and the weather is warm is a hard task and even harder when the fish are still biting.

Large numbers of big flathead have been taken out from Skenes Creek, Blanket Bay and the lighthouse in 40m of water. Squid and fresh barracouta fillets have been the best baits as they stay on the hook well allowing several fish to be caught on the one bait.

Snapper have been biting on most of the offshore reefs between Cape Patton and Cape Otway with the same baits taking the majority of fish. The snapper have not been big fish but they are good eating size with an average fish being just over 40cm.

If you are into the big stuff, try out in 70m for a mako or blue shark. Use plenty of berley to bring them up to the boat and heavy line of around 15kg just in case a big mako grabs hold.

Gummy shark have been biting well from the lighthouse reefs and off Cape Patton in 44m. Fresh squid heads are the key to getting them on the hook and a strong landing net is required to lift them into the boat. There has also been the odd school shark biting off rigs in this area. I don’t like using wire as it lessens the chance of catching a snapper but there have been enough bite-offs lately to support running a trace of around 20kg wire when targeting gummies in this area.

Land-based fishermen are also enjoying the flat conditions and landing some good captures of King George whiting from the rocks. Grey River and Marengo both offer fantastic rock platforms that drop onto sand patches amongst the reef. Pipis and squid are good baits when fished on a paternoster rig with size 4 hooks. Squid have been taken from the Apollo Bay Harbour on prawn style jigs when fished early in the morning. Lots of angling pressure has seen them shut down later in the day when the crowds arrive.

Johanna Beach has been a land-based hot spot with plenty of salmon on offer through the day while snapper and gummy shark have been taken on fresh salmon fillets after dark. The sea needs to be flat for snapper and gummies off the beach so keep an eye on the weather reports for a north wind and small swell.

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