Running out of time
  |  First Published: March 2007

The warm afternoon sea breezes that February and March are famous for in this region continue to make getting out after work for a quick fish an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately daylight savings comes to an end before this month is finished.

I have been making the most of the extended daylight by heading for the inshore reefs around Apollo Bay in search of King George whiting. They tend to bite best around dusk as they venture along the edges of reef while hunting for their next meal. Pipis fished on a light running sinker rig with a light berley trail should do the job more often then not and have been working a treat for me. The average size of King George in this area is around 40cm but it takes a real ‘kidney slapper’ of 50cm before the locals get excited.

Other species worth targeting at this time of year include flathead and snapper which have been biting well in 40m of water off Blanket Bay. Fresh squid baits or strips of barracouta fillet have taken the most fish and using these baits means that gummy sharks are also a real possibility in this area. Squid can be caught from the local boat harbour before heading off down the coast, while barracouta can be taken on baits suspended well above the bottom in water depths greater than 25m. If you drop your bait until it hits the bottom and then wind up a few turns to make sure your bait is suspended mid water, it shouldn’t take long for the ‘couta to find it. Most of the time they will grab at your offering while you’re dropping it towards the bottom. In this case, put the reel back into gear and strike at the next bite.

The river estuaries have been producing plenty of bream on soft plastics and baits fished close to the bank. The Aire River and the Barham River fish best when the mouth of the river has just opened to the sea. As the river level drops the shrimp and small baitfish get flushed out of the grass and back into the main river. This gives the bream an easy feed along the banks, making it the best place to concentrate your angling efforts. This same rule applies to the trout living in the upper estuaries. Lures cast and retrieved parallel to the bank should bring some good results.

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