Flathead feeding furiously
  |  First Published: December 2007

With water temperatures steadily rising along our coastline, the fishing has improved dramatically. There are more species are out there waiting to eat your bait than there has been in the past few months.

Snapper, flathead and gummy sharks have been the main species targeted by boat fishermen. Boats fishing in 60m out from the lighthouse, and 35m off Blanket Bay, have reported gummies to 13kg taking baits of fresh fish fillets. Snapper are biting well on squid, bluebait and pilchards in these same areas. When fishing the reefs for snapper and gummies, try to concentrate your efforts around slack water, or fish on days when there is little tidal movement. Days with large water movements require larger sinkers and heavier lines, and tend to produce less fish. Fishing in the evening or on overcast days also tends to produce more fish.

If you’re after a quick, tasty feed then give the flathead a hard time in 40m of water out from Skenes Creek or Blanket Bay. If they are on the bite, they will eat just about anything you send to the bottom – and two hook rigs will often produce two fish at a time. Another handy tip is to use tough baits such as squid or octopus so you don’t have to keep baiting up all the time. You will find some baits will catch five or more fish before they need replacing.

The King George whiting are back in good numbers along the coastline and both boats and land-based fishers are reporting good catches. Blanket Bay and Marengo rocks are the best places to fish land-based, while the Marengo and Waterfall reefs are hot spots from the boat. A light running sinker rig will work well from the boat, but a paternoster rig is better when fishing from the shoreline.

The Apollo Bay Pier is a great place to cast a squid jig, and large numbers of squid are taken here regularly. Fish early in the morning to beat the crowds, as once the squid have seen plenty of lures cast at them they become very flighty and hard to hook. If you can see squid following your lure but not eating it, try letting it slowly sink out of sight. More often than not the squid will grab it while it is sinking.

Good luck with your summer fishing pursuits and Merry Christmas to all.

There are plenty of flathead available off Apollo Bay at present – and they will eat just about anything you throw at them!

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