River Bream and Browns
  |  First Published: June 2006

Many fishermen have conceded that the weather has set in for the next few months and that taking the boat out has become more of a hassle than a relaxing way to spend a day. If I have a spare few hours to wet a line, a trip to the river is a much more appealing option at this time of year than enduring cold and rough conditions out in a boat.

The Aire and Barham rivers have been fishing very well over the last couple of months for both bream and trout. As long as they don’t become heavily discoloured, the action should continue to produce fish right through June.

The best bream fishing occurs when the mouth of rivers is open to the sea and there is good tidal movement. Not enough rain and the rivers will bar up – too much and it will discolour, making fishing almost impossible.

I’ve found the last of the incoming tide to be very productive lately. When the water becomes slack at the top of the tide the bream have been going nuts! Baitfishing with scrubworms, prawns or crabs is an easy way to land a few fish although more energetic fishermen will target the bream with soft plastic lures. Slow retrieves with short pauses and twitches should see some tight lines. The best lure of late has been the Berkley Gulp 6” Sandworm.

Trout fishermen have been landing plenty of fish from the upper reaches of the Barham River on small dry flies and hard-bodied lures. Trout season comes to a close at the end of the long weekend in June so there’s not much time left if you wish to fish the Barham River.

The Aire, Ford and Gellibrand rivers remain open all year below the Great Ocean Road bridges and there are big fish taken from these stretches every year. Rapalas, Attack and Rebel lures will all work well because the trout will be feeding on minnows at this time of year.

Beach fishermen are landing salmon from Wild Dog and Johanna beaches but the run of fish hasn’t been as good as in previous years. The salmon should be around until the end of winter so there’s still time for the bigger schools to turn up.

Late afternoon has been the key to landing some fish and seems to be more important than the tides. Silver trevally and the occasional warehou have been biting in the Apollo Bay Harbour on fillets of pilchard. Big schools of garfish have also been sighted in the berley trail while fishing for trevally.

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