The unseasonably dry weather this winter has forced more people to fish along the coast than in previous years. The surf beaches have been fishing well for salmon, but the rock fishing has surprised everyone by giving up plenty of quality fish.
Big King George whiting, silver trevally, sweep and garfish are being taken from the rocks between Lorne and Cape Otway with Grey River and Marengo being the most reliable locations. Soft baits such as pipis, peeled prawns and squid work the best but remember to take along some small hooks in case the gars turn up.
The use of berley has been the key to getting the fish within casting distance of the rocks, while a float will help keep your line up off the bottom and away from any snags. Always fish with a partner off the rocks and keep an eye on the ocean at all times – if it looks dangerous then give it a miss.
September is best known among anglers for the opening of trout season and the rivers should be fishing very well for big brown trout as they chase the spawning whitebait in our coastal rivers during the spring. Small hard-bodied lures such as Rapala’s, RMG and Attack Minnows will all work well when fished close to the bank.
If last season was anything to go by, I predict that soft plastics will be all the rage this season. Small soft plastics such as Berkley 3” Minnows and Squidgy Flick Baits will do the trick when fished parallel to the bank.
It’s not only the trout that get excited by the whitebait, other species such as bream and estuary perch also love a feed of these tiny little fish. The same lures used for trout will catch bream but you will have to slow the retrieve down and add in a few short pauses to tempt them into striking.
Flyfishing for bream at this time of year is very rewarding. Use smelt pattern flies such as a BMS and retrieve them with small twitches followed by a long pause. The bream in the Aire River have been falling for this technique recently with one angler landing over ten fish for the day.
Trout season opens in September and is a good time to chase trout with soft plastics.
There are some big trout in the Otway streams and now is the time to chase them.
This sweep fell to a pipi fished under a float from the rocks at Marengo.Reads: 440