Summer Species Return
  |  First Published: November 2005

Longer daylight hours after work have made sneaking away for a fish that little bit easier and that’s why November is the unofficial opening of the fishing season in Apollo Bay. Most of our ocean species have been missing in action since April but are now making regular appearances again in anglers’ creels.

Species such as whiting, trevally and snapper have been taken from the inshore reefs right along the coastline. Boats fishing light lines in conjunction with small amounts of berley are landing all three of these species in an outing. It seems that every week the fish are arriving in larger numbers. By the end of the month the fishing should be in full swing again.

Flathead, barracouta, snapper and gummy sharks will be the targets out wide and plenty are already being boated from the lighthouse area. Pilchards fished on a paternoster rig will bring the best results and large sinkers in the 12oz range will be needed if fishing the running tide. Snapper and gummies love fresh ‘couta strips so as soon as one comes over the side don’t be afraid to fillet it down as bait. Cut your bait into long skinny strips as opposed to short wide chunks. Not only does this help the bait plummet to the bottom, but it prevents unwanted line twist.

Don’t forget that 16 November marks the opening of cray season. I know as soon as we get the first flat sea I’ll be clambering down a cliff somewhere in the Otways in search of a big red crustacean. Most reef systems hold crays around Apollo Bay and while a boat is handy to get to some of the out of the way places, diving from the shore is just as rewarding.

Hooker systems and other breathing apparatus are popular amongst many of the divers I encounter while out searching for a feed, but snorkelling is just as effective. When walking to some of my favourite dive sites carrying heavy gear such as tanks is just out of the question. Steep cliffs and long walks are common to get away from the heavily fished locations but crays can still be found right in the middle of town, such as behind the golf links. Hoop nets are another method for the less adventurous or older cray fishers. Hoop nets are most productive after dark. Use fresh fish heads for bait and take care when fishing from the rocks at night. Most of all, remember your possession and size limits as harsh penalties apply to those found breaking the law. Want more information on where to go? Call Surf-n-Fish on (03) 5237 6426.

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