The time is now!
  |  First Published: February 2009

Boat anglers are reporting that the season is in full swing, so there is no better time to be out fishing then right now.

Anglers fishing in 70m of water off Point Franklin have boated all sorts of species including snapper, blue morwong, nannygai, flathead and gummy shark. Drifting with heavy sinkers of up to 12oz and squid baits has been very productive, with some anglers catching all of these species in a single session on the water.

Large numbers of arrow squid are also being encountered out in the deep water, so pack a squid jig and you will be able to bring home a feed and keep up a fresh bait supply while out on the water.

Wherever you encounter large numbers of squid you are also likely to find blue and mako sharks in good numbers. Use plenty of berley to bring them to the boat and get them in a feeding mood. A short game rod loaded with 500-600m of 15kg mainline and a long wire trace should have enough power to land most of the sharks you will encounter. Gaff and tail ropes are also essential items for lifting them into the boat.

Closer to town and the shoreline, boat anglers are landing large numbers of King George whiting from Marengo, Point Bumbry and the waterfall reefs. A high tide late in the afternoon has given the best results, although they will bite all day if it is overcast.

February is my personal favourite when it comes to fishing for King George whiting around Apollo Bay, so if you have ever wanted to try for whiting but didn’t know when, now is the time to start. I use a 3kg mainline with a running sinker and a size 4 baitholder hook. King George whiting prefer soft baits such as squid, pipis, mussels and peeled prawn tails, and will often school up around the edges of small reef systems. A light berley trail of bread, crushed pilchards and tuna oil will help keep the fish around once you have located them.

There are still plenty of flathead out on the sand flats waiting to eat your bait. Try drifting in 30-40m of water anywhere wide of Skenes Creek. If the wind is up use a sea anchor to help slow your drift rate, as this will make it easier to hold your bait on the bottom where the flathead are feeding.

If you don’t have a boat you can try the Barham River estuary or fish from the pier. Fishing from the pier in the morning or late afternoon is the most productive time and often produces good captures of squid, whiting and trevally. The river estuary is a great spot to take the kids to catch a mullet or bream.

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