King George whiting are still around in large schools and have continued to fill angler’s bags around Apollo Bay, however it is the black bream that have made anglers stand and listen.
The Waterfall Reefs have been producing plenty of whiting and the occasional silver trevally for those using pipis as bait in conjunction with a berley trail made from bread, pellets and tuna oil. Gummy sharks are still on the chew in 40m off Cape Otway. Fishing fresh fish baits at the slack water periods of the tide should see you in with a good chance.
April marks the start of the annual salmon run and large schools should be available right through the month and up until the end of winter. Beach and boat fishers can target the salmon with hot spots being Wild Dog Beach, Mounts Bay, Point Bumbry and out from the Waterfall. Casting metal lures is a great way to target the fast moving schools from the boat or beach although most beach anglers prefer to bait fish with either white or blue bait. The average size salmon caught off Apollo Bay is around 1kg with fish to 3kg being common.
The estuaries of the Barham, Kennett and Aire rivers have been fishing very well for black bream. Cast lures fished with a stop/start retrieve have been very successful when fished around structure such, as fallen tree branches or weed beds. I like to use small hardbodied lures such as the Ecogear SX40 and Rapala Husky Jerk.
The best fishing has occurred just after the rivers bust out to sea and all the food gets flushed out from the riverbanks. With no reeds or grass for the shrimp and minnow to hide in the bream cruise the banks looking for an easy meal. With the colder months approaching and more rain likely this should occur more frequently in the coming weeks.
If the river is blocked at the mouth and the water level is up high then try around the sand flats at these river mouths. Soft plastic sandworms twitched along the bottom on a size 6, 1.5g jighead should catch you a few fish. For bait fishers, spider crabs and shrimp baits fished on the bottom with little or no weight should see the bream lining up to eat your offering.
With the increase in rain the local brown trout should start to fire up again. Try the Aire River upstream from the Great Ocean Road Bridge or the lower reaches of the Ford River. Bait and lures will take fish in these regions.Reads: 1976