Stunning Summer Snapper
  |  First Published: December 2009

Frequent captures of snapper around Apollo bay have been very welcome with some quality-sized fish.

Constant captures up to the 4kg mark are making trailer boat anglers very happy and while some fishers seem to have their favourite spots and will protect them to no end, the reality is that the fish are scattered right along the offshore reefs.

Cape Patton and Cape Otway are good starting points to dangle a bait of pilchard or squid in search of snapper but don’t bypass any reef in 40-70m of water without having a quick fish.

I recently landed a 7kg gummy shark while fishing 40m of water off Cape Patton for snapper but the majority of gummy shark captures have been taken from Cape Otway in 45m with fresh squid baits fished around the slack water periods of the tide.

Try to pick up the edges of reef and sand on your sounder and concentrate on these areas but try not to fish on the solid reef. Further out in 70m large numbers of smaller snapper and morwong have been taking squid baits fished on the bottom.

If you’re chasing an easy feed then flathead can be found just about anywhere between 30-40m on a sandy bottom but for consistent captures give 40m off Bald Hill or 35m off Skenes Creek a shot.

Flathead will eat just about anything you put on your hook and any of the frozen baits such as blue bait, pilchards and squid work fine. Expect to catch both sand and tiger flathead off Apollo Bay with big specimens reaching 60cm or more in size.

The harbour at Apollo Bay is fishing very well for calamari from the pier or boat when using a prawn style squid jig. The smaller jigs in sizes 1.5 and 2 seem to work better then the larger jigs, as the squid become very flighty after constant fishing pressure. To avoid the crowds try fishing from the pier at first light in the morning.

King George whiting have been taken around the inshore reefs on pipis fished on a running sinker rig. Late in the afternoon is a good time to target the whiting and they have been responding well to berley made from pellets and crushed pilchards soaked in tuna oil. Try out from the waterfall, Eliot River or the back of the golf course and look for the sandy channels amongst the reef. If you don’t have a boat then give the rock platforms at Marengo a try for whiting around the high tide.

Don’t forget the Great Ocean Sports Festival is on next month, which contains The Big Catch fishing competition. Everyone is welcome and it is a great few days fishing and socialising. Check out the website at www.gosportsfestival.com.au for more info.

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