Snapper, flathead and gummy sharks have been the main species targeted over the past few weeks and some big fish have been boated.
Anglers fishing from boats in 38m out from the lighthouse and in 45m off Cape Patton have reported gummy sharks to 10kg are taking squid and fish baits, while snapper have been biting well on squid, bluebait or pilchards. When fishing these depths for snapper and gummies try to concentrate your efforts around slack water, or fish on days when there is little tidal movement.
Drifting is the best way to locate the fish. If the wind is blowing you will need to use a sea anchor to reduce the speed at which you drift. Leave your GPS turned on and mark the spot as soon as you hook a fish. Then it is a simple matter of drifting over the same area again, as snapper and gummies tend to school up.
If you’re chasing an easy feed then flathead can be found just about anywhere there is a sandy bottom, but for consistent captures give 45m off Blanket Bay 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 bluebait, pilchards and squid work fine. Expect to catch both sand and tiger flathead off Apollo Bay, with big specimens reaching 60cm or more.
Blue and mako sharks have been taken from 70m of water straight out from Apollo Bay. Use berley to bring them around and a heavy wire trace so they don’t bite you off. Take a squid jig out with you as there are large numbers of arrow squid out wide, which can be used as bait or kept as food.
The harbour at Apollo Bay is fishing very well for calamari squid for anglers using a prawn style squid jig from the pier or a boat. The smaller jigs in sizes 1.5 and 2 seem to work better than the larger jigs, as the squid become very flighty after constant fishing pressure. There will be large crowds of anglers on the pier during January so early morning is the prime time to beat the rush and target a feed of calamari.
The rocks at Marengo, Grey River and Blanket Bay are great places to fish for King George whiting during January. I like to use a single hook paternoster rig baited with pipis or fresh squid tentacle. The whiting like to school up in sandy channels that run through the reef, and this is the best place to cast your bait.
Don’t forget to register for the Big Catch Fishing Comp held on the February 7/8.Reads: 1715