Apollo Bay has a diversity of angling options, including river, estuary, surf and offshore. You can also fish from the rocks or in the sheltered harbour. Anglers who come here seek everything from brown trout and bream to snapper and sharks. Despite the Great Ocean Road’s popularity with tourists, the fishing pressure at Apollo Bay has not been extreme – great news for anglers.
The sheltered harbour has a boat ramp suited to large boats and is popular with anglers wanting to head offshore to fish the reefs for snapper, trevally, barracouta, squid and sharks, depending on the time of year.
On good days, boats will head as far west as Cape Otway or east to Cape Patton where they fish for morwong, gummy sharks, snapper and sand flathead. Seek local advice before going to Cape Otway, as there are extensive reef systems and the safest route needs to be determined on a navigation chart.
Trolling for salmon along the back of the surf beaches is popular and an area off Skenes Creek known as ‘the Waterfall’ produces good catches of King George whiting.
Australian salmon are the mainstay of surf fishing. The main beaches are at Wild Dog Creek as you enter the outskirts of Apollo Bay, and Marengo, a couple of kilometres to the west of town. The best time to fish is from autumn through to spring. Wild Dog Creek is worth a try for brown trout but the best fishing is well upstream.
Apollo Bay offers pier and breakwater fishing. The harbour can produce barracouta, salmon, squid, mullet, silver trevally and haddock (trevalla) at times. Shrimp – top estuary bait – are often plentiful around the pilings.
The two breakwater arms will produce both salmon and barracouta. The southern arm is more difficult to fish, but often produces better results.
Rock fishing is best near Marengo. As you walk west of Marengo you will find plenty of options as far as the ‘Rifle Butts ledge’, which is the third bay along. Expect to catch garfish, sweep, mullet, salmon, trevally, barracouta, pinkies and King George whiting.
The Barham River doesn’t look very appealing at first sight, but the estuary fishing can be surprisingly good. Bream, yelloweye mullet, estuary perch and the occasional brown trout can be caught. Upstream, past the caravan park, the river holds brown trout. The road to Paradise – yes, that’s the name of the place – follows the river as it changes from being a small deep stream to a wider, shallow stream with riffles, runs and pools. The further up you go, the smaller the trout become.