Another weekend of strong winds and decent swell has made for limited opportunity for most anglers and the lack of reports coming in suggest that it’s pretty tough out there. The volume of water coming down from both the Hopkins and Merri Rivers has slowed down and should provide some good fishing over the next couple weeks.
Saltwater: The beaches around Warrnambool have been whipped to foam the last week by anglers searching for the annual run of Aussie salmon. Xavier and Marty Ellul landed some nice fish from East Beach at Port Fairy on Monday night casting some metal lures into the wash. Scott Gray has also been catching some nice fish on metal lures cast into the wash zone. Even though they aren’t in big numbers yet as we have seen in the previous years they still are great fun especially on light tackle. The beauty about them is you don’t need the most expensive tackle out there to be successful. If you have a 4000 size reel with some 15-20lb braid or mono and a 7 and a half foot rod to 9ft you’re in the game! People ask me what colours are best for the salmon but honestly the actual colour doesn’t make much difference in my experience as long as the lure has some flash that gets the fish’s attention while being retrieved through the wash. In other saltwater reports James Porter landed a nice gummy off Port Fairy last week fishing with Harry Anders before the winds came and turned it on its head. There has also been a steady stream of pinkie snapper around with the odd bigger model being thrown in to keep anglers on their toes. The Gummies have been providing some great fishing of late both on the shallower grounds around 45m which allows the anglers with smaller boats to be able to get into the action and still be relatively close to land. Now that spring is here the die hard salt water angler will start to think about the upcoming king fish season as the water begins to warm and the squid and bait fish move into the shallow reefs where they become a target for kings. With the king fish turning up it’s also usually the beginning of our summer run of bluefin tuna which are predominately a better run of fish and are easily targeted in a smaller boat. These fish are usually a lot more flighty due to the size of the bait they are eating and require stealth and smaller lures. At the Tackle Shack we have everything you’ll need to tackle these sport fish and can point you in the right direction of set ups and which lures and techniques to use when. Everything from live bait hooks, sluggo’s and Warrnambool’s biggest and best range of stick baits.
Estuaries: The estuaries around the south west have settled after the initial flow of dirty water came down and are starting to get back to some normality. The Curdies is reportedly the deepest entrance that people have seen in a very long time so fishing should improve as time goes on. Some nice fish have been caught in the lake at Peterborough on an incoming tide on fresh shrimp. Barry Johnson, Steve Grenfell and Peter White fished Yambuk late last week for some nice bream. The water level was very low as Whitey mentioned so launching and retrieving boats is a bit difficult at present. Salt water is only skimming over the top of the entrance due to the massive sand bar that is at the front of the system which will take a bit of moving. The Glenelg River fished well last week before the flood water came down which seen some cracking Mulloway caught. John McCosh landed some crackers to 28lb trolling live mullet but said once the dirty water came down that was it they couldn’t get any mullet. Some great perch fishing was had also before the dirty water came down but some schooling fish on the drop offs have kept anglers quite busy this past week casting plastics and metal vibes. The Hopkins River is fishing well for the bream right throughout the river as the water temperature has risen from 8 degrees to 11. A steady stream of salt water has made its way into the estuary on high tide and with the addition of some decent swell on the weekend it should only get better.
Freshwater: Phil Pirotta and Amanda Richards headed to Lake Bullen Merri on Sunday and armed with the 3 lures that they had on their rods thanks to Phil leaving the tackle bag at home they landed 3 Chinook Salmon trolling. The fishing in this lake has gradually been getting better and should provide some good fishing in the coming weeks. The Merri and Hopkins rivers in the upper section have been fishing well for trout for anglers casting hard bodies in the running water. Tim Vincent landed a couple trout this last couple of days using the Duo Realis Minnows. Things like the Berkley T-Tail minnow in black gold will start coming into their own with it being a standout dirty water combination.
This weekend looks a bit worse for wear on Saturday with 30km\h winds expected and some decent swell. Sunday is a northerly wind which might allow some boats to get out and fish in close for snapper and gummies. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.