With this week’s foul weather making it near impossible to hit the open ocean, this report will be quite short and focused on inland fishing. I’ll then talk about targeting school and gummy sharks in the colder months of the year, which now isn’t far away!

Estuaries: The Hopkins River is again high and nearly blocked due to the lack of water flowing down the system and big swells. This hasn’t deterred the fish which have continued to be spread right throughout the system. Typically when the water level rises the mud flat opposite to Proudfoots is the hot spot as the bream move shallow in search of the shells and crustaceans that are found there. If you are planning on trying this area and you haven’t done so before, then take extreme caution as there are some nasty posts and metal poles that will soon do some damage to your boat or engine. As a rule of thumb if you fish outside of the buoys that line the front of the flat you should be fine. Once you go inside these you’re in the nasty stuff. The reason these fish get up into the shallow water is simple, it’s where all the food is. If bait is your preference then using baits such as crab, cut mullet and fresh river shells is your best choice. Fish these on little to no weight to allow the fish to pick the bait up properly without feeling any unnatural pressure. On the lure side of things then casting shallow hard bodies and lightly weighted soft plastics will be your best option. Once the water begins to cool right down then the bream and perch will head to deeper water. Using metal blade lures has been the choice during this time for a few years now, and can turn a slow day into a memorable one. Cricket scores aren’t uncommon when they are holding deep due to the sheer numbers that are typically in one school. Use your electronics this time of year as  it cuts your searching time down massively. The Glenelg River is beginning to fire up on the mulloway front. Local angler Paul has been nailing some nice fish with 5 over 90cm in the past 2 trips. Trolling live mullet has been the standout technique and should continue over winter. The bream and perch have also been fishing well on Cranka Crabs along the rock walls. Ben Jeffrey has been landing some great bream up to 42cm around the Donovan’s area. Casting tight into the snags is the only way to be consistent with Crankas, but can result in many fish and lures lost.

Freshwater: The trout have begun to fish really well with many fish already being landed casting hardbodies and plastics. Chris Walpole and his sons have been catching some nice fish on small grub style plastics and hard bodies. The boys have caught fish to 4lb but have caught lots of fish around the 2lb mark also. Luke Gercovich has also been fishing for these fish with great success, landing trout to 63cm. To target these bigger fish you’ll need to up your lures and leaders in order to stay connected with them. Typically an 8lb leader will be enough for most fish but there are some absolute thumpers around and 12lb or higher is needed sometimes. The water has just begun to flow again and this is usually go time for every trout angler. Do the miles on foot to cover the ground and you’ll find more success.

As mentioned earlier, the colder months are certainly a great time to target both school and gummy sharks along our coast. Huge numbers of both species make their way along the coast during their spawning season. The best part of this time of year is where you can target them. Any depth from 30-100m of water is well worth a shot at. Fishing with tough baits such as barracouta, squid, mullet or tuna are all great options. Wire trace is a great option to avoid being chewed off by the school sharks but there’s a difference between some wires. If you use a uncoated type then your bite rate will be very low in comparison to a coated wire. This is purely due to sharks being able to sense the wire without a coating due to their receptors on the sides of their body. Fishing a heavier mono leader will get you more bites, there’s no doubt about that but it’s landing these toothy critters that is an issue. Along with being bitten off, these sharks can roll in the line and chafe your line off. We hand-tie a twin hook rig in the Tackle Shack with wire bite traces on a 150lb main line to avoid this. One other piece of advice would be to run another leader from your braid down to your rig which will also help avoid being rubbed off on the sharks raspy skin. Attach this with either an FG or a PR knot as a bigger knot can become caught in the tip when you wind it through the guides.

This weekend looks to be an absolute shocker! Strong winds and 3m+ swells is going to make it very tough to fish anywhere. If you do get out over the weekend remember to send your pics into fishing@richardsonmarine.com.au or via our social media platforms. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.