In Depth Fishing Report 1/9

01 Sep 22
The fishing in the south west has been fantastic this week with plenty of options for all anglers. Freshwater has seen some great trout fishing, and in the offshore side of things it’s the barrels that are still causing havoc offshore.

Freshwater: the Merri River is fishing very well for trout, and should continue now that the dirty water has come down after recent high rainfalls. So what are you supposed to look for when the water is filthy and running hard? Here’s a few tips and tricks to try on your next outing. If you’re fishing a plain stretch of river with no structure, try walking to the nearest corner or bend in the river. What this does is creates different water patterns and movement, whether it be a slower moving section of water on the inside of the bank or a faster section on the outside. These are prime spots to target trout because they can sit and conserve their energy until some food comes by. Also, when fishing fast flowing water like a rapid or shallow section, the key is to watch the water and see what it is doing. What you are looking for is bubble trails and slower moving water where the trout can sit and ambush. This can also be as simple as a rock that is slowing the flow and giving the fish somewhere to rest. The lures to use this time of year and in these conditions are Daiwa Presso 95s, Zipbait Rigge 70s and the old favourite Rapala Floating in 7 and 9cm models. Bright colours are definitely a better option rather than natural looking patterns due to the reduced water clarity.

Saltwater: as I mentioned earlier, the big bluefin continue to mesmerise anglers from all over the state and abroad. A couple of anglers who have been targeting one of these fish for a long time are Amanda Pirotta and Nate Monaghan. For both, it all came together on the weekend with a couple of solid fish coming onboard both their boats. Amanda’s was a stubborn fish that took 2.5 hours to land. I’m sure Amanda will remember this capture for a long time yet. Nate has had some heartbreak moments recently after hooking the elusive barrel time and time again, but failing to land his first due to pulled hooks and bust offs. Last weekend wasn’t a repeat, as he finally got that fish while fishing with his mate Ryan off Portland. In other offshore news there has been a good run of gummy and school sharks off Port Fairy with some weighing more than 30kg. Fresh baits have been the standout, with barracouta and yakkas being the best choices. If catching fresh baits sounds like too much work, then our IQF pilchards and squid have also been catching their fair share of sharks recently. The snapper haven’t made their way in close yet, but there are some great fish offshore in the 100-150m mark which is what Luke Smith and Tyson Osborne found during last week. They landed some solid snapper on jigs, with fish to approximately 6kg making their way onto the deck. Snapper aren’t targeted as commonly in these depths, but Luke is making a habit of catching quality fish out deep at this time of year. Finding likely looking structure is the key, so a good quality sounder with a 1kw transducer is a must. Even a rise of 5m off the bottom can be enough to hold these fish, so keeping a close eye on the sounder is needed. It won’t be long and we will be inundated with the snapper in close.

Estuaries: the Hopkins is very dirty at the moment, but that didn’t stop 33 anglers hitting the water for the Warrnambool and District Angling Clubs first competition for the year. Anglers fishing bait definitely did better than those casting lures, and this is probably due to the cold water and low visibility. Heaviest fish in the men’s section went to Shane Murphy with a 1.258kg bream. Shane also got the heaviest bag with 5/5 bream for 4.436kg and were caught on cut mullet and pod worms. Kylie Rowe caught the heaviest bream for the comp and took out the ladies section with a 1.307kg fish caught on a small piece of pilchard. The junior section was a hotly contested affair, with 8 juniors battling it out for bragging rights. Fishing for the first time ever, Laila Brown caught the heaviest for a junior weighing 1.17kg which is a great fish in anyone’s books. Fair to say her dad Adam was absolutely stoked when she landed it. Kalli McLaren also caught a nice fish weighing 1.043kg which made the girls excited and wanting to go again very soon.

The weekend looks touch and go for the offshore brigade but I’m sure if there is a small window, then they will take advantage of that. Don’t forget our trout competition is in full swing where we are giving away a lure pack and Atomic Arrows rod thanks to Frogleys Offshore. To find out more come into the shop and we will set you up. Tight lines and best of luck!