In Depth Fishing Report 18/8

18 Aug 22

Another wild week of weather here in Warrnambool meaning that fishing opportunities have been rather limited. However with all the rainfall and therefore flow in our rivers, the trout fishing has proved incredibly popular and productive. Let’s take a look at what’s been caught this windy August week.

In the salt, anglers have had to either stay at home or face the full force of strong winds and rain. In the small windows of opportunity, Portland’s barrels have continued to fire. Sharkmen Charters has landed multiple fish over 100kg for clients this week; that’s worth braving the weather for! James Cauchi and Ashby Hoey also landed a 92kg fish on Sunday, taken trolling with a Bonze Spreader Bar for a teaser. This fish was also taken at Portland. Double hook-ups have been reported once the fish have been found. Trolling using large skirts such as the Bonze Exocet, JB Dingo and Jaks Zeus has caught the majority of fish. Heading further east, a few nice barrels have also been caught off Apollo Bay, one of which was over 130kg. School tuna reports have been quieter, but there is some being caught off Port Fairy in 50m. One can only expect that rough weather will be stirring up the sharks and snapper, bringing them closer inshore, so watch this space once the weather improves!

In terms of estuary fishing, the Glenelg River has been the place to be this week. Young Toby Hellesey headed up the river from Nelson and had a fantastic day, landing bream to 38cm and estuary perch to 43cm. They’re fantastic fish in anyone’s books! A few mid-sized mulloway have also been landed from the Glenelg. If you’re planning to head over, use your sounder to mark up the fish first; a crucial tactic for winter fishing when the fish school up. I’d then recommend a small soft plastic (Daiwa Bait Junkie or Z-Man Slim Swimz) on a 1/12th jighead, cast ahead of the school and slowly worked back through. Bait fishing for mulloway can also be a productive method in winter. Fishing the deeper drop offs and holes (again using a sounder), with mullet, salmon, squid or beach worms as bait is how most do it. Reports from the Hopkins River here in Warrnambool have remained slow, continuing the trend from the last few months.

As mentioned, most anglers have stuck to the rivers this week due to the wild weather. We’ve had quite a good trout season so far and with the flows only increasing, we should only see things improving. The Merri River has been the place to be, with the popular locations getting plenty of anglers passing through each day. Woodford and the weir have remained the most favoured spots. Nate Monaghan has continued his success this week, casting shallow running hardbodies around Woodford with his mate Jesse Mahoney-Gilchrist, with the duo landing some nice trout. Another young duo who caught some good trout was Xavier Ellul and his mate Jaxon, with the boys finding success on the Zipbait Rigge lures. The volcanic crater lakes of western Victoria have also kept up their strong reputation as some of the best in mainland Australia. An 11lb 4oz brown trout was taken out of Lake Purrumbete this week by Mick Evans; that’s an incredible sized trout anywhere in the world; and they’re right here on our doorstep. Mick was casting a bent minnow lure right on sunset, a very exciting way of catching these giant trout. Lake Bullen Merri is still fishing well for landbased anglers due to the boat ramp repair situation. Rainbow and tiger trout, and chinook salmon, are all being taken creating an interesting mixed bag of species.

With the wild weather continuing, it’s looking like another week of rugging up and giving the inland fishing a go. Best of luck!

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