In Depth Fishing Report 1/3

01 Mar 24

Hopefully everyone made it through the Wednesday heat that the region encountered! The fishing has certainly been hot too, for those heading out offshore in search of a feed.


Saltwater: The fishing offshore has been excellent especially for snapper, gummy, school, and mako sharks. The gummy and school sharks can be targeted in any depth between 30 and 50m of water (or wider) lately with the best areas being located on rubbly bottom. These rougher areas often mean that you can find anything from a shark to a morwong. Using a double paternoster rig with circle hooks seems to be the norm nowadays. Dylan Fiasco headed out with a handful of our frozen Seaford berley logs in search of a gummy or two. As he said the berley logs worked a treat with him landing a few solid sharks on the bottom. Peter Goode took out Craig and Sam Kermond searching for Sam’s first shark. He ticked that off with a solid 16kg school shark which put a big smile on his face. Not long after he was tight to something pulling a lot harder which turned out to be a 5.2kg Tassie trump. Although these fish aren’t the biggest down there they are certainly one of the hardest fighting fish in deeper water. Not only do they head shake madly, but they won’t give up until they are out of the water. Typically found in waters off here between 80-150m when you get one it’s certainly a great achievement regardless of the size. Using any fillet of fresh fish is a must in deeper water as it will stay on the hook well; you don’t want to winding up the bait often to check it! Winding up 12-24oz of sinker as well as chunky fillets, and maybe a fish, up from 150m certainly gives you a workout. There’s a big shift with anglers using smaller electric reels rather than spinning or overhead reels. Not only can they be used in deeper water but they also make a great winch for your berley pot when chasing sharks on the bottom. There’s still reports coming in for tuna in close which have been taking small white bait. It’s just about trying to match the hatch and changing your lures to suit the bait colour or profile. Dropping leader sizes this time of year is also a great way to get more bites. Tony Read and Wayne Parry hit the Nullawarre beaches armed with our school shark rigs, berley and squid and bagged a couple of nice gummy sharks and a number of pinkies. This time of year usually sees a few gummy shark making their way into the shallow waters in search of velvet crabs and other crustaceans.


Estuaries: The Hopkins River has seen more big perch caught around the bridge on live crabs and lures. Geoff Collins landed a solid 42cm perch while using live crabs under the bridge. Along with that nice perch he and his son Flynn also caught a stack of bream up river. Casting super close to the fallen trees in the upper section the bream were launching in the air after being hooked. Nick Moon mentioned that he also had a great session on the rock walls but said that the fish right up on the edge were super spooky. He had to fish the first and secondary drop offs to get the feeding ones. Making long and accurate casts along the bank will allow you to bring your lure past these more spooky fish. When casting your lure try holding your line up off the water which will again aid you to not let the fish see it coming. Accurate casts will not only mean that you can pinpoint different parts of the banks but will mean you’re spending less time hung up on rocks and other structures. One other waterway that is still fishing well is the upper Curdies River. A few top anglers have been using topwater lures to tempt these solid bucket mouths but there have been a few larger fish that have left a lasting memory in the minds of those. Even running 12lb leader they still win their freedom up there. One of the anglers that have been hitting these fish up with great success said he will start using 15lb leader due to one roasting by a massive fish. The secret to landing big fish in tight structure is to keep the head coming and don’t stop winding especially when you’re winning. It only takes the fish to change their angle by 5 degrees and they have taken your lure and your excitement. Whatever you do don’t let them turn their head back to the snag or you’ll be licking your wounds with your line drifting in the wind with nothing attached. 


The Glenelg Hopkins CMA have again placed some more snags in the Hopkins River. These fish hotels as they are formally known were built and constructed by the Warrnambool, Allansford and Koroit Angling Clubs in a display of commitment to make our waterway one that will benefit our kids in the future. Around 30 hotels were placed in areas where there is minimal structure for fish and bait fish to use as a hiding place from predators. With the 120 or so that are already in the river the research has shown phenomenal increases in fish numbers alongside the structures since installation. Some were almost 4 times the amount of that particular species off one set of snags. These guys and girls do an incredible job for the health of our waterways and I don’t think they get anywhere near enough recognition off the waterway users especially us fishermen and women. Keep up the great work Bluey and team. 


This weekend looks to be a bit rough for any offshore fishing with south westerly winds making life hard for anglers. If you do happen to get out for a fish then feel free to message us a picture to use in next weeks column or on our social media platforms. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.