In Depth Fishing Report 1/9

01 Sep 23

Well the seasons are changing, and with that comes a whole lot of expectation for spring fishing. Although winter was a cold windy one this year it certainly finished strong on the fishing front.

Saltwater: there are more and more sharks coming in from anglers fishing out the local ports. Anywhere from Peterborough to Portland is producing; so basically anywhere! Baits of squid, wrasse or other fish on a double paternoster with wire droppers (like our own Tackle Shack rigs) fished in 35-120m of water will get you onto a few; but this time of the year the action comes closer inshore. Tuna continue to bite well; there's whispers of barrels out of Port Fairy but most crews are fishing out of Portland. Matt Nash headed out of Portland with Kowen and Lewis, landing two barrels including Kowen's first. Sharkmen Charters and Matthew Hunt have also been putting clients consistently on barrels this week. With flat weather, you might be able to go for a deep drop too; a few boats including Wayne Sleep have been getting amongst hapuka and blue eye trevalla.

Freshwater: the trout and redfin across our district have been excellent in both rivers and lakes with some quality fish being landed both on land and by boat. Lake Bullen Merri has been fishing well for chinook salmon for those fishing out of boats trolling lures and fishing with pilchards down deep. Marty and Xavier Ellul have been landing some great fish trolling hard bodies along the edges, and bait fishing, with the best fish being a 62cm tiger trout caught by Xav. These fish have started to move out off the edges after their attempted spawning and even though they don’t successfully spawn they will still move into the shallows trying to. Scott Gray has been having some excellent sessions casting some flies along the edge while polaroiding. In some sessions the scoreboard has been at 16 fish which is a great trip in anyone’s books. Most of these fish are the feisty tiger trout that are super aggressive and willing to eat nearly anything that’s moving. One note for those that are planning on taking the trip to Bullen Merri is to check the boat ramp for algal slime which unfortunately resulted in a brand new ute ending up in the water. Just a quick check in the water at the ramp surface is potentially all it takes to save a disaster like this. Over at Purrumbete the redfin have been going very well especially for Ken Carman of Victorian Inland Charters. Using soft plastics deep in the schools of reddies his clients have been catching lots of healthy fish. One thing that’s good about them lately is they don’t seem to be moving around as much as they usually are. Typically you will need to make multiple moves to keep on the fish but they are sticking to certain areas more lately. The key like normal is using your fish finder to track them down and then quietly drop an anchor or put the electric motor down and spot lock on top of them. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen boaters find a school of fish and then proceed to throw the anchor from here to Timbuctoo which only does one thing; spook the fish! The trout have been a bit quiet but there was a whisper of an 82cm tiger trout which is enormous if it’s true. Hopefully coming into spring we will see a few big browns coming out of Purrumbete.

Estuaries: the Hopkins River has again thrown a curve ball with some tough fishing being had over the weekend. Allansford and District Angling Club held a competition in here on Sunday and tough is an understatement. Out of the 11 entrants there were only 5 fish caught which just shows what sort of day they had. Wendy Pemberton caught a nice 1.044kg bream in the ski run. Tom Pemberton caught the heaviest fish for the men’s section with a 749g bream which was caught in the Hen and Chickens area. Warrnambool and District Angling Club have a competition this weekend which will be interesting to see how it fishes. The competition will kick off at 8am with entries from 7.30am at the clubrooms. All new and existing members are most welcome to come along and fish. A BBQ will follow the weigh in. The Fitzroy River has seen some monster estuary perch caught lately by both lure and bait anglers. Kurtis Powers scored his new PB perch during the Warrnambool and District Angling Club’s previous competition. This fish weighed in at 2.294kg and was caught on Rapala’s new Crush City Creeper which is a grub style soft plastic. Measuring 53cm this is a true fish of a lifetime and one that didn’t come in easy. This fish took the plastic only a few cm’s off the bank and zipped back in under to the structure. After quickly lifting the anchor his grandfather Barry Johnson moved the boat closer to try and pull the fish out of the snags. After some tense moments the fish was landed much to Kurtis’ excitement.