In Depth Fishing Report 10/11

10 Nov 22

Have we turned a corner with conditions or what! The weekend was an absolute cracker and the offshore crew took full advantage of the conditions.

Offshore: Offshore anglers had to wait a couple of weeks to get some good conditions, but it sure was worth the wait. Both gummy and school sharks were lining up to take baits. Peter Goode, Kev and Archer Mills had a sensational day off Port Fairy on the sharks. Kev got fish of the day with a solid school shark weighing in at 25.6kg! That’s a serious schoolie in anyone’s books and one he will remember for a long time yet. Young guru Nate Monaghan landed some solid snapper and sharks also over the weekend off Port Fairy. Using the Black Magic KLT hooks he said they worked a treat with every shark and snapper getting pinned in the corner of the jaw. These hooks have made such a big difference to the South West bottom bashers. Not only are they super sharp and super strong but they also have a coating on the hook to help eliminate the chance of rust and also makes the hook slip into the fish easier. Another crew who had a great day on the water was Harry Anders and Shane Cromie. They landed some nice sharks and a thumping big snapper measuring over 80cm. Is this the best start to the snapper season we have seen in the south west? Further west at Portland there has been plenty of activity on the Lee Breakwater with some solid snapper caught landbased. There has also been some good gummy sharks landed which have been mixed in with the snapper. Inside the breakwater, anglers have been catching a few squid around the new jetties and moored boats. With this warm weather around for a few days, we might see a start to the king fish season which will get a lot of hardcore anglers pumped.

Estuaries: The local estuaries have still been flowing high and dirty recently, and one that’s been hit the hardest is the Hopkins which is still flowing now.  This hasn't deterred anglers who putting boats in and fishing down the bottom section. One of these anglers caught a bream over 2kg; exactly what the Hopkins is famous for. It wasn’t the only big fish that he caught for the day, with his 5 heaviest fish weighing just under 7kg. Fishing cut mullet has been the stand out bait for these big fish and we have finally got our hands on some in the shop.  The strong smell emitted by mullet baits works extremely well for big bream, especially in dirty water. It's also a top mulloway bait for either the river or surf. The Fitzroy River played host to the Warrnambool and District Angling clubs competition a couple of weekends ago. Some nice fish were weighed in, but it was Dudley Wright who came out on top in the open section with 5/5 bream for 3.799kg and the biggest for the competition 988g. Jessica Lane kept her winning form with the heaviest bream for ladies; a 770g fish. In his first competition with the club, young gun Max Fry took out the junior section weighing in his heaviest fish of 822g. All of Max’s fish came on the fly which was a great effort for a kid of his age. The Glenelg River has been a bit slow due to a fair bit of dirty water making its way down the system. The bottom end of the river has still been producing some great bream and ep’s on the turn of the tide.

Freshwater: Further up the Glenelg, Rocklands has been absolutely pumping with anglers flocking to the lake in search of a Murray Cod or golden perch. If you are looking to head up that way, then take care when driving to your camp site and stick to the tracks, as police have had to pull lots of people out lately after they tried to make a detour through the bush. Some anglers have caught in excess of 15 yellowbelly in a single session on a range of soft plastics and vibe style lures. The dam wall was the hot spot but since the water level has risen they seem to have moved off and are on the points and timber again. Using the sounder is very important especially the Clear View setting which helps distinguish between the snags and schools of fish. It's a good idea to use both the traditional sonar and Clear View side by side which helps determine bait and structure; as each will display certain underwater features better. When you do find some good signs then you will need to rotate lures or baits until you work out what they are wanting on the day. The soft plastics that work well are Z-Man Grubz in motor oil and midnight oil, and can be fished on a standard jig head or an added spin jig. Black is a very popular colour for yellowbelly too. A simple flat retrieve in open water will give you the best chance to hook into a bass, redfin or a yellowbelly. If you’re fishing snags then I would suggest using a weedless jig head so you can bring it through the snag without getting hung up all the time. Lake Purrumbete continues to produce some excellent trout fishing especially for the feisty tiger trout which have been prolific. One angler caught 15 in a session while chasing browns on top water. Warwick Hamer managed to get past the tigers and landed a solid brown trout during the Lake Purrumbete Angling Club's competition. His heaviest fish was an 8lb hen which took out the heaviest fish section. Most anglers are still casting topwater lures for them in amongst the weeds which is a great way to target trout. The explosive strike is something that you won’t be able to forget and will have you coming back for more.

This weekend is looking to be another fishable one with light winds expected on Saturday. Hopefully you get out and wet a line! Until next week tight lines and best of luck.