In Depth Fishing Report 15/12

15 Dec 23

The summer species have well and truly made their presence felt this past week or so! Bottom fishing has been excellent and the pelagic topwater has been great too.


Offshore: the annual king fish migration is definitely upon us with some great fishing being had to get the season rolling. There has already been some PB fish caught by those that chase them regularly. One of which was Brenton Crowe who got his new personal best at 110cm and 10kg. Trolling slightly wider than the main group of boats, he was able to raise this fish away from the main school. Sometimes getting away from the boat traffic and all the noise is the best thing for your fishing results. Another die-hard king fish angler who has been getting some quality fish is Luke Gercovich. Already this year he has got fish to 17kg on a mixture of Sluggos and topwater stick baits and poppers. Getting up into the shallow water when the sea lets you is certainly the way the big fish are landed but we haven’t really had many days or nights like this for a while. Lady Julia Percy Island has long been known for its kingfish over summer but these fish are typically harder to catch compared to Portland fish. Trolling live baits on downriggers around the many bommies can turn into a real battle. Locked drags are sometimes not enough to stop these hard rampaging pelagics. These hard fighting fish demand the right gear to target them and the new Daiwa Saltist and Shimano Extraction rod ranges are just that! In these new ranges of rods there is something for everyone from casting at topwater kings and tuna, to bottom fishing for some reefies. The gummy fishing has really fired up over the past couple of weeks with some great sharks being landed. Salty Dog Charters Port Fairy have been getting their customers onto some great reef fishing of late. Bagging out on big gummies this time of year is what Dan and Phil Hoey are known for. Along with some other tasty fish such as snapper, leather jackets and the odd king fish mixed in their customers have been left with some great memories and fillets for the table. Speaking of good eating fish, the King George whiting have been keeping anglers rods bent inshore and off the rocks. Although the numbers haven’t turned up as yet the size has certainly made up for that. Some great fish to 45cm have been landed both at the Warrnambool Breakwater and Killarney beach too. Using our fresh pippies as bait, these small but hard fighting fish put up a great account for themselves especially in shallow water on the appropriate tackle. A 2-4kg rod with a slow action is a perfect rod for our area where there is minimal tide movement. If you were to chase them in Port Phillip and Western Port Bays you would need something with a bit more back bone to accommodate for the heavier sinkers and faster moving tides. Luckily we don’t need to worry about that so a standard bream or trout rod will suffice for what we need here.


Estuaries: the Hopkins River mouth is blocked and is fishing quite well, with a tendency towards quantity over quality bream. These fish have been wide spread and taking a range of different baits and lures. Soft baits such as pod worms, peeled prawns or river shell meat are all worth a crack at present. Hard baits such as whole crabs and river shells cast against rock walls will be worth a try also and often result in bigger fish. On the lure front there have been a few customers who have been out on the warm evenings lately casting topwater lures. These lures can be an action packed way of targeting bream and perch but can also be a very frustrating way especially if they keep coming up and rolling on the lure rather than eating it. Sometimes they will rip the rod out of your hand and explode on the lure and other times they simply will make a boil behind the lure and swim off. Not much you can do when it’s like that! The Curdies River is also blocked and has quickly risen into the Boggy Creek car park which is making launching and retrieving boats a bit of an issue for some. A mixture of bream and perch are being caught on both hard bodies and soft plastics fished around the bottom reaches of the river itself. This time of year we see a lot of schools of fish actively cruising the edges in search of an easy feed and they usually can’t resist a plastic or hard body worked along the edges. Upstream typically sees a better run of fish this time of year and is a great place to try a surface session. Bent Minnows and Daiwa Slippery Dogs are a great option for both bream and perch as they provide a bit more subtle action and less movement by you as an angler. With some warmer nights just around the corner I reckon this type of fishing is going to start going off! The one thing to remember is to not use too long of a leader which will make the lure sink under the surface. A short leader of about 2-3ft will be perfect!


School is out now so a lot more anglers will be out amongst the fishing. Please remember to brush up on your safety equipment and regulations before hitting the water to avoid getting a fine which will be enforced this summer. New life jacket laws for guardians and parents with kids under 16 are now in place and will be enforced so have a look into that. If you have any questions regarding these new regulations then come in and see us and we will explain what they are. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.