In Depth Fishing Report 15/9

15 Sep 23

Hopefully everyone got through last Friday relatively unscathed and can now focus on the best time of year for fishing in the south west. Some excellent captures are still being caught after the big swell last Friday.


Saltwater: Like last week the big tuna are again coming thick and fast for those having a crack at them. These fish are spread from Western Port entrance all the way to Robe now so there’s plenty of opportunity to catch that fish of a lifetime. One fish and a memory that will stick with a group of mates fishing onboard Salty Dog Charters was a 2m barrel that was caught on Troy’s bucks party charter. The beers would’ve been flowing long and hard after this one especially after landing the second best catch of his life- after his fiancé! Another great effort was Phil Pirotta fishing solo who landed a solid barrel locally straight after work on a Bonze D-Shackle in Electric Salmon colour which is a very underrated colour in the South West. This fish was caught right here off Warrnambool and is a sign of the great fishing that our region has. If you are launching please take note of the tide as the sand bar at the end of the boat ramp is nearly impossible to launch your boat on low tide. On high tide it should be fine but I would strongly advise that you check the water level before launching to not only save disappointment but also damaging your boat. Like other years spring is the stand out time for fishing for gummy sharks. Chris Clarke and his dad Neil had a great day on the water fishing off Warrnambool where Chris scored his PB gummy that weighed in at 24.56kg. A big shark for sure, and one that would make most people very happy on the kitchen table. Andrew Buck from the workshop fished off Port Fairy in the middle of the week where he landed some nice flathead, a blue shark estimated at 70kg and lost a big gummy. There has been some solid whiting being caught but numbers remain low. When you can find them they are the right size fish and can quickly make a good feed for a few people. Best baits as usual are pippies and squid. The wrasse have been annoying a lot of anglers who are trying to target a whiting so it might be worth while using both on the hook. To do this all you do is put the pippy on first and cut a small strip of squid and put that on the hook. What this does is allows the whiting to pick at the pippy without ripping it off completely. The squid is a lot harder bait to rip off the hook so even if they do get the pippy they still have something to pick at.


Estuaries: This weekend sees 41 teams hit the Hopkins River in search of the prized bream that the system is known for. The past few weeks have been tough to say the least but with a great band of weather here, the water will begin to warm up. The big tides have also made a considerable difference to the water clarity especially down the front section. My prediction is for a soft plastic bite and majority of fish caught between 1.5-3m of water going off what it has been like lately. If you’re wanting to come down and have a look at the daily weigh ins on Saturday and Sunday they will be at the Ski Club beginning at 2pm. With some local guns putting it all out there come on down and cheer on our local anglers. Over at the Glenelg River there has been some whispers of a few mulloway starting to show up in the bottom section of the river. Not surprising when we have had big tides during the day and massive swells too. Paul Ford landed a fish of a lifetime during the week whilst fishing off his shack across from the kiosk. Relaxing using some bait on a great sunny day he caught a thumping 45cm bream that weighed 4lb. This river isn’t known for big fish like this, so to catch one is a really solid effort. Often known for the amount of fish in the system rather than size, it’s great to see some big fish still in the river and willing to eat during the day. There have also been some excellent perch fishing from Taylor’s Straight to the mouth by anglers casting vibes in the deeper section of the water. Small hops are the key when these fish are schooled on the bottom because it annoys them into biting the lure rather than chasing it from a height. Hurricane Vibz37 and Samaki Vibelicious are both working very well and will tempt a bite from a feeding mulloway also.


Freshwater: The redfin at Lake Purrumbete have been prolific with Ken from Victorian Inland Charters putting his customers onto some brilliant fishing. On some of their recent trips they have been landing over 50 fish on a range of Fish Arrow soft plastics and live minnow. On the trout front there has been some small tigers and chinook salmon caught close to the boat ramp in the thick weed beds. During last weekends big fly tournament held at Purrumbete the majority of boats were over on these smaller fish. Just shows how tough it is at the moment and the fact that there isn’t many big fish cruising the edges. Ken reports that they haven’t seen any of the big Chinook Salmon on the surface for ages which is unusual, as every year they usually see some type of action on the surface from a number of big fish. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not but it seems as though the tiger trout they have been stocking are so aggressive that maybe the brown trout and chinook salmon aren’t getting a look in. This seems to be a feeling amongst anglers who fish Lake Bullen Merri a fair bit too. The smaller tiger trout are owning the banks and making it super hard for the bigger trout to get a look in. There has been some great Chinook Salmon caught around the edges of the drop off by Xavier and Marty Ellul while trolling Daiwa Double Clutches. Xav also caught a big Tiger Trout recently that measured 62cm. With the water warming up in Lake Purrumbete I would expect the Redfin to only get better coming into spring proper.


A solid few days of weather should mean we can expect more tuna and gummy shark reports from offshore over the weekend. If you’re planning a trip in the Hopkins just remember about the tournament taking place here this weekend to save disappointment arriving at the ramp. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.