In Depth Fishing Report 16/2

16 Feb 24

This week we have seen some great fishing weather that has gotten a few anglers back out onto the water after a fair bit of wind made it hard for most recently.


Saltwater: The reef fishing has been great over the past couple of weeks with loads of sharks, snapper, nannygai and other tasty critters from the inshore reefs. Lots of Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game members have been focusing on the bottom section of water with some great success. Janaka and Pete fished off Warrnambool as well where they scored a mega bag of gummy shark, snapper, nannygai, blue morwong and a big flathead. The boys also landed some good arrow squid which will keep their bait stocks going for a while. The reports don’t stop there though with Rhooky taking good mates Peter Goode, Marcus Norton and Jimmy Machony out on his beautiful Seacruiser 7100HT off Warrnambool. The boys got a feed of gummy shark, snapper, nannygai, cuttlefish and 4 solid school tuna. Rhooky mentioned the amount of bait off Warrnambool and it was only that morning that they were saying it won’t be long until the tuna find the schools of bait. Looks like they have well and truly found this bait and are gorging themselves on it which is great for us anglers. Using small skirts and hard bodied lures trolled behind the boat between 6-10 knots speeds will be hard for them to pass up. When choosing colours you can’t usually go wrong with a white or the trusty Halco Laser Pros in the King Brown colour. Most of the baitfish that are found in this part of the world have some sort of silver or white on them and these coloured lures replicate these very well. The King Brown is something that represents a squid and can be an absolute deadly choice when the tuna are around. Some anglers find it that productive they will have 2 or 3 in their spread which is saying something. They swim straight out of the box with no tweaking and will catch fish all day long on the same trebles they came with in the box, or swap them out for some singles to get a more solid hook up and be friendlier to the fish. Some decent King George whiting have been caught down at the Warrnambool breakwater lately by Cody Mailes and Josh Bell. The boys have been using pippies and squid on light set ups and have been loving it! There has also been some great crayfish being caught both in drop nets and diving. If you’re trying to get a crayfish please make sure you are doing it outside of the marine parks as this will save you a hefty fine if you are caught; as some have been recently. One easy way to know if you’re fishing in open waters is to download the VFA app on your phone and check on the map within the app that will tell you if you are allowed to actually fish in the area or not. A simple thing that will save you loads of money rather than guessing.


Estuaries: The Curdies River is fishing well for bream in the lake as found out by Barry Johnson and Peter White who ventured down during the week. The boys were using a mixture of shallow diving hard bodies such as the Daiwa Presso minnow and surface lures like the Bassday Sugarpen. Both these lures replicate the bait fish in the system which are commonly known by locals as grey back. These slender minnows are almost irresistible to most of the bream in the system so when you can match the hatch and use something that resembles these fish, you know it’s going to be a good day. When using shallow jerk baits such as the Daiwa Presso it’s very important to do lots of twitches and pauses to allow the fish time to first find the lure and second eat it properly. I found this super important on my recent trip to Gippsland on Australia’s biggest and baddest bream when they would only eat it with a pause. The Curdies bream are no different and probably are just as spooky at times so allowing your lure to just sit there after a few twitches is super important. Another thing that is probably more important than letting it sit is making sure your trebles are super sticky! These big bream can make an absolute mess of your hooks and in the rush of trying to get your lure back into the water it is often missed and when you get that bite from a big bream you miss it. I recommend either Decoy YS-25 or Owner ST36 trebles for all your bream lures. They come in a wide range of sizes and are suited for every type of lure needed to target bream with the exception of some blades that use assist hooks. Although this is very important for bream fishing I reckon a lot of us don’t check our hook points enough and often wonder why we aren’t hooking up. A quick check against your finger tip to see how sharp it is will allow you to make the decision straight away. If it isn’t grabbing at your skin then it won’t be grabbing at the fishes mouth either. The Hopkins River is looking very good for water quality for the bigger fish to begin feeding. The Warrnambool and District Angling Club is holding their annual twilight fishing competition on Saturday. Starting at 2pm and concluding at 8pm with pizza supplied for dinner after the weigh in. Entries will be taken from 1.30 at the clubrooms on Otway Road. 


This weekend sees some great weather on offer so hopefully we see some great fish being caught by everyone on the water. Tight lines and best of luck to everyone.