In Depth Fishing Report 16/6

16 Jun 23

Fishing opportunities have been few and far between as most anglers have been putting their rods and reels away for the winter. For those that have embraced winter and the cold weather, the fishing has been great.

Saltwater: Barrel tuna have been reportedly caught off Port Fairy thanks to warmer water coming in just behind Lady Julia Percy Island. One crew from Geelong landed 5 over a couple of days trolling skirts in amongst the dolphins and whales that are on the same bait balls as the tuna. Just a reminder about keeping a safe distance from dolphins and whales even though it’s hard when dolphins come to you. If you find a work up and there are dolphins and whales present, just try and keep your distance as the authorities will fine you and you may get a prosecution if it’s deemed serious enough. Unfortunately there is a small group the will deliberately troll as close to these animals as possible to try and hook a tuna. Just something to be aware of when chasing them. Pilchards, redbait and couta have all been sighted which means that the colour choices are almost always endless when trying to decide your skirt. Blues and silvers work great when the pilchards and couta are about and when redbait is prevalent then purples and obviously blue and red skirts work very well. Deep divers will also be worth a shot this late in the season especially lures that can dive to 40ft like the Nomad DTX200’s. These lures draw the fish from under the school of bait and troll very well in rough conditions thanks to its auto tune bib. Dan Hoey from Salty Dog Charters has been catching some lovely gummy sharks off Portland while chartering his customers. Along with other reef species such as snapper and nannygai all customers were left with some brilliant eating fish. They also have been running into some mako sharks while bottom fishing too. Although we always complain about how cold the weather is and what the wind does in winter, when you get the chance you should take it as the fishing has been great. 

Estuaries: The Hopkins River was set to play host to the VicBream Classics teams this weekend but thanks to some technicalities with weather predictions it has been called off. That being said it has still been fishing very well for those using soft plastics and blade lures. Corey and Sam Powell snuck out on Sunday for a couple of hours and managed some nice bream to 38cm and a few perch also. Thanks to the dirty water we should start to see these fish move off the edges and begin moving into deeper water looking for more oxygen and salt content. The last two weekends they have moved from the first shallow ledge out to 2.5m and will most likely head even further out. Using your fish finders this time of year is invaluable and will definitely cut down the search time on the water. Finding the halocline is sometimes as important as finding the fish themselves cause this is where the fish should be holding. Anytime you can find this on your sounder it’s a good thing in winter and will most likely result in you doing well. Black vibe lures such as the Hurricane Vibz 37 have been producing both plenty of bream and perch. Other lures that have been catching some good fish include the new Daiwa Spike 53EXDR which dives to a maximum of 4m and is a great option this time of year. Not only does it work in deep water but can also be used in shallower than 4m and dragged along the bottom digging the mud and sand. A slow roll is all you need to do when using these lures as the wide action does the work for you. 

Freshwater: How good has the Merri River been fishing so far this season! Loads of big fish have already been caught this season, with conditions looking promising for further improvements. Surely it can’t get much better than what we are experiencing at the moment but once the water really starts to flow we could well see it get better. Jessica Lane landed a beautiful looking buck brown at the Bromfield Street weir during the week after seeing it smash bait at her feet. Using longer style minnows in the slightly dirty water will create a bigger profile in the water and stand out for them. Typically lures such as the Rapala Floating range in the Perch and Brook Trout colour work really well thanks to the orange belly and bright flanks. Mark Gercovich has now caught the same fish twice in the past 2 weeks on the same lure and the same spot in the Merri. Not often this happens but it’s been happening a bit the past couple of seasons which might mean that these fish are becoming super territorial and won’t move too far from their happy place.


The weekend sees some rotten weather on the way and very little chance of getting out anywhere. If you do head out and want to share your catch then send it to or via our socials.