In Depth Fishing Report 17/11

17 Nov 22

Offshore: The fantastic shark fishing has continued this past week with some nice catches reported. Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game club president Anthony Smith caught a nice gummy shark onboard Peter Goode’s vessel. The key to success lately is being able to anchor on the right ground and berley hard to draw the fish into your area. Another crew that has done really well lately on the sharks has been Peter Brilliant, Kane Bolwell and Lochie Potter who scored some crackers off Port Fairy. Also mixed in with the sharks has been some solid nannygai and snapper which keep you entertained while waiting for a shark bite. Nannygai are regarded as one of the tastiest reef species in our area and are great fun on light gear and soft plastics or jigs. This time of year is the perfect time to use soft plastics and jigs, as the water warms up and the schools of pinkies and nannygai begin to flood the inshore reefs . The best plastic to target the inshore snapper is without a doubt the Berkley Gulp Nemesis Nuclear Chicken in the 4 or 5” range. Not only does this lure have plenty of action in it but also holds a very strong UV reactive colour. They can be worked with a simple hop, hop, pause retrieve or a flat retrieve with a couple twitches thrown in. Both work very well and will even get you some squid if you’re in the right ground. The jighead size that you will be most likely going to use is anywhere from 1/8oz through to 1/2oz, depending on the depth of water and the conditions you’re fishing. It's best to go as light as possible when doing this style of fishing, but make sure you're still close to the bottom. It’s a fine line between too heavy and not heavy enough so a range of sizes is very important. In other saltwater news there has been a few good whiting starting to turn up which is great for everyone who loves a feed of fresh whiting. Killarney has seen the water begin to clean up after the Merri Cutting caused the water turn dirty during the floods. Most anglers do prefer a little murkiness to the water when whiting fishing, as the fish tend to turn shy and head deeper when the water is clear; however floodwater isn't great for whiting. Portland has been the hot spot for big whiting with some monsters caught over at Black Nose. Pippies are still the number one bait that anglers have been using and can be helped stay on the hook with a small strip of squid over the top of the pippie. If you’re in a rush, or simply prefer the easy option, the Black Magic Whiting Snatchers are a great fit for you. Not only do they have plenty of attractive tinsel on each hook but they are rigged on Black Magic’s famous KL1/0 whiting hook. The Portland breakwater has seen a steady stream of snapper caught this past week. Fish to 75cm have been landed right up and down the wall which has made it quite busy. A few simple tips for fishing off a crowded breakwater will make yours and everyone else's time more enjoyable. First is knowing your ability casting, as the last thing you or anyone else wants is someone who can’t cast straight constantly casting over the top of them. If you’re not the best cast, then find a less crowded area to have a fish until you can cast straight. Next is paying attention to your rod and not others, as it’s easy to get distracted by someone else catching a fish when you’re not getting anything. It’s at that time that you will most likely get a bite and could cause tangles with other anglers if you’re not paying attention to your own. Lastly is having the right gear to land a fish of a lifetime if you do hook a fish. Proper gaffs, nets and in some instances proper clothing and footwear can make the difference between catching that fish (safely) or not.

Estuaries: the Hopkins river is still quite dirty but has dropped considerably over the past 2 weeks. Hopefully the big tides can make a difference and start to clear the water up coming into summer. Max Fry and Janaka Kandage have been landing some great perch on the fly and soft plastics cast into the shallows. Late afternoons have been the pick of time for targeting these fish as they move up onto the shallow water. After dark has also been producing some great fishing on the warmer nights around the bridge. Casting hard bodies after dark is a great way of getting the fishes attention due to the rattle in the lure. The best part about perch fishing is you don’t need a fancy retrieve to catch plenty. A simple flat roll will be all that’s needed for after dark. Over at the Glenelg River there has been a capture of a large carp that was caught at Donovan’s which weighed 9.5kg. As much as they are a big fish which can be fun to catch, they are a destructive pest species which can destroy river habitats in a short amount of time. Here’s hoping that it was only a one off, but I think with the amount in the upper reaches of the system it’s only a matter of time before they make their way down the estuary. If you catch one then please remember not to release them into the water. They need to be dispatched and placed in a bin so their eggs can’t make their way back into the waterway.

The weekend sees some more downpours of rain and strong winds which will make fishing very difficult. If you’re looking at going for a fish, then have a go at Warrnambool and District Angling Clubs monthly competition which is on this Sunday starting at 8am and finishing at 2pm. New and existing members welcome. Entries will be from 7.30am at the Hopkins River. Until next week tight lines and best of luck!