In Depth Fishing Report 2/2

02 Feb 24

This week has seen some great fish caught both from the bank and out of boats. This is an excellent indication of the opportunities that we have along our unique coastline.

Saltwater: the Warrnambool Breakwater has been a hot spot these past couple of weeks due to it's close proximity to the caravan parks and heart of town. There’s been a few good King George whiting caught both by travelling anglers and locals alike. Using pippies and pilchard fillets on a lightly weighted paternoster rig cast into the sand patches and under the boats has been a great productive way of collecting a feed. Not only have the whiting been great but the snapper have been on the chew down there also. These anglers have been getting a big fright when the snapper move in and take the light rods set up for a whiting. Most of these fish are under 40cm but in shallow water and light line they put up quite the tussle. Soft plastics in the 2.5-4” range fished on a light jig head is also a great way to target these snapper. One of the all time favourite plastics is the Berkeley Gulp Turtleback worm which can be used to target both the whiting and snapper. If using them for whiting you would be best to attach a stinger hook in the tail. This will allow the whiting to pick at the tail and get hooked in their small mouth. Simply tying a light leader to the eyelet of the jig head and pin the hook just in front of the grub tail is best place to do this. Using burley to draw the fish in from a distance is again the best way to get interest from the fussy ones. Speaking of fussy eaters the school tuna have finally made their way down towards Port Fairy and Warrnambool. Edward Jacobs landed a solid fish trolling a small fly behind his dad Adrian’s boat out the back of Killarney. Taking 40 minutes to land on an 8 weight fly rod Eddie was definitely puffed by the end of it which I don’t blame him. Sometimes downsizing your offering to these fussy fish can be the best thing to do but landing them can be difficult too. You need a good boat driver to be able to drive back on the fish and keep the light line away from the sharp edges of the boat hull and basalt reefs. Still some great gummy and school shark fishing is being had offshore and from the beaches. Steve Fowler got a couple of big school shark from the beach on one of the recent calmer nights. Weighing in at over 50lb in the old scale this shark was an absolute horse off the beach and by all reports went like the clappers. Along with some nice eating size pinkies the boys went home with a solid bag of flake. Using fresh baits such as mullet, salmon or squid is your best bet to entice a bite from one of these toothy critters.


Estuaries: the Hopkins River is still producing some cracking bream in the lower sections of the river. Lewis Holland and Jessica Lane headed out Sunday for a quick fish with live crab. Heading out on foot they scored some absolute crackers with the best 2 weighing 2.8kg! The technique was pretty simple with an unweighted crab cast to feeding fish burrowing in the mud. Lewis said that he could see the dark cloud where a fish was digging for food and they simply cast into that and hung on. Sounds easy huh! When the fish are fixated on hard baits such as live crab and river shells they tend to be a lot more aggressive and willing to eat anything put in front of them. Using shallow hardbodies is also a great way to target burrowing bream which is exactly what Peter White and Barry Johnson did earlier in the week. Fishing over the shallow flats, the boys landed some beautiful looking fish around the kilo mark. One thing that the bream love is wind which makes it harder for us as anglers to fish. Setting up your drift at the start with either a drift sock or electric motor slowing you down will allow you to make more casts before you drift over the fish you’re targeting. Daiwa Presso minnows and Cranka Minnows both in shallow are two of the local favourites. Long casts with the wind and a couple of sharp twitches and long pauses can prove deadly on the bigger fish. I tend to fish a long rod when doing this style of fishing cause it gives you the maximum casting distance rather than the shorter rods. The Glenelg River is also fishing well for bream and the occasional mulloway. Donovan’s is again the hot spot which Max Fry and Janaka Kandage found out landing some nice fish on soft plastics. Max scored his first mulloway on a soft plastic cast into the drop off which he has been chasing for quite a while now. There has been some other nice mulloway caught also down the very bottom when the tide is right. Live mullet trolled behind the putt putt boats and set on the bottom, have been two of the most productive techniques. The trick is not to get too big a mullet that they can’t eat it and keep killing it on you trying to do so. The mullet around the 15-20cm are ideal and can be either rigged with a single hook pinned in the back or a treble placed in the backside and another pinned in the top lip. This will ensure you have a hook in both target places they eat first. Running a longer rod will ensure that most of the fish you hook stay connected because they absorb a lot of the head shakes these beautiful fish do once hooked. Mono fishing line is also preferred to help with this violent head shakes they put on.

The Warrnambool And District Angling Club’s annual Easter Fishing Classic is well and truly on the go with tickets for the boat draw on sale now and selling well. This year the club is donating a large portion of the profits to local charity the Gillin Boys Muscular Dystrophy awareness. Not only does it help the boys find a cure quicker but it also gives you a chance to win a brand new Quintrex tinnie and Suzuki outboard valued at $15,000 for just $20!

This weekends forecast doesn’t look great but I’m sure there will be some good fish caught regardless. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.