In Depth Fishing Report 21/12

21 Dec 23

December is usually seen as the favourite time for anglers to hit the water in search of a Christmas feast but thanks to a horrid run with wind there has been minimal chances of doing so. When the conditions have allowed the anglers have certainly done well. 


Saltwater: a welcome return for those that love summer fishing has been the run of school tuna off Portland. Anglers chasing kingfish and salmon have reported some solid fish to 25kg causing havoc on the surface and smashing their stick baits and other topwater lures. The Dorman boys got a couple of fish around the 25kg mark casting stick baits to schools of fish up on the surface, along with some solid school sharks in the 15-20kg range on the bottom. The best thing about these school size tuna is you never know what depth they will be in on any given day. I have seen them in 5m of water on top of reefs while chasing snapper which is pretty cool to see. They take a wide range of lures from trolling diving minnows to skirts and even soft plastics cast into the schools which is a lot of fun. You can target them on light gear or as heavy as you like but it’s certainly a lot more fun on light line tackle. Gone are the days where you need to have big heavy gold overheads hanging out the back of your boat trolling big lures for little reward. Sure this works for the jumbo tuna but when the smaller fish are eating tiny baits it just makes more sense to downscale your gear and have some fun. Any snapper rod is more than capable of landing the majority of the summer run of fish that we will get. The hardest thing is when these typically more fussy fish get fixated on the micro bait fish that they love to feed on during summer on the inshore grounds. Some days it doesn’t matter what you cast or troll through them they don’t want to even know about it. Kingfish reports have been hit and miss which is mainly due again to the weather and sea conditions. Milky coloured water is not great to be fishing for the kings and will usually result in no fish or a very slow day. An ideal situation for targeting king fish is a calm morning after a hot few days with minimal wind. Obviously a summer species these fish love warmer water and this makes them more active which in turn means more bites for you. Best baits for them include live slimies or yakkas, squid strips trolled or small squid cast into the patrolling fish that you can see. Poppers, Sluggos and stick baits are all worth having in your arsenal and all work on different days. When the fish are aggressive they will crunch a popper or stick bait off the surface and when they are a bit flighty the more subtle and silent action of the Sluggo works very well either cast or trolled.


Estuaries: the Glenelg River is fishing well in the middle to lower section of the river for bream and perch. Toby Hellessey and his dad Dean ventured over from Peterborough in the hope of catching their first mulloway. Using soft plastics and some small hard bodies the boys landed some nice bream and perch but that elusive mulloway avoided them once again. I often tell people that have never caught one that the first one is always the hardest to catch and they usually come pretty quickly after that. It’s all about getting the monkey off your back! Just remember that big fish will eat a small lure too but small fish don’t eat big lures so if you’re just wanting to catch something then downsize your lures or plastics. The Hopkins River is blocked and the water is slowly rising which is a great time to be chasing bream on the edges. These fish will be on the edges hunting for the new fresh feed and hiding spots for things like crab and other baits. Summer is a brilliant time to target bream and perch on surface lures. Bent minnows and unweighted soft plastics like the Ecogear Aqua Prawn or pink grubs are hard for a good bream to pass up. Plenty of pauses is the key to convincing bream to eat especially when there is heightened boat traffic on the systems. Along with the good bream fishing there has been some Mulloway caught by some anglers fishing at night targeting them recently. Best thing is they can’t get out to sea while it’s blocked!


With the busy time of year it’s important to pay attention and make sure your safety gear is up to date. If you’re unsure then come in and see us for all your help. Have a great Christmas and stay safe!