In Depth Fishing Report 24/8

24 Aug 23

This week has been a mixed bag of results with offshore and our rivers and lakes still producing some cracking fish. Let’s see what has been keeping anglers occupied across the South West.

Offshore: the big tuna have again been making people travel long distances to be a part of the action. Some quality fish have been caught by both locals and traveling anglers hoping to bag a prized tuna. Bailey Petch has continued his red hot form since purchasing his own boat with another quality barrel being caught by a group of mates while fishing onboard his Stabicraft 2050 Supercab. Trolling skirts around big work ups of bait, fish and birds is how most have been hooking up. The work ups have been pretty serious and very hard to miss lately with the usual gannets bombing from high distances and being in flocks of hundreds. The tuna seem to be feeding on a mixture of sauries, yakkas and redbait so matching your skirts up to these colours will go a long way to getting a hook up on that fish of a lifetime. The charter boys are also getting into the action with Matthew Hunt still producing some great action for his customers and helping out the average punter wanting to have a go themselves too. The Bonze spreader bars have been a hit for nearly every boat that is having a crack at these monster fish. Whether you’re wanting to rig a lure on the back of them and troll the whole thing or just use it as a teaser close by to your spread, they have certainly increased the bite ratio as opposed to the anglers who haven’t been using them. Just remember that if you are using them with a lure attached then there is a fair bit of difference in the pressure on the rod so I would suggest using it on a 24kg rod as a minimum. Although most anglers that are serious about these fish use that class and higher anyway it’s certainly going to make things easier on you. In other reports there are plenty of school and gummy sharks being caught off Port Fairy with one boat landing a 34kg school shark! Yep you heard that right, 34kg which is an absolute beast of a shark in anyone’s books.

Estuaries: This past weekend the WDAC held their latest competition over at the Fitzroy River. Fish of the trip certainly went to Kurtis Powers; with a 2.2kg estuary perch! Bream were also caught with Mick Hunt taking out the heaviest bream award, with a fish just over a kilogram. The Hopkins has fished well this week, with weakening freshwater flows allowing the estuary to clear. Fish are in their usual haunts at this time of year; the mud flats behind Deakin and opposite Lyndoch, and the deep water between the bridge and danger board. Ben Woolcock, Darcy Cutter and Tim Vincent found a few bream, perch, mullet and salmon casting plastics around the bridge and surrounding rock banks. The new TT Switch Prawn was also effective on the perch. Young Max Kandage has been finding some bream with his dad Janaka on the mudflats, walking the edges on a low tide and casting soft plastics. Recently the Z-Man soft plastics in Gudgeon and Green Pumpkin have been popular. Try these on a 1/12th jighead to allow the lure to swim naturally despite the current flows. The Moyne River at Port Fairy would also be worth a try currently for bream and trevally on a run in tide.

Freshwater: The rivers are clearing but there’s still trout to be caught for the next few months. Ollie Sharp found himself a solid brown in the upper Merri River this week; a very productive area this year. Mark Gercovich has also been in on the action casting Daiwa hardbodies in the lower stretches of the river with some nice trout to be found. Lake Elingamite has been a great spot in recent weeks, with bags of up to 50 redfin being taken from this shallow weedy lake. It’s stocked annually with trout and bass were stocked for the first time last year, so it’s a great mixed bag fishery. It’s not a spot you can fish landbased due to thick, deep and very boggy peat mud on the shorelines, so boats and kayaks only here. Further inland, the redfin fishing has been red hot for anglers up north. Lakes Fyans, Wartook and Wallace have all been fishing as good as ever for both quality and quantity bags of redfin; so if you’re inland, these three are well worth consideration. Bullen Merri continues to produce; Marty Ellul got amongst some chinook salmon action here on the weekend.

With Father’s Day creeping up, don’t leave your presents too late this year! The Tackle Shack has everything a father could ever want, and more. Come in and see us for any fishing, boating and outdoor gear for your dad, or maybe a shopping spree for yourself! With conditions not ideal for saltwater fishing this weekend, a trip to the tackle store or inland would be our recommendation.