In Depth Fishing Report 26/1

26 Jan 24

This weeks report is a quick one which is still packed with great captures from around the area so let’s dive in and check it all out.

Saltwater: Jonathan Hogge landed an unusual species for most; an Elephant Fish. Fishing for smaller fish on just 8lb main line this was sure a surprise. These fish are a very strange looking critter with a trunk like nose and silver flanks. But don’t let their looks turn you away from eating them, as they are certainly a great table fish. They typically come in close to breed this time of year and can be found in big numbers at times. All the shallow beaches around Warrnambool and Port Fairy will be worth a shot at targeting them. Other captures in the saltwater have been stacks of gummy shark and school shark still. These sharks are pretty much an all year round proposition for anglers but the warmer months see more numbers coming in from the deeper waters. Smoky and Allan Greig got stuck into some great fishing off Port Fairy on a recent trip one of the sharks weighing over 20kg. There's a good reason the gummies are so popular here; they're delicious, as well as being easily targetable either from a boat or landbased. The other great thing is there really isn’t a wrong way to cook them. Deep fried or grilled are two of the favourites amongst anglers. Another great eating fish and one that is also very accessible is the humble sweep. Ed Richardson and his son Sid took a mate out off Peterborough in search of a feed. They managed some big sweep along with some great nannygai. Using pippies for bait they got a few for the esky. There is also an influx of small snapper in close which have been keeping anglers busy re-baiting time and time again. These slightly smaller fish can be found anywhere from the Warrnambool Breakwater right through to Portland. Over at North Shore in Portland there have been some better fish lately for those drifting lightly weighted baits in shallow water.

Estuaries: the Hopkins River is fishing well for those fishing deeper rock walls. One customer came into work after landing some great bream to 40cm on pilchard fillets cast close to the rocks. He mentioned that the better ones were coming from super close to the bank. This time of year there’s no such thing as too close to the rocks when it comes to how far these fish will go. Michael Hunt landed some solid bream on Gulp Shrimp cast on lightly weighted jigheads along the drop offs. Adam Fraser caught some nice fish on crabs fished in to the rock walls also getting a bag a smidge under 3.5kg. The water level is all over the place with some dodge tides which means there are only 1 low and 1 high tide a day. This can do all sorts of weird things to the fish feeding patterns but if you’re like me you just have to go when you get a chance. The Curdies River is fishing well out into the lake with high waters making it easy to navigate through the shallow sections. Try shallow hardbodies such as the Hurricane Twitch 50’s over the weedy bottoms. A steady retrieve with a couple of small twitches and a pause will be enough to get their attention and crunch the lure. Using natural colours will be your best bet as these fish feed on lots of minnow and grey back down the bottom section.

Freshwater: Victorian Inland Charters have again been slaying the redfin for their customers at Lake Purrumbete. Tony Read and his son booked a day with Ken Carman in search of a feed and they weren’t disappointed bagging some solid fish mostly on soft plastics. Using your electronics is super important when targeting redfin as they often ball up in big numbers and hunt in packs. Using plastics that get their attention is always a great starting point and if that doesn’t work you can try a natural colour then. Differing your jig head weight will not only change the swimming action of the lure but it will also allow you to fish the mid column fish that aren’t holding on the bottom. If you’re up for a good day with a quality guide then hit up Ken via the Victorian Inland Charters Facebook page to book a day out.

With most of the holiday makers heading home after this weekend things might calm down a bit on the water. A lot of fish have been susceptible to boat traffic which has made them very hard to catch. Until next week tight lines and best of luck