In Depth Fishing Report 28/3

28 Mar 24

This week has seen some excellent captures up and down the coast along with our rivers and lakes. It's truly a fantastic time of year to be on the water!

Offshore: As some of you may know, the big bluefin tuna have shown up at Port MacDonnell. Southerly Fishing Charters scored a nice barrel on Wednesday while on a charter which the crew donated to the Heart and Kidney Transplant team out of Adelaide which is a great initiative by them. There has been reports for quite some time of these fish being there but no confirmed captures until now. Perfect timing to get into the shop and stock up on all your barrel lures with a big order of Bonze skirts just arrived. The ever popular Exocet in Paris, DLB in a great range of colours and the Weapons are all in stock and ready to be rigged on your rods and dragged around the ocean in search of that fish of a lifetime. We also have a good range of Jaks skirts that will be sure to get a bite from a big fish if you put it in the spread. Locally, there's still plenty of school fish spread out around Warrnambool and Port Fairy. Adam Fowler and Ed Richardson headed out off Warrnambool for a water test aboard a demo Stabicraft 2400 Supercab, and packed a couple of rods just in case. It was a good decision, with a school tuna quickly grabbing a small skirt just blind trolling. Brad Egan scored some nice tuna solo out of Port Fairy, with these fish responding well to lures cast into feeding schools. The lure of choice was the Maria Pop Queen; a very popular lure for school tuna these days. Salty Dog Fishing Charters has also been getting dozens off tuna off Port Fairy. Dan's been sharing some incredible footage of hundreds of tuna ripping into bait balls, with accompanying marine wildlife including orcas (killer whales). The ocean is very much alive out there at the moment!

Estuary: The Hopkins continues to go well this week and will provide some excellent fishing for entrants of the Warrnambool and District Angling Club's Easter competition this weekend. The mouth is currently shut and as a result the water levels are quite high. This usually results in the fish moving right up onto the edges. If you can find a nice rocky edge, which should be easy with the forecasted calm winds, you'll also find some big bream right up in water so shallow their backs may be out of the water. It's not easy fishing but it's very good fun! Most likely, the biggest bream this weekend will be taken casting live crabs or scrubworms as well as Cranka Crabs, Muss vibes, Slim Swimz and hardbodies along the Hopkins rockwalls. The Glenelg River has fished well for mulloway over the last couple of weeks. Similar story with the mouth closed over there but it is keeping the fish inside the river. There's been plenty of bream and perch upstream along the snags, with the mulloway reported lower down around the Nelson township. Tim Vincent and Oli Andrews fished the Fitzroy River last weekend, scoring dozens of bream just casting light plastics and hardbodies along the edges. The mouth is shut over there too, and the water spilling into the vegetation along the edges. It's also alive and well, with incredible amounts of fish and bait present. Unfortunately, the Curdies and Yambuk are not alive and well; both green with thick mats of blue-green algae present along the shorelines. Fingers crossed this doesn't turn into a fish kill situation in either.

Freshwater: Freshwater can be a little tricky this time of year but there's always still fish to be caught. Perch are still biting in the fresh of the Hopkins, with surface lures and suspending hardbodies twitched around snags in the evening the best option. The upper Curdies has seen Mick Moore trying his luck just about every weekend and he's been rewarded with lots of nice healthy perch, on his favourite Berkley hardbodies and soft plastics. The trout reports have been quiet; Tim Vincent and Darcy Cutter ventured into the upper Merri, with lots of big fish to 3kg spotted but showing little interest in lures. The Merri is crystal clear this time of year, and fished by very few. The fish can be very fussy though, and won't even look at most lures, baits or flies. Light leaders, low light periods, small lures/flies and a very cautious approach along the banks required. And don't forget to dodge the snakes as they're always present! The twin crater lakes of Purrumbete and Bullen Merri have been very quiet, due to warm water typical for this time of year. Bullen Merri has currently got blue green algae (no surprises) but a few smaller chinooks, tigers and rainbows have been caught by anglers trolling. Lake Purrumbete is reportedly quite dirty, unusual for this lake. The fishing reports have also been pretty slow too. Victorian Inland Charters has still been finding nice bags of dozens of reddies for customers, so have a chat with the team if you're struggling (like most!) at the 'Bete.

With the Easter Fishing Competition on, combined with good weather and a long weekend, the waterways will be busy but likely just about everywhere is fishing well so you'll find a patch of fish to yourself this weekend. Good luck!