In Depth Fishing Report 29/9

28 Sep 23

Just like that local footy is over and the focus now shifts to the fishing season for most that have put their boats away over winter. Spring is widely known as the best combination of fishing opportunities and weather to hit the water and it’s certainly been proven this week. 

Offshore: the school and gummy sharks have been caught fairly regularly by anglers fishing on the bottom. Neil Clarke got revenge on his son Chris with a solid 16kg gummy caught off Warrnambool earlier in the week, after Chris landed a monster the week prior. Another angler who landed a solid shark was Paul Dalton who caught a 24kg school shark also off Warrnambool. The general consensus is that down near Lake Gillear and further towards Childers has been producing some quality fishing. Max Fry, Janaka Kandage and Peter Sedgley had a quick bottom fish on the weekend after spending a fair chunk of the day looking for a tuna during the Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game Fishing Club's September club comp. The boys landed some solid nannygai and snapper in quick succession. During this competition Glenn Crittenden landed a cracker 93kg bluefin tuna which was weighed cleaned. This fish was caught on a Bonze Exocet in Paris which the skipper TJ Symons purchased off us here at the Tackle Shack. Believe it or not but this fish was caught in only 35m of water. The only other barrel was caught was by Phil Pirotta and his wife Amanda which was tagged and released after a gruelling battle on spin gear. This fish was caught on the old tuna slayer the Rapala X-Rap 30 which have sort of been forgotten about in the recent years due to the craze of skirts and other divers. These big tuna are spread over a huge distance which is virtually half of the state with fish being caught at Robe all the way through to Western Port entrance in Melbourne. There has been some solid fish holding up in 35-45m of water both off Warrnambool and Port Fairy now for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately a few guys who have been under gunned for these rampaging giants found out the hard way. Trolling for school fish and then hooking a fish that is potentially over 100kg usually doesn’t end well. A few anglers have been spooled or just beaten and bruised by the fight before the fish won its battle. Closer to shore there has been some nice whiting caught but the numbers are right down, which is normal for this time of year. Melbourne cup weekend is highly regarded as the best time of year to get a big whiting by those who chase them year round. Our fresh South Australian Pippies have again been the stand out bait for these great tasting fish. The Black Magic whiting snatchers make it light work to set up and target them especially if you haven’t got a lot of time. With their twin hook paternoster set up with flasher attractors on each hook. Simply put a sinker on the bottom and attach it to your main line with the swivel attached and add bait. It’s really that simple!

Estuaries: The Hopkins River has seen some weird captures the past week but more so than Tony Read’s son who caught a Johnston’s Weedfish. This strange looking critter was caught down the mouth and would’ve most likely come in on the big tides and big swell that we had. The other interesting by-catch caught recently is the amount of sea run trout. During the Vic Bream Classic round held a couple of weekends ago a number of trout were caught in the lower sections. Shannon O’Brien landed a nice trout yesterday down around the danger board and said there were quite a few of them herding up the white bait. When these fish are chasing white bait there are few better lures than the Ecogear MX48 which is what Shannon was using. On the bream front they still remain hard work especially down the bottom section due to the clear water. Over at the Curdies River there has been some great excellent fishing taking place for both the lure and bait angler. Kurtis Powers and his grand father Barry Johnson have been getting some nice fish on the new Rapala Crush City Creeper. These grub tail plastic with its lifelike legs like a shrimp or a prawn make them irresistible fished on a lightly weighted jig head cast into the snags. Barry Thomas also got some great fish while using a Daiwa Double Clutch cast into the banks while using his Garmin Livescope system. Finding schools of bream and perch on this livescope meant that Barry could focus his attention on the groups of fish rather than individual fish. This technology has divided the fishing community but it certainly works and cuts down your search time considerably.

Freshwater: John “Tack” Hewett has been landing some nice redfin from Lake Purrumbete on his live minnow. What he has been doing is rolling slowly using a soft plastic until he finds a few then sets anchor and uses his minnow on a paternoster rig. This has been working very well for him lately where he has been catching in excess of 20 fish in a session. For a freshwater fish the redfin certainly taste great and it doesn’t matter how many or how big they are when you keep them as there is no minimum size or bag limit. Plenty of chinook salmon are being caught also at Purrumbete by anglers using pilchards cubed up and fished unweighted through the berley trail. Not a lot of big fish lately but when you can find a school and get them fired up they provide great fun especially for the kids. Over at Bullen Merri the boat ramp is near impossible to use due to the amount of slime that is sitting on the concrete at present. Most users are having to put their boats in on the sand to avoid their car and boat from slipping in the water. When anglers are getting their boats in there is some great fishing to be had with some solid rainbow and brown trout being caught off the edges. Trolling lures along the edges can be a great way of covering ground and allows you to have a shallow diver and a deeper diver out thanks to the deep drop offs which are only a short distance off the bank. This is what makes it so accessible from land if you haven’t got a boat. The trout and salmon in this waterway will come up to the shallows in search of some food so fishing from the bank can sometimes be more beneficial than you think.

With the AFL Grand Final this weekend I would of thought there would be less people hitting the water and more hitting the beers but if you do head out and would like to show us your capture then send it in via email or our social medias. Our email is Until next week tight lines and best of luck.