In Depth Fishing Report 3/5

03 May 24
The cool weather is really beginning to become noticeable as we move into May, but there's still lots of fishing to be done across the south west!

Offshore, the tuna are still running. Matt Hunt of Matthew Hunt Fishing Services has been bringing in the barrels off Portland with some nice tuna to 122kg this week for his customers. Salty Dog Charters has also been doing well on the school tuna for his clients off Port Fairy, so if you're looking to get out amongst the action then these boys are the ones to be in touch with. Also off Port Fairy we have seen some good shark captures with Steve Halfpenny bringing in a ripper at 27kg cleaned! We are moving into the cooler months which is traditionally when the bigger sharks move inshore to spawn, and it is also the period when anglers report the best shark fishing success. Just remember it's always a good idea to check these big sharks for live pups inside them; it's never good to see their presence be discovered back at the ramp or cleaning tables because they're never going to survive and provide future populations. Salmon are being found on most of the local beaches, including Logan's, Levies, the Warrnambool Breakwater and Port Fairy's East Beach behind the golf course. Try bluebait on a surf popper, or a 40g metal, on a rising tide. Don't expect too many big ones with most fish around a kilo at the moment; but the big ones shouldn't be far away. It's also worth mentioning again the presence of the commercial netter in at Killarney and Port Fairy; work is being done to negotiate a net free zone here as was done with Portland, but we all need to be well aware that this is happening. It's amazing that after decades of no netting along our coastline, it's somehow still legal to net this incredibly important area so close to shore (for both ecological and recreational purposes) and bring back boxes and boxes of fish a day, in such a small enclosed area. It will take years for these stocks to be replenished all for a small short term financial gain for one single operator.

The Glenelg River was alive last weekend for anglers fishing the Vic Bream round over there. Many of our best local bream anglers took to the podium scoring some big fish and combined bags from this incredible waterway. Stu McKinnon and Barry Thomas might have blown up their Evinrude motor on the river but that was no excuse; they took out the first prize with 10 bream (for 2 days fishing) at 9.570kg, casting the edges of Taylors Strait with vibes and plastics. Adam Brown from team Tackle Shack scored the Big Bream Award with a 1.3kg fish, a really good one for Nelson. The fish were well spread through the river, with some big bags taken down the bottom end on the flats and Taylors Strait, with some big bream also coming well upstream around Moleside. Estuary perch and mulloway were also taken as by-catch, as you'd expect for a Glenelg River round. Team Reel Steels caught a lovely mulloway at 60cm down the front of the river. Michael Moore also spent a few days on the Glenelg with mates last week, finding plenty of quality perch on Berkley gear especially the new Nessie swimbaits. The Hopkins River is the next destination for the Vic Bream Classics Series, on the 15/16th of June. It's always a good event, and don't forget the 10% discount in the Tackle Shack for all Vic Bream competitors.

In the freshwater this week, the big news has been the completion of the weir removal on the Merri River. It's dropped around 1.5m with the effects travelling over 5km upstream, showing the impact this big barrier had on the river. While the banks may look a little different and muddier for a while, it will be fantastic to watch this river rejuvenate and fish move upstream. Soon it will be the norm to be catching bream and estuary perch well above Woolaston Bridge, inhabiting the same stretches they would have naturally prior to the weir being installed. Tim Vincent went for a long paddle upstream checking out all the new runs and rapids. He scored a few trout around 2kg casting Duo Realis 80SP minnows in the clear water, and even observed a school of the rare Australian Grayling; a migratory fish which was a major reason the weir was brought down in the first place. Seeing these rare and endangered fish already moving upstream towards Woodford for the first time in over 100 years is extremely encouraging! While we haven't received any large rain events yet, the waters are certainly cooling and the trout are beginning to fire. Since the waters are still clear and slow, if you are heading out then fish light with 6lb leaders and smaller lures. Target the flowing heads or tails of pools, move slowly and out of the sun so the fish don't see you and concentrate your efforts early morning or afternoon. The junction on the Hopkins/Mt Emu, Platypus Park on the Merri and the Woodford area are all good year-round locations to try for a trout.

See you out on the water over the weekend!