In Depth Fishing Report 31/05

31 May 24

Last week seen some excellent conditions for fishing especially offshore where the sea became flat and near mirror glass! Meanwhile this calmness made it hard for the fishing in the lakes and rivers.

Offshore: The seas were flat and the fishing was hot this last week or so! Gummy and school sharks were caught all over the place from shallow water all the way to the shelf. Rhooky and Mick Rantall had a great day out on the 120m line landing a stack of school shark in a hot session. It was that hot that they had to go back to one rod so they didn’t have double hook ups or missing bites. School sharks to 20kg were what greeted them when they retrieved them up from the depths. This depth of water can produce quite the liquorice all sorts type of day with a wide variety of species on offer. Everything from ocean perch, snapper, Tassie trump and sharks can be caught in these depths along with a number of other different reef species. The best part is you don’t know if your next fish will be an under size snapper or a 10kg trump. This is what keeps anglers coming back for more even if it’s a 60+ km trip one way to the grounds. Using a simple paternoster rig with 2 Black Magic KLT 8/0 circle hooks along with some lumo tubing or a glow bead to gain more attraction due to the lack of light that this depth has. Some people run small diamond lights on the rig to get the fishes attention in the darkness. If you’re using anything lumo here’s a tip for you to get them glowing super brightly. Get the lumo piece and place it in your hand and use your camera flash and take a few pics. This will charge the lumo up and get the fish to your bait quickly. You definitely know when you’ve had a good day in that depth cause your arms are cooked! Using a small gimbal belt will give you some relief when fighting a fish and also helps you being able to lift and wind when checking your baits. So what baits are best in this depth? Fresh is certainly best in this instance and that can be a number of different offerings from tuna, wrasse, squid or any other fresh fish. Ocean perch is a good option so when they are on the chew definitely put some of that down too. You really want something that is tough and will withstand numerous bites to save you having to wind up every 10 minutes checking baits.

Estuaries: The Glenelg River is the place to be lately with some great bream fishing being had by those fishing with live crabs cast deep into the rock walls. The Allansford and District Angling Club had their Nelson comp over the weekend where the winning bag of 10 bream were just under 9kg. The water level has come up due to an environment flow that was released from the Rocklands Reservoir late last week. It has come up nearly 2 foot since this release happened and this is mainly due to the mouth being blocked again so it’s just backing up. The worrying thing is how slow the Mulloway have been in there for a couple of years now. In years gone by Nelson and the Glenelg River were go to spots for anglers to try land their first Mulloway but the past couple of seasons have been super quiet. This could be due to a number of different things from a slow spawning year, the Murray River black water that came down that wiped out a lot of Mulloway or maybe they’re just changing their patterns for where they go to feed. Reports are also of very heavy commercial netting pressure around the spawning grounds so this may be a contributing factor too. Either way it’s been very slow and one of the quietest years I can remember. The Hopkins is also quiet but we are hoping this bit of rain can pick it back up again to what the fishing was a few months ago. It seems there is an abundance of smaller fish around the 30cm mark in the system but finding one of the bigger models is proving quite difficult for most. To make it worse as I said last week they look to have started schooling up already and this is throwing another curve ball. The Curdies River is very quiet also and has another bad algae outbreak which according to a local might have spread upstream above Boggy Creek. Just seems like we were just here with the same issue and nothing has changed so I don’t know where we go from here now.  

Freshwater: the Merri River is still the hot spot for a trout lately with a number of solid fish being caught on hard bodies and soft plastics. One lucky angler caught a cracking brown trout that was around 7lb and in good nick. With the water starting to run a bit more it’s a perfect time to head out in search of one of these beautiful looking fish. Using paddle tail soft plastics on a jig head is a great way to entice a bite especially in clear water. The hard bodies are also a good way of landing a trout but these really come into their own when the water dirties and the fish feel the vibration of the lure. The lakes are fishing quite tough especially Lake Purrumbete where Warrnambool and District Angling Club members headed over to fish in their annual freshwater competition. Blessed with calm conditions that made fishing comfortable it certainly was detrimental to the fishing results. There were only a few redfin caught on a range of live minnow, worms and lures throughout the day. Over at Lake Bullen Merri there has been some big chinook salmon seen swimming around the boat ramp on the south side. These fish are at the end of their life span and can be seen swimming around with white blotches on the top of them. Typically the salmon that are stocked in these lakes will only live for 4-5 years. So if you are after a feed then this is a great place to catch some of these beautiful looking fish. Using small cubes of pilchard in a berley trail is the easiest way to entice a bite and is a fun way of doing so also. These fish bite very softly especially in deep water so keeping an eye on your rod tip is very important or else they will strip your bait and be left with a bare hook.

This weekend sees some calm winds and the swell dropping off so I reckon most of the fishing will happen early next week when everything calms down. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.