In Depth Fishing Report 5/1

05 Jan 23

Happy New Year to you all I hope you’ve all been enjoying some family time and have been hooking into some good fish. Reports have been coming in from far and wide which isn’t surprising seeing the conditions that we have had recently. Everything from fresh to saltwater has been keeping anglers rods bent and reels screaming, so let’s dive in and have a look.

Saltwater: the kingfish and tuna fishing is well and truly firing, with some great captures in recent times. Some big kings well over the meter mark have been caught both at Port Fairy and Portland. The preferred method has been trolling Sluggo’s behind the boat until you find the schools of fish. Once anglers are finding these fish then they are casting Sluggo’s, stick baits and big poppers at them to get their attention. The new Rapala Flash X Skitter which has a brilliant sweeping action that snakes across the surface or it can be cranked across the surface skipping like a fleeing garfish. Poppers used are the Nomad Chug Norris which Xavier Ellul nailed a fish over a meter on recently. These lures have a huge cup face on them which when swept in a downward motion with the rod, they throw a big spray of water out. The kings just won’t be able to help themselves when worked correctly. The tuna have been very cagey again but this is typical for the early season fish due to the size of the bait they feed on. Small white bait and pilchards are their preferred food, matching your lure size to this is a must! Skirts in the 4-5” mark are ideal, and matching your colours up to white and blue will put you in the right starting place. Pakula Micro Uzi’s and Black Magic Jetsetters have been a staple in the local anglers arsenal for years and continue to produce fish when most lures can’t. Another dynamite lure is the Zerek Speed Donkeys which are a shallow diving minnow in realistic colours. Our favourite is the white which has caught us all a lot of tuna over the past couple of years. Running a diver alongside a skirt is a great idea as it can get to those fish that spook due to boat noise or other factors. In other reports on the salt there has been some epic Mako Shark action by those venturing out a bit deeper during the weather windows. Salty Dog Charters put some customers onto a couple of makos during their bottom fishing charter, with one being a nice one of approximately 100kg. Take real care when fishing for makos as they can be a very unpredictable and dangerous target for the inexperienced.

Estuaries: the Hopkins River continues to fish well for both bream and the odd mulloway. The water level continues to be a recurring problem for boats trying to launch and retrieve their vessels from the bottom ramps but this hasn’t seemed to worry the fish. Lots of good bream have been taken on hard bodies cast into the shallow flats. One crew had fish tailing in 30cm of water and when they were hooking the fish they were tail walking out of the flats. Some nice mulloway have been landed by those putting the time in at night for them. The biggest I know of is 83cm so far but there is much bigger fish in there which have been hooked and lost. Good customer Shannon O’Brien targets these fish every holidays on his trip down from Geelong and this trip has seen him luck out each time so far. He did happen to hook a fish and fight it for 15 minutes before pulling hooks which indicates it was a bigger fish. Live mullet, spew worms or clickers are the preferred baits of the experts. The Glenelg River is producing some quality bream fishing at the moment on the rock walls from Donovan’s down. Cranka Crabs and Gulp Crabbies have been the stand out lures cast deep into the edges. Tim Treloar has been getting some solid fish using these techniques while testing his new Garmin setup with Live Scope. Using this technology to firstly make sure they are fish and not structure is invaluable. Then there is the fact that it shows non feeding fish from feeding fish which takes the hard work out of it all. 

Freshwater: We got some epic freshwater fishing at present around the area. Rocklands has again continued to produce Murray Cod, Yellowbelly and Redfin on lures cast into the deeper snags. Adam Linke landed a couple of nice cod while testing his new Hobie kayak set up. He said 15ft of water is where it’s at lately, and the laydowns have been holding a lot more fish than the walls etc. Lake Bullen Merri is just doing what it has for the past few months and that’s producing world class trout and salmon fishing. The size of the Tiger Trout and Chinook Salmon that have been coming out of this lake has been nothing short of ridiculous! It’s not uncommon at the moment to get a 5lb+ fish each session you go. What we’ve got to remember is that these fish are only a couple years old and have grown to this size just purely due to the amount of bait in the lake. Anglers have been getting their 40 minnows in pots in less that 10 minutes which shows just how much bait is in this place. Lots of these fish have been getting caught without actually putting the boat in as they have been showering the bait schools at the ramp itself. Using long slender minnow hard bodies this will be a perfect representation of the minnows that live here. Over the other side of Camperdown Lake Purrumbete is still producing some nice redfin on minnows and lures. Casting into the weed edges on first light seems to be the go for lures then as the sun gets higher they have been moving further out to the deeper edges where the minnows fished on a paternoster rig comes into its own. Not only do these fish look cool they taste unreal for a freshwater fish. Better yet there is no bag limit or size limit so load up when you get a chance. 

The weekend looks like a cracker for the offshore crew again. Warm weather and lightish winds will make for some epic fishing. Until next week tight lines and best of luck!