In Depth Fishing Report 6/10

06 Oct 23

The football season is all over red rover and what a way to finish if you’re a pies fan. Now that the season has finished we can all concentrate on getting back out on the water and stuck into some great fishing that this time of year is known for.

Offshore: it’s been a season of jumbo tuna for us in the South West and the past week was no exception with some cracking fish taken up and down our coast. No anglers were more deserving than that of young gun Jacob Dance who landed his first ever barrel tuna coming in at 92kg. Fishing with his dad Ashley onboard TJ Symons Stabicraft, the ever popular Bonze Exocet in Paris colour went screaming. After a very quick 30 minute fight on 37kg tackle the fish was boatside and ready for a gaff shot. Until you’ve fished 37kg tackle you don’t know how hard it is to fight a rampaging fish like this one on heavy gear, and for a 10 year old to do it just shows how good of an angler he is. It also comes down to great boat driving which is what TJ did with planing the fish up to the surface using the boat's momentum. A experienced crew is a must when trying to get a junior angler onto one of these fish as it can go wrong very fast. The use of a Black Magic Gimbal and Equaliser set is a must for anyone wanting to target a barrel especially on the heavier gear like this fish was. Fishing in glamourous conditions on Grand Final day the Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game Club's new president Jan Oosthuizen fished with local gun Phil Pirotta for a solid barrel that they released. The best part about these big tuna is that they are very close to shore and given the right day and conditions can be accessed by even the smaller boats. We have a great range of rods, reels, lures and accessories for all budgets and experience levels so setting you up will be no dramas at all. The gummy shark and school shark fishing has been great too lately. Thomas Neal landed his new personal best gummy that measured 1.75m long and well over 20kg off Peterborough. The key lately is to use fresh bait and at the moment one of these baits that is readily available is Gurnard and Parrot Fish (wrasse). Using smaller baits and rigs around the rocky areas will give you the freshest flesh baits going around. Just take the fillet off them and send it down on your gummy rig and you should get connected with one. Anchoring on likely looking ground is the best way to draw in sharks from a distance especially when using our 100% pilchard berley. Unlike other berley that you find, these logs have no additives that can slow down the trail from getting through the berley pot. Closer to shore the whiting have begun to fire up and show themselves and will only get better from here on. Killarney and Port Fairy bay have again been the standout areas to target. Berley again has been a big part of success and the best by far is the Hookem whiting pellets with bio-degradable scale like glitter throughout. Not only does it smell like a feeding frenzy but it is also a visual stimulant for them too. From experience using this stuff the whiting just can’t help but eat it. Again the Black Magic whiting snatchers have been a stand-out especially in the Green Grub and Mini Pilly colours.


Estuaries: the Glenelg River plays host to the final round of the 2023 Vic Bream Classic series next weekend and after a few teams headed over to try work them out before the comp, there are a few anglers with high hopes. Some quality fish were caught in the higher reaches. Unlike other years where it has always been won down the front the saltwater push just isn’t there and the water quality is poor. From the pictures from a few teams that headed over just before the pre-fish ban, I think there will be some solid bags coming in. A typical 36cm bream should weigh between 650-800g but some of this size bracket of fish have been weighing 950g. If someone can stumble across this calibre of fish then that’s when we may see some record bags for this system. I won’t give away what areas the fish are in as I could get shot by some of the guys that headed over and worked out a plan. The Hopkins River is again a very hard place to put it all together with schools and schools of fish balling up in the 3-4m depth of water. These fish are definitely in their spawning routine and are usually super hard to get a bite out of. One estuary that has been fishing quite well is still the Curdies River both upstream and downstream of Boggy Creek boat ramp. Some anglers using metal vibe lures in the deep have been catching in excess of 80 bream a session which is mind blowing after the severe blue green algae outbreak and fish kill last year. I must admit when it first happened I thought that we would never see it the same as it was but to my surprise I think it’s come back even better than before. There are more perch than ever been and they seem to be easier to catch than ever before.


Freshwater: the local rivers are still producing some quality trout for those still putting the time in walking the banks in search of a late season trout. Todd MacDonald landed a cracking brown trout on a Zman Slim Swimz, under the Dennington highway bridge. Slowly rolling these smaller paddle tails sends off a great action and draws fish in from a long way. Using more natural colours once the water has cleared will give you the best chances of getting connected to a sizable trout. Speaking of natural colours and good fish, the Fish Arrow J-Shads have been putting more than their fair share of redfin on the plate for customers recently. Both Lake Purrumbete and Lake Gillear have seen some solid reddies come out of them using these plastics. If using lures isn’t your thing and you want to relax and soak a bait then using live minnow and worms under floats is a great option too. Rockalnds Reservoir has been a hive of activity for anglers looking to try something new and target a Murray Cod or Yellowbelly. Some big fish have been caught recently on spinnerbaits and top waters in the early mornings. Spinwright Gruntas and Spinnerbaits in dark colours have been a standout along with the Jackall Pompadours cast along the shallow edges. Pompadours are a great lure that is extremely loud which means that the cod are brought in from long distances and the takes are usually pretty spectacular. Often these fish will jump out of the water after smashing the lure off the surface and this can certainly wake you up in the early hours of the morning.


This weekend is another with big swells and unfavourable winds for the offshore crews but next week see’s some brilliant weather on the way. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday look fishable but it’s Wednesday that the swell drops right back to under 2m. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.