In Depth Fishing Report 6/4

06 Apr 23

It’s been a week of variety on the fishing reports with both the estuaries and saltwater fishing very well. This time of year is always a great time to have a fish for the wide variety of fishing opportunities that we get in the South West.


Saltwater: the tuna are still prolific off Portland and Port Fairy and should continue for some time with the amount of bait that is out there. Pilchards, yakkas and slimy mackerel have all been getting smashed on the surface by the thousands of tuna that have migrated down our coast. Although the main focus this time of year is targeting the barrel tuna over 100kg, the school fish are still a very popular fish for the majority of anglers. Some crews lately have been getting right into these smaller fish and landing 20+ fish in a single day. If you’ve never caught a tuna but would like to, then this is the time of year to have a crack at them. You don’t need expensive tackle or $1000 set ups to get stuck into some great fishing too! A lot of anglers are now targeting these smaller fish on snapper and gummy spin set ups and are having just as much success as those using conventional game fishing gear. The beauty of using a spin rod over a game rod is the fact you can cast with these combos if the fish are on the surface and they are certainly right at home trolling a lure through the school also. A rod that is between 10-15kg is perfect to be able to fight the tuna properly but also have some fun with it too. Using braid has certainly changed the way we target tuna especially on spin reels with less line capacity than game reels. The small skirts such as Pakula Micro Uzi’s and Black Magic jetsetters are again taking their fair share of fish. Mixing it up in your spread is a must especially if the fish decide to go down and you haven’t got a diver in your spread. Halco Laser Pro’s have been the stand-out for years especially for affordability and reliability and this past season has been no different. The King Brown colour, which imitates a squid, is dominating again. The beauty about these lures is that they swim true straight out of the box and unlike some lures, changing the hooks to inline singles won’t effect the swimming action. All in all they are a great option with lots of runs on the board. In other reports there has been some great whiting fishing on the inshore grounds with anglers finding plenty of King George on pippies and clickers. One angler mentioned that he was getting double headers of big whiting on clickers before the snapper moved in on the spot. The snapper were a good size too with some fish pushing 2kg and making for a real handful in shallow water. Offshore the snapper have been a fair bit slower so maybe focusing your efforts in close will be your best option. Young gun Clay Gardner caught his first gummy shark onboard his grandma Suzanne Fergus’ boat off Port Fairy on Sunday. I’m sure this is the beginning of the addiction for young Clay.

Estuaries: The Hopkins River is fishing quite well and the fish seem to be moving up the system and spread out. The bream are on the rock walls again and seem to be feeding quite well for those using bait and casting lightly weighted soft plastics. Down below the bridge on a high tide seems to be a hot spot and has seen a variety of species caught. These include silver trevally, estuary perch, salmon and obviously bream. Focusing your efforts around a high tide is definitely going to help you out and fish while they are active. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend then the Warrnambool and District Angling Club will be holding their annual Easter Fishing Classic. This year there is an Anglapro boat, trailer and motor package just for entering the competition. Entries can be done online via the Facebook page or in person at the club rooms on Good Friday from 10am. The boundaries for the competition will be from the Curdies River in the east to the Fitzroy in the west and all waterways in between. For more information contact the Facebook page or come down to the club rooms. Another competition that has just been launched and is set for the 19th of May which is a Carp comp aimed at helping cut down the amount of carp in the Hopkins River and Emu Creek. There is thousands of dollars up for grabs for biggest carp, heaviest bag of carp so get the family ready and do something for the rivers.

This weekend is going to be very hard to get out for a fish so might be a weekend of relaxing with the family. Until next weekend tight lines and best of luck.