In Depth Fishing Report 7/9

07 Sep 23

Haven’t we had an exceptional season for big bluefin tuna so far! It looks to be continuing after some more great captures off our coast. Meanwhile the redfin and salmon in the lakes have also provided some excellent fishing when the sea has been rough.


Saltwater: these big bluefin tuna continue to impress me and the die hard anglers that target them up and down the coast. Just when we though they might have slowed up, another burst of big fish have made their way along our coast. From Port Campbell in the East all the way through to Port MacDonnell just over the border of South Australia there has been some incredible stories of both fish caught and fish lost. One hard luck story was Shane Sanders hooking a huge fish and fighting it for 10.5 hours! Yep you heard that right 10.5 hours on one fish and it’s not like they were using light tackle with 24kg line class tackle and a very capable and accomplished angler on the rod. After the 10.5 hours the boys couldn’t do it anymore and tried to bust the fish off as it was already dark by that stage. The boys seen the fish in the early stages of the fight and estimated it to be close in size to the fish that Brodie Carter landed last season that went 160.5kg. It’s amazing the difference in fights that you can get with these giants of our sea. Some fish you can land in 10 minutes and others like this dig in and don’t give you an inch for the whole fight. Another hard luck story goes to Steve Board and Adam Vogels who headed off Port Fairy in search of school tuna. They found a work up of terns, gannets and dolphins and ran a 2 lure spread around this. Both rods went screaming and by the time the boys cleared the deck and slowed the boat down, one reel was completely spooled of 50lb braid. Adam fought his fish for 1.5 hours only to lose it at the boat. They quickly re-tied and got back into it where they hooked a 3rd rampaging fish and again after an hour fight the fish won its freedom thanks to a seized roller tip that damaged the line. It’s not all disappointed anglers though despite reports. One crew that had a blinder of a day and landed 3 solid fish were Xavier, Bilal, Locky, Bianca and Luke. Port MacDonnell has been a hot spot lately for multiple shots at a fish but if making the extra hour drive isn’t what you want to do then hit up Portland. This is what Frank Vella and his brother John did; landing a cracking 103kg tuna on Frank’s brand new Bonze Pink Spreader bar he purchased off us the day before. After focusing their efforts out wide they came back in close where another boat was hooked up already. The boys put the spreader bar out with a blue and silver skirt attached and before they could get another rod in the water the reel was screaming! Frank asked me if the spreader bars really work but I think after this one session, he will tell you himself that they certainly work very well! It’s not all about tuna offshore with some nice sharks being caught on the bottom. Terry Delaney reports he got a solid gummy and noticed its guts was swollen so they got the knife and cut it open only to find 12 pups inside (small gummies). School sharks are starting to make their presence felt too with a few anglers being smashed up on the bottom which is always a good thing for tackle shops like ours. Some anglers will opt for a small bite trace whilst others stick with the mono and circle hooks as it gives you the best chance of a bite.


Estuaries: the Hopkins River continues to puzzle most anglers with up and down fishing being had. The Warrnambool and District Angling Club held their 2nd competition for the season on Sunday with 38 entrants fishing in great conditions. Steven Deal landed the biggest bream for the day with a 1.201kg bream caught on a pippie of all things. New member Greg Bartlett caught a 5 fish limit for 3.653kg taking out heaviest bag. In the ladies section it was ever reliable Jessica Lane who won with a 685g bream. Flynn Collins caught a quality 1.139kg bream on his trusty scrub worms which took out the junior section. The fish were wide spread but finding a feeding patch of fish was hard work. Lots of fish are marking in the middle of the river but getting them to bite was a whole other ball game. When they did bite they bit quite well but there was certainly no consistency about it at all. One estuary that is consistent lately is the Curdies River where the EPs and bream have been fishing very well. Lots of fish are coming from the bottom section of the river in the deeper sections on soft plastics and vibe lures. Michael Moore ventured down from Geelong to fish his favourite waterway and was not disappointed with the outcome. He landed numerous good bream and perch on plastics and vibes in the open water around the Island and Lodge areas. This is a great spot to start your search and can prove to be a deadly area this time of year.


Freshwater: the tiger trout at Bullen Merri have been taking over recently with lots of fish being caught by both land and boat anglers. The north side has been a very popular area to fish as it provides both the ability to polaroid fish or just sit there soaking a bait for one. If you’re heading out in the boat then please take extreme care as last week I mentioned how a brand new car slid into the lake while on the ramp. Unfortunately over the weekend there was another one. So if you’re planning a trip there please be super careful. The local redfin at Lake Elingamite have been fishing very well for those in kayaks and boats. Only a small lake this one definitely punches above its weight for average fish and numbers too. Tim Vincent and Oli Andrews hit it up last weekend with a few mates, and had some solid fish coming onboard. Best lures were chatter baits and vibes fished down in the deeper sections. These fish are one of the tastier critters in fresh water and provide a great feed when you get the bigger models.


This weekend looks to be a hard one to fish offshore with some massive seas punishing our coast. The Hopkins on high tide could definitely be a good choice for those still wanting to head out. Until next week tight lines and best of luck