In Depth Fishing Report 8/12

08 Dec 22

What a weekend we had, with conditions near perfect for all types of fishing. The boat ramps along the coast were packed especially Warrnambool which saw the opening of the newly constructed ramp and jetties. 

Offshore: The Warrnambool boat ramp is open and ready for launching boats into our great ocean... unless you have a big boat, with several owners already damaging trailers this week on the steep lip. Unlike the old ramp with a curved top, the new ramp is quite steep and angled meaning that the lower sections of trailers have become damaged. Poor design is the culprit here, which is unfortunate as some have strongly advocated for years to upgrade the ramp. Now onto the fishing reports, and with dodge tides over the weekend some anglers found it very hard to get anything decent. Peter Goode fished off Warrnambool for some great snapper up to 68cm and 3.7kg. Fish like these aren't that common in shallow but would have definitely put up a great tussle. Liam and Barry Smith ventured off Port Fairy over the weekend for 3 nice gummies and a feed of cray fish. Now that it's crayfish season, you must remember a couple of simple steps to make sure you legally fishing. First things first you must make sure that the crayfish is of legal size, which is done by placing one end of the measuring tool between the antennae and the other end at the edge of the carapace. You must then register your cray fish on the GoFishVic app which should be downloaded and anglers registered before heading out fishing. Next you must tail punch or clip the tail of your cray fish no more than 5 minutes after you catch it if on a boat or within 50m from the place of capture if done so by land. These small steps will save you a lot of money if you do it correctly, so please do the right thing as all these steps help protect one of our ocean's biggest assets. Corey McLaren, Michael Hunt and Dudley Wright fished off Port Fairy on Saturday for a few flathead and a couple of pinkies, with the most action in under 40m. Gavin Buchanan and Barry Thomas were out the same day and managed to land some nice gummies and a few pinkies in 35m of water. As with all glass calm days, we see many crews make the long trip out to the shelf in search for some tasty critters and this weekend was no different. Jan, Martin, Anne-Marie and JP Oosthuizen fished off Port Fairy and had Sam Powell in tow. They got a solid bag of pink ling and blue grenadier. 

Estuaries: the Hopkins River is on the improve following the floodwaters coming down the system after a seriously wet spring. Good pushes of salt water has been forcing underneath the fresh all the way up onto the mud flat. The Warrnambool and District Angling Club held their first "Friday Night Flick" last Friday which saw 20 anglers try their luck in brilliant conditions. Rob O'Neill caught the biggest bream for the night with a 880g bream taking a crab in the last half an hour. Corey landed himself a 48cm perch which was a welcome surprise. There are plenty of fish schooled up throughout the bottom section and up to the ski run which could mostly be estuary perch. Hopefully the water continues to get clearer and we see some surface action later on this summer. The club has their annual Dinney Chapman perch competition on Saturday night which will run from 5pm and conclude at 9am the following morning. New and existing members will be vying for the heaviest individual perch, bag of 5 and heaviest other fish. Allansford and District Angling Club held a competition on the Hopkins River last Sunday which seen Isaac Primmer take out the heaviest 5 bream with 4.113kg. Michael McLaren caught a solid 1.561kg bream to get heaviest fish, and in the female section Violet McLaren caught a 681g bream to take the prize. The junior section was won by Jett Flemming who landed a 869g bream. 

Freshwater: Lewis Holland has been getting some solid trout locally during his lunch breaks which is a great sign that the rivers are on the improve. Casting shallow hardbodies in the slower moving water or right on the edge of the fast flowing water is a great place to target as it's a great ambush area for trout to sit and wait for an easy feed. Try using some brighter coloured lures to get the fishes attention.  Rocklands has again been getting fished hard by traveling anglers and locals alike for golden perch and Murray cod. Vibe style lures and soft plastics are still the go to for the golden, and for the cod spinnerbaits and deep diving hardbodies trolled have been accounting for plenty of fish. If you haven't got up there yet I would suggest you go before the place is packed for Christmas getaways, as it will be pretty busy! The rising reservoir levels are only making it more difficult to find a camp, as many previously popular areas have become inundated.

This weekend looks to be another good one with slightly more wind than last but that shouldn't deter the anglers that have been holding off for this time of year. Until next week tight lines and best of luck!