In Depth Fishing Report 9/3

09 Mar 23

The inshore fishing around our area has fired up this past couple of weeks with some excellent captures being made in all our estuaries. The bluefin have also kept people busy with big schools eating most offerings this week.

Estuaries: the Hopkins River is alive and well and fishing excellently well for all manner of species. Corey and Sam Powell fished early Sunday morning for a mixed bag on soft plastics. Sam caught a solid 40cm+ bream on the old faithful 2” camo worm which was a solid fish of over a kilo. They got most of their fish below the bridge and were also surprised to catch 3 flathead too. This small system always surprises us all with either different species caught like these flathead, or the many large calamari that were caught in summer down in the blue hole. Yes you heard that right, squid in the Hopkins! The Allansford Angling Club held their 10th competition of the year on Sunday with 17 anglers battling it our for the Harry Taylor Memorial trophy. Isaac Primmer again took out top honours with a bream weighing 1.36kg. The fish were wide spread but most anglers focused down the front along the mudflat and the bridge. Christian McNaughton landed a thumper 45cm bream recently under the Hopkins bridge on a crab. There was reports of a 50cm fish caught under there but hasn’t been confirmed yet. If you’re looking to head out then get down to the river and have a crack cause it’s not everyday it fishes this well. Remember to use as light if not no sinker at all to entice these bigger fish but don’t go too light on the main line and leader as they will tear you to pieces around the pylons. A fluorocarbon leader or mono main line in the 8-12lb mark is very much needed to extract these big fish around the razor sharp reef and rocks. Anything less will leave you disappointed and deflated when you lose that fish. The Glenelg River is fishing well for bream and estuary perch up around Pritchards and Saunders landings. Cut crab and scrub worms have been working very well for Wayne Grant who has been getting a feed up there most occasions. Moving around has been the key according to Wayne cause the fish are on the move. The Glenelg will be a buzzing down in the bottom section, with the South Australian Bream Fishing Hobie round this weekend where around 80 kayaks will battle it out to be crowned champion. Hopefully we see some big bream hit the scales and everyone experiences just what this iconic river can produce. 

Offshore: the offshore fishing reports have full of hot bluefin fishing again. Large schools of fish have been readily taking both hard bodies and skirts along with small stick baits. Finding the schools has been somewhat easier due to the birds working the same bait schools. The other giveaway is the abundance of bait fish in the area with krill, small barracouta and pilchards being found easily. Seeing these fish are beginning to move to larger baits they will also become much easier to catch as you can step up your lure size without worrying about them not wanting it. The Zerek Speed Donkeys are again the top lure on the tuna with one customer stating he only ran 3 of them last time as they worked so well. Another exciting thing is the sighting of barrels again both off Portland and Port Fairy by those targeting smaller fish. Unfortunately there has been no captures as of yet but if it’s like previous years, it’s only a matter of weeks, if not days, before one gets caught. So if you’re out there having a look around why not put a bigger lure on and try be the first to get one this season. The shark fishing on the bottom has again been excellent with some boats landing up to 20 sharks in a short session. Although the majority of these fish range from 5-10kg they still provide excellent eating quality fillets. The snapper have made their way back in close and are mixing in with some quality King George whiting recently. Most of these fish are being taken on our locally sourced pippies and squid. There is two prime times to target the whiting and if you can get both of these aligned, then you’re in with a big chance of getting a few. The first is a tide which is preferably a high tide. Whiting are a hunting fish and will hold in the weed cover if there is no current until it picks up. The other is low light so either first up in the morning or fishing just into the dark of a night. If you can get both these factors lined up then you’re in with a great shot. Berley has fast become a must for whiting down our way and there is none better than the Hookem Whiting Pellets. These green pellets are packed full of prawns and other of whiting favourites and also have biodegradable flash scales to have a visual effect. Simply throwing a hand full out in front every now and then will keep them intrigued and looking for a feed. 

Freshwater: young Harry Chatfield caught his first big trout in the Merri River while chasing eels with chicken. Harry was super surprised and excited when a 50cm+ trout came to the surface. Over the last few weeks, Darcy Cutter and Tim Vincent landed some good trout from the Emu Creek, whilst carp fishing. Lake Purrumbete has again fished excellent for redfin both on lures and bait. Baits such as scrub worms and live minnow down on the bottom have been the stand out baits. Plenty of chinook salmon in Lake Bullen Merri also lately and this will get better too with the cool weather on the way.  

Richardson Marine’s Tackle Shack is holding another talk night, with this one focusing on bream fishing on lures in the South West and beyond. Our guest speakers this time will be Dan Mackrell and Declan Betts who have been dominating the Vic Bream Classics series for a number of years. The boys will have plenty of secrets and information even for the most seasoned anglers. The night will kick off at 6pm with a BBQ dinner and drinks which is included in the entry price. The actual talk night will kick off at 7pm, then the Tackle Shack will be open for some great specials. Thanks to Atomic, Hurricane and Cranka lures we will have some great giveaways for attending.

This weekend sees some decent conditions which is handy coming into a long weekend. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.