In Depth Fishing Report 9/6

09 Jun 23

Another up and down week for conditions but there was a plus having some good seas towards the end of last week. The rivers have again provided the most action due to the conditions offshore, so let's start off there.

Estuaries: The Hopkins River is holding a lot of water at the moment thanks to the big seas, big tides and a shallow entrance. This seems to have fired the bream up especially down the bottom half of the river due to the increase in clean saltwater content. There are lots of fish marking up on the fish finders in 2-4m of water but getting one of these bream to bite is proving hard. Typically this time of year sees the majority of them sitting in this depth of water for their annual spawning, but by the looks of the fish being caught they aren’t quite ready to do that yet. The Hopkins will play host to the 3rd round of the Vic Bream Classics team series with upwards of 40 teams battling it out for the crown and top prize. A few teams had a look around on the weekend during Warrnambool and District Angling Clubs final competition of their season. Some quality bags were weighed in during the event but none bigger than Alex Craig who weighed the biggest bream of 1.211kg. Alex’s 5 fish weighed in at 4.785kg and were all caught in the same 400m stretch of water. Kylie Rowe was the only lady angler to take part and was rewarded with her new personal best bag of 5 bream which weighed 4.271kg. This bag was anchored down by a solid 938g bream which took out the ladies section. Juniors was won by Mason Hunt who caught his winning fish in the final half hour of competition off the bank. Using a Z-Man Slim Swimz in Calico Candy he landed quite a few fish walking the banks. With the higher than usual water levels it means that there will be fish pushing right up onto the shallow water in search of a fresh feed. What you will normally find when this happens is there will be crabs and worms which these fish are looking for. I would expect these fish to have dropped back out soon due to the rain fall we have had recently but weirder things have happened in the Hopkins. The Curdies River is again blocked thanks to the high seas and big high tides pushing the sand into the entrance. Allansford and District Angling Club held a competition a couple of weekends ago there, in what can only be described as less than ideal conditions. Isaac Primmer and Beetle Baillie teamed up for a 5/5 bag weight of 4.045kg caught in the lake at Peterborough. All their fish were a similar size range around the 800g mark. Although this system isn’t known for it’s giant bream it certainly makes up for it in numbers. It’s not uncommon for you to have a day catching fish over 50 a day on both lures and baits. Grey back and shrimp are the standout baits when fishing the Curdies and are typically fished unweighted into the edges or in the lake. The Glenelg River has seen some nice Estuary Perch kicking about around the Donovan’s to Taylor’s Straight area. Pure Fishing rep Michael Moore had a great few days casting topwater lures for the perch. He and a couple mates landed some solid fish fishing the early mornings and late afternoons on walker style lures. These style of lures are designed to hoax the fish out of their snags with a zip and zag retrieve. Lots of pauses are needed when using these type of surface lures to give the fish time to hone in on the commotion happening. Simply twitching the rod tip down as you’re winding the lure back will flick it side to side hence why it’s called walking the dog. Later on in the day when the sun comes up you’ll have to start changing things around to soft plastics, blades and hard bodies as the fish will start to come out to the deeper sections.       

Freshwater: Skeeta Andrews has again been stomping the banks in search for those trophy size trout that the Merri River is known for. Casting shallow hard bodies in likely looking areas he has been landing some quality fish over 55cm. There hasn’t been a hot spot as such but it seems as though the fish are wide spread from Woodford all the way down to Merrivale. This rain that we have just had will only do good things for the rivers especially if it dirties up. There has been plenty of fish seen but because the water has been clear they have been spooking once spotted. A lot of anglers nowadays are just fishing blind and not looking for these cruising fish. The key to this is studying the water in front of you and picking up small pieces of information that will tell you a likely spot for a trout to sit. It might be as small as a school of bait fish sitting in close to the bank packed in tight, or it might be as obvious as a fish rising on the school of bait fish sitting in tight. The other thing to look for and one that I’ve touched on heaps in other articles is the flow of the water and what this creates. If you’re fishing on a corner and the river is flowing then the inside bank will be the place to hit as it provides a slower piece of water for the trout to sit in and ambush. Running your lure across this section of river is your most likely chance of hooking a fish in running water. The same goes for when you choose to fish a rocky run where the water is flowing over the rocks. There will always be a slower section of water due to the rocks breaking the flow of the water so you are trying to aim your cast into that section. Lake Purrumbete has seen some good captures of smaller trout around the weed beds near the boat ramps. These fish have just been released which is why they are holding in these shallow weeds. Even though they might only be 30-40cm they still provide good fun for those that don’t often target trout. Shallow running hard bodies such as the Smith Panish are a perfect lure for running over the top of these weeds as they only dive to 2 foot at tops. Redfin captures are again keeping anglers bellies full with a fair few fish still being caught for those working hard for them. This time of year sees many of these fish start to school up but it’s getting the bigger ones that seem to be an issue. This lake is known for having stacks of small reddies but it’s these bigger models that prove elusive for most. Scrub worms and live minnows are your go to bait if you want a feed of reddies.

Hopefully ocean conditions improve next week and we can report on some saltwater fishing action for you. Best of luck!