It’s been a bumper week on the fishing front with some quality fish coming from all over the district. Freshwater has been firing and the salt continues to produce epic bluefin tuna fishing.
Saltwater: the bluefin tuna season continues to be one of the best in recent times, if not the best. Just when we thought that the barrels were slowing, they bounce back in a big way off Port MacDonnell. One boat that took advantage of the good conditions and insane fishing was Luke Gercovich and Xavier Ellul who ventured over to Port Mac on Monday and landed a pair of jumbos on spin gear. Luke caught his pb on a stickbait with a 90kg fish, and then it was Xav’s turn with a 136kg beast. This fish took a live Yakka fished in a small bait ball with only one seal hanging around it. 2 and a bit hours later the fish was boat side and the boys had to work out how they were getting it in the boat. After a bit of a struggle it was in the boat and alongside the other 90kg fish. They then had a slow trip back to the ramp with over 200kg of extra weight leaning over to one side of their 4.3m Anglapro tinny! There has been multiple other fish caught on both live baits and skirts in a redbait pattern. There are no shortage of baitfish over there, which is why the big tuna are in the area. If you are looking at fishing for barrels with live baits there are a couple of extra pieces of equipment you’ll need before heading out. The first is a bait jig for catching the livies quickly. If you are using these types of jigs please remember that you can’t use any bait to sweeten the jig as it then becomes a 6 hook baited rig and is illegal. This is the same as Victoria so make sure you’re taking notice of this as it will make a nasty trip if you get caught. The shark fishing continues to be great in the 50-65m mark with barracouta and squid being the best baits whilst anchored. Using a steady berley trail is definitely going to make your fishing a whole lot better for a longer period of time. There are some good schoolies about at the moment so a wire trace could be a good idea to avoid bite offs. Circle hooks are also a great way to avoid being beaten off by school sharks. The number one thing to do with circles is don’t strike, and let the hook work its way into the corner of the jaw with the pressure of the rod sitting in the rod holder.
Estuaries: the Hopkins River has again fished well this week for both bream and estuary perch. Allansford and District Angling Club held their last comp for the season on Sunday. Brendan Howard and Kurt Howard took out the heaviest bag of 5 bream with a weight of 4.597kg. Brendan also caught the heaviest fish with a 1.366kg bream. Beetle Baillie caught the heaviest other fish with a perch weighing 1.205kg along with a few others too, all on live minnow. Vincent Lamb caught the heaviest fish in the junior section weighing a bream of 565g. The water level has again risen over this past week so I would assume the mouth is blocked again but that is unconfirmed. The perch have been wide spread over the past couple of weeks and can be targeted in all sections of the river. Tooram Stones is always worth a go this time of year especially once the water begins to flow dark. No word on the Mulloway for a couple weeks but I’m sure they are still in there. One system that always produces Mulloway is the Glenelg River. The past 3 or 4 weeks have seen some quality fish up to 20lb caught in good numbers. These fish have been targeted mostly from the estuary right up to Donovan’s. Trolling both live mullet and soft plastics in a mullet pattern have been producing most of the bites. Hopefully we see some of those really big 50lb fish come through and put a smile on anglers faces for years to come. If you’re looking at a getaway and are looking for accommodation then give Patty and Dean a call at the River Vu Caravan park. They have their own private jetty which is handy when fishing late at night.
Freshwater: Lake Purrumbete has again turned it on for trout and salmon this past week. Scott Gray and a couple of mates have been casting the fly at the edges with great success on all species of trout and chinook salmon. Using a BMS (Bullen Merri Special) style fly to replicate the abundant galaxia minnow that live in this waterway has been working well for them. Throw in a handful of redfin on soft plastics and it makes for a great day on the water. The local rivers have again been flogged by eager anglers looking for that fish of a lifetime that both the Merri and Hopkins is famous for at this time of year. Many travelling anglers from the east have made their way down here due to their closed season on the trout over that side of the state. We are lucky not to have a closed season due to our fish not spawning successfully in our waterways, as well as large numbers of fish stocked each year. Lewis Holland is one that has been getting some great trout using both hard bodies and soft plastics just before dark. Many of the popular local spots including the Merri River weir, the Junction, the Hopkins Falls and Woodford have produced fish to 6lb.
If the fishing next week is anything like what we’ve experienced this week, expect some good winter reports to come through! With a good weekend weatherwise just around the corner, we should see many anglers heading out in search of their desired target. Good luck and tight lines!